The forming of the Island Hebrew Congregation-2006
The Mauritius Jewish Community in Mauritius is small, consisting of about 43 members.The photo shows the chairman of the Jewish Community of Mauritius committee Owen Griffiths at the head of the table, with Rabbi Moshe Silberhaft to his left .Nine months after the opening of its first Jewish community centre, the fledgling Jewish community of Mauritius took another important step forward on 11 January 2006 when its members met to adopt a constitution and appoint a committee.
Officially named the Island Hebrew Congregation, the new organization is the first formally constituted Jewish communal body comprising Jewish residents and citizens in the history of the island.Until fairly recently, there were virtually no long-term Jewish residents on Mauritius. Israel-related activities have up until now been conducted primarily by the Amicale Maurice Israel (Mauritian Friendship Club of Israel), established by local Tamils who had been to Israel on various agricultural and other training courses. The late Soopaya ‘Baby’ Curpen was a great initiator of this project and he will always be remembered as a great friend to Israel.
A meeting took place in Curepipe, at the Amicale Maurice Israel Center. The Centre, on whose premises are located a small shul, communal hall and offices, was opened on 23 May 2005. Former Australian Owen Griffith was appointed as the committee's first chairman. Also appointed were a vice-chairman, treasurer, fundraiser and secretary. The meeting was presided over by Rabbi Moshe Silberhaft, Spiritual Leader to the African Jewish Congress.