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Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue

About this listing

Greek Jewish synagogue on the National Register of Historic Places

Place Details

Borough : Manhattan
Neighborhood : Chinatown
Institution, Place of Worship

Place Matters Profile

Kehila Kedosha Janina, a New York City landmark, is the only synagogue in the Western Hemisphere that practices Romanionte Judaism, a rare branch of Judaism that originated centuries ago in Greece.


Two-stories high, faced with light-colored brick, newly cleaned and shining, Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue stands apart from its commercially-focused neighbors, mostly food-related enterprises serving the far-flung businesses of Chinatown. It's easy to spot the symbols of Judaica adorning the synagogue's façade. More elusive are the architectural references to far-off lands -- to a part of the map we once called the Near East.

Inside, the entrance vestibule is tiny, crowded with stairs that lead up to the women's balcony and down to the kitchen and activity room. (Like other orthodox forms of Judaism, women and men sit separately for services.) Directly ahead are dark wooden benches that face the raised bema, the platform from which services are conducted....

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Place Matters interviews with Hyman Genee and Isaac Dostis, ca. 2000, 2005

Rae Dalven,The Jews of Ioannina (1989)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece, Univ. of Athens, Documents on the History of the Greek Jews , 1999.

[Posted by Place Matters, May 2007]

On The Web

Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue website


Isaac Dostis

Last Greek Jewish synagogue in New York City serving a small sect of Judaism with traditions dating to Roman times. The only synagogue in the Western Hemisphere using the Romaniotes' liturgy.

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