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The Curaçao Difference

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Jewish Culture

The Curacao Jewish Community

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From the time they first arrived seeking a haven from persecution, the Curaçao Jewish community has had an extraordinary impact on the island's economy, politics, and culture. The first permanent Jewish settlers, 70 Sephardim of Portuguese descent, arrived in 1659. Relations with the local Dutch Protestant elite were good, and no laws limited Jews in their work or residences. The Curacao Jewish community became highly successful in trade and shipping.

In the 20th century, other Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants worked their way up the economic ladder after having started out as peddlers and small-scale merchants.

This rich legacy is celebrated in Synagogue Mikve Israel-Emanuel (Snoa). The congregation was founded in 1651, and the synagogue has been in continuous use since 1732. It’s the oldest active Jewish congregation in the Western hemisphere – and the synagogue is the oldest one in continuous use in all of the Americas.

Learn about Curacao’s Caribbean African people.

Experience The Dynamic Curacao Jewish Community

Escape to the Caribbean’s hidden treasure. Fall in love with world-class diving and beaches, invigorating outdoor adventure, and the dynamic Curacao Jewish culture. Make your travel arrangements today!