|When it rained we got wet and/or we took shelter under ever present scaffolding. The rain kept the heat (but not the humidity) at bay|
|The keeper of the keys to this cemetery didn't think we'd come in the rain so she didn't show until summonsed!|
|The gates opened, the sun came out, and we found ourselves in a gentle space transported to a much earlier place in time|
In Chinatown, beneath the skyscrapers of downtown Manhattan, wedged between other buildings, is a tiny this synagogue. It was a privilege and a rich highlight for me to tour the inside.
|Saltiels wandering the streets of downtown Manhattan. Poor Jay it was like herding cats!|
In 1997, when we attended the Thessaloniki, Greece reunion, I was naive. I thought if you were a Jew you were a Jew. There I learned about
At Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue and Museum we learned about the Romaniotes. An obscure branch of Judaism of which few Jews have ever heard, with traditions dating back to Roman times. After the destruction of the Second Temple, these Jews were sent on a slave ship to Rome. A storm forced them to land in Greece, where over the next 2000 years they developed uniquely different ethnic and religious customs.
|A skylight in the roof provides light down onto the street level|
|The woman's balcony, housing amazing artifacts, overlooks the lower level|
|Josh Weinberger was our honoured family member who held one of the precious, old Torahs|
Marcia Ikonomopoulos described the story of the Romaniote Jews, from their entry into Greece in the first century to their current life in America. She spoke passionately about the town of Janina, in northwestern Greece from whence the synagogue takes its name. And then she opened the cabinet to show us their spectacular Torah scrolls.
|Marcia had my undivided attention|
|And here we are at the conclusion of the tour ... all this before lunch at Ben's Deli!|