Shanghai Synagogue Reopens for World Expo

In conjunction with the opening of the World Expo in Shanghai, the Chinese government has given permission for the historic Ohel Rachel Synagogue building to be used every Friday evening and Saturday morning during the Expo for Shabbat worship. The ‘opening ceremony’ took place this past Friday.

The Synagogue marked the culminating achievement of Shanghai’s First Wave of Jewish immigrants. It was built to accommodate the community of Baghdadi Jews and opened in March 1920. The site also hosted the Shanghai Jewish School (the 1932 building still stands on the left of the courtyard), a playground, library and mikveh. When most of the community left during the 1950s, control of the building reverted to the government.

updated: photos from the official reopening