• The Alluring Asia Team

Jewish Ghetto Shanghai / Ohel Moshe Synagogue

Shanghai, China


Explore the old Jewish ghetto of Shanghai and the Ohel Moshe Synagogue, founded in 1907 by Russian Jews.

Renamed the Jewish Refugee Memorial Hall, the synagogue is now a center for remembering Shanghai's Jewish past. Walk the neighborhood streets of the Hongkuo District, the former Jewish ghetto, where most of the refugees lived during WWII. In nearby Huo Shan Park, you will see the tablet dedicated to the memory of these refugees.

The First Wave of Jewish settlers began to arrive in Shanghai in 1848, marked by the arrival of Sephardic Jews from Baghdad and Bombay. In 1887, the Baghdadi community organized the Beth EI Synagogue, predecessor to the Ohel Rachel Synagogue. 

In the early 1900s, the migration of thousands of Russian Jews fleeing the Russian Revolution marked the Second Wave. During World War II, the city of Shanghai provided refuge to a Third Wave of Jews, when Shanghai became the "The Port of Last Resort" for thousands of Jews escaping Nazi tyranny. From 1938 on, some 20,000 Jewish refugees from Germany, Austria and Eastern Europe escaped to Shanghai, the only place in the world that did not require a visa to enter. 

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