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Singapore Biennale

Singapore / City Tour / Northern Centre

Maghain Aboth Synagoge


Singapore Biennale 2006

Exhibition venue of the
Singapore Biennale 2006

Built in 1878 to accommodate the needs of a steadily growing Jewish community, Maghain Aboth is the oldest surviving and still practicing synagogue in Southeast Asia.

Since the early 19th century mainly Sephardic Jews from Iran and Iraq settled in Singapore as merchants. They were able to practice their religious freedom until World War II, when most of them were interned by the Japanese. After the War the Jewish community dispersed and only few Jews remained in Singapore, who nevertheless remained inflluential. The first Chief-Minister of Singapore, David Saul Marshall was an important member of the synagogue's community.

Maghain Aboth, meaning Shield of Our Fathers, looks like a wealthy colonial house until one steps inside. Maghain Aboth is a two-storey Neo-Classical building with a U-shaped ladie's gallery on the second floor. The compounds of the synagogue even comprise a mikvah, which is a ritual bath.

24 Waterloo Street

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Maghain Aboth Synagoge


Start / City Tour / Northern Centre