For almost four centuries
The magnificent Mikvé Israel-Emanuel synagogue is the oldest synagogue in continuous use in the Americas. Similarly, the island’s historic Jewish cemeteries are among some of the oldest in the region. These monuments are testament to almost 400 years of Jewish life on this tiny speck of an island in the Caribbean Sea. Our museums and archives are filled with captivating stories related to Curaçao Jews and their place in history.
Spanish and Portuguese Jews and later Eastern European Jews fled persecution and violence in Europe and found their way to Curaçao. Finding a safe haven here, they established a flourishing economic center connected to all major trading routes of the world. From here Curaçao’s Jews first spread across the Caribbean Sea to settle and trade on the islands, as well as in the new republics in Latin America. Later on, they would move back from St. Thomas, Cuba and Venezuela. And more recently many moved on to North America and back to Europe as well.