Directory of Names

I’m (slowly!) adding names and biographical details of Hong Kong’s Jewish community from the 1840s to the 1940s below. Should you have any names you would like to add to the list, please get in touch, I’d be delighted to hear from you.

A to Z

Bard, Solomon Matthew: doctor, war hero, first Executive Secretary of the Antiquities and Monuments Office and Chairman of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Born 1916 in Siberia, Russia, died 2014 in Australia. More information can be found here. Read my blog entry on Bard’s reminiscences of the Battle of Hong Kong here.

Belilios, Emanuel Raphael: Sephardi merchant and philanthropist, he was Chairman of HSBC in the 1870s and a member of LegCo. See articles by Caroline Pluss, Xun Zhou and Carl T. Smith for further information. See my brief blog entry here.

Blumenthal, Leon: employed by the Prisons Department in the 1930s. Source: Brian Edgar.


Cohen, Samuel: arrived in Hong Kong in 1843 / 44 from Australia on the Asiatic. Source: Carl T Smith

Cohen, Aaron Solomon: came to Hong Kong in 1864. He went bankrupt in 1870, and then became an assistant in E.R. Belilios and Co. From 1884 to 1888 he traded as Cohen and Gubbay. In 1889 he admitted N.N. Adis as a partner in his firm. Adis left the following year. Cohen then did business under his own name until 1893, when he last appeared in the Hong Kong jury lists. In 1897 he is mentioned as the second oldest member of the Hong Kong Jewish community. Source: Carl T Smith

Cohen, Henry Ash: was associated with Phillips, Moore and Co., from 1857 until it closed in 1868. He then traded as a broker under his own name until 1877, when he was joined by Charles C. Cohen. He last appears on the Hong Kong jury list in 1880.


Odell, Harry: Hong Kong’s first impresario, owner of Capital Artists, he brought many stars to Hong Kong. He was integral to the establishment of City Hall in Hong Kong. Married to Sophie.


Philips, Jacob: arrived either late 1843 / early 1844 from Birmingham, England. According to Carl T. smith he built up a profitable business in China with branches in Manila and Australia.


Rakusen, Manassah Nat: Director at Gilmans & Co., member of HKVDC. He was interned in Sham Shui Po P.O.W. camp during the Japanese Occupation of Hong Kong where he ‘performed very useful service in compiling individual records of for all Volunteers in camp’ – obit.

Ram, Siegfried Szarfstein (Dr): Medical practitioner who partnered with Dr. Solomon Bard in 1947. Born 1912, died 1995. Source: Howard Elias

Raymond, Albert: President of the Ohel Leah Synagogue in the 1930s, rep. of E.D. Sassooon & Co. in Hong Kong. Hebrew and Biblical scholar.


Solomon, Reuben: died Hong Kong 7 Dec 1885, aged 62 years, buried in Jewish Cemetery, in 1854-55 he was an assistant in D. Sassoon, Sons & Co at Shanghai. He was in charge of their newly established branch at Fuchau in 1857. In 1864 he was in partnership with Myer Sassoon Moses in firm of Moses & Co., Hong Kong. Their business failed in 1866. Reuben Solomon then carried on business under his own name. Source: Carl T. Smith

Solomon, J.A.: advertised in the Daily Press the sale of castor oil, gee, Bengal table rice, gram, etc. at No. 17 Cochrane Street, 1 February 1871. Source: Carl T. Smith


Tobias, Lewis: died Hong Kong 1940, born around 1880. Manager Of N. Lazarus, Opticians in Hong Kong. Educated in England and came to China in 1911, stayed in Shanghai for 6 months then came to Hong Kong to set up his business with his brother Harry Tobias, resident of Shanghai.