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Nidhe Israel Synagogue and Museum

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Not only can one learn about the oldest known Jewish settlement in Barbados, but one can really appreciate the history of Barbados and the contribution of the Jewish settlers in Barbados.

In fact, it can be said that the Jewish presence ably assisted Barbados in establishing its sugar industry enabling Barbados to be referred to as Britain’s ‘Jewel in the Crown‘.

The Nidhe Israel Museum reflects a unique viewpoint, commemoration and celebration of our Jewish heritage. Of significant importance and helping to make this site unique in the western hemisphere, has been the discovery of a full immersion Mikvah. This Mikvah is the only known one existing in the western hemisphere.

The first recorded presence of Jews in Barbados was documented in 1628. The Jews were first given full rights of citizenship in 1802. This is 18 years before similar rights were granted to them in England. Their greatest period of prosperity, affluence and influence was between 1761 and 1831.

After this period, its community slowly declined and by 1925 the community disappeared after the death of the last remaining member of the original Jewish community died.

A second wave of Jewish immigration to Barbados began in 1932 when Moses Altman arrived from Europe.

The present synagogue was re-erected on the site of the original which was destroyed by the 1831 hurricane. The reconstructed present synagogue is a beautiful building, combining Jewish, Gothic Renaissance and Barbadian architectural features and stands amid what is recognised as one of the first major Jewish communities in the Americas.

As is widely accepted most Jews were merchants and were known to be charitable and pious. One of their tangible gifts to the Barbados community was that of the Montefiore Fountain which is now located between the synagogue and the Barbados Public Library. The fountain was a gift to the city of Bridgetown.

Days of Operation: Monday to Friday – Weekend Visits May Be Requested.

Open From: 9.00 am
Open Until: 4.00 pm
Admission:
Adults Bds $25.00
Children Bds $12.00 – 5Yrs – 12Yrs
Children Under 5Yrs – Free