Jews in Thailand

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River Books, 2011 - History - 201 pages
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.The first book published on the history of the Jewish community in Thailand .Traces the presence of Jews in Thailand from the early 17th century to the present .Discusses the role that Thailand played in the 1930s and World War II as a place of refuge for Jews fleeing Nazi Germany .Documents the formation of the Jewish Association of Thailand and the construction of the first synagogue in the 1960s This booktraces the history of the Jews in Thailand from their first arrival in Ayutthaya in the early 17th century, most likely for the purpose of trade, up until the present day. Not as prominent as some of the other foreigners who frequented this magnificent city, in time they still left their mark on Thailand in subtle ways. Some of the Jews who arrived in Siam two centuries later had colourful occupations such as wigmakers, gunsmiths, a creator of stage backdrops for the theatre, and innkeepers. More conventional professions included merchants, lawyers, doctors and gem dealers, a trade for which they have become known in Thailand today. Several of the Jewish residents were "ground breakers" in that they helped to establish such significant institutions as the Thai stock market. The Jews that came to Thailand were not an homogenous group; they represented two ethnic groups - one originating in Europe (Ashkenazie) the other in the Middle East (Sephardi). These differences aside, they established a Jewish community in Thailand that continues to thrive to the present day, and although small in number they managed to maintain their customs and religion, exemplifying the Jewish Diaspora."

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