Leader of Burma’s Jewish community dies

Moses Samuel’s family cared for the synagogue in Yangon for generations. Tiny community will be led by his son

The leader of Burma’s small Jewish community and the caretaker of the country’s only synagogue died of throat cancer the the age of 65.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that Moses Samuels, 65, passed away on May 29, his son, Sammy, wrote in an email to Coconuts Yangon, a media source.

“For over 35 years he has been taken care [sic] of Yangon Synagogue and the Jewish community,” Sammy Samuels wrote. “And he made sure [of] keeping the Jewish Spirit alive in Myanmar. He is great person with very good heart. His legacy will continue to live in the hearts and minds of everyone who came across to know him. May Hashem [the Lord] bless his Soul.”

The Samuels family has looked over the Mesmuah Yeshua synagogue in Yangon – Burma’s former capital and largest city, with a population of over 5 million – for generations. Moses Samuels inherited the task of synagogue caretaker from his father and grandfather. Now his son, a graduate of New York’s Yeshiva University, will assume the role of keeping the synagogue open.

At its peak in the 1940s, the community in former Burma numbered some 4,000 Jews, mostly of Iranian, Iraqi, and Indian origin. Now there are only a few dozen left.

Burma’s Jews started leaving it during World War II. Most fled when Japan invaded the country.

Source: i24 News

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