Hanukkah
Hanukkah iStock

A new museum celebrating the history and culture of Jews in Singapore opened on Thursday.

The Jews of Singapore Museum, located in the Jacob Ballas Center, is a permanent exhibition that highlights 200 years of Jewish life in Singapore, CNA reported.

The museum showcases the community’s “outsized contributions” to Singapore’s social fabric and economy, said the Jewish Welfare Board in a statement.

The museum has three main displays. It features a history of Jewish immigrants to Singapore from the 1820s to today; Jewish community leader profiles; and educational content about Jewish holidays, culture and religion. The exhibits use photos, videos and audio recordings to bring the community’s history to life.

The Jewish community’s impact on Singapore is apparent “in the names of various roads, institutions, and buildings, some bearing the Star of David, including: Synagogue Street, Frankel Avenue, Meyer Road, Nassim Road, Elias Road, the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden, and the Ellison Building,” the Jewish Welfare Board said.

Sinagpore’s Minister for Law and Home Affairs K Shanmugam spoke at the museum opening during which he toured the exhibits and then participated in a Hanukkah menorah lighting ceremony at Maghain Aboth Synagogue.

“This is part of Singapore. It’s a short history but it’s made rich by the experiences of all the different communities,” Shanmugam said.

“In the kind of Singapore… there are no majorities and minorities, but simply good men and bad men. And with good men, whatever their race, language and religion, invariably triumphing over the bad man, whatever their race, language and religion,” he added.

He stressed that the safety of all people in Singapore, including the Jewish community, is a “key priority” for his government.

“You are not just a part of Singapore but you also thrive in Singapore. And we want you to thrive in Singapore,” he said. “We will do our best to make sure that you’re safe and that you will enjoy the freedoms in Singapore that are becoming rarer in many other parts of the world.”

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