Romaniote Jewry and the Lower East Side
(Conferences / Seminars / Lectures)
Marcia Haddad Ikonomopoulos is one of the leading authorities on Romaniote Jewry and is the director of the museum at Kehila Kodosha Janina (Holy Congregation of Janina) on Broome Street on New York's Lower East Side.
Romaniote Jews trace their origins back to the Hellenized Jewish communities of ancient Greece, whose descendants nurtured a distinctive history, culture, liturgy, and cuisine. These original Greek Jews were later joined in Greece by refugees from the expulsions of the Iberian Peninsula in the late 15th century.
A distinctive strand in Greek Jewry, Romaniote Jews who came to the U.S. during the height of immigration (1881 - 1924) created Kehila Kedosha Janina in 1906; the synagogue building was erected in 1927. The late MSU faculty member Ada Weintraub Finifter's grandfather was a founding member.
The lecture honors the late Ada Finifter, who left a bequest to MSU Jewish Studies, and highlights the little known history of Romaniote Jewry in Greece and the community they established in New York.
Co-sponsored by the MSU Jewish Studies Program.