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Honen Dalim Synagoge

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HISTORY

The synagogue was built in 1739 with financial support from the Punda Synagogue in Curaçao. There was mutual disagreement between the Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews on St. Eustatius, the disagreements ran so high that Commander Jan de Windt had to set up an arbitration committee in 1760 to calm the parties. During the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War, the island was conquered in 1781 by the English Admiral Rodney. He imprisoned much of the Jewish community and confiscated their property. Rodney also deported a third of the Jewish population to Saint Kitts. After the island was recaptured by the French and returned to the Netherlands, the Jewish inhabitants returned, but the community never recovered and after a hurricane in 1792 - which ripped off the roof of the building - the synagogue was closed. more recovered. It is now a monument on Sint Eustatius. A mikveh (ritual bath) was discovered in 2005, making it the oldest mikveh in America.

WHY THIS PLACE

The first Jewish people settled in Statia around 1660. In 1739, they built the Honen Dalim synagogue, which means 'charity to the poor'. The yellow stones that were used to erect this important Jewish monument were shipped from Holland. A devastating hurricane devastated the building in 1772, but it was rebuilt shortly afterwards to fall into disrepair again in the 19th century. In 2001, the exterior of the synagogue was restored and there are plans to completely restore the second oldest Jewish synagogue in the Western Hemisphere once funds are found.

CURIOSITIES

More than one hundred Jewish families lived in Santo Eustáquio when the American Revolution began in 1765. Among the first settlers were Abraham Issac Henriquez, David Seraiva and Daniel and Aron Cohen, Mozes Henriquez, Samuel Hoheb and Judah Cappe, in addition to Pinheiro, Obedientes and families Nunes. The community had a synagogue, Honen Dolim (“One who is charitable to the poor”).
Statia's waterfront was dotted with warehouses and docks that stretched out to sea, attracting an international and multilingual community of merchants, many of them Jews, who sold incredible varieties of goods and wares, as well as gunpowder and ammunition. In all, there were 20,000 people, enslaved and free, who called their home Golden Rock.

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