City Designates ‘Hy Genee Way’ to Honor Leader of LES Jewish Greek Community

Posted on: August 5th, 2016 at 5:11 am by

This image has been archived or removed.

Kehila Kedosha Janina on Broome St.

It took more than six months, but the city finally weighed in on the newest Lower East Side street co-naming. “Hy Genee Way” will soon grace the historic, albeit smelly, corner of Allen and Broome Streets.

Mayor de Blasio signed the legislation on Wednesday to enact the ceremonial renaming, located outside the Kehila Kedosha Janina synagogue. The new signage will be implemented later this year with a more official celebration. This designation (nay, recognition) arrives six months after Community Board 3 offered its support of same.

At the time, museum director Marcia Ikonomopoulos reminisced about getting her feet wet in Kehila Kedosha Janina and questioning Genee about keeping the congregation alive. How the former president bled for his birth neighborhood and wanted to educate the world about the congregation, which, at one time, served the hundreds of Greek Jews from Janina (Ioannina) who lived on the block. Through Genee’s service, this obscure community survived the hard times to keep the tradition afloat on the Lower East Side.

This image has been archived or removed.

Hy Genee’s kids read a statement about the co-naming, Photo: Andrew Marcus

Hyman Genee was born in 1922 on Orchard Street, and spent his life devoted to his family, his work as a tailor around the corner on Delancey, and as president of spiritual leader of the Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue – the only Greek Jewish Romaniote synagogue in the Western Hemisphere. He died in 2006 at the age of 83.

The synagogue 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.

This image has been archived or removed.

Hy Genee with wife Lil and mother Fani, Photo: KKJ

Recent Stories

Max Fish Finally Confirms Closure, Announces Hunt for New Space

The six-year-old Max Fish reboot at 120 Orchard Street is not reopening. The bar closed at the outset of the pandemic and did not return. Back in September, we broke the news that Max Fish co-owner (and founder), Ulli Rimkus, is trying to sell the assets (Ulli Bar Corp) to a different corporate entity. Paperwork […]

SantaCon NYC Bar Crawl Canceled Due to COVID-19

Santa Claus isn’t coming to town, after all. The novel coronavirus also came for SantaCon. The annual day of debauchery was canceled just like everything else in 2020. According to the official SantaCon website, all of the reindeer “Got the ‘rona,” scrapping the usual shitshow of costumed, drunken revelers parading around the city. “Once it […]

On the Lower East Side, a Tribute to Soccer Great Maradona

Soccer fans the world over continue to mourn the loss of legendary Diego Maradona. He died last Wednesday of a heart attack at the age of 60. Here on the Lower East Side, a twenty-foot mural of the man in Mechanics Alley has become a de-facto memorial. The black-and-white profile, painted by BKFOXX as part […]

Arlene’s Grocery on ‘Life Support,’ Closing February 1

With live music in total freefall for the pandemic-fueled duration, performance venues are barely hanging on. Here on the Lower East Side, iconic rock venue Arlene’s Grocery is officially on the endangered list. The establishment at 85 Stanton Street made a serious public appeal over the Thanksgiving weekend in an attempt to try and stave […]

Vision Urbana Donates 1,500 Turkeys to NYCHA Residents in Largest Turkey Drive on the Lower East Side

The turkeys are coming! This week, Vision Urbana announced the largest ever turkey drive on the Lower East Side. It’s a feat which provides turkeys to over 1,500 families in NYCHA this Thanksgiving. Door-to-door turkey drop-offs have already begun, via Vision Urbana’s food pantry home delivery network. Just in time for folks to have their […]