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STEP 2 - JRF Salutes Legacy Book - Congregational Information Form
STEP 2 - JRF Salutes Legacy Book - Congregational Information Form
Submitted by Anonymous
Friday, January 13, 2012 - 7:35am
Congregation's Official Name:
What is the name of the city in which this congregation is located?
In which state or province is your congregation located?
What is your name?
Year of Founding:
In what year was your congregation founded?
President: Rene Levy Maduro Vice President: Greggory Moreno Secretary: Daniela Cohen Henriquez Treasurer: Robert Moron Assessor: Anthony da Costa Gomez Director: Brenda Campbell Director: Christine Cheis Spiritual Leader: Hazzan Avery Tracht Chairman, Board of Elders: Ron Gomes-Casseres
Please name your congregation's current officers and their positions.
About Your Community:
The first Jew to arrive in Curaçao was Samuel Cohen. He served as an interpreter on board the Dutch fleet under the command of Johan van Walbeeck, which conquered the island from the Spanish in 1634. A few years later, in 1651, Joao d’Ylan brought 10 to 12 Jewish families from the Amsterdam Portuguese community to Curaçao and established Congregation Mikvé Israel in that same year. A second group of settlers followed in 1659 under the patronage of Isaac da Costa and brought with them on loan from the Amsterdam Synagogue one of our first Torahs, probably from the 14th century, still used today in the Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue. These settlers were originally from Spain and Portugal; they had fled the Inquisition and found refuge first in Holland, then in Northern Brazil and later on in Curaçao. The first settlers had consecrated a house of worship on Plantation De Hoop, as well as in 1659 the historic Beth Haim cemetery. But when the Jews moved to town they consecrated a first synagogue in town (1674). This original synagogue was replaced three times with larger buildings and in 1703 they built their first synagogue, on the same site where our current synagogue stands today. When this house of worship became too small to house the flourishing Jewish community of Curaçao, they tore that one down to construct the current building. The architecture of the new synagogue, which was inaugurated in 1732, was modeled after the ‘Esnoga’, the Portuguese Sephardic synagogue in Amsterdam. Still in use today, our congregation’s ‘Snoa’ is the oldest synagogue in continuous use in the Americas and stands proudly in the middle of Punda, in Willemstad, Curaçao’s capital city, a UNESCO World Heritage City. Its remarkable architecture, solid mahogany interior, 18th century copper chandeliers, and sand covered floor have made it one of the most cherished monuments in Curaçao. At the turn of the nineteenth century, the Jewish Community in Curaçao was the largest, most important and wealthiest Jewish congregation in the New World. The congregation gave financial contributions to build synagogues and consecrate cemeteries in new communities in the hemisphere such as in Newport (Rhode Island), New York (New York), Kingston (Jamaica), St. Eustatius (Netherlands Antilles), Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), Charleston (South Carolina), Rio Hacha (Colombia), St. Thomas (Virgin Islands), and Panama. The Jews who arrived in Curaçao centuries ago were of Sephardic descent and followed orthodox rituals and customs. Years of living in fear of persecution and migrating in search of a new home undoubtedly had its effects on the customs and rituals which the newly formed Congregation Mikvé Israel developed in the early days. In the middle of the nineteenth century these rituals were being questioned by a portion of the community. They wanted to introduce music and more liberal rituals. Finally, fueled also by competitive-commercial interests, a third of the congregation started its own congregation in 1864 which followed the principles of the Reform movement in the United Kingdom and Germany. They built the magnificent Tempel Emanuel, and consecrated their own cemetery at Berg Altena. Exactly 100 years later the congregations united and formed United Congregation Mikvé Israel-Emanuel. The United Congregation chose to follow the rituals of, and affiliate with, the Reconstructionist Federation of America in 1966. It allowed preserving some of the historical and traditional customs of both Congregations. In 2000, Congregation Mikvé Israel-Emanuel adapted its rituals once again, becoming fully egalitarian in religious services. Often referred to as the ‘Mother Congregation of the Americas’, United Congregation Mikvé Israel-Emanuel in Curaçao is the oldest active Jewish congregation in the Americas. Unlike many other early Jewish communities in the region, the congregation in Curaçao has remained active throughout the centuries. The history of our people is testimony to our deep roots in Curaçao and continued commitment to our Jewish heritage.
Please provide a paragraph or so about your community. Who's a part of it? What sets your congregation apart?
Now, please give us some information about your photos
In the boxes below, please type the name of each Photo, using the naming instructions from the e-mail. File naming instructions: Congregation Name.State.Category.(#).jpg For instance, if Congregation Beit Tikvah in Maryland has a picture that represents Tikkun Olam, it should look like this: CongregationBeitTikvah.MD.TikkunOlam.jpg If Congregation Beit Tikvah in Maryland has 2 pictures that represent Tikkun Olam, they should add a number after the Category to let us know which picture of Tikkun Olam we are seeing. It should look like this: CongregationBeitTikvah.MD.TikkunOlam.1.jpg. Please also give us the caption that should go along with each photo.
Photo 1 Name:
Photo 1 Caption:
In this box, please write the caption that should go along with Photo 1.
Photo 2 Name:
Photo 2 Caption:
In this box, please write the caption that should go along with Photo 2.
Photo 3 Name:
Photo 3 Caption:
In this box, please write the caption that should go along with Photo 3.
Photo 4 Name:
Photo 4 Caption:
In this box, please write the caption that should go along with Photo 4.
Photo 5 Name:
Photo 5 Caption:
In this box, please write the caption that should go along with Photo 5.
Photo 6 Name:
Photo 6 Caption:
In this box, please write the caption that should go along with Photo 6.
Photo 7 Name:
Photo 7 Caption:
In this box, please write the caption that should go along with Photo 7.
Photo 8 Name:
Photo 8 Caption:
In this box, please write the caption that should go along with Photo 8.
Photo 9 Name:
Photo 9 Caption:
In this box, please write the caption that should go along with Photo 9.
Photo 10 Name:
Photo 10 Caption:
In this box, please write the caption that should go along with Photo 10.