The Consulate General of Greece in New York is pleased and honored to announce the opening of the photography exhibition “Romaniote Memories, a Jewish Journey from Ioannina, Greece to Manhattan”, by Vincent Giordano, on Thursday, September 19th, 2019, 6:00-7:30 p.m., at its premises.
A lecture and panel discussion about Romaniote Jews will take place at the Consulate General’s premises on Thursday, September 26th, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.
The photographs are part of a multi-media archive, created by Giordano, who died in 2010, which was sponsored by International Survey of Jewish Monuments and since June, 2019 has found a new home at the Hellenic American Project and Special Collections at the Library of Queens College, New York under the direction of Dr. Nicholas Alexiou. The project has received support from a number of philanthropic institutions including a grant from the Fulbright Foundation in 2009 with the Jewish Museum of Greece acting as the host institution.
In 1999, photographer Vincent Giordano made an unplanned visit to the small Kehila Kedosha Janina (KKJ) synagogue on New York’s Lower East Side. He knew little about Judaism or synagogues, and even less about the Romaniote Jewish tradition of which KKJ, built in 1927, is the lone North American representative. In this he was not alone. Romaniotes –are among the least known of Jewish communities. Since the Holocaust, when 85% of all Jews in Greece perished and the historic Romaniote communities in Greece largely destroyed, KKJ has struggled to maintain its’ millennia-old traditions.