The Last Jews of Kolkata

The city’s vibrant Baghdadi Jewish community has dwindled to just 20 people.

Up until India’s independence in 1947, there was once a large Jewish community in Kolkata. Known as “Baghdadi Jews,” they came from present-day Iraq and Syria in the late 18th Century.Today, this Jewish world is vanishing. Out of the city’s 15 million residents, only 20 are Jewish.

At the Jewish Girls School, almost all of the girls are Muslims. The caretakers of Kalkota’s synagogues have, for generations, all been Muslims. 

Documentary filmmakers Audrey Gordon and Ben Hoffman arrived in Kolkata in December, 2014. The synagogues were not easy to find, lost in bustling central Kolkata between the vendor lines, the pedestrians, the cars, the motorbikes and the rickshaw pullers.

Fascinated by vanishing cultures and by the issues of tolerance, they decided to tell this story. 



Baptiste Saint-Dizier (Editor)

Audrey Gordon (Journalist and Director)

Ben Hoffman (Photographer and Director)