It was a great honor and privilege to be invited as the Israel Commissioner to Notos 2015 International Philatelic Exhibition, which was held at the Peristeri Exhibition Centre in Athens, Greece from the  12th  to 15th  November, under the patronage of the Federation of European Philatelic Associations (FEPA) and the Association Internationale des Journalistes Philateliques (AIJP) organized by the Hellenic Philatelic Society.

fig 1. Notos 2015 Peristeri Exhibition Center - Athens

Notos 2015 Peristeri Exhibition Center – Athens

Due to the dire financial situation in Greece, many philatelists around the world were very skeptical that the International Philatelic Exhibition would take place – but the organizers with their dedication, determination and extremely hard work, managed to exceed all expectations and made Notos 2015 an incredible success.

One of the unique qualities of the Exhibition was its inclusive nature, in which representatives from over 36 countries were made to feel part of a family of nations.

fig 2. Israeli Philatelists at the Exhibition

Israeli Philatelists at the Exhibition

fig 4. International Jury - Greek Parliment

International Jury – Greek Parliament  [Israeli Judge : Adv.Eli Weber – President Israel Philatelic Federation, front row : 2nd from the left]

fig 3. International Commissioners - Greek Parliment

International Commissioners – Greek Parliament

The Grand Opening of Notos 2015 was held at the exhibition center  speakers included

Presidents of the Hellenic Philatelic Federation, Association Internationale des Experts en Philatélie,. Association Internationale des Journalistes Philatélique, Federation of European Philatelic Associations,  Deputy Mayor of the City of Peristeri., and Moses Constantinis, Special Advisor of Philately to the Hellenic Post who is also President of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece.

fig 5 with Moses Constantinis and his wife

With Moses Constantinis and his wife

One of the Highlights, was our visit to the Israeli Embassy and our meeting with Irit Ben – Abba the Israeli Ambassador. We were given a photo copy of the Souvenir Leaf of the joint issue of a stamp depicting 25 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and Greece, which will be issued on the 9th of February 2016, depicting Haifa and Thessaloniki.

fig 6. Israeli Embassy

Israeli Philatelic Delegation at the Israel Embassy : with the  Ambassador Irit Ben – Abba

I am indebted to the organizers of the Greek Philatelic Federation for not only inviting Israel to participate but also for organizing a kosher meal for me at the Palmares Prize Award Ceremony. The jury awarded the following medals to Israeli Exhibitors: 2 Large Gold Medals to Mordecai Kremener and Eddie Leibu, 4 Gold Medals to Hedy Faibel, Yuly Keller, Shlomo Shtern,  I was also very fortunate to be awarded Gold for my Mocambique and Mocambique Company. Large Vermeil to Yehoshua Eliashiv, Vermeil to Hedy Faibel, and 4 Large Silver Medals to Paulo Duek, Yehuda Kleiner, Meer Kossoy and Yohanan Mey – Raz.

fig 7. Palmares - Israeli Delegation

Palmares – Israeli Delegation

The Israeli Philatelic Federation donated a special prize, a silver model of Jerusalem which was displayed at the exhibition and was awarded to a Turkish exhibitor.

I wore my kippa in Athens and was very proud to represent Israel. I found the Greeks to be very warm, friendly and welcoming. Notos 2015 was a wonderful experience which  I will always fondly remember.

fig 8. Athens Acropolis

Athens – Acropolis