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History of the Jews in Fiji: Wikis

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The history of the Jews in Fiji is intertwined with the settlement of the Fiji islands by European explorers and settlers.

Henry Mark, at the age of 20, was the first Jew to settle in Fiji in 1881. Mark was originally a native of Australia and instituted an extensive commercial enterprise throughout the region. Mark would later be joined by Jews from India, the Middle East, and other localities in Asia.

There are currently three cemeteries in Fiji, located in Momi (private cemetery), Ovalau Island (Levuka), and Suva (old cemetery) with Jewish inscriptions on the tombstones, dating back to the first Jewish settlers in the 19th century.

Nearly all of about sixty persons of Jewish descent live in the Fiji Islands live in the capital city of Suva.

Contents

Background

Fiji is a group of islands, scattered in the Pacific Ocean. It encompasses 332 islands, which expands over 18,000 sq. km. Today, the population of Fiji is 905,949 (July 2006 estimate) of which 48% are Fijian (natives), 45% Indians (Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians), and the remainder are of various ethnicities and nationalities with approximately 60 Jews.

Present

Until the recent establishment of the Fiji Jewish Association there was little organized activity among the Jewish population. There still remains limited religious life among these Jews; however, the Israeli Embassy does hold an annual Passover Seder, which accommodates 50 to 60 people. Kosher food is imported from Australia.

Israel and Fiji enjoy full diplomatic relations. In May 2002, the then Fiji Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, agreed with the Israeli Ambassador, H. E. Ruth Kahanoff that the two countries should strengthen their ties though they are so far apart geographically. While there is an Israeli Embassy in Fiji, the Israeli Ambassador in Canberra, Australia represents Israeli interests in Fiji.

See also

External links

  • [1] The Virtual Jewish History Tour - Fiji Islands
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