Here's a great tip:
Enter your email address and we'll send you our weekly magazine by email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life, week after week. And it's free.
Oh, and don't forget to like our facebook page too!
Contact Us

Vietnamese Jews

Vietnamese Jews

Rabbi Hartman leads morning prayers at the Chabad House in Ho Chi Minh City.
Rabbi Hartman leads morning prayers at the Chabad House in Ho Chi Minh City.

Our month-long trip visiting Jews scattered across Vietnam started in Ho Chi Minh City, a city with a growing Jewish community and its own Chabad House. Formerly known as Saigon, the city is home to 150 Jews and is also a hub for businesspeople and travelers.

In the Chabad House, we constantly heard incredulous visitors exclaiming how much the admire Rabbi and Mrs. Hartman who serve the needs of every Jew in this remote corner of the world. Even we, who thought we knew what this is all about, were blown away!

We headed to central Vietnam to visit Barry, formerly of Illinois, however now a long-time resident of Nha Trang on the central coast of Vietnam. In the tuna export business, he told us that, living in Vietnam, what he missed most was the great taste of pastrami on rye. Unfortunately we were unable to sustain his physical appetite, but spiritually he was left more than satisfied.

An ancient bridge in Hoi An.
An ancient bridge in Hoi An.

The small town of Hoi An is smack in the middle of the country. Haya, originally from Haifa, was thrilled to welcome us to her humble abode and was very excited to affix a mezuzah to her doorpost. Living in such a remote town, she eagerly stocked up on the Jewish books we had available and decided that she would begin to read from the book of Psalms daily.

In Danang, an hour's drive from Hoi An, Alan was glad to meet us and talk about his Jewish heritage. A Vietnam War veteran from Chicago, he came back to Vietnam on a war veterans healing tour. There, he saw a different side of the country and fell in love with the place. Following our lead, Alan took upon himself to find more Jews living in his city. Sure enough, just a few days later he called to tell us that he had found a fellow member of the tribe.

With one of our new friends.
With one of our new friends.

BY Mendy Ajzenszmidt
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with's copyright policy.
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
1000 characters remaining
Cecil Renfield Tullimbar Australia September 25, 2016

There are so many Jews scattered all over the world, there has to be a few even knocking around the Poles, and I don't mean Poland. Reply Staff August 26, 2016

There is no permanent Chabad center there, there are Chabad centers in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. You can find contact info at Reply

Anonymous Hoi an August 25, 2016

There is a chabad in hoi an ? Reply Staff March 16, 2012

Currently there is no permanent Chabad center in Hoian yet. Chabad of Ho Chi Minh serves the entire country, please contact them directly for information and assistance, Reply

Elliott shuchat Hoian March 16, 2012

Asked above Reply

Laramie Boomerang - WY
September 04 2016
Rapid City Journal - SD
September 03 2016
Sioux Falls Argus Leader - SD
August 31 2016
S. Louis Post-Dispatch - MO
August 27 2016
Jweekly - CA
August 25 2016
Related Topics