01 / WHY

One of the most rare and significant findings of Jewish archaeology was discovered in Aegina island in the 19th century: a mosaic with rich geometric patterns and two Greek inscriptions that identify the mosaic floor as to belonging to a 4th century CE synagogue. 

The mosaic is at a dangerous state of damage and neglect and requires urgent preservation and protection.

The mosaic is mostly damaged. Maintenance operations were carried out in 1989. The situation is made worse due to its proximity to the sea and its exposure to environmental conditions.


The planned works aim to repair the damage and to protect it. Your support of this program has been urgent and much needed!

The team of Yvette Nahmia Messinas and Dr. Elias Messinas, in cooperation with the Eforate of Antiquity of Piraeus and the Islands of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, and ECOWEEK, have departed on a program for the preservation of the mosaic of Aegina ancient synagogue. The program started in 2018 and is scheduled to be completed in 2020.


Join the Friends of the Mosaic Floor of the Aegina Synagogue to help support the preservation of the mosaic for future generations!

We thank all the friends around the world who supported this campaign and made the realization of the vision possible!

02 / WHERE

Aegina: an island in the Saronic sea known for its pistachio. An hour-boat ride from Pireas, the 15,000-residents island attracts more than 70,000 visitors in the summer months and holidays. The island is also known for artists, intellectuals and authors, who have made Aegina their second home - like the author of 'Zorba the Greek' classic Nikos Kazatzakis whose house in Plakakia is still standing. 

One of the most popular sites on the island, one that greets the visitors on their way from the port of Aegina, is the site of Kolona and the Archeological Museum with rare treasures.


One of these treasures, is the mosaic located at the entrance to the Museum, moved here after its original site behind Avra Hotel was rebuilt. 

The mosaic was discovered by the German archaeologist Ludwig Ross in 1829. It belonged to a synagogue dating from the c. 4th CE, and was adorned with geometric patterns and two inscriptions in Greek. At the east wall there is an apse, where according to tradition, the Torah scrolls were kept during service.


In 1932, archaeologist Belle Mazur studied and published the mosaic in 1935. 

Monuments such as the mosaic enrich the local history and culture and attract tourism which supports the local economy.

03 / WHO

Yvette Nahmia Messinas Greek-born  spends her summers in Aegina since childhood. Yvette holds a Masters in Jewish Civilization from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and blogs in the Jerusalem Post and in her blog From Jerusalem with Love

Dr. Elias Messinas, Greek-born architect, holds a degree from Yale and a Ph.D. from the National Technical University of Athens on the History and Architecture of the Synagogues of Greece. Elias has designed a number of private houses in Aegina, and has initiated a waste recycling program with the Municipality of Aegina. With his team he renovated the Monastirioton and Yad Lezikaron synagogues in Thessaloniki, and Yavanim synagogue in Trikala, and in 1995 completed a study of the synagogue in Veroia funded by the Getty Grant Program. Elias' books include The synagogues of Salonika and Veroia (Gavrielides Editions, Athens) and The Synagogues of Greece (Bloch Publishing Co., New York). Elias' website

Elias and Yvette have initiated programs in the past, including the creation of friendship park Athens 2004  in Israel, and ECOWEEK.

The team of the Eforate of Antiquities of Piraeus and Islands of the Ministry of Culture and Sports.


ECOWEEK created with the mission to raise environmental awareness and promote sustainability, initiates programs for preservation, sustainable design and circular economy in Greece, Israel and around the world.




Curated by Dr. Elias Messinas

architect, researcher and urban planner


Exhibition presented at the Archaeological Museum of Aegina August 7-24, 2019.


For permission to reproduce please contact

All rights reserved

By clicking on the image you are transferred to the ISSUU platform to view the exhibition.



by Dr. Elias Messinas

architect and urban planner


Learn more about the history of the Mosaic and of the Ancient Synagogue of Aegina in the first comprehensive architectural study of the synagogues of Greece published in 2011.

By clicking on the image you are transferred to the ISSUU platform to read through the publication.

For permission to reproduce please contact

All rights reserved

The Mosaic of Aegina is also presernted in the publication The Synagogues of Salonika and Veroia (Οι Συναγωγές της Θεσσαλονίκης και της Βέροιας) by Dr. Elias Messinas (1997) available at Gavrielides Editions.




In 2018, a campaign was launched to raise awareness and to collect the funds to protect the mosaic.


The campaign is led by Yvette Nahmia Messinas and architect Dr. Elias Messinas, in cooperation with the Eforate of Antiquities of Piraeus and the Islands of the Ministry of Culture and Sport.


An international community of Friends of the Mosaic Floor of the Aegina Synagogue was created to support this effort.


Friends like Elda, LeonAnnat, David and Zaklin, W Youngthe Greek Community of Jerusalem and Leon for caring and for supporting our campaign!

We wish to express our deep gratitude to Mr. Samuel-Makis Matsas for answering our call and for generously undertaking to finance the protection of this important monument and to help preserve it for the present and for future generations!


Exhibition & Event : 3,000 EURO
Includes: Preliminary survey, preliminary study, drone video, exhibition curation and printing, graphics for program,  exhibition opening and website. Final cost.

Preparation Phase: 1,600 EURO

Includes: Preliminary architectural, engineering, survey work, and program, to lay the ground for the planning of the protective roof.

Planning & Implementation: Cost undisclosed
Includes: Architectural, Engineering and implementation of the protective roof  and foundations. Will be undertaken by Mr. Samuel-Makis Matsas, thanks to his generous response to our campaign.

Preservation works: Estimated at 30-35,000 EURO

Will be undertaken by the Eforate of Antiquities of Piraeus and the Islands of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports.


received 3,000 EURO
of 3,000 EURO goal
supporters: 42
campaign closed: August 2019
Thank you for successfully completing this phase!


received 1,617 EURO
of 1,600 EURO goal

supporters: 15
campaign closed: February 2020

Thank you for successfully completing this phase!


amount undisclosed
supporters: 1
campaign closed: February 2020


This phase will be undertaken thanks to the generous leadership of Mr. Samuel-Makis Matsas.


Thank you for successfully completing this phase!



MEDIA & REFERENCES on the Mosaic of the Synagogue of Aegina

We thank our media partners and the press for spreading the word!