Date of Construction: 1878
Date of Gazette: 27 February 1998
Address: No. 24 Waterloo Street Singapore 187950
Singapore’s first synagogue was built in the 1840s in the Boat Quay area by the island’s Jewish community – most of whom were Indian Jews of Baghdad origin and Jews from Iran and Iraq. Synagogue Street was named after it, although the synagogue there was later removed. In 1873, the government granted Singapore’s Jewish community a site on Waterloo Street for a new synagogue – the orthodox Maghain Aboth Synagogue (“Shield of Our Fathers” in Hebrew). The two-storey neo-classical building was consecrated in 1878. It is the oldest extant synagogue in Southeast Asia.
Not long after Maghain Aboth was built, a number of alterations were made. For example, a gallery for women was installed, funded by Manasseh Meyer, a leading Jewish businessman. During the Japanese Occupation, the synagogue became an important meeting place, as well as a place for disseminating information and collecting funds for the needy.
Adapted from the Singapore Encyclopedia (2006)
More information on this monument can be found in Singapore Infopedia, National Library Board.