Updates by Email

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Responses Update

First, I would like to say thanks to all those people who emailed me on the web and directly. Your enthusiasm has been encouraging. The feedback has ranged from passing in anecdotal information about Jewish families and places to statements that there has never been a Jew in Sri Lanka … except jesus!?! I have also sent a Press release out to both Jewish and Sri Lankan web sources. I thought I would feedback some of the information – so the search and sharing continues ………. I have in most cases delated names for privacy reasons. If you are happy to be known, with or without contact details, let me know:

“ …do have one Jewish surname that I happen to know of and may help you add to your rich research - and that is the name HARMON or perhaps later changed to HERMON. I used to know a lady by the name of {…..} (nee Harmon) … (later married {……}) and they went as Dutch Burghers, who told me that they were from a Jewish family and went on to explain briefly about the Harmon name being changed to Hermon”.

“Nyanaponika Maha Thera, who was born in Hanau, Germany on July 21, 1901 as Siegmund Feniger, the only child of a Jewish family. He died 19th Oct 1994 in the Udawattekelle Forest Reserve, Kandy”.

“there must have been a significant community at one time--mostly pre 1939, I think, as on the main rd out of Colombo, to the South (Galle Rd but that bit is known as Kollupitiya Rd ) about a mile from the former central business district, is a house named "The Synagogue" from the days when it was used as such. I lived almost opposite that house from 1964 to 1973, when I came to Australia”.

“Family hearsay has it that there were Jewish families in Moratuwa”.

“Joe Simpson has posted more information on Justice Sidney Abrahams. I will upload the photo of him”.

Update 2011:
Since writing this, I have been forwarded to pictures taken in March 1966 by Zeev Raphael of the 'house' at 136 Galle Rd,Colombo 3:

5 comments:

Fazli said...

There used to be an English news reporter named Kalpana Isaacs who used to write to one of the English dailies in Sri Lanka who, I believe, must have had Jewish ancestors based on her family name.

Just Mal said...
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Tinaeg said...

Kalpana was at Methodist College Colombo. I my memory serves me correctly she married an Englishman and is now domiciled in the UK. One of her relatives married a classmate of mine. He too is an Issac and he is a tamil or a Colombochetty. Not quite sure which one though. Hope this help

Just Mal said...

Having the surname Isaacs doesn't necessarily mean that she had Jewish ancestors. It's more likely that she descends from a Tamil family that took their British-Jewish employer's surname out of respect for him.

Anonymous said...

my cousin married an Isaac, who is a pure Tamil. Isaac is a very common Tamil name