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2006-05-27T00:00:00.000Z

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Background Information

Employment History

Caretaker
Musmeah Yeshua

Caretaker
Musmeah Yeshua Synagogue


Myanmar Shalom Travels & Tours

Web References (3 Total References)


New York Daily News - News & Views Columnists - Charles W. Bell: Yeshiva student in class by himself

www.nydailynews.com [cached]

His father, Moses Samuels, is the caretaker of Musmeah Yeshua ("Salvation of Joshua"), the only synagogue in Myanmar.Before his father, his grandfather and his great-grandfather were Jewish community leaders.One day, Samuels said, he expects to carry on the tradition.

His father also runs a travel agency called Myanmar Shalom, which specializes in Jewish tourism, and it was through a tourist that Samuels made the Yeshiva connection.
"If it wasn't for tourists, I wouldn't be here," Samuels said."It was a visitor to the synagogue who told me about Yeshiva University and offered to carry my application back to New York and deliver it personally.That's how I got here."
There is a Burmese community in New York, mostly in the Jackson Heights and Elmhurst sections of Queens, but Samuels has not gotten involved with it.Instead, every summer, he flies home to visit and catch up on events there.
Earlier this year, he celebrated Passover at home for the first time in three years.One of his duties, as the youngest person present, was to find a piece of matzoh hidden before the Seder and exchange it for a prize."That's something kids usually do," he said.


The ChronicleHerald.ca

herald.ns.ca [cached]

Moses Samuels, a Burmese man in a checked lungi, comes out to meet me. "Are you Jewish?"he asks.When I nod, he leads me into the Musmeah Yeshua Synagogue, where he serves as caretaker for one of the most stunning examples of Sephardic Jewish architecture I've seen.From the altar, I can see the powder blue detail work on the ceiling, and while I'm staring, Samuels pulls back a curtain and reveals two torah scrolls from Iraq.

Fifty years ago, Yangon had a thriving Jewish community made up mostly of immigrants from Iraq, but today, Samuels says, it has dwindled to eight families, and his own son now studies in New York.Still, he remains proud of his community, and his country."We still get 40 or 50 people on Rosh Hashanah," he says.
As I push through crowded alleys that smell like chapatis, I see ethnic Indians with henna-tinged beards and red dots on their foreheads eating masala dosa at street stalls and ethnic Chinese merchants weighing bars of gold on aging scales.


Jewish Travel.  Burma

www.jewishtravelagency.com [cached]

Moses Samuels- Managing Director

Travelers from around the world know Moses Samuels as the dedicated host and manager of the only synagogue in Myanmar, Musmeah Yeshua. For more than twenty years, Moses Samuels has taken care of the small remaining Jewish community in Burma, as well as the cemetery, and has helped numerous visitors with hotel, airline and other travel arrangements. Many grateful recipients of his knowledge and his assistance have urged Moses Samuels to open a travel agency so that he might more formally help people experience the beautiful and diverse country that is his home. Of Iraqi Jewish descent, Moses Samuels continues the work of his father in caring for the synagogue and community, with a profound love for his heritage and with a will to keep alive the Jewish tradition in Burma. His lifelong experience in Yangon, his lifelong knowledge of Burma, is now available to travelers throughout the world. Moses Samuels' unique role in Burma has been chronicled in articles in the New York Times, Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, and numerous other newspapers.

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