IMPERIUMDAILY.COM – MALANG – Jews in Indonesia are not very well known. Though this community has existed since around the 28th century AD. As published in Wikipedia, the Jewish community began with the arrival of early European explorers in the archipelago.
Jews in Indonesia then formed a very small Jewish community, which consisted of only about 20 original ethnic Jews, most of whom were Sephardic Jews and some were Ashkenazi Jews, Mizrahim Jews, Kaifeng Jews & Bene Jews Israel (India).
The first presence of Jews in the Indonesian archipelago has been confirmed in a written text dating from the end of the Middle Ages. This person was a trader from Fustat in Egypt, who died at the port of Barus, North Sumatra in 1290.
In 1859, the Jewish traveler, Jacob Saphir, was the first to write about the Jewish community in the Dutch East Indies, after visiting Batavia (now Jakarta).
In Batavia, he had talked a lot with a local Jew, who had told him that there were about 20 Jewish families in the city and some in Semarang. Most Jews living in the Dutch East Indies in the 19th century were Dutch Jews who worked as traders or related to the Dutch Colonial Regime.
However, some members of the community are also Jewish immigrants from Iraq or Yemen. During the Dutch administration in Indonesia, Judaism was recognized as one of the official religions.
At the time of the World War, the number of Jews in the Indies was estimated at around 2,000. Indonesian Jews were exiled during the Japanese Occupation of Indonesia and they were forced to work in holding camps. After the war, released Jews encountered many problems, and many immigrated to the United States, Australia or Israel.
After Indonesia’s independence, during the reign of Indonesia’s first President Sukarno, the rights of the Jewish followers were once compared to other religions such as Islam, Protestant Christianity, and Catholic Christianity. Even through the Minister of Agrarian decree released in 1961 stated that he recognized the “Religion of Israel” (as the Jewish Religion at that time) was recognized as the official religion in Indonesia.
Not many people know either, that the 10 November 1945 incident also gave birth to a warrior who came from the Surabaya Jews, namely Charles Mussry.(aka)