On our first day in Rhodes, after tiring of the stores on Socrates Street, we turned, by sheer luck, on to Dossiadou Street and soon found ourselves in front of the beautifully restored, 16th-century Kahal Shalom Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in Greece.The spacious, Sephardi-style house of worship has a beautiful woodenbima in the middle of the men’s section and anexquisite, traditional white pebble floor with black pebbledecorations. Behind the synagogue is a museum, funded by far-flungdescendants of the Jewish community, displaying textiles and documentswhich explain the daily lives and the rituals of the Jews of Rhodes.There was an almost continuous Jewish presence in Rhodes from as earlyas the second century BCE. until July 23, 1944, when Nazi troopsrounded up and deported more than 1,600 members of the community(except for 42 who held Turkish citizenship). All but 151 died inAuschwitz.Aside from the synagogue, there are few visible signs of atwo-millennia-long Jewish presence except for a simple, black marblememorial in several languages in the Square of the Martyrs. However,one narrow street flanked by a park on both sides is named AlhadefStreet after a wealthy Jewish community leader who donated his lands tothe city. And in a nearby fish restaurant, a stone plaque engraved withHebrew letters indicates that the building was once a home for Jewishgirls.