The Jewish Community of Ioannina was founded in the 8th century. It is one of the largest and most typical Romaniote Jewish communities in Greece, and its members are descendants of Greek Jews who settled there in Byzantine times. The Jewish quarters of the city were called “Megali Rouga”, i.e. “the High Street”.
Before the war, the Jewish community of the town numbered 1850 members, who were captured and deported by the Germans. Only 163 came back from the camps, while the neighbouring communities in the towns of Arta, Preveza, Parga and Agrinio, were not re-established after the Holocaust.
What survives today of the once flourishing community are some houses in the old neighbourhood and possibly the most beautiful synagogue in Greece. Unfortunately there is no resident rabbi, which means that the synagogue only functions during the main Holidays.