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The Jewish Community

The Jewish Community

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 The Jewish Community in Malta

Jewish roots in Malta date back to the 4th and 5th Century during the Roman period as evidenced by several Jewish Catacombs with drawings depicting the Jewish Menorah (candelabra) that can be found at the St. Paul’s Catacomb site near Rabat.

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 St. Paul’s Catacomb site near Rabat

The long Jewish history includes periods of enrichment as well as slavery, depending on who was ruling Malta at the time.

Points of special Jewish heritage interest on Malta include old landmarks and street signs. In the walled city of Mdina, where the Jews made up almost one third of the population, there is a “Jewish Silk Market” and a “Jews’ Gate”; and in Valletta, Malta’s capital and European Capital of Culture 2018 there is a sign “Jews Sally Port”.Even the Island of Comino, almost uninhabited today but famous for the Blue Lagoon, has Jewish roots. Comino is where the well-known Jewish Mystic Avraham Abulafia lived from 1285 until his death in the 1290s. During this period, he compiled his Sefer ha Ot “Book of the Sign” as well as his last, and perhaps his most intelligible, work, the meditation manual Imrei Shefer “Words of Beauty”.

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Jewish Silk Market


Jews from Turkey and other places who were captured by the Hospitaller knights that ruled the island from 1530 till 1798, and were unable to redeem them, established a new Jewish community in Malta. The island became open to unimpaired settlement of Jews after Napoleon conquered it and expelled the knights. In 1798. During the British rule on the island, which began with the expulsion of the French in 1800, there began a limited immigration of Jews to Malta, but the community never numbered more than several dozen and there wasn't always a Rabbi. During WW2 the Jews of Malta were unaffected as the planned invasion of Malta never took place. Some German Jews even found refuge on the island during the thirties.

There are three Jewish cemeteries in Malta which can be visited through prior arrangements with the local Jewish Community leader. The stories gleaned from the tombstone inscriptions, are a rich narrative which includes Jewish soldiers who fought in WWI and were buried in Malta.

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Jews Sally Port


In 1979 the old synagogue of the community in the capital city , Valetta, was destroyed, and in 2000 a new synagogue was dedicated. Today there are about 200 Jews under the Presient Mr. Avraham Ochayon together with his son Reuven.

In 2013 a Chabad House was established in Malta by Rabbi Chaim Shalom and Mrs. Chaya Mushka Segel. The Chabad Center of Malta runs a variety of activities for tourists and the local Jewish community including "L'Chaim" , the only strictly kosher restaurant in all of Malta.

The Chabad House along with local Jewish community work to strengthen Judaism and make it flourish.

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Jews street


The Synagogue:
In addition to the synagogue in the Chabad House there is a synagogue in a residential building in the city of Ta'Xbiex, which is within walking distance from the city of Sliema. The synagogue serves the Jewish community on the Sabbath and holidays.
On the Sabbath there is a morning minyan (prayer service) at 10:00.
Address:
Florida Mansions #1
Enrico Mizzi Street
Ta'Xbiex
 

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Appearance of the Ta'xbiex synagogue


Mikveh
A Ritual Bath exists in Malta and is operated by the local Jewish community. There are no shower or bath services.For details and coordination contact the community office: (356)21237309 
or contact us 

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St. Paul’s Catacomb site near Rabat 

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