By Sudhir Jain
First Day Cover of the stamp on Cochin Synagogue issued on 15th December 1968. First Day Cancellation is from Cochin. This stamp was issued to commemorate 400th Anniversary of famous Cochin Synagogue. It is named as Paradesi Synagogue.
Paradesi Synagogue is the oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations, located in Kochi, Kerala, in South India.The Paradesi Synagogue was built in 1568 by the Jewish community of Cochin, almost 1500 years after the beginning of the Jewish connection with Kerala. It was built on the land, adjacent to the Mattancherry Palace, given by the erstwhile king of Cochin. In the year 1662, it was destroyed by the Portguese and then reconstructed, two years later, by the Dutch. The word Paradesi means foreigner in many Indian languages. It refers to the White Jews – A mixture of Jews from Kodungalloor, Middle East and Europe.