This book traces the history of the Jews in Thailand from their first arrival in Ayutthaya in the early 17th century, most likely for the purpose of trade, up until the present day. Not as prominent as some of the other foreigners who frequented this magnificent city, in time they still left their mark on Thailand in subtle ways. Some of the Jews who arrived in Siam two centuries later had colourful occupations such as wigmakers, gunsmiths, a creator of stage backdrops for the theatre, and innkeepers. More conventional professions included merchants, lawyers, doctors and gem dealers, a trade for which they have become known in Thailand today. Several of the Jewish residents were "ground breakers" in that they helped to establish such significant institutions as the Thai stock market. The Jews that came to Thailand were not an homogenous group; they represented two ethnic groups - one originating in Europe (Ashkenazie) the other in the Middle East (Sephardi).These differences aside, they established a Jewish community in Thailand that continues to thrive to the present day, and although small in number they managed to maintain their customs and religion, exemplifying the Jewish Diaspora.
Jews in Thailand