The Chesed El, means Grace of God, synagogue is one of two synagogues win Singapore. It is located at Oxley Rise in the River Valley Planning Area, within the Central Area of Singapore.
The building was erected by Sir Manasseh Meyer, and construction was completed in 1905. The synagogue was built in the late Renaissance style, and was designed by Swan and MacLaren, one of the most prominent architectural firms of that era in Singapore. The Chesed-El Synagogue was gazetted as a national monument on 18 December 1998.
Sir Manasseh Meyer was the most prominent Jewish leader in Singapore during his lifetime (1846-1930). As a businessman trading commodities and, later, one of the largest retail estate entrepreneurs in Singapore, Sir Manasseh Meyer was a graduate of St Joseph’s Institution in the city. The Meyer family, consisting of three sons and four daughters, was truly cosmopolitan, travelling together to China, India, Japan, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Israel, then Palestine and throughout Europe. Sir Manasseh ensured his children would be international citizens, learning about people and cultures throughout the world.
As Sir Manasseh’s wealth increased so did his interest in philanthropy. He became fully immersed in both the community affairs of Singapore and religious affairs of the country’s Jewish Community. Working with the British, Sir Manasseh obtained their agreement to allow the sale of the original synagogue on Synagogue Street in order to construct the spacious Maghain Aboth Synagogue on Waterloo Street to serve the growing number of Singapore’s Jewish families. Maghain Aboth officially opened in 1878 and continues to serve Singapore’s Jewish Community today under the leadership of Rabbi Mordechai Abergel.
By 1902, Maghain Aboth could not adequately accommodate Singapore’s Jewish population which had grown to 500. Sir Manasseh realized this and constructed a new synagogue, at his own expense, on Oxley Rise, named Chesed El. It was opened for services in 1905 and continues to serve the community today.
Sir Manasseh’s generosity was known far beyond the shores of Singapore. Albert Einstein was asked to visit Sir Manasseh to seek his support for the building of Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Einstein arrived in Singapore in 1922 to engage the support of prominent Jewish leaders and, specifically, to meet with Sir Manasseh who opened his estate Belle Vue on Oxley Rise to entertain the community’s leaders, including the Bishop of Singapore and the future Nobel Prize winner and his wife. Einstein asked Sir Manasseh for his support to establish a Jewish University to ensure the general and science education for the Jewish people throughout the world. His plea was met with a donation of 500 British pounds sterling (equivalent of $287,000 US today) to establish Hebrew University.
Manasseh Meyer was knighted in 1929 by George V of Great Britain “in recognition of his public services and benevolence.” The Straits Times stated he was “a man of great wealth who contributed lavishly to various local and imperial causes, in addition to having done a vast amount of good in Malaya… and it is fitting that such services be recognized.”
Light Candles at 7:03 PM and Shabbat Ends 7:52 PM
Friday evening prayer starts right after candle lighting, Followed by a complimentary dinner.
Saturday Morning prayer starts at 09:30 am, Followed by complimentary lunch.
Monday morning prayers are at 7:30am, Followed by complimentary breakfast.
We have a weekly Torah classes at Chesed-El as well as various classes and events at the community center on waterloo street. Details are usually published in the news section or on the JWB website for their classes.
The school purpose is as follow
*To read, understand and speak Hebrew (Aleph Champion Program)
*The meaning of Jewish customs and traditions and the joy of celebrations.
*Traditional Jewish prayers in Hebrew and English.
*The history of the Jewish people. “Living with the Torah”
*Israel as a state of land
*Looking for my Jewish Roots – Project of Grade 6
*Basic negotiation and debate – Grade 6 workshop
The island city-state of Singapore is blessed with two kosher restaurants – Awafi Restaurant (meat) in the Magen Avot community center (Jacob Ballas Centre), as well as a market (Elite Kosher Shop in the same building), and a supervised branch of Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf around the corner from the Shul, on the corner of Waterloo Street and Bras Bash (by the Manulife Center). The other Coffee Bean cafes in town are not supervised. The restaurant has has a mixed Asian - Israeli menu, have free wifi, and decent opening hours. The Coffee Bean does have a range of hot breakfast and savory foods, but the menu is not clearly displayed, so check the card which is by the checkout. We had lots of dishes there, including pasta, a panini, waffles and scones.
Food in Singapore is 99% imported as not much is produced locally. Which means that most supermarkets have a wide selection of Kosher food if you know what you're looking for.
As every country has a different Kosher stamp and often more than one, please refer to the logos below to see some of the more common ones.
n 1974 the government provided space for a Jewish Cemetery at Choa Chu Kang, a large burial ground for people of all faiths and ethnic groups. Approximately Six years later the older Jewish Cemeteries in Singapore, Orchard and Thomson Road were claimed by the government for redevelopment.
The remains of those buried in Orchard Road and Thomson Road Jewish Cemetery were moved to Choa Chu Kung, although some families did take this opportunity to have their relatives re-interred in Israel. Most of those re-interred in Singapore now have a small plaque with their name and date of death but a handful of the original tombstones were moved to their new resting place.
Orchard Road Jewish Cemetery was open from 1841 to 1903. It held around 160 burials. The Burial ground at Thomson Road opened in 1903 and contained both Sephardic and Ashkenazi burials.
Dhoby Ghaut CC1 / NE6 / NS24
Opp Haw Par Glass Tower - Stop ID: 08011 - 64 / 123 / 139 / 143
Aft Haw Par Glass Tower- Stop ID: 08019 - 64 / 123 / 139 / 143