Community in Mozambique - World Jewish Congress

Despite the presence of a vibrant Jewish community during Mozambique’s colonial period, only about 35 Jews are left in the country (2018) all of whom live in the capital city of Maputo.

The Mozambique Jewish Community is affiliated with the World Jewish Congress.

WJC Affiliate
Mozambique Jewish Community

Head of External Relations: Fernando Almeida

+258 84 300 00 01
+258 82 300 00 70

Co-Presidents: Samuel Levi and Rogerio Levy-Fonseca

The Jewish presence in Mozambique dates back to the beginning of Portuguese colonization in the early 16th century when Jewish sailors and merchants settled along the country’s coast. Over the course of the 19th century, a diverse array of Jews – both Sephardic and Ashkenazi – made their homes in what was then Portuguese East Africa. Their presence was centered around the capital city of Lourenço Marques (now Maputo).

The turn of the century saw further Jewish settlement in Mozambique, with the arrival of South African Jews exiled by President Kruger for their pro-British activities. A unified Jewish community developed and a united synagogue, with both Sephardic and Ashkenazi congregants, was established in 1926.

With the rise of Nazism and the outbreak of World War II, increasing numbers of refugees fleeing Nazi aggression and persecution began to arrive in Lourenço Marques, which had been designated a neutral port. As a result, the Jewish population of the city swelled to around 500 people in 1942 and the Lourenço Marques Synagogue became a hub for aid efforts. However, most Jews left for South Africa after immigration restrictions were eased toward the end of the war.

The community entered into what appeared to be a terminal decline in the decades following the Second World War. When Mozambique gained its independence in 1975, most of the remaining Jews found themselves at odds with the new government’s collectivist economic policies, leading many to leave the country. The new government seized the community’s synagogue – along with many churches and mosques – and Jewish life in Mozambique seemed to come to a standstill.  

In 1989, a local non-Jewish businessman, Alkis Macropolous, organized a campaign to have the synagogue returned to the community, and an advertisement placed in the local newspaper brought Mozambique’s remaining Jews back together. After reclaiming the synagogue, the Mozambican Jewish community started worshiping again, and began to attempt a revival of their community.

Today, the Mozambican Jewish community is small and concentrated, with the synagogue serving as the center of communal life.


The local community estimates that only 20 Jews remain in Mozambique. Jewish life in Mozambique is entirely concentrated in Maputo. Outside of the capital city, there are no traces of any Jewish life.

Community and Religious life

The Mozambique Jewish Community is affiliated with the African Jewish Congress (AJC), which is based in South Africa and advocates on behalf of the small and scattered communities of sub-Sahara Africa. It works to ensure that the Jewish community of Mozambique has international representation, including within the WJC, despite the small size of its population. The Honen Dalim Synagogue in Maputo is the only functioning Jewish institution in Mozambique, which hosts multi-lingual services every Shabbat that incorporates Portuguese and English. However, because of the small size of the community, there is rarely a minyan. Kosher food in Mozambique is scarce, almost non-existent.

Jewish Education

Due to the small size of the community, there are no full time Jewish education institutions in Mozambique. However, the synagogue does run a Sunday school. There are no Jewish youth groups or community publications.

Information for visitors

Beside the Honen Dalim Synagogue and the old Jewish cemetery in Alto Maha, there are no Jewish sites of note in Mozambique.

Relations with Israel

Israel and Mozambique maintain full diplomatic relations and Israel has an honorary consulate in Maputo.

Honorary Consul of Israel in Mozambique
Av. 25 Setembro 1016/1020 – 2/3° Esq

Telephone: (+258) 21-323 695
                 (+258) 82-307 8220


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