But the March 30 gathering also served to highlight a source of present-day sadness: Ioannina, a postcard-pretty town in northwestern Greece with a medieval fortress perched by a bright blue lake and surrounded by snow-capped mountains, once was the center of Romaniote Jewish life. Today, however, the community in Ioannina numbers fewer than 50 members, most of them elderly. The last time the community celebrated a bar mitzvah was in
Ioannina - Wikiwand
Ioannina Greek: Its population is 65,, according to and the metropolitan area reached about , census. The city's foundation has traditionally been ascribed to the Byzantine Emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD, but modern archaeological research has uncovered evidence of Hellenistic settlements. Ioannina flourished in the late Byzantine period 13th—15th centuries. It became part of the Despotate of Epirus following the Fourth Crusade and many wealthy Byzantine families fled there following the sack of Constantinople , with the city experiencing great prosperity and considerable autonomy, despite the political turmoils. Ioannina surrendered to the Ottomans in and until it was the administrative center of the Pashalik of Yanina. In the period between the 18th and 19th centuries, the city was a major center of the modern Greek Enlightenment.
Greece’s Romaniote Jews face extinction, 70 years after Auschwitz
The Romaniote Jews or Romaniotes Greek: They are one of the oldest Jewish communities in existence and the oldest Jewish community in Europe. Their distinct language was Judaeo-Greek , a Greek dialect that contained Hebrew along with some Aramaic and Turkish words but now speak modern Greek or the languages of their new home countries. They derived their name from the old name for the people of the Byzantine Empire , Romaioi. The Romaniotes are historically distinct and still remain distinct from the Sephardim , who settled in Ottoman Greece after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain.
His court was in Ioannina , and the territory he governed incorporated most of Epirus and the western parts of Thessaly and Greek Macedonia. Ali had three sons: Ali first appears in historical accounts as the leader of a band of brigands who became involved in many confrontations with Ottoman state officials in Albania and Epirus.