The Jewish Community of Athens has two functioning synagogues, both on the same street facing each other, in the area of Thission, near the city centre.
The older of the two is the Romaniote one, built in 1904, at 8, Melidoni Steet. It is called Etz Hayyim, a common name for Romaniote synagogues. Still called “the Ioannina Synagogue” by the community’s older members, it is the smaller of the two and is used today only during the High Holidays. The ground floor houses the community’s offices, in rooms originally intended for a Jewish school.
Right across the street, at number 5, is the newer and larger, Beth Shalom Sephardic synagogue, built in 1935, renovated in the 70’s, and the one fully used today. Its exterior is in white marble with neoclassical elements, while the spacious interior bears not much resemblance to the Greek tradition regarding synagogue design.