The synagogue was built in 1884 by Jacob Sassoon, of the illustrious Sassoon family, in his father’s memory. The Sassoons came to India when Jacob Sassoon’s grandfather, David Sassoon, the treasurer of Baghdad in the early 19th century, fled here with his family to escape the persecution of Jews in Iraq under the Mamluk rulers. The family built several educational, charitable and religious institutions in Mumbai, of which I got to see the David Sassoon Library and Reading Room across the road from the Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue. You can read more here.
The synagogue is a sky blue building that is somewhat plain on the outside, but exquisite on the inside, with stained glass windows, ornate pillars and beautiful chandeliers. The lower floor is the men’s gallery, and the upper one is for the women.