While the Republic of China is home to a Chabad house and a small, rented office space used for Jewish communal activities, by the end of the year the island’s Jews can expect to have a building of their own. Yaakov Schwartz reports:
The construction of the 22,500-square-foot Jeffrey D. Schwartz Jewish Community Center of Taiwan began in 2020, and is on track to be completed by December 2021. The $16 million complex will include a synagogue with a seating capacity of over 100, a mikvah (ritual bath), Taiwan’s first kosher restaurant and kitchen, a 300-person banquet hall, a kindergarten and classrooms for adult-education programs, a library, spaces for group and individual study, and a Mediterranean-style courtyard for outdoor events.
A private collection of nearly 500 rare Judaica and Jewish art objects belonging to the center’s namesake will also be on permanent display there.
According to the community’s spokesperson Glenn Leibowitz, who has lived in Taiwan for 30 years, the island has an estimated 700 to 800 Jews, half of whom are active community members involved in Shabbat meals and services, Jewish holidays, and other events.