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History of Jewish immigration

The British colonized Barbados in 1627, promoting Jewish settlement in Barbados during this time.

Most Jews who settled in the 17th century were of Sephardic origin.
In 1654 , the Jewish community in Bridgetown, the capital, was formally established and built a Sephardic synagogue, KK Nidhei Israel (the dispersed of Israel).

On the late 17th century there were two Jewish communities in Barbados in Bridgetown and Speighstown , KK Semah David.
In 1679, about 300 Jews lived in Barbados.
Most Jewish settlers engaged in cultivation of sugar and coffee.

The October 23, 1668, Jews from Barbados were prohibited to participate on trade. They were also prohibited to the purchase of slaves, and were forced to live in a Jewish Ghetto in Barbados.
All discriminatory laws were withdrawn by 1802, the colonial government of Barbados.

The Jewish community thrived in Barbados until 1831, when a major hurricane ruined all the towns of the island. By 1848 , the Jewish population was only 70 Jews. As the economy deteriorated in the following decades, many emigrated to the United States and those who stayed and eventually died. In 1925 there was no more Jews on the island.

Before the Holocaust in 1930, 30 Jewish families came from Eastern Europe.
In 1968, the Jewish community had started up and was a population of about 80 Jews.

In 1987, Nidhei Israel Synagogue was built in a new location and the old Jewish cemetery in Bridgetown was restored.

The old Israel Nidhei building, which served as the synagogue is now used for a library.
The Jewish cemetery in Barbados is regarded as the oldest cemetery in the Western Hemisphere, some of the graves date back to the 1660s.

Today, approximately 40 Jews live in Barbados.

It was the Jewish community of Barbados initiated and maintains the Caribbean Jewish Congress.

A little about the country

Barbados is an island nation located between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
It is one of the Lesser Antilles.

Barbados is an island 34 km long and 23 km wide, with little relief and gentle slopes towards the central region, higher.

The climate is tropical, with a rainy season from June to October.

Barbados has a population of 280,946 (2007), of which 80% are black, 4% are white and the remaining 16% consists of other ethnic groups such as Asians and mestizos.

The official language is English.