ATHENS (Apr. 3)
The Greek city of Salonika is about to take on a distinctly Jewish flavor.
Some 3,000 Israeli basketball fans are expected to descend on the Northern port city for the European final four basketball tournament April 18-20. The fans are coming to watch the Maccabi Tel Aviv team, a tournament participant.
Airline tickets from Israel to Greece are sold out, hotels are fully booked throughout the Salonika area and requests for tickets by Israeli fans are still pouring in.
At least another 1,000 Jews from around Europe are expected to come watch the games.
The local Jewish community is bracing itself — because the games will coincide with Passover and many of the fans will want to attend seders.
The rabbi of Salonika has already received requests to have him help the fans find kosher facilities for Passover.
But Andrea Sefiha, president of Salonika’s Jewish community, told JTA that Salonika does not have a facility large enough to host the expected 4,000 Jewish fans.