Kehila Kedosha Janina Sets May 22 for 2nd Annual ‘Greek Jewish Festival’

Posted on: April 4th, 2016 at 10:17 am by
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The Kehila Kedosha Janina on Broome Street just set the date for its second annual Greek Jewish Festival. Mark the calendars for Sunday, May 22 (12pm-6pm). Hosted by the 89-year-old tenement synagogue – and a bevy of local co-sponsors – the event again promises a celebration of “the unique heritage of this historic community through traditional food, music, and community groups.” That includes live Greek, Sephardic, and Israeli music alongside traditional Romaniote and Sephardic foods.

Other entertainment: street vendors outside the building on Broome Street, tours of the shul, and dancing.

The timing is appropriate, too, as this block just obtained co-naming status in honor of the congregation’s longtime president. Born and raised in the neighborhood, the late Hy Genee was a big macher for decades, known as Mr. Lower East Side long before Rev Jen started her popular variety show. Due to a lifetime of service to the community, both as a tailor on Delancey Street and president of Kehila Kedosha Janina, Genee was able to single-handedly keep the synagogue alive for decades.

Kehila Kedosha Janina began in 1907 when families from the Greek town of Janina (Ioannina) organized a congregation. The current facility was not erected until 1927, and is the only Romaniote synagogue in the Western Hemisphere. It remains one of the only Jewish congregations in the neighborhood with an active minyan (prayer) on Saturday mornings.

The building received landmark status in 2004, and underwent a major renovation two years later.

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