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It acquired a building from Rahmo Sassoon, a Syrian-born resident of Kobe, naming it Ohel Shelomo after his father.

The plot of land and building were originally purchased for use as a furniture warehouse but were converted into a synagogue.

The land was sold far below market value so that Rahmo Sassoon could further contribute to the community.

Although the Jewish community’s population has clearly declined quite drastically from its WWII population and its peak for the Israeli shipping industry, Kobe continues to be an active and vibrant community.

Today the synagogue serves as the Jewish centre for over 20 families and attracts Jews from neighbouring cities as well as tourists from around the world.

In the Kansai region of the island of Honshu, Japan, sits the port city of Kobe.

The cosmopolitan city has a population of 45,000 foreign residents from more than 100 countries and is home to the Ohel Shelomo Synagogue, officially the Jewish Community of Kansai – the oldest surviving Jewish community in Japan.

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