The Jewish community of Myanmar
One of Myanmar's least known minority communities are the Myanmar Jews. The first recorded Jew in Myanmar (Burma) was a man named Solmon Gabirol who served as an officer in the Burmese army in the 1760s (under King Alaungpaya). Many Jews who arrived in the 19th century were Baghdadi Jews.At its peak in the 1930s there were more than 2,000 Jews in Rangoon alone (out of a total population of 400,000). The Sofaers were one of the leading Jewish families. David Sofaer served briefly as mayor and the beautiful Sofaer building still stands at the corner of Pansodan (Phayre Street) and Merchant Street. The photograph is of an early Sofaer business along Merchant Street.