The Legend of Cochin

Visiting the Synagogues in Cochin and Mesilat Zion

5 Minutes, 1981

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Directed by: Gadi Castle
Production:Igal Efrati, Zohar Arnon
Photographer: Yachin Hirsh, Shlomo Levi, Gadi Castle
Language: Hebrew
Subtitles: English, Hebrew

An excerpt from a film produced by the Israeli Film Service, which follows the history of the Jewish community of Cochin in India, an ancient community with a centuries-old history, from the reign of the Rajah to the Portuguese occupation, until the immigration of most members of the community to Israel in the 1950’s. In the following clip we visit the city of Cochin, first on the streets of the Jewish Quarter known as “Jew Town”, and then in the Paradesi Synagogue of the Jewish community built in 1567 and preserved in excellent condition by community members, with a floor of 18th century Chinese porcelain tiles and ancient Judaica pieces. Afterwards we visit Moshav Mesilat Zion in Israel, where a big portion of the community of Cochin Jews lives. At a visit to the moshav, women are seen polishing a Torah scroll in preparation for the Torah scroll ceremony being held to inaugurate the new synagogue in the moshav (director: Gadi Castel, production: Zohar Arnon, editing: Lina Kadish).

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