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Exploring Kolkata’s three surviving synagogues – News Promo37

Exploring Kolkata’s 3 flourishing synagogues

The 3 flourishing synagogues act as wordless bystanders to a once-thriving village whose numbers currently supplement adult to hardly 20

Junction of Brabourne Road and Canning Street

It’s not nonetheless 9 am on a frail wintry morning in Kolkata. Our beam for a synagogue trail, Jael Silliman, a Jewish academician and author, reiterates that it’s a ideal time to try a 3 dark gems before disharmony takes over a oldest partial of a city.

The musical square that rests above a executive opening to a cover of a Magen David Synagogue in that a scrolls of a law are housed. Spot a representations of a Menorah and a dual tablets on that are stamped a initial difference of a Ten Commandments. PICS/FIONA FERNANDEZ; information courtesy/jewishcalcutta.in
The musical square that rests above a executive opening to a cover of a Magen David Synagogue in that a scrolls of a law are housed. Spot a representations of a Menorah and a dual tablets on that are stamped a initial difference of a Ten Commandments. PICS/FIONA FERNANDEZ; information courtesy/jewishcalcutta.in

She curates an ongoing plan on a city’s Jewish village in partnership with Jadavpur University’s School of Cultural Texts and Records and NUI Maynooth (Ireland). The digital repository perceived initial appropriation from Fulbright. 

A collection of scrolls of a Holy Torah housed during Magen David
A collection of scrolls of a Holy Torah housed during Magen David

“The area pin formula is 1; a city took figure from here,” Silliman slips a fact in, in between running a cabbie as he negotiates his precarious yellow Ambassador with a adroitness of a Formala-1 motorist in slow-mo. The Bombaywallah is smiling. Saki Naka seems like a sprawling dance in comparison.

The musical square that rests above a executive opening to a cover of a Magen David Synagogue in that a scrolls of a law are housed. Spot a representations of a Menorah and a dual tablets on that are stamped a initial difference of a Ten Commandments. PICS/FIONA FERNANDEZ; information courtesy/jewishcalcutta.in

FOR GUIDED TOURS : Ms AM Cohen, General Secretary, Jewish Community Affairs, Jewish Girls School, 63 Park Street, Kolkata.
CALL : 9831054669
EMAIL : amc1946@yahoo.com record on to www.jewishcalcutta.in

STOP 1: Magen David Synagogue

Junction of Brabourne Road and Canning Street

We derrick a neck and take a few stairs behind to soak in a loftiness of a structure built in Calcutta Renaissance style, as Silliman points to a steeple and time tower, a singular underline in synagogues. The 42m-high building was presumably suggested by a makers, who competence have been shabby by a prevalent colonial pattern template. Silliman tells us that a benefactors authorised it on a condition that it towered above all other buildings in a city! “This synagogue was built in 1884 by Elias David Ezra, as a Beth El synagogue circuitously was incompetent to accommodate a flourishing numbers of a community. Now, we are hardly 20,” she rues. We gawk during a overwhelming interiors, from a mosaic tiles and discriminating wooden seat to a vast stained-glass rose window. Silliman takes us closer to a pulpit where a Rabbi would preach, and towards a half design and 3 curtained doors. Behind this, are housed handwritten Torah scrolls that are out of end for non-Jews. As object bathes a space in all a morning glory, we notice rows of chairs that line a balconies of a synagogue. “Those were meant for Jewish women,” she informs, all along giving us glimpses into etiquette and some-more importantly, a hospitality and craving of a village that made a city, only like their counterparts in Bombay.

STOP 2: Neveh Shalome Synagogue

Junction of Brabourne Road and Canning Street

Exhibits from a archive

Kolkata’s oldest flourishing synagogue, that is Silliman’s favourite, appears some-more like a dressed-down chronicle of Magen David. Located in a same devalue as a prosperous counterpart, it was built in 1831, and rebuilt in 1911 by Jewish colonize Ezekiel Judah Jacob.

Junction of Brabourne Road and Canning Street

We are welcomed during a opening by Masood Hussain, who leads us to a top turn where he proudly explains a essence of a few singular books of a community. “Our families have been caretakers here for generations,” he tells us with a far-reaching smile. We mark several print exhibits around us.

Caretaker Masood Hussain
Caretaker Masood Hussain 

“We only hold an muster of a city’s Jewish story sourced from a digital repository that we am operative on,” shares Silliman. It’s an useful resource. “Bring it down to Bombay!” is a initial greeting to a downright repository.

STOP 3: Beth El Synagogue

Pollock Street

Pollock Street

We diligently follow a beam while combating a bullish trade on Brabourne Road, to strech Pollock Street. Walking by this slight gully feels as if all of India’s marketplace furnish has been fast thrown into a little location. The smells and sounds are in full flow.

Pollock Street

All of a sudden, an considerable dark yellow façade springs adult on us. The Beth El Synagogue was built in 1855-56 by visionaries, Joseph Ezra and Ezekiel Judah. Silliman leads us adult a moody of marble stairs to a final stop. Inside, we note that a simple design is identical to a other dual synagogues. Though not in use for a congregation, a interiors are good maintained.

Pollock Street

The craftsmanship of a chandeliers, stained glasswork, generally above a categorical entrance, a half design and balconies, take a exhale away. Despite a hum outside, we could hear a pin dump as a past and benefaction come to a delay inside. Finally, we are means to sign a singular plea that faces this once-vibrant, now-dwindling village that has been constituent to Kolkata’s worldly fabric.

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