The Hong Kong Jewish Community was first established in 1857. The first synagogue was set up in a rental house on Hollywood Street in 1870. A new synagogue in memory of Sir Jacob Sassoon's mother, Leah, replaced the older one in 1881. The Ohel Leah Synagogue was constructed in 1901. The communal cemetery was enlarged in 1904 to meet the needs of the community, with the assistance of Sir Matthew Nathan, the only Jewish governor of Hong Kong. The Jewish Club, built by the Kadoorie family, was created in 1904 and enlarged in 1909.
The Jewish population, which had totaled 60 Sephardim in 1882, grew to 100 in 1921 (mostly Sephardim), and 250 in 1954 (half Sephardim and half Ashkenazim). Growth then slowed, and the population numbered only 230 in 1959, and 200 in 1968, a mix of some Sephardim, but mostly Ashkenazim.
The Jewish community did not grow quickly, as most Jewish merchants were attracted to Shanghai, especially in the period from 1910 to 1936. However, the Japanese occupation of mainland China in the late 1930s caused many Jews to leave Shanghai, Tianjin, and Harbin for Hong Kong. The outbreak of World War II and the consequent Japanese occupation of Hong Kong temporarily suspended all Jewish activities there.
There are now four congregations which have their own rabbis and places of worship. There is also a large Jewish Community Centre, which has a library, recreational facilities, and a kosher restaurant, and is the leading venue of Jewish activities in the city. There are two Jewish schools, the Carmel school, providing a nursery school program and grades K-12; and the Ezekiel Abraham school, which provides after-school learning for older children.
Many Jewish ex-pats arrive into Hong Kong and settle until their professions take them elsewhere, but some were born in China, mostly in Shanghai and Hong Kong, and their families developed businesses in China that have helped the growth of industry and commerce and they remain still today.
Departures: 09:00 AM,
Meeting instructions: Specific pick up or taxi instructions will appear on your voucher after you purchase your trip.
Special instructions: - Please note that the Star Ferry and Peak Tram fees are included in the price of this tour.
- The price of lunch and/or coffee are NOT included in the price of this tour.