Indian Jewish History
Travel & Tourism
umbai is rich with Jewish Indian history and culture.In the
1930’s,Dr.Elijah Moses,a Bene Israeli Indian Jew,a medical
doctor,was the city’s first Jewish mayor.A number of Bene
Israel community members rose to prominence in the arts, film,
government and the military. The Sassoons, a wealthy Baghdadi
merchant family, left their mark on the city with a library, schools
and a dock named after the family.
The Bene-Israeli and Baghdadi Jewish population in India stands at
less than 4,500,themajority of whom reside inMumbai.Together they
have eight (including a Progressive congregation) active synagogues
and congregations in Mumbai.
While visiting Mumbai, you can hire a Jewish Indian tour guide.
Be prepared with extra copies of your passport to present at the
synagogues as a proof of identity for security measures,and to give a
token of‘tzedaka’if you visit and photograph at each of the synagogues.
A Heritage Tour of Jewish Mumbai
Taking a Peep at Jewish Life in India
Situated south of the Colaba area,are the main
fishing docks built by the Sassoon family in 1875.Go early to watch
the Kolis - fishermen - bring back their daily catch. Address: Colaba
Causeway, Azad Nagar, Colaba.
. Chabad House:
Also known as Nariman House, in Colaba,
is a welcome place for Shabbat services. It also has a pre-school
and grammar school attended by local Indian Jewish kids. Nariman
House is the Chabad House that lost its Rabbi,Rabbi Gavriel Holzberg,
and his wife Rivki, among other victims, in the 2008 terrorist
attacks. Address: 5 Harmosji Street, Colaba.
. Knesseth Eliyahoo Synagogue (Baghdadi):
This beautiful blue
structure was built in 1884 with funds donated by the Sassoon family.
It has an English period architecture with magnificent stained glass
windows.Knesset Eliyahoo is probably the most visited synagogue
by tourists. Address: Dr.V. B. Gandhi Marg, Fort.
Knesseth Eliyahoo (Baghdadi) Synagogue