The Annual Greek Jewish Festival Returns for 3rd Season this Sunday
On the occasion of the building’s ninetieth birthday, Kehila Kedosha Janina will again park a party on Broome Street to celebrate Greek Jewish heritage on the Lower East Side. The third annual Greek Jewish Festival, hosted by the tenement synagogue, is slated for this Sunday, May 21 (noon to 6pm).
It’s just another event to help celebrate Lower East Side History Month.
As in prior years, the locally-sponsored 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.
This festival is an authentic celebration without the bells and whistles of the usual block parties in the area. For one thing, you won’t see astro-turf rolled onto the street.
Last year’s event drew some 6,000 people to the block.
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 itself received landmark status in 2004, and underwent a major renovation two years later.