The Jewish history 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.

 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”.

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.

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 250 Jews under the President Mr. Reuven Ochayon and the Rabbi of the community Rabbi Chaim Shalom Segal.

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 the local Jewish community and tourists 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.

Jews street

The Synagogue:
The synagogue located in a residential building at Ta'Xbiex city, The synagogue serves the Jewish community on the Sabbath and holidays.
On the Sabbath there is a morning minyan (prayer service) at 10:00.
Florida Mansions #1
Enrico Mizzi Street

Appearance of the Ta'xbiex synagogue

Kosher stores

In Malta there is no kosher food store except for the kosher restaurant where you can buy a variety of Kosher products.

In local shops and super market you can also find some kosher products. Click here for the list


St. Paul’s Catacomb site near Rabat