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History of Jewish immigration

In 1754 , by special permission of the kings of Holland, Moses Solomon Levie Maduro, a prominent member from Curacao Sephardic Jewish family was established in Aruba with his wife and children. Maduros family remained on the island until 1816.

Levie Maduro was one of the first Europeans to come to the Dutch West Indies. He worked for the Dutch West India Company (Dutch West Indies Company) and founded a subsidiary in Aruba. In 1994, Maduro & Sons, the largest shipping company in Aruba, proudly celebrated 250 years of Jewish colonization by their ancestors.

Other Jewish families settled on the island after Maduro (23 people registered in 1867) but , although their numbers increased, they could never keep a community organization like their coreligionists in Curacao. Therefore , they followed a style of traditional Jewish life.

Today a large group of local residents, descendants of the original Portuguese Jews, proudly acknowledge their Jewish roots , and share their heritage with Jews of Curazao. Among them we can name the Maduro Curiel, Robles, Nassy Lopez Henriquez and other families.

A small cemetery in the city, with names on the tombstones, is the only physical evidence of the Jewish presence in Aruba in past centuries.

Records from the 18th and 19th centuries is not available in Aruba, as the old government records that were kept in Curazao were then sent to Amsterdam.

The community received official recognition from the Dutch Kingdom December 1, 1956 , and Beth Israel was inaugurated on 4 November 1962 ( Cheshvan 8 , 5723 )

A little about the country

Aruba is an island of the Lesser Antilles, in northwestern Venezuela and the southern Caribbean Sea, just west of the island of Curazao.
It was part of the Netherlands Antilles, but since January 1, 1986 is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, separately form the Netherlands Antilles.

The island is generally flat without rivers. It has white sand beaches, located in the western and southern coasts of the island within the island there are some hills.

Tourism is the mainstay of the small Aruban economy, the largest employer of the inhabitants of the island.

Most of the population can speak four languages. As in the islands of the Netherlands Antilles official languages are Dutch and Papiamento.

The currency is the Aruban Florin (AWG).