Ohel Leah Synagogue

Ohel Leah Synagogue (CN: 猶太教莉亞堂) was built in 1902 and continues to be at the center of Jewish social and religious life in Hong Kong. It is also a preserved historic building.

 

Nearby

  • United Jewish Congregation / Jewish Community Center
  • Jewish Community Centre

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Wikipedia Says

Most of Hong Kong’s Jews live only a short distance away from the Synagogue, which sits at the junction of Robinson Road and Castle Road. An example of Colonial Sephardic architecture, the two-storied, whitewashed, multi-turreted Synagogue nestles amid the soaring high-rises of steel and glass perched on the Mid-Levels of Hong Kong Island. The Synagogue was designed by the architects Leigh & Orange and was erected in 1901–1902. It underwent a US$6 million restoration in 1998 which returned its interiors and exteriors to their original state.

The name Ohel Leah commemorates Leah Sassoon, the mother of the Sassoon brothers Jacob, Edward, and Meyer who donated the land for building the Synagogue. The Sassoons were among the earliest Sephardic merchants from India to settle in Hong Kong during the mid to late 19th century.

Ohel Leah is a Modern Orthodox congregation and received its first officially appointed rabbi in 1961. Three other Jewish congregations have also emerged more recently in Hong Kong: the Sephardic, which is dominated by Israeli expatriates; the Chabad Lubavitch; and the United Jewish Congregation, which is aligned with the more liberal Reform and Conservative movements. Many worshippers, however, hold concurrent memberships in several congregations.

Conservation

The historic Synagogue was first listed as a Grade I historic building in July 1987. By December 1987, the listing was voluntarily removed as there was talk of demolishing the building. In order to provide the building with immediate protection against demolition, the Antiquities Authority of the Hong Kong Government declared it a proposed monument. Ohel Leah Synagogue was consequently saved based on a preservation arrangement agreed between Government and the owner. It has been again a Grade I historic building since 1990.

Its renovation in 1998 obtained the Outstanding Project Award of the 2000 UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation. Ohel Leah Synagogue is part of the Sheung Wan Route of the Central and Western Heritage Trail since 1999.

Source: Wikipedia

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Details

  • EN Address: 70 Robinson Road, Central, Hong Kong Island
  • Getting There: Take the Central to Mid-Levels Escalator to Robinson Road, then walk towards Castle Road for around 10 minutes.

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