The square was photographed that day Click for a larger image
On the side of the square is another sign that reads (in Hebrew and French):
Thessaloniki Community Click for a larger image
In the center of the square is the sailing statue of Israel Hadany Click for sign's details Translation of the text on the sign
The emblem of the city of Ashdod
Branding symbol of the city of Ashdod Thessaloniki Square
It was established in memory of the Thessaloniki Jewish community, which numbered about eighty thousand Jews, who came to the city and settled there after the expulsion from Spain.
In time, Thessaloniki was called the "Jerusalem of the Balkans," and its community became one of the largest and most important communities in the world. The commercial and craft life of the members of the community was shut down on Saturdays and Jewish holidays, including the port where many Jews worked. In the 1930s, about ten thousand Jews immigrated from Thessaloniki to Israel and worked in the ports of Haifa and Tel Aviv.
In 1941, when the Germans entered Thessaloniki, about 50,000 of the city’s Jews were sent in 19 shipments to Auschwitz and Birkenau, where they were killed in crematoria. After the Holocaust, only about 1,950 Jews survived in Thessaloniki, most of whom immigrated to Israel at the end of the war and made a crucial contribution to the development of the sea in the ports of Tel Aviv and Jaffa.
In 1965, some of them moved to Ashdod and helped build the port and train new workers, most of whom were new immigrants, built their homes there and turned the port of Ashdod into a leading port in the country.
For the great contribution of the Jews of Thessaloniki to the establishment of the State of Israel and the construction of Ashdod and the port in particular, the leaders of Ashdod decided to commemorate this square that overlooks the sea and symbolizes: determination, heroism, beauty and the sea!
"One way or another, at one time or another, we were all there in Greece, even if it was only in our dreams."
The sculptor: Israel Hadany
Inaugurated in June 1999
QR code pointing to Jews in Thessaloniki - Wikipedia (Hebrew)