Residents of all of the neighborhoods: Unite!

The full translation of the Manifesto of the First Congress of the Federation of the Residents of all the Popular Neighborhoods of Salonica, 1924.

Residents of the Popular Neighborhoods of Salonica Translated from the Ladino by Devin E. Naar
October 19, 2020
Image courtesy of the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People.
Manifesto of the First Congress of the Federation of the Residents of all the Popular Neighborhoods


With great enthusiasm, on Sunday September 21, the first congress of the population of the popular quarters took place, with 33 delegates representing the following quarters: No. 151, Calamaria, Regie-Vardar, Teneke Maale, No. 6, Hirsch, [and] Aya Paraveski. [The congress] sends you all fraternal greetings and invites you to interest yourselves more and more in your organizations and to respond enthusiastically to the calls from the committees in your neighborhoods. It invites you to respond to the call of the new central committee of the Federation of the neighborhoods for solidarity—which is a boulder of iron that cannot be broken—and which will succeed in imposing, with the power of logic, your demands for justice vis-à-vis the powers that be: the [state] government, the municipality, or the [Jewish] community.


The first congress clearly laid out the path to follow, and in agreement with all of the delegates of the neighborhoods sent by your assemblies, we unanimously approved the [manifesto? {word cut off}] of the federation and we made the following decisions, which we are convinced will meet the needs of the residents of the neighborhoods.

We decided to protest to and demand justice from the [Jewish] community:

1. Due to its hostile attitude toward the associations of the quarters and its manner of working against the interests of the population of the neighborhoods.

2. Due to the proposal of the Bikur Holim (under the auspices of the community) to remove the pharmacy from the Regie-Vardar neighborhood, [we] demand that the Bikur Holim [not only maintain the pharmacy but also] open more branches in all of the popular quarters and undertake the necessary steps to ensure that the populations of all neighborhoods obtain their voucher booklets [for free or reduced cost medical services].

To demand justice from the communal council [of the Jewish community]:

1. So that it orders the administrators of the neighborhoods to provide immediate shelter for our groups so that they can host meetings, assemblies, and lectures.

2. So that it supports the demands made by the population of the neighborhoods to the municipality or government, as in the cases of Aya Paraskevi, No. 6, Regie-Vardar, and Teneke Maale.

3. So that it does not distribute aid among the population of the neighborhoods without collaborating with our federation.

4. So that it undertakes the necessary repairs in the dilapidated quarters as in the cases of Calamaria and Hirsch.

5. So that it facilitates and provides the necessary means for the youth of the neighborhoods to receive a solid and free education that also enables them to undertake physical exercises, while also providing for hygiene care.

6. So that the communal council reserves a quantity of coal for the population of the neighborhoods 

To protest to and demand justice from the municipality:

For completely neglecting the popular neighborhoods, as has been the case until today, and for decisions concerning quarters Aya Paraskevi and No. 6, and demands of the municipal council:

1. That it interest itself in the fate of the thousands of unfortunate souls who live in misery

2. That it agrees to all of the demands made by the neighborhood associations, and that it provides abundant quantities of lime and phenic acid to guard against illness, to install lights, to maintain the hygiene in the quarters, to clean off those encampments [that are] full of dust as is the case of Regie Vardar, Aya Paraskevi—filth that breeds microbes and malaria, to repair the streets leading up to and within the popular quarters and, finally, to insist that the municipal council ensure an abundance of free water for the population of the popular neighborhoods.

To seek justice from and protest against the government

1. By demanding, at all costs, the evacuation of the schools of the popular neighborhoods occupied by refugees who greatly impede the education of the impoverished masses who do not have the means to secure instruction from private schools, which require vast tuition fees 

2. So that it compels the water company to ensure precious water [be provided] to the city and the neighborhoods

3. So that before demolishing the Teneke Maale quarter, it ensures the residents housing in other neighborhoods.

To protest against the government’s decision regarding the new military service exemption tax, to firmly declare that the population of the neighborhoods is being cruelly hit by the various taxes imposed by the government as well as the recent unjust law 3066 since it was passed by the national assembly, and for how [the government] considers as insubordinate and as deserters those citizens who had followed all of the previous laws.

This is, in few but significant words, our decisions and our demands for justice made by the residents of the neighborhoods at the first congress of our federation. 

Residents of the popular neighborhoods!

We call upon you to stretch out your hands and amplify our message with a single voice and support en masse the associations of the popular quarters, having in mind the fulfillment of the demands of our first congress.

Long live the Federation of the popular quarters!
Long live the sincere union of the residents!

By order of the Congress
The president,
Gabriel Levy

Jewish families in one of the most impoverished Jewish districts in Salonica, Teneke Maale (“tin quarter”), in the interwar period. The neighborhood’s representatives joined the Federation of Residents of all of the popular neighborhoods and signed onto the manifesto in 1924. Photo courtesy of the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People.

Devin E. Naar is an associate professor of Jewish studies, Sephardic studies, history, and international studies at the University of Washington in Seattle and the author of Jewish Salonica: Between the Ottoman Empire and Modern Greece.