Kosherica, as we’ve mentioned before keeps raising the bar on excellence at a stunning pace. Of course, being impeccable is a given for any company serious about maintaining their crown at the top of the Kosher Cruise industry. What’s different and unusual is the imagination, flair and brilliance of Kosherica’s daring choices. Merely thinking of the observant Jewish traveler and stretching the limits of possibility.
This fifteen-day cruise boards and disembarks in Singapore, giving the Jewish traveler extra time to explore one of the most amazing Jewish communities in the Far East.
Singapore has a rich history, based on mainly Orthodox traditions. It’s the magnificent start to Kosherica’s fifteen-day Glatt Kosher Adventure away from home, to places where one would be hard pressed to find Kosher food or synagogues, a place to spend Shabbat without breaking the rules, while still having fun and getting the most of your vacation. In other words, it might as well be alchemy. Turn iron into gold. Is it likely an impossibility.
Kosherica proudly announced their 2019 itinerary and the year begins with the Asia Kosher cruise on January 2, 2019. Some of the most desirable spots can be seen on the shore excursions, many of which are more than simply stunning. Singapore is full of famous architecture, arboretums, gardens and palaces that look like they are directly out of the King and I’. I’ll pick the best of the best and share as we go on.
The thing that surprised me most was the Jewish congregation in Singapore. I want to share enthused revelations about the Jewish community in this amazing city state. For the Jewish traveler, a visit to Singapore is the start and the end of this magnificent trip. If possible, try to fit in as much time as you can to explore the place pre and post boarding the Asia Kosher Cruise. This city state is jam-packed with history, mystery, and for my buck the greatest tantalizer of all – the history of the old Jewish community harkening back to Baghdad Jews in the 1800’s. Rabbi Abergel, the only local aborigine’ or rather a Jew with roots which go back generations, also serves as the community’s mohel and shochet. He slaughters the poultry himself in order to keep the prices low and reasonable for kashrut observing consumers. The rabbi believes that every Jewish home, wherever it is, should observe kashrut, and therefore only the cost price is charged for the chicken. The beef, on the other hand, has to be imported from Australia, so its price in Singapore is much more expensive.
There are two active synagogues in Singapore, Chesed-El and Maghain Aboth. The latter, which was built in the early 20th century, is located in the community compound on Waterloo Street, which also includes a ritual bath for men and a ritual bath for women, a kosher store which offers a variety of products from Israel and around the world, and a banquet hall which holds weddings, bar mitzvah, anniversaries and workshops. There are several delicious Kosher restaurants so anyone staying for a few days is absolutely set safely and comfortably. Going to the restaurants and shuls you’ll connect with fellow travelers and be certain to have answers to your questions such as where to go and what to see – it’s all there if you ask. The kehilot are said to be warm and very kind to visitors so don’t be surprised if you’ll get invited to dinner or a celebration.
There is so much to see and explore just on the Jewish element – a rich history, a wealthy community and a great many secular discoveries are also awaiting you.
The next stop on the Kosherica Asian Kosher Cruise is Bangkok, the subject of my next blog.