Moissis, Asher

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MOISSIS, ASHER (1899–1975), Greek author, translator, and Jewish communal leader. Born in Trikkala, Moissis became a lawyer but soon began to take an active part in Jewish communal and Zionist affairs. In 1917 he founded the Zionist monthly Israel which he edited for the two years of its existence. In the early 1930s he began to publish books on Jewish subjects, particularly concerned with Greco-Jewish relations through the ages. Before World War ii he wrote Dheka pende imere ana tin Evraikyin Palestinin ("Fifteen Days Across Jewish Palestine," 1933), Isaghoyi is to Oikoyeniakon Dhikyeon ton en Elldi Israiliton ("Introductory Study of the Civil Laws of the Jewish Family in Greece," 1934), and a translation of the Autoemancipation of J.L. *Pinsker (1933). He was president of the Jewish National Fund (1930–38), of the Salonika Jewish community (1934–36), and of the Greek Zionist Federation (1936–38). Following the liberation of Greece, Moissis resumed his communal and literary activities. He was president of the Central Council of Jewish Communities in Greece (1944–49) and, from 1948, honorary consul of Israel in Athens. He translated parts of the diaries of Theodor Herzl (1952) and the History of Modern Hebrew Literature by Joseph Klausner (1968). His postwar books include I Filia Ellinon kye Evreon ana tous Eonas ("The Friendship of Jews and Greeks Through the Centuries," 1953), Ellenoioudhaikye Melete ("Helleno-Judaic Studies," 1958), and Pion "Ellinismon" Katepolemisan i Makkavei ("The Hellenism that the Maccabees Fought," 1962). After the Six-Day War of 1967, he wrote Istoria kye Thrili yiro apo to Tikhos ton Dhakrion ("History and Legend Concerning the Wailing Wall," 1968), which was translated into Italian and English, the latter by Rae Dalven. Moissis also translated into Greek verse the Haggadah (1970). Moissis was probably the most committed and prolific Jewish writer in modern Greece.

[Rachel Dalven]