Twenty-three centuries of Jewish presence in Greece have left their mark in more ways than one. Material remains to this legacy can be found all over the country. However, the ravages of time have often wiped out the traces of many communities that were abandoned, for one reason or another. Earthquakes, wars, economic decline -to mention but a few- often destroyed communities or forced them to relocate. Abandoned sites sometimes disappeared, either buried and forgotten, or quarried for building material, or simply built over. That is the reason why, although Jewish presence is historically documented in many locations, the ones where material finds corroborate historic testimonies are much fewer.

The better preserved locations are those where vibrant Communities existed just before the Holocaust. Only nine of them still function. There is an effort to maintain and restore as much as possible of this rich heritage, in the rest of Greece.

Aegina

There is evidence of two synagogues on the island of Aegina. The first was discovered in 1829, and of the second synagogue only a...

Patras

The Jewish presence in the capital of the Peloponnesus, was established by the Jews who arrived in Patras from Syria, during the reign of...

Arta

The Jewish Community of Arta was one of the oldest in Greece. By 1173 it had about 100 families. After the collapse of the...

Ζakynthos

In 1522, 30 Jewish families lived on the island of Zakynthos. By 1702 the community had two synagogues, the local or “Zakynthian” and the...

Veroia

The Jewish presence in the town of Veroia dates back to the 1st century BCE; St. Paul visited the city and preached in its synagogue....

Trikala

The Jewish Community of Trikala is one of the oldest in central Greece and is of great historic interest. During World War II, it...

Dilos

Various references in the writings of Flavius Josephus testify to the existence of a Jewish community on the island, which was a thriving cosmopolitan...

Chania

Jews started settling on the island of Crete from Hellenistic times, mainly from important cities of the time, such as Alexandria and Ephesus. It...

Rhodes

Jews settled in Rhodes for the first time in the 2nd c. BCE, and have since had a continuous presence on the island, throughout its...

Corfu

Up to the 16th century, Corfu boasted an important Jewish Community, with two main synagogues - the Romaniote and the Italian (Apulian) one. During the 19th century,...

Chalkis

The Jews of Chalkida belong to the Romaniote community. Theirs may not have been the first community to be established on Greek soil, but...

Volos

The Jewish presence in Volos is documented since the reign of King Philippos ΙV (297-221 BCE). Massive emigration of Jews to Volos took place...

Larissa

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...

Ioannina

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,...