Ioannina is known as the ‘capital’ of Romaniote Jewry – the centre of the Greek speaking Jews whose roots go all the way back to the Hellenistic period.
At the time of the German occupation the Jewish community of Ioannina had 2,000 members.The Holocaust took a heavy toll of the Jews of Ioannina. On March 25th 1944, 1,850 people were arrested and deported to Auschwitz. Only 163 of them returned.
After the war many emigrated to the U.S. There had been earlier waves of immigration to America by Jews of Greece. In relation to Ioannina there was a synagogue established in 1927 by Greek Jewish immigrants in Manhattan, New York City, that still functions today as a Synagogue and Museum. It is known as the Kehila Kedosha Jannina – http://www.kkjsm.org/
Today around 50 Jews remain in Ioannina.
Photos by Emmanuel Santos
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