Jewish residents and travelers in Ho Chi Minh City celebrated a historic occasion just days before Rosh Hashanah when a baby boy became the Vietnam’s first Jew in modern memory to be circumcised.

Until recently, most community members hadn’t even heard of the boy, or his Vietnamese-born mother. But the woman, who relied on the help of Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Avraham Wolff, chief rabbi of Odessa, Ukraine, to prove the Jewish identity of her own Ukrainian-born mother, not long decided that she would raise her son according to his religious heritage.

Rabbi Menachem Hartman, director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Vietnam, organized the circumcision with the help of the Brit Yosef Yitzchak organization, which sends ritual circumcisers around the globe on an as-needed basis.

At the ceremony, the infant boy’s mother gave him the Hebrew name Noach.

Hartman said that in the past few months, the woman and her son have been participating in programs at the Chabad House.

“When she was pregnant, she decided that she wanted the baby to grow up Jewish,” explained Hartman, noting that Noach attends his preschool and is a regular at Shabbat services.