Duration: 3 Hours
Capacity: 1-15 Pax
Price: S$300-360 Per Tour
Meeting Point: Somerset MRT Exit A
Singapore’s Jewish community dates back to 1841 during the British Straits Settlements, a time when Singapore was a thriving port attracting merchants from around the world. Amongst the newcomers were the community’s “founding fathers”, six immigrants from Baghdad who were in search of a plot of land for their first Synagogue and cemetery.
Jewish traders since followed, coming from geographically diverse locations, including Iraq, Russia, India, and Indonesia. Together, they formed the foundation of Singapore’s current community. Prominent members include David Marshal, the first Chief Minister of Singapore; Jacob Ballas, a successful stockbroker, and philanthropist; and, Menashe Mayer, who owned the majority stake in Singapore’s real estate market.
We will start our tour with a visit to the Chessed El Synagogue. This gazetted art deco style building was completed in 1905 and served as a private synagogue of Sir Menashe Meyer.
During our visit we will have a chance to speak with the Rabbi and see the Baghdadi Torah Scrolls inside the holy ark.
We will walk to what used to be the Jewish neighborhood known as “Mahalla” and will see Jewish education establishments and prominent buildings, such as the David Elias Building, buit in 1928.
We will visit the Maghain-Avot Synagogue and the adjacent Jacob Ballas center where we will visit the Kosher store. The tour will include a presentation about Judaism; an overview of Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jewish customs, and a discussion with the local Chief Rabbi about the current community and its connection to Singapore.
Our tour will include a visit to the recently opened Jews of Singapore Museum where we will learn about the Jewish holidays and calendar, symbols, and practices.
Your guide, Sarah Lev, is an Israeli and a member of the Jewish faith who has been active with the Jewish community in Singapore. Sarah sees this tour as a unique opportunity to share her heritage and customs with visitors.
Free for children under 6 years old with each accompanying adult.
Please send your full name plus the last 4 digits of your passport or photo
ID to [email protected] (for each tour participant).
This must be done five days prior to your tour in order for Kerem Tours to send your details to the Jewish Welfare Board.
You must bring a copy of your passport or photo ID with you on the day of the tour, as you will be asked to show it to the security guard before you will be permitted entrance to the Maghain Avot Synagogue premises.