Professor Einstein In Singapore


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43 year old Professor Albert Einstein and Elsa, his wife, arrived in a Japanese mail steamer Kitano Maru. Prof Einstein use the brief stopover to urge the Jewish community, especially its most wealthy member, to contribute to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Einstein’s hosts were Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Montor, a diamond merchant in Singapore. During his stay in Singapore, Professor Einstein meet up with Sir Menasseh Meyer’s at his residence. Meyer was a very rich merchant, an Orthodox Jew of Baghdadi origins, who had made his fortune in the opium trade and his vast real estate holdings and who would become the primary target of Einstein’s fundraising efforts. The 1921 census reports the Jewish population of Singapore at 623.

Update: In January 1923, after a successful lecture tour in Japan, the Einsteins returned to Singapore for an informal visit on their way to Palestine. It was reported that Menasseh Meyer had contributed 500 British pounds and the Jewish community of Singapore 250 British pounds to help build Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

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