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Partner of Shoresh Center Jerusalem, Israel.

Discovering your roots back to the Holy Land.



Hebrew name: Benjamin Meijer Verbrugge

/Benny Prakarsa Yustianto

Partner in Indonesia

Video by Toni Dwi Saputra



The Jewish community is one of the minority religious communities in Indonesia. The Jewish community has existed since the colonial period, but many of the communities at that time were disbanded. Currently, there is one Jewish community that still exists in Jakarta.


The purpose of this research is to find out how the development of the Jewish community in Indonesia. Especially in knowing what and how this community lives in a stereotypical environment that is mostly aimed at Jews.


Hearing the word Jew for sure that comes to our mind is about Israel, Zionism, the conflict with Palestine, products produced by Israel that we are not aware of our daily use, and what is interesting is that the Jews are in our midst in Indonesia, of course. .

Indonesia is well known as a country with its religious diversity. According to the PNPS Law No.1 of 1969 Jucto PNPS No.5 of 1965 the religions recognized and served by the Indonesian government are Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism (Confucius). This does not mean that other religions such as Judaism, Zaoroaster, Shinto, Taoism are prohibited in Indonesia. They get recognition provided they do not violate other laws and regulations. 

Today, religious communities in the history of diversity in Indonesia are scattered throughout the country, from Sabang to Merauke. Many of them set up communities to accommodate their people who live in an area far from their home country to unite in one shelter. The Jews who are scattered in Indonesia have existed since the colonial era. Until now, most of the Jews in Jakarta and Manado have synagogues and a Menorah monument. The number of followers of the Jewish faith in 2011 was estimated at approximately 2000 Indonesians of Jewish descent from Aceh to Papua. 

According to Anti-Defamation League data, 26% of adults from 102 countries around the world have a misconception about Judaism. In the context of Indonesia, the same data shows that 75 million adults in Indonesia out of 156.4 million adults in Indonesia also have a wrong understanding. In general, this data proves that most people think that Jews only care about their own people. Furthermore they also see that Israel has let the whole world mess with war, lobbying and others.

The Jewish community is a very small minority community among the many majority groups in Indonesia. However, in the context of Indonesia, there are laws regulating religious freedom for all citizens, but most of the adherents of the Jewish religion in Indonesia do not dare to show their Jewish identity.

In this case it may be due to the tendency and differences in political and religious views. Religion-politic conflicts or religious-based political conflicts that occur between Muslim countries and Israel, one of which is triggered by the issue of Palestine as the chosen land for the Jewish people.

Theologically there is a stratification of Jews in the normative view of Islam. These views provide more or less ammunition to the conflict and violence between the Muslim and Jewish communities. Therefore, the Jews in Indonesia prefer not to highlight their Jewish identity.

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