Hong Kong's Jewish Heritage Threatened
Annette Bingham traces the status of a synagogue in the Far East
Following a ruling from the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth, one of the last remaining turn-of-the-century buildings in Hong Kong's fashionable mid-levels residential area is likely to be demolished later this year to make way for a forty-storey twin tower commercial and residential development.
Scaffolding has already been erected around the eighty-six-year old Ohel Leah Synagogue on Robinson Road, but provisos in lord Immanuel Jacobovit's ruling mean that it will not be destroyed until suitable alternative amenities (not in rented accommodation) are found for worship, instruction and Mikvah use.
The synagogue's Board of Trustees has plans for developer Swire Properties to demolish the building to make way for a new 75 million pound project which would include a new synagogue and a Jewish recreation centre, as well as two residential blocks.