The Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum is situated in the Hongkou District, which was formerly a Jewish ghetto.
It is located within the Ohel Moshe Synagogue, which was established by Russian Jewish immigrants in 1907, and includes a permanent exhibition hall, a rotating exhibition hall, and a courtyard. A small gallery and introduction video highlight the history and life of Jews in Shanghai during World War II.
In the three-storey Ohel Moshe Synagogue, the first floor is the prayer hall, and the second and third floors showcase the museum exhibitions.
During the World War II, Shanghai was one of very few places in the world that allowed Jewish refugees inside its territory, and around 25,000 Jewish emigrants from Europe, including nearly 2000 escapees from Austria, settled in the city from 1937 to 1941. The Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum chronicles the lives of these European Jewish refugees.
The Ohel Moshe Synagogue was the pivotal point of Shanghai’s Jewish community until its confiscation in 1949 after the communist revolution in China. In 2007, the Hongkou District government restored the grey-and-red brick building synagogue to its original state and reopened it as a museum.
The White Horse Café, established in 1927 right across the synagogue, became a convenient and popular gathering place for the Jewish refugees. It was demolished in 2009, rebuilt in 2015 and renamed the White Horse Inn.
Entrance Fee: CNY 20; CNY 45 for a combo ticket with coffee
Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM daily (last entry 4:30 PM)
Suggested Time: 1-2 hours
Best Time to Visit: The Shanghai Jewish Refugee Museum is rarely crowded, as there is not much to do or see here, so any time is a good time to go.
5 Things to Do at Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum
- Visit the three permanent and temporary exhibition halls to see the small collection of memorabilia pertaining to the lives of Jewish refugees who migrated to Shanghai during WWII. The displays include documents, photographs, artworks, old newspapers, and personal items from the time when Hongkou was a Jewish ghetto.
- Watch the documentary film about the refugees’ experience in the screening area.
- See the names of the 13,732 Jewish refugees engraved on a 34-metre long copper memorial wall that was built in the museum’s courtyard in 2014, along with a memorial statue to commemorate their experience.
- Walk around the surrounding streets of Hongkou District to see some of the buildings used by the Jewish community at that time.
- Buy a combo ticket for a cup of coffee from the historical White Horse Inn across the street.
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Getting to Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum
Take Metro Line 12 to Tilanqiao and leave from Exit 2, and then walk northeast for 3mins to the museum; or Line 4 to Dalian Rd and leave from Exit 6, and then walk west to get there.
1. Take City Sightseeing Bus Line 5 to Shanghai Youtai Nanmin Jinianguan (Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum).
2. Take bus 13, 319 or 854 to Haimen Lu Dongchangzhi Lu; or bus 134 or 875 to Haimen Lu Changyang Lu.