Huh. There Are Jews in Burma?

Yes: 22, to be exact. But now that the military dictatorship is "liberalizing," they're coming back, baby! Their de-facto leader is a young U.S.-educated entrepreneur named Sammy Samuels:

Fusion yesterday aired a short video of Samuels running briefly through some history if Mesmuah Yeshuah Synagogue in Yangon, Myanmar, which has two Torahs from Iraq (yes, they famously had a large Jewish population, too, as did Iran and Uzbekistan, among other unlikely spots). Samuels' family has run the synagogue for almost four decades, since his grandfather emigrated from England. (His father, Moses, is the synagogue's current patriarch. The last Burmese rabbi reportedly skipped town in 1975.)

The video left me wanting to know a bit more.

Burmese Jews reportedly came from the Middle East and Europe, primarily as merchants during British Imperial rule, as they had done in India. In the early 1900's, the capital city of Rangoon (which is now Yangon) had a Jewish mayor, and Burma was the first country in Asia to recognize Israel; the two nations reportedly enjoyed a strong relationship, at least until the military junta took over Burma in 1962, renaming it Myanmar.

That dictatorship officially ended after a Buddhist revolt in 2011; though the nation is still not a completely open society, it's ceased to be one of the most repressive regimes on earth.

That political shift has apparently led to some new attention on Burma's dwindling Jewish population, which by the mid-'90s was embroiled in a battle with the military government over whether to turn the synagogue's cemetery into a shopping mall.

Now, Sammy—who came to college in New York on a scholarship—consults businesses coming to Burma, and Jews worldwide (mostly from America and Israel) have taken an interest in the Yangon synagogue, helping to restore it and making it a tourist destination.

I don't have any snark to add here. This was just sorta interesting in a "today I learned" vein. What other unlikely, tiny religious/ethnic/racial/gender populations do you know of? Drop 'em in the comments.