The Jewish Synagogue
The Jewish Synagogue is located in Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados.
It is one of the oldest synagogues in the world, having been built in 1654 for the Jewish settlers who came from Brazil.
They were being persecuted in their own country and heard that Oliver Cromwell allowed freedom of religion in Barbados. They brought with them a wealth of knowledge about sugar cane planting and helped to put Barbados on the map of sugar manufacturers.
During the hurricane of 1831 the original synagogue was destroyed, but was rebuilt on the same site in 1838. As the Jewish population on the island diminished the building ran into disrepair and was sold in 1929. It wasn’t back in the hands of the Jewish community until 1983, when they lovingly restored it to its former glory and made it an active place of worship again.
The Barbados National Trust now protects the building.
Information correct at the time of posting 5 April 2006.