In 1841, following Singapore’s mid-nineteenth century growth into a key South-East Asian trading center, Indian and Iraqi Jewish traders settled there and created a community. 1878 saw the construction of a synagogue, followed by one more in 1904. The community had expanded to 5,000 incorporating Jews from Eastern Europe when the Japanese took over the country during the Second World War, taking them captive and confiscating their property.
Following the war, a large number of Jews moved to Australia and the USA, leaving very few behind. Rebbetzin Rachel is friends with a whole family of Jews from Singapore who now live in Los Angeles and even opened the first kosher restaurant there. Of late, Jews and Israelis working in Singapore have settled there with Sephardim making up ninety percent of the group.
Of the two synagogues, only one is used consistently, and includes a mikvah and a circulated newsletter. At present the Jewish community is small and made up of professionals with the Sir Manasseh Meyer Community Centre at the heart of Jewish life.
On my first trip to Singapore I stayed with Rabbi Abergel, the Chabad Shaliach and Rabbi of the local Jewish community. He had only been there a short time yet was happy to have the box of kosher salami I brought for him. The community had a wonderful Shabbat Kiddush with traditional local foods, which I enjoyed. There are both a men’s and women’s mikvah and kosher food services.
Singapore has a good relationship with Israel. The Israeli army does a lot of training for the Singapore army in showing them how a small country surrounded by many fundamentalist countries can protect itself.
Jewish Welfare Board
Robinson Road, PO Box 474
Rabbi Abergel 238592 Telephone: 737 9112
Supervision: Orthodox Rabbinate of Singapore
Central organisation: Jewish Welfare Board
Contact Mrs. Simcha Abergel for information about
Embassy of Israel
58 Dalvey Road S 1025
Telephone: 235 0966, Fax: 733 7008
2 Oxley Rise 238693
Telephone: 732 8832
Services Monday only, Shacharit and Mincha/Maariv
Maghain Aboth Synagogue
24/26 Waterloo Street 187950
Telephone: 337 2189, Fax: 336 2127
Daily and Sabbat services, They may hold services sometimes at the Chesed EI Synagogue.
Mincha Maariv sis at 6.45 pm during the entire year. Singapore is on the Equator and thus times don;t change much. Shacharis on weekdays is at 7.30 am. There is a meal served Friday night and Shabbat day after the services.
Shabbat morning service is at 9am. I think there is is a Breakfast every morning after davening.
For details contact Rabbi Mordechai Abergel737 9112 .
I hear that there is kosher cheese, meat, wine, for sale at the synagogue.