Congregation Emanu El Features Jewish Treasures of the Caribbean by Wyatt Gallery
Wyatt Gallery's Jewish Treasures of The Caribbean explores the little-known 520-year-old history of
the Sephardic Jewish people in the Caribbean. Seen through photographs of the
handful of remaining historic sites in Jamaica, Barbados, Curacao, Suriname, Nevis,
St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. Eustatius - we witness the legacy of Judaism and a
rarely explored facet of Caribbean history. These remaining monuments are the oldest
synagogues and Jewish cemeteries in the Western hemisphere and beautifully
exemplify the strength of the Jewish people as well as the surprisingly diverse culture
of the Caribbean.
Synagogue in St. Thomas
Now facing extinction, the Sephardic Jewish community of the Caribbean was once so
influential that it helped fuel the success of the American Revolution and finance the first
synagogues in the United States, located in New York City and Rhode Island.
Only 5 synagogues remain and almost half of the original cemeteries are either falling
apart, or have been lost to natural disasters, vandalism, and pollution from nearby oil
refineries. The few historic landmarks still in use are little known gems of the Caribbean
and invaluable landmarks in the Jewish history of survival.
This photographic exhibit at Emanu El will be on view from March 20 to May 10, 2014, and is running in conjunction with FotoFest.
The opening reception will be Thursday, March 20 from 6:30-8:30 p,m, and everyone is
invited to attend.