Maghen David Synegogue or the Shield of David, is situated at the junction of Brabourne Road and Canning street in Kolkata. It was built by Elias David Joseph Ezra, son of David Joseph Ezra and it was dedicated on September 11, 1884. This site had been the site of Neveh Shalome (Oasis of Peace in Hibru), a Baghdadi Jewish house of prayer. It was demolished in the year 1883 and later rebuilt as a larger Synegogue next door.
Government of India declared this site as national heritage site. Presently, it is protected under Archeological Survey of India (ASI) and looked after by a Muslim family. The local Muslim families who take care of the place, are living here for generations.
“As I entered inside the Synegogue, I was mesmerized by it’s interiors. I could not believe my eyes. It was so beautiful.
I was given a traditional jews cap, as mark of respect for the house”.
Maghen David follows the pattern of other Baghdadi synegogues in India. It was designed by a British Colonial architect based in India. The interiors are designed with beautiful stained glasses, gleaming chandeliers, ornate floral pillar stones shipped from Paris, chequered marble floor and stunning wooden chairs and benches. At the centre of the hall, there is Bimah, the raised platform from which the Rabbi preached, and the upper balconies are reserved for women.
- Kolkata had five Synegogues in total, out of which Maghen David and Bath El operate to this day.
- The jews community of Kolkata are mostly the Baghdadi Jews, who came here to trade.
- Photography and Videography are allowed at Maghen David Synegogue as per ASI guidelines.
- Architectural specification: Length-140 feet (43 m) & Width-80 feet (24 m).
- Architecture: Italian Renaissance.