History of Jewish identity in Singapore
Lim, Amos Wei Wang
Date of Issue2016-03-22
College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
A Singaporean-centric perspective encases the portrayal of the Jewish identity in Singapore by the Singaporean Jewish community. Generalizations made in representing Jewishness is due to different political and socio-economic currents which prompt the Jewish Community to suit the memory to better anchor themselves within Singapore, seen as a favourable place of refuge with economic opportunities and religious freedom. This paper examines the community's arrival in the late nineteenth century up till the immediate post-war years with significant events in the region and the international stage such as World War II, the establishment of the State of Israel, and the independence of Singapore. The literature on the history of the Baghdadi Jewish Diaspora, oral history interview of prominent figures of the Jewish community, and newspaper articles serve as primary sources for this research. By reconstructing the history of the Baghdadi Jews in Singapore, the analysis reveals the generalization made by later representation to strengthen a Singaporean-centric narrative. The conclusion seeks to further the understanding of the place of the Singaporean Jewish Community in the Baghdadi Jewish diaspora, themes of Jewishness in Jewish history, and Singapore’s history.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University