March 2 – 2023
On March 2, 2023, special guest Yaakov Baruch, Leader of the Indonesian Jewish Community presented as fascinting history of the Jews in Indonesia. Yaakov Baruch was born in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, and grew up in Manado. He learned of his maternal Jewish mother’s background while a youth, and began to research his Dutch Jewish roots while in college. Yaakov visited Jewish communities in Singapore and Israel, Europe and America and then chose more in-depth study of Judaism.
In 2000, Yaakov established a synagogue community in Manado and inaugurated the synagogue in 2004, which was attended by Israel TV Channel 10. While there were Jews in Indonesia with Iraqi and Dutch roots, those communities which had existed in other parts of the country no longer exist. In 2019, the Tondano community decided to change its Synagogue “minhag” to that of the Western Sephardic or Spanish and Portuguese Jewish communities. The Shaar Hashamayim Synagogue was consecrated in 2022.