The tiny island of Curaçao, in the Caribbean Sea, is considered the cradle of Judaism in the Americas. The almost 400 years of Jewish presence in this island are exemplified by Mikvé Israel-Emanuel, the oldest synagogue in continuous use in the continent.
The founders of this congregation were Jews from the Amsterdam Portuguese community, whose success allowed them to send money to help start other Sephardi communities in the Caribbean as well as provide support to Sephardic congregations in New York and Rhode Island. Today there are fewer than two hundred Jews living on the island, but in the early days there were more Jews in Curaçao than in all the rest of the Americas.
The history of Congregation Mikvé Israel-Emanuel in Curaçao will be told through stories of events that have formed the congregation and the broader Jewish community as they are today.