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Ohel Rachel Synagogue

Add:500 Shaanxi Rd N.

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The ivy-covered Ohel Rachel Synagogue at No. 500 was built by tycoon Jacob Sassoon in 1920 and was once the religious center for Shanghai Sephardic Jewish life. The Sephardic Jews are of Spanish/Middle-Eastern descent, whose origin as a separate group dates from the period when King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella expelled from Spain all those who practiced the Jewish faith. Sassoon wanted to commemorate the history of the Sephardic Jews and so drew architectural inspiration from London's Bevis Marks Synagogue, the 1701 sanctuary built by Spanish Jews. The Greek Revival style of the building had the capacity to hold a congregation of 700 at the time. In 2002, it was listed on the World Monuments Watch list of endangered buildings. It is not open to the visitors as it is part of the Shanghai Education Commission compound.