Chinese city. The first Jew who arrived there was Elias David Sassoon, who, about the year 1850, opened a branch in connection with his father's Bombay house. Since that period Jews have gradually migrated from India to Shanghai, most of them being engaged from Bombay as clerks by the firm of David Sassoon & Co. The community is composed mainly of Asiatic, German, and Russian Jews, though there are a few of Austrian, French, and Italian origin among them. Jews have undoubtedly taken a considerable part in developing trade in China, and several have served on the municipal councils, among them being S. A. Hardoon, partner in the firm of E. D. Sassoon & Co., who had served on the French and English councils at the same time. During the early days of Jewish settlement in Shanghai the trade in opium and Bombay cotton yarn was mainly in Jewish hands.
Early in the seventies a hall was hired for purposes of worship; now (1905) there are two small synagogues in Shanghai. One of these, the Beth El synagogue, is situated in Peking road, one of the principal thoroughfares in the English settlement; the other, the Shearith Israel synagogue, is situatedin Seward road, the best and busiest street in the American settlement. The latter synagogue was established about 1898 by D. E. J. Abraham. At present the German Jews form themselves into a congregation during the New-Year and Yom Kippur holy days, rent a place of worship, and employ their own ḥazzan. The community possesses a cemetery in Mohawk road, presented to it by David Sassoon. In Nov., 1898, a branch of the Anglo-Jewish Association was established at Shanghai.
A Rescue Society was established in 1900 to open communications with the Jews of the orphan colony of K'ai-Fung-Foo, and in April, 1901, eight of the Chinese Jews arrived in Shanghai (see China). In Nov., 1902, it was resolved to form a Talmud Torah school, to be known as the Shanghai Jewish School. The Shanghai Zionist Association was established April 26, 1903, and was represented at the Sixth Zionist Congress, held at Basel. On Feb. 11, 1904, a Jewish Benevolent Fund was founded. A bi-weekly paper entitled "Israel's Messenger" was established on April 22, 1904. The total population of the city is 620,000, of whom about 500 are Jews.