Jewish Harbin

The Jewish influence on Harbin was surprisingly long-lasting; the last Jewish resident of the city die in 1985. If you are on the trail of Harbin’s Jews, then Tongjiang Jie (Tongjiang Street), across the road from the Harbin New Synagogue, is the place to start. The center of Jewish life in the city till the end of WWⅡ, many of the buildings on the street date back to the early 20th century and once housed bakers, kosher butchers and furriers. 

The old Main Synagogue was built in 1009,; it now houses a café and shops, but still has Star of David symbols in its windows. Close by is the former Jewish Middle School, now home to and arts group. Further up Tongjiang Jie is the interesting Turkish Mosque; built in 1906, it’s no longer operating and is closed to visitors.

In the far eastern suburbs of Harbin is the Huangshan Jewish Cemetery, the largest in in the Far East. There are over 600 graves here, all very well maintained. A taxi here takes around 45 minutes and will cost about ¥ 50.

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