Three brothers from the influential Indian merchant family the Sassoons were so important to the creation of Hong Kong’s primary Jewish centre, the Ohel Leah Synagogue, that its name commemorates the name of their mother. Messrs Jacob, Edward and Meyer Sassoon donated the land upon which the synagogue was built in 1902.
The building has been crafted in an Eastern Jewish style, with two storeys and a balcony on the upper floor for female disciples. In 1998 it underwent a UNESCO award-winning restoration and is now preserved as a Grade I historic building.
An orthodox synagogue, the Ohel Leah Synagogue is next door to the Jewish Community Centre, which houses the reformed United Jewish Congregation of Hong Kong, and provides a focal point for the social and cultural activities of the city’s Jewish community.
The Jewish community in Hong Kong dates back to the 1840s and includes families from a wide range of countries.