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Curaçao (Neth.)

Formerly part of the Netherlands Antilles, Curaçao, just north of Venezuela, became a "constituent country" within the Kingdom of the Netherlands upon the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles on 10 October 2010.

Jewish history. Jewish history. Select the Netherlands Antilles link here: Jews arrived from Amsterdam in 1651. Jews fleeing Brazil joined them to form the Jewish community in 1659. The first synagogue dates from 1732. Jews expelled from the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe fled here. Curacao 's 1780 Jewish population of 2,000, about 50%. The Curacao community became the "mother community" of Suriname and St. Eustatius and financed the construction of the first synagogues of New York and Newport. In the 20th century, a number of Ashkenazi Jews settled in Curacao and the other islands of the Antilles and account for a majority of the Jewish population. Jewish population declined starting in the 1950s due to emigration and intermarriage. [February 2003]

The 1732 Mikvé Emanuel Synagogue is the oldest in the Americas. Its interior, including the original pipe organ and brass chandeliers, has been carefully preserved, and the floor is covered in footstep muffling sand. There's an adjacent Jewish Cultural Museum. [October 2000]. Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue, one of oldest in continuous operation in the in the Western Hemisphere. Address: Hanchi di Snoa 29, Punda. Tel: 461-1633, fax: 461-1214. The museum adjacent to the remaining congregation has artifacts from the community's daily life including repaired tombstones.

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