Towering frangipani and jackfruit trees, flowering shrubs, meandering paths set in manicured lawns, a tinkling fountain, bird song and the distant chanting of Buddhist nuns at prayer – an oasis of peace and tranquillity in the middle of Hong Kong. This is Hong Kong's Jewish Cemetery.
Surrounded now by high-rise apartment blocks, with the entrance flanked on either side by a Buddhist temple and its school, the Jewish Cemetery in Hong Kong is one of the few in the Far East that remains in its original 19th century location. A worn Hebrew dedication plaque set into the back wall translates:
For the souls who have departed this life for their Master in the holy community of Hong Kong, may G-d protect it. And this (land) is a gift of our mistress the Queen (Victoria), may G-d bless her, given with payment in full a sum of money that was necessary by David Sassoon in the year . May he see offspring and have a long life.
Join Jewish community member Howard Elias as he takes us on a tour of this fascinating part of Hong Kong’s history. Howard will share the stories of some of the cemetery’s more notable residents, which includes members of the Kadoorie, Belilios, Sassoon, Odell and Weill families.
Dr. Joseph Ting has kindly agreed to accompany us on this visit and share some information on the Jewish Cemetery.