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JEWISH Kochi

Jewish city story of Kochi

Jewish Kochi (also known as Cochin) is a city in southwest India's coastal Kerala state. It has been a port since 1341, when a flood carved out its harbor and opened it to Arab, Chinese and European merchants. Sites reflecting those influences include Fort Kochi, a settlement with tiled colonial bungalows and diverse houses of worship. Cantilevered Chinese fishing nets, typical of Kochi, have been in use for centuries.

The Jews of Kochi are the oldest group of Jews in India, with roots that are claimed to date back to the time of King Solomon. The Kochi Jews settled in the Kingdom of Kochi in South India, now part of the state of Kerala. As early as the 12th century, mention is made of the Jews in southern India by Benjamin of Tudela. They are known to have developed Judeo-Malayalam, a dialect of Malayalam language. 

Following their expulsion from Iberia in...

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Chendamangalam Synagogue and Museum

The Chendamangalam Synagogue is one of the oldest known synagogues built by the Malabar Jews, in Chendamangalam, a village in the Ernakulam district of the coastal state of Kerala. It is dated to 1100 A.D, though the synagogue structure itself dates to 1420 A.D or 1614 A.D., making it the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations. A tombstone recovered from Shingly was stored in this synagogue and is presently on display in the courtyard in front. This tombstone with the inscription of Sarah bat Israel is the oldest Jewish relic found in India, dating to 1270 A.D. After the entire congregation made aliyah to Israel in 1950s, the synagogue was defunct for decades. Today it serves as a Kerala Jews Lifestyle Museum for the Muziris Project, a conservation project by the Government of Kerala. The synagogue has been restored and has an exhibit open to visitors from 9:30 to 5:00 during the week. A tombstone recovered from Shingly was stored in this synagogue and is presently on display in the courtyard in front. This tombstone with the inscription of Sarah bat Israel is the oldest Jewish relic found in India, dating to 1270 A.D. The Chendamangalam Synagogue Musuem showcases the lives and rituals of Kerala Jews who were firm believers and lived in close contact with the local society. The synagogue is located inside high walls that surround it. The wall in front is as high as the front elevation. When you cross the front door, it is the Azara, with a vast prayer room behind it. The balcony that projects into the prayer room is the second Bimah (elevated platform for Torah reading). Supporting it are two stone pillars with intricate carvings. The position of the Ark is on the wall across the door, and it is a beautiful piece of art in teak with carved images. On the wooden planks on the roof are carved images of lotus that are painted. On both sides of the Bimah are two rows of bench. There is a spiral staircase to climb up to the second Bimah.

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Kadavumbagam Synagogue

In a most unlikely setting, the Kadavambagam synagogue in Ernakulam (a 45-minute drive away from Jew Town) sits in the midst of a crowded market, hidden behind a plant and aquarium shop called Cochin Blossoms that incorporates hamsas on its sign. The current synagogue is the restored oldest synagogue of the Malabar Jews, with a Sefer Torah scroll and offering occasional services. It was established in 1200 CE and restored several times through the centuries on the same site. It is modeled on the earliest synagogue of the Malabar Jews at Muziris from the ancient times of Mediterranean sea trade with Kerala. The earliest synagogue of the ancient Malabar Jews is today submerged in the sea following the gradual rise of sea level over several millennia. Although the Chendamangalam Synagogue is the oldest surviving synagogue structure in Kerala and Indian subcontinent (established in 1166 CE), its Torah scrolls were taken to Israel by it congregation in 1952. This makes the Kadavumbhagham Ernakulam synagogue the oldest Malabar Jewish synagogue today (since its restoration in 2018) with a Torah scroll that is occasionally used for services. The Paradesi Sephardic synagogue at Mattancherry also has Torah scrolls but it was established much later in 1568. The Sabbath services at the Kadavumbhagam Ernakulam synagogue continued till 1972 when a large portion of the community immigrated to Israel by 1972 along with the Torah scrolls. For decades, the Kadavumbhagham Synagogue at Ernakulam remained without any Sabbath services and without a Sefer Torah. Today the synagogue is nested within the bustling market at Ernakulam with a thriving aquarium in the front area near the synagogue operating since 1985. After much effort, the Kadavumbhagham Ernakulam synagogue was restored and the Sefer Torah brought back to the synagogue in 2018 after 46 years. Today there are only two synagogues in Kochi that have Torah scrolls: the Paradesi synagogue of the Sephardic Jews in Mattancherry and the Kadavumbhagham Ernakulam synagogue of the ancient Malabar Jews.

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The historical Silk Road, stretching from Italy to China, has seen renewed interest in recent years. A new project aims to trace Jewish culture and history along the famous trade network, from Venice to Izmir and on to Uzbekistan, India and China.
World Jewish Travel Official February 17, 2024

The Jewish Story of Kochi, India

Jewish Kochi (also known as Cochin) is a city in southwest India's coastal Kerala state. It has been a port since 1341, when a flood carved out its harbor and opened it to Arab, Chinese and European merchants. Sites reflecting those influences include Fort Kochi, a settlement with tiled colonial bungalows and diverse houses of worship. Cantilevered Chinese fishing nets, typical of Kochi, have been in use for centuries.

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As a result of the current travel risks, now more than ever, it`s important to educate ourselves, advocate, and stand with Israel. Ask Herzl is the perfect place to take your knowledge and understanding to new heights as you embark on a fun and interactive learning journey. Whether you`re a student hungry for knowledge, a teacher looking to inspire, or simply a curious soul eager to explore, Ask Herzl has got you covered! 🙌🌟 From engaging events to downloadable resources, they`ve cracked the code for educational excellence. 📝 So why wait? Join the tribe of Israel enthusiasts and let your passion for education pave the way towards advocacy for Israel! 🇮🇱💪
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In light of the travel warnings, travel has come to a halt. This is where the beauty of virtual learning becomes invaluable, and Qesher is the perfect platform to unleash your potential on your own terms! 🌟 With Qesher`s self-paced online courses, tailoring your learning journey has never been easier. But Qesher offers more than just courses... it`s a community! 🤝💫 Engage in lively discussions in the Discussion Forums, connect with like-minded peers during Networking Sessions, and supercharge your growth with the incredible Mentorship Program 🤝. No matter where you are in your educational journey, Qesher is here to empower you every step of the way. 💪 Embrace the power of connections, amplify your knowledge, and unlock new horizons today!
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Despite global challenges, travel and Jewish education continue to adapt and thrive, navigating through travel advisories. WJT provides a secure and informative alternative to physical travel via our Education and Scholars page. So, get ready to level up your educational game and discover a world of knowledge and opportunities from home ✈️📚 We've got it all covered! What are you waiting for? Grab your digital passport and join us on this exciting journey towards knowledge and success!
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Despite global challenges, travel and Jewish education continue to adapt and thrive, navigating through travel advisories. WJT provides a secure and informative alternative to physical travel via our Education and Scholars page. So, get ready to level up your educational game and discover a world of knowledge and opportunities from home ✈️📚 We`ve got it all covered! What are you waiting for? Grab your digital passport and join us on this exciting journey towards knowledge and success!
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To learn more and to stay updated on what's happening in Israel click the link in our bio!

#AskHerzl #EducatingTheWorld #worldjewishtravel #JewishVirtualEducation

As a result of the current travel risks, now more than ever, it`s important to educate ourselves, advocate, and stand with Israel. Ask Herzl is the perfect place to take your knowledge and understanding to new heights as you embark on a fun and interactive learning journey. Whether you`re a student hungry for knowledge, a teacher looking to inspire, or simply a curious soul eager to explore, Ask Herzl has got you covered! 🙌🌟 From engaging events to downloadable resources, they`ve cracked the code for educational excellence. 📝 So why wait? Join the tribe of Israel enthusiasts and let your passion for education pave the way towards advocacy for Israel! 🇮🇱💪
To learn more and to stay updated on what`s happening in Israel click the link in our bio!

#AskHerzl #EducatingTheWorld #worldjewishtravel #JewishVirtualEducation
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In light of the travel warnings, travel has come to a halt. This is where the beauty of virtual learning becomes invaluable, and Qesher is the perfect platform to unleash your potential on your own terms! 🌟 With Qesher's self-paced online courses, tailoring your learning journey has never been easier. But Qesher offers more than just courses... it's a community! 🤝💫 Engage in lively discussions in the Discussion Forums, connect with like-minded peers during Networking Sessions, and supercharge your growth with the incredible Mentorship Program 🤝. No matter where you are in your educational journey, Qesher is here to empower you every step of the way. 💪 Embrace the power of connections, amplify your knowledge, and unlock new horizons today!
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Click the link in our bio to learn more about Qesher and stay updated on what's happening in Israel

#worldjewishtravel #JewishVirtualEducation #QesherCommunity #Empowerment #OnlineLearning #ConnectAndGrow

In light of the travel warnings, travel has come to a halt. This is where the beauty of virtual learning becomes invaluable, and Qesher is the perfect platform to unleash your potential on your own terms! 🌟 With Qesher`s self-paced online courses, tailoring your learning journey has never been easier. But Qesher offers more than just courses... it`s a community! 🤝💫 Engage in lively discussions in the Discussion Forums, connect with like-minded peers during Networking Sessions, and supercharge your growth with the incredible Mentorship Program 🤝. No matter where you are in your educational journey, Qesher is here to empower you every step of the way. 💪 Embrace the power of connections, amplify your knowledge, and unlock new horizons today!
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Click the link in our bio to learn more about Qesher and stay updated on what`s happening in Israel

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