Jewish History In Barbados – Fabulous Article Online


Jerusalem Post Article About Barbados

I really didn’t know much about the history of Jews in Barbados, but I do now. Once again, thanks to a search engine alert – this time MSN – I stumbled across a fascinating article about the Nidhei Israel Synagogue that is also a history of Bajan Jews.

Things I never knew about Jews in Barbados…

– The first Jews were Portuguese who arrived in 1627 fleeing from Brazil. They built the first synagogue in 1654.

– By 1845, only 70 Jews remained on the island as most had left for the United States.

– In 1925, the last Jew left Barbados and it seemed that that was going to be the end of Jewish history on the island.

– In 1931, Moses Altman arrived from Poland – fleeing the coming storm, and he became the first of the “new Jews” on Barbados.

There is lots more Barbados history in the Jerusalem Post article… Jewish Island Spirit.

Photo: Restored Nidhei Israel Synagogue


Filed under Barbados, History, Island Life, Religion

17 responses to “Jewish History In Barbados – Fabulous Article Online

  1. Carson C. Cadogan

    I wish the Jews had a fabulous history with dealing with the Palestinians!

    Carson C. Cadogan

  2. BFP

    Don’t you mean “the Israelis” Carson?

    Or is it every Jew in the world that bothers you?

  3. Carson C. Cadogan


  4. One Who Knows

    Carson, are you calling BFP zionists, or saying that Israelis are zionists or all Jews are zionists?

    darn it man you are not clear at all when you post

  5. West Side Davie

    Carson must really hate the Jews. This was an interesting article about Barbados history and he’s doing his “I hate the Jooos” thing again.

    Why do you hate the JOOOS Carson?

  6. passin thru

    He do hate de Jews. Funny a black man hate de Jews for wa dey are born dey got no choice. He doan make a difference tween Bajan jew an isreal jew. Jew is a Jew to him an he hates dem all the jews.

  7. God.

    Carson has an agenda.
    I don’t like agendas in my people,
    but I understand.

  8. Kathy

    It is important that the Jews be remembered in the history of Barbados. No group should be left out due to racism/anti-semitism. In Barbados, the Jews made great contributions in the areas of agricultural and industrial development and technology, as well as building an impressive synagogue and a rich history in Barbados.

    God Himself in Genesis 12:3 warns against anti-semitism – “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

  9. passin thru

    amen to that kathy

  10. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Blog Archive » Barbados: Jewish history

  11. Rumplestilskin

    Actually, there is something to note about a comment above, which typifies a stereotype, untrue as usual.

    The Jewish community is not selfish, and contributes worldwide to community life and fairness. The community played an important part in the South African liberation struggle against an apartheid regime.

    Go to Google and type in the name

    Ethel de Keyser

    Jewish persons around the world have fought against injustice and this is just one example.

    Sadly, the constant barrage with which they are faced, an example even being the current call by a number of Arab leaders for the ‘destruction of Israel’.

    They only ask for the right to a life, unhindered.

    What would you do?

    Would you walk a mile in their shoes?

  12. Rumplestilskin

    By the way, I understand that the Jewish community took tobacco from Barbados to North America, either Virginia or Carolina.

  13. JW

    I am a direct descendant of Abraham Rodrigues Brandon. I am just starting to learn about this part of my history in Barbados.

  14. mechanic

    Jews in Barbados have a history i went to school with some tallented Jewish boys and they used to run barefoot and play dominoes under the street light in Harts Gap. Brandon and Dacosta were Portuguese Jews.

  15. Of Solomon ancestry..

    Barefoot in Harts Gap….hmmmm.
    Sounds like some of the Steinbok boys who lived down in nearby Palm Beach?

    Bright lads they were/are and have done very well, despite poor-as-hell origins!

  16. Rosie

    I too have been researching the Jewish history in Barbados, from the role they played in slavery:
    The largest Jewish slave owner in Barbados was Abraham Rodrigues Brandon, who in the early nineteenth century had 182 slaves to run his plantation, named Hopeland. In his will, he made the following provisions for his household slaves: Sally Gill was to be allowed to work for herself. “James a coloured boy and Tom Gittens a coloured boy” were emancipated. His mulatto slaves, Beck, John, and William Francis, were to be freed “on payment by them or any person on their behalf” the arrears owed to him from the estate of John Gilbert Birkett, deceased, as well as the manumission costs of securing their freedom. The latter provision was not taken up, as the compensation records for 1834 list the last three individuals as slaves of the estate of A. R. Brandon. It may have been a gesture of good intent on Brandon’s part, but the price of securing their own freedom was obviously too high for these enslaved people and benefactors were not forthcoming, so they continued as slaves until the abolition act was passed three years later in 1837.

  17. Mary B Williams

    Zionism is an extension of N.W.O..Period,slavery,wars….they are always there.My family is bajan,muletto,they seem to over look the darkside.