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Jews first settled in 1655 under Danish rule, mainly tas raders in sugarcane, rum and molasses. Gabriel Milan, sent by King Christian of Denmak in 1864 as governor, was the first of three Jews who  served as governors. Religious freedom was granted in 1685. 1850 Jewish population was 400, about half of the island's white community. After 1914, the Jewish population declined until by 1942, fifty Jews remained. More Jewish history. [July 2010]

In 1796, the Jews of St. Thomas founded the synagogue. In 1804 a fire destroyed the structure that  was replaced in 1812 and used until 1823 when a larger one was erected in the same location on Synagogue Hill (Congregation of Blessing and Peace and Loving Deeds.) A city-wide fire destroyed the synagogue in 1831. The present Synagogue building was built in 1833 and is the oldest synagogue in continuous use under the American flag. A religious service has been held every Sabbath since 1833 except September 15, 1995, when Hurricane Marilyn hit the island. The Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas, P.O. Box 266, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, 00801 publishes a pamphlet with a brief history of the Jews, the two Jewish cemeteries, and the synagogue. [July 2010]

A book documenting Altona and Savan cemeteries is planned [date?], as well as a book on the history of the Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas. Katina E. Coulianos offers accompaniment at no charge for anyone wishing to visit the cemeteries, but would appreciate a donation to the "Hebrew Congregation Cemetery Fund" for ongoing maintenance and upkeep of the cemeteries. Contact: Katina E. Coulianos, Chairman, Cemetery Committee, Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas, P.O. Box 266, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, 00804-0266. Source: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . [date?]

The Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas, P.O. Box 266, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, 00801 publishes a pamphlet giving a brief history of the Jews, the two Jewish cemeteries, and the synagogue, the "oldest synagogue building in continuous use under the American flag." Source: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .'; document.write( '' ); document.write( addy_text27029 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it [date?]

Source: US Virgin Islands and history of community. Link [October 2005]

Altona Jewish Cemetery: below the Virgin Isle Hilton Hotel.

Epitaphs date from 1837. Source: Bernard Kouchel.

UPDATE:Altona is one of two historic cemeteries owned and maintained by the congregation in St. Thomas. cemetery photos. Compiled from archival records of the Jewish Community in Copenhagen, with an index by (book reference) for old burial list. Jul. Margolinsky. 2nd photostat edition published in Copenhagen, 1965. Description: 34p. 25 cm. at University of Florida, Smathers Judaica, F2105 .T9 1965.[July 2010]

Epitaphs from the Jewish Cemetery in St. Thomas. 1837-1916. SC-3233 and Microfilm No. 3002 [location? American Jewish Archives?] St. Thomas Hebrew Congregation Deed for land purchased by the St. Thomas Hebrew Congregation for use as a cemetery. 1868. SC-13470 [location? American Jewish Archives?] St. Thomas Hebrew Congregation Deed for land purchased by the St. Thomas Hebrew Congregation for use as a cemetery. 1868. SC-13470. 299 epitaphs (in French or English) in the Jewish cemetery in St. Thomas, 1837-1916 at American Jewish Archives, 3101 Clifton Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio 45220-2488; phone (513) 221-1875:

Listed in Tagger, Mathilde. Printed Books on Jewish Cemeteries in the Jewish National and University Library in Jerusalem: an annotated bibliography. Jerusalem: The Israel Genealogical Society, 1997

Compiled from archival records of the Jewish Community in Copenhagen, with an index by Jul. Margolinsky. 2nd Photostat edition published in Copenhagen, 1965. Description: 34p. 25 cm. at University of Florida, Smathers Judaica, F2105 .T9 1965; source: Bernard Kouchel This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Savan Jewish Cemetery: [July 2010]

Last Updated on Saturday, 31 July 2010 19:45
 
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