Curacao

 

General

       A Jew, Samuel Cohen, served as an interpreter to the Dutch army which captured Curacao from the Spanish in 1634.  Congregation Mikveh Israel was founded officially in 1651.  The Jews were granted land outside the city of Willemstad, and a cemetery was opened in 1656 and a small building rented for worship.  A synagogue existed Willemstad by 1671.  This was subsequently replaced by a synagogue, the Punda Synagogue, built in 173-32, which is still in use.  From 1926 onward, a number of Ashkenazi Jews, many from Rumania, settled in Curacao.

 

Punda Synagogue

       On May 12, 1970, a series of stamps was issued in the Netherland Antilles depicting the interiors of religious buildings, one of which depicted the interior of the Punda Synagogue.  The stamp and first day cover are depicted below.  Also depicted below are postcards (postmarked May 12, 1970) of the exterior and interior of the Punda Synagogue.

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Reform Temple Emanuel

       In the 1800's, frictions developed within the Mikve Israel congregation, and in 1864, a group split off and formed Reform Temple Emanuel.  The synagogue depicted in the postcard below (postmarked May 20, 1970) was opened in 1866.

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References

Encyclopedia Judaica, CD-Rom Edition, Keter Publishing

Copyright 1998-99 Edward Victor