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09 November 2010

The Jews of Singapore.

By modern standards, the Jewish Community of Singapore is not that old. In 1819, the first Jews arrived in Singapore. They came with Sir Stamford Raffles, when he established Singapore as a trading outpost. Since the early 1820's, when the Sultan sold the land to England, the population has slowly risen.
In 1840 the first synagogue was built. The impact of people migrating into Singapore led to a new larger synagogue beginning to be built in 1875. That synagogue, Maghain Aboth Synagogue, was established in 1878 and is today the oldest Synagogue in the Far East.

The 1931 census of Singapore puts the Jewish population at 832 Jews. When World War II broke out in 1939 there were close to 1500 Jews, many of whom were interned by the Japanese. After the war many migrated to Australia, the United States and Israel. As a result the population today stands at about 1000. The majority today are of Ashkenazic descent, a big change from the original settlers who were most Sephardic from Baghdad.

Records of the Jews of Singapore, including some burial records are now being added to the Jews of Africa and the Orient database and will be available after the next update.

1 comment:

  1. I am a student of Victoria School Singapore and I have a project and thus would like to interview view any Jewish People about the Jewish community in Singapore. Our project is about sub cultures of Singapore. The interview will be over the mail so If any one is interested, email me at

    Thank You So Much