Ohel Leah Synagogue

Ohel Leah Synagogue

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[[File:Ohel Leah Synagogue.jpg|thumb|Ohel Leah Synagogue as seen from Robinson Place]] The '''Ohel Leah Synagogue''' ([[Hebrew language|Hebrew]]: בית הכנסת אהל לאה ''Beit Ha-Knesset Ohel Leah''; [[Chinese language|Cantonese]]: 猶太教莉亞堂 ''jau4 taai3 gaau1 lei6 ngaa3 tong4'', colloquial 猶太廟 ''jau4 taai3 miu6'', lit. "Jewish [[synagogue|temple]]") and its next-door neighbors, the Jewish Recreation Club and the Jewish Community Center, have formed the center of [[Jew]]ish social and religious life in [[Hong Kong]] for over a century. Originally the community was mostly [[Baghdadi Jews|Baghdadi]] and the synagogue was under the superintendence of the Haham of the Spanish and Portuguese Congregation of London: it is now fully independent and has members from across the Jewish diaspora. Most of Hong Kong’s Jews live only a short distance away from the Synagogue, which sits at the junction of [[Robinson Road, Hong Kong|Robinson Road]] and [[Castle Road (Hong Kong)|Castle Road]]. An example of Colonial [[Sephardic Jews|Sephardic]] architecture, the two-storied, [[whitewash]]ed, multi-[[turret]]ed Synagogue nestles amid the soaring high-rises of steel and glass perched on the [[Mid-Levels]] of [[Hong Kong Island]]. The Synagogue was erected in 1901-2, but underwent a US$6 million restoration in 1998 which returned its interiors and exteriors to their original state. The historic Synagogue is graded as [[List of Grade I historic buildings in Hong Kong|Grade I historic building]]. The name Ohel Leah commemorates Leah Sassoon, the mother of the [[Sassoon Baronets|Sassoon]] brothers Jacob, [[Edward Elias Sassoon|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 Judaism|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 Jews|Sephardic]], which is dominated by [[Israel]]i expatriates; the [[Chabad Lubavitch]]; and the United Jewish Congregation, which is aligned with the more liberal [[Reform Judaism|Reform]] and [[Conservative Judaism|Conservative]] movements. Many worshippers, however, hold concurrent memberships in several congregations. ==External links== {{Commons category|Ohel Leah Synagogue}} *[http://www.ohelleah.org Ohel Leah Synagogue (Official website)] *[http://www.amo.gov.hk/en/trails_sheungwan2.php?tid=6 Central and Western Heritage Trail entry] {{coord missing|Hong Kong}}