CD project Romaniote Tradition

CD project: "Synagogue music of the Romaniote Jews of Greece"

The Romaniote Jews have been living in Greece (mainly in Ioannina, Chalkis and Corfu) and in adjacent areas for more than 2000 years. Their name is derived from "Romanioi" (or "Romania"), which in Late Antiquity meant the Roman Empire and the Roman-Latin cultural environment.

Contact with the greater society and culture of the Mediterranean has brought about an independent tradition (e.g. language and customs) and a distinctive Romaniote Jewish repertoire of synagogue music that differs significantly from Ashkenazi and Sephardic traditions.

Thus, the Romaniote Jews have their own melodies that they use in their prayer chants, and are well-known for their piyyutim (hymns which are sung during the synagogue worship) and their own tradition of the Torah cantillation.

The EZJM has been in the process of recording the liturgical output of Cantor Haim Ischakis from Athens, one of the last people to perform the synagogal music tradition of the Romaniote Jews. The EZJM is currently working on a comprehensive CD of the recordings so to make this distinctive repertoire accessible to future generations. The CD is to be released in 2018, which will include liturgical melodies for Shabbat, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Pesach, Shavuot, Chanukah and Purim.


Persons to contact

Prof. Dr. Sarah M. Ross
Director of the EZJM
T. +49-(0)511-3100-7120
E-Mail: Prof. Dr. Sarah M. Ross

Dr. Miranda L. Crowdus
Research Assistant
T. +49-(0)511-3100-7123
E-mail: Miranda L. Crowdus

Rabbi Haim Ischakis

Rosh HaShana in Ioannina 2006

Last modified: 2018-09-20

To top