The history of the Jews in Greece can be traced back to at least the fourth century BCE. The oldest and the most characteristic Jewish group that has inhabited Greece are the Romaniotes, also known as “Greek Jews”. The term “Greek Jew” is predominantly used for any person of Jewish descent or faith that lives in or originates from the modern region of Greece.
The first recorded mention of Judaism in Greece dates from 300-250 BCE on the island of Rhodes. In the 2nd century BCE, Hyrcanus, a leader in the Jewish community of Athens, was honoured by the raising of a statue in the agora.
Archaeologists have discovered ancient synagogues in Greece, including the Synagogue in the Agora of Athens and the Delos Synagogue, dating to the 2nd century BCE.
Greek Jews played an important role in Greek history, from the early History of Christianity, through the Byzantine Empire and Ottoman Greece, until the tragic near-destruction of the community after Greece fell to Nazi Germany in World War II.