© 2019 ECOWEEK 


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, to protect it. Your support of this program is 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 NGO 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!

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 found across the Museum behind Avra hotel. 

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.


In 1932, archaeologists F.G. Welter and B. Mazur discovered the apse on the east wall, where according to tradition, the Torah scrolls were kept during service.

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 Athens Polytechnic 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. 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 NGO ECOWEEK.

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






Curated by Dr. Elias Messinas

architect 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 Young and the Greek Community of Jerusalem care and help conserve, protect and preserve the mosaic for future generations!

Thank you friends Leon and anonymous for your support of the second phase of the program, namely, the planning and permit phase for the protection of the mosaic. 

Join us too!


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.

Planning & Permit : 10,000 EURO
Includes: Architectural, Engineering and Permit process. Also research to support publication and professional video on the mosaic. Estimated cost.


Implementation : 100,000 EURO
Includes protective roof : 75,000 EURO, and additional works around the monument, such as structural, seating, signage : 15,000 EURO.

Opening inauguration event, to take place upon completion of the works. We also aim to create a small publication to guide visitors to the site: 10,000 EURO.

Estimated cost. Will be finalized upon receipt of building permits and final cost estimates.


Preservation works estimated at 30-35,000 EURO will be undertaken by the Eforate of Antiquities of Pireaus and the Islands.


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

received 1,617 EURO
of 10,000 EURO estimated goal
supporters: 15
deadline: February 2020

received 00 EURO
received of 100,000 EURO estimated goal
supporters: 0
deadline: August 2020



MEDIA & REFERENCES on the Mosaic of the Synagogue of Aegina

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


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