NEW DELHI (Feb. 12)
One of the oldest active synagogues in the world, that of Cochin in the Indian State of Kerala, will mark its 400th anniversary with celebrations to be held from Dec. 15 to 19, it was announced today by S.S. Koder, chairman of the Cochin Synagogue quadricentennial committee.
The committee has asked the Prime Minister of India to inaugurate the festivities which historical scholars, art experts and archaeologists from America, Europe and India will attend. The committee is also inviting Jewish tourists from all over the world. The celebration will also mark the 1,900th year since Jews settled in Kerala. The synagogue there is the oldest in the British Commonwealth.
The synagogue was built in 1568 when there was dissention between the White Jews and the Black Jews of Cochin, who were the majority. The White Jews withdrew from the community and built their own synagogue. Today, most of the Jews of Cochin have emigrated and less than 500 remain there.