Caribbean Jewry: A Diverse Community
When one thinks of the Caribbean, typically he/she would think of a region of African descendants, and of course, European settlers who colonized the region in the late 15th century. The history of the Jews in Latin America began with Conversos who joined the Spanish and Portuguese expeditions to the continents. By the late 16th century, fully functioning Jewish communities were founded in the Portuguese colony of Brazil, the Dutch Suriname, and Curacao; Spanish Santo Domingo, and the English colonies of Jamaica and Barbados. To discuss the history of Jews in in the Caribbean, and share his own rich Jamaican Jewish family history, I am joined by Ainsley Henriques, a Jamaican Jew and Administrator of Kahal Kadosh Sha’are Shalom, also referred to as the United Congregation of Israelites, in Kingston, Jamaica. Ainsley Henriques is also Israel’s Honorary Consul in Jamaica.