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Maghain Aboth Synagogue

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Maghain Aboth SynagogueMaghain Aboth Synagogue (9 July, 2006)

Maghain Aboth Synagogue (GPS: 1.29826, 103.85067) is a Jewish synagogue in Singapore. Located on Waterloo Street, it is the oldest Jewish synagogue in Southeast Asia. It was constructed by 1878.

The founding of a synagogue in Singapore dates back to 1841, when three Jewish men, Joseph Dwek Cohen, Nassim Joseph Ezra and Ezra Ezekiel were given the land lease to build a synagogue at Synagogue Street, off South Canal Road, in one of the earliest settled areas of Singapore.

When Manasseh Meyer arrived in Singapore in 1873, he found that the synagogue in Synagogue Street was in a deplorable state. So he set about planning a new one for the Jewish community. He sought land from the government, and was given a plot at Waterloo Street. At that time, Waterloo Street was called Church Street, because of the presence of the Church of St Peter and St Paul nearby. The synagogue was named Maghain Aboth, which means "Shield of Our Fathers". Its construction began soon after the land grant was done.

In 1924, extensions were made to the Maghain Aboth Synagogue building. As the Jewish community continued to grow, Maghain Aboth became rather crowded, prompting Manasseh Meyer to build a private synagogue for his family and friends. This became the Chesed-El Synagogue on Oxley Rise.

The Maghain Aboth Synagogue was gazetted as a National Monument of Singapore on 27 February 1998.

Maghain Aboth Synagogue is on the map of Waterloo Street

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