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Congregation Kehila Kedosha Janina

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Basic Information

Location 280 Broome St New York, NY 10002, United States
Phone number +1 212-431-1619
Country United States
City New York City

General Information

Open to visitors yes
Need appointment no
Handicap accessibility no
Website http://www.kkjsm.org/
Geographical Coordinates 40.71859,-73.99117


Summary

Kehila Kedosha Janina is a Romaniote synagogue situated in Chinatown, in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City. Memorabilia as well the museum's tour guides portray the story of the Romaniote Jews, from their entry into Greece in the first century to their current life in America


History and time period

Kehila Kedosha Janina holds the distinction of being the only Romaniote synagogue in the Western Hemisphere. The congregation was founded in 1906 by Greek Jewish immigrants from Ioannina, but the synagogue itself was not erected until 1927. The years from its founding in 1927 until the Second World War were a time of prosperity for the Romaniote community in the Lower East Side; there were three rabbis in the synagogue, and on the High Holidays, there was often only standing room for synagogue services. After the Second World War, many congregants moved to other boroughs and parts of Manhattan, including Harlem, the Bronx, and Brooklyn, though these communities are no longer active. Although the community has steadily dwindled since its pre-war heyday, services are still held on Sabbath and Jewish holidays. Yet, whilst the synagogue still maintains a mailing list of 3,000 persons, it often has difficulty meeting the Minyan for Sabbath worship. A documentary film was made, about the synagogue and community, "the Last Greeks on Broome Street." It is directed, written and narrated by Ed Askenazi, whose great-grandparents were among the congregation’s founders.


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