Webinar: “Romaniots, the Jews of Greece in the Middle Ages” by Professor Nicholas de Lange

24th Feb. 2022 at 18:00 CET


Fot: Mosaic floor from 4th Century AD Synagogue, Chios, Greece.

Many people do not fully appreciate that Greece is home to the oldest Jewish community in Europe, one of very few to have a continuous history since ancient times. This presence has left many traces in today’s Greece.

The lecture traces the outlines of the history of this medieval community, dwelling on its unique culture, with its roots in ancient Greece and contacts with Byzantine and Italian Christianity, as well as with Judaism in various parts of Europe and the Middle East. We shall encounter some of the important Jewish writers, who have left us hundreds of poems and prose writings, most of which have never been translated from Hebrew.

Finally, we shall consider the impact of the Ottoman invasions and the arrival of numerous Jewish refugees from Spain in the 15th century, and we shall end with the question ‘What remains of Romaniot Judaism today?’

Andreas Fryganas
Ambassador of Greece in Sweden

Ute Steyer
Rabbi of the Jewish community of Stockholm since 2015. PhD candidate at Uppsala University. Rabbi Steyer received rabbinic ordination 2009 from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York and has worked among other as program director at the Yeshiva University Centre for Jewish Law at Cardozo Law School and as adjunct lecturer and research fellow at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Katherine Hauptman
Director of the Swedish Holocaust Museum, holds a Ph.D. in Archaeology. She has wide experience in museum management, Holocaust education, and exhibition production, as well as heritage studies and research. Other assignments in the past include governmental inquiries for national museum development and participation in international commissions of trust such as ICOM (International Council of Museums) and for the Swedish delegation to IHRA.

Keynote speaker:
Nicholas de Lange
Professor Emeritus of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University of Cambridge. Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge, Fellow of the British Academy, Member of the Academia Europaea. Professor de Lange is probably the foremost world authority on Judaism in Byzantium and on the interaction between Judaism and Hellenism from the Hellenistic Age until the late Byzantine era. Those not familiar with his vast academic work are likely to have known him through his wonderful translations of works of Amos Oz, A.B. Yehoshua and S. Yizhar from Hebrew into English for which he won worldwide acclaim. He is currently Visiting Rabbi at the Etz Hayyim Synagogue in Chania, Crete.

Moderator of the event:
Noa Hermele 
Managing Director of Paideia, The European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden and Rector of Paideia Folkhögskola. He has served as member of the editorial board of Judisk Krönika – the Jewish Cultural Magazine in Sweden, board member of the Forum for Jewish Studies at Uppsala University, and chairperson of the Committee for National Minorities at the Swedish Arts Council.

Event is held in English. The lecture will be followed by a Q & A session.
The event is organized by the Embassy of Greece in Stockholm on the occasion of Greece’s Presidency of the IHRA.


Foto: Mosaic floor from 4th Century AD Synagogue, Chios, Greece [https://www.christian-pilgrimage-journeys.com/biblical-sources/christian-history/jewish-communities-in-greece/]