Puerto rico is currently home to the largest jewish community in the caribbean with over 3000 jews supporting four synagogues three in the capital city of san juan one each reform conservative and chabad as well as a satmar community in the western part of the island in the town of mayagez known as toiras jesed for. History of the jews of the caribbean by ralph gbennett the year 1992 marked the 500th anniversary of the landing of columbus in the new world it also marked a less publicized anniversary that of the beginning of what is known as the second diaspora when the jews were expelled from spain and re settled throughout the world. The jews in the caribbean the littman library of jewish civilization jane s gerber on amazoncom free shipping on qualifying offers the portuguese jewish diaspora was born out of a double tragedy the expulsion of the jews from spain in 1492 and the forced conversion expulsion of the jews from portugal in 1497 the potent combination of expulsion. Jews in the caribbean were largely employed as merchants and in st eustatius they illegally smuggled arms ammunition and supplies to the american rebels during the american revolutionary war . The jews of the caribbean project brings to light this little known and quickly disappearing 520 year old history of the oldest jewish communities and synagogues in the western hemisphere after columbus expedition in 1492 the west indies became a place of salvation for sephardic jews fleeing the spanish and portuguese inquisitions
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