June 19, 2016
We presented the trailer for the film at Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue and Museum, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. KKJ is the last remaining Romaniote (Greek) synagogue in the Western Hemisphere. Marcia Haddad Ikonomopoulos, Museum Director, introduced the filmmakers.
The screening was especially significant for us because the inspiration for the film originated when Sandra traveled with a Greek-Jewish tour led by Ikonomopoulos. On a quest to learn about her father’s hidden Jewish roots in Salonika, she learned of Stavroulakis’ contributions to preserving Greek Jewish history, including publishing Recipes of the Jews of Greece, where she found some of her father’s family recipes.
When Sandra finally met Stavroulakis in 2014, she became committed to filming his extraordinary work at Etz Hayyim.
The screening, attended by a small but rapt audience, was followed by refreshments, including traditional Greek almond pastries prepared by Ikonomopoulos. Three days after the event, Ikonompoloulos began the 2016 Greek Jewish Tour, including a stop in Hania to visit Etz Hayyim and Stavroulakis.