History of Jewish immigration
In 1492, Luis de Torres, interpreter for Christopher Columbus, was the first Jew known to set foot in what is now Haiti.
Brazilian Immigrant Jewish ancestors settled there in the seventeenth century, though many perished in the slave revolts in the late nineteenth century finally established the independence of Haiti from France.
Then came a small wave of Jewish immigration from Lebanon, Syria and Egypt during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Many of these Jewish immigrants from the Middle East lived importing and selling textiles, and they sent their children to local Catholic schools.
A hundred of European Jews came to Haiti to escape from Nazis.
Haitian Jewish community had in the mid-century 300 members, but unfortunately , from the 50s, due to worsening economic and political situation, many Jews emigrated to the U.S., Panama and Israel.
Today, Israel and Haiti remain fluid diplomatic and trade relations.
The earthquake of January 2010 has been no exception, Israel sent a political- military delegation, composed of experts in engineering, medical, logistics and rescue.
There are currently, an estimated of 25 Jews.
Most of them live in Petionville, located in the hills above Port au Prince.
Haiti has no rabbi or synagogue, but a Torah which is kept in the home of a community member.
A little about the country
The Republic of Haiti is a country of the Netherlands, located in the western part of the Spanish Island.
The total area of Haiti is 27,750 km ² extending, housing a population of 7,041,000 inhabitants.
Its capital and largest city is Port au Prince, badly damaged by an earthquake on January 12, 2010.
Haiti's climate is tropical.
Haiti is a semi-presidential republic, but its validity was discontinued
by political violence, particularly after the military coup of 1991 and the 2004 crisis that forced intervention by UN detachment Mission Stabilization Mission in Haiti ( MINUSTAH).
The economy of Haiti is the poorest of all the Americas and one of the poorest in the world. According to The World Factbook, 80 % of its population lives below the poverty line.
Coffee is the main export .
The currency is the Gourde (HTG).