The presence of a Jewish community in Larissa dates back to the 2nd century BCE. In 1881, 2,800 Jews lived in Larissa and operated seven synagogues and one Yeshiva (Rabbinical College). The famous “piyutim” (poems) written in Larissa are considered as some of the most inspired creations of Jewish culture. Of the 1,120 Jews who lived in the city before World War II, 36% died at the extermination camps.
Today the community numbers 330 members and has the only state-run Jewish school in Greece. Only one of its synagogues still functions, while the small number of members has led to mixed weddings. A new cemetery has replaced the old one, which was destroyed by the Germans and subsequently occupied by others.