Visu­al Arts

Jew­ish Trea­sures of the Caribbean

Wyatt Gallery; Jonathan Sar­na (Fore­word)
  • From the Publisher
December 1, 2016
This pho­to­graph­ic essay high­lights the lit­tle-known his­to­ry of the first Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ties estab­lished in the New World dat­ing to the 1600s. Award-win­ning pho­tog­ra­ph­er Wyatt Gallery doc­u­ments the old­est syn­a­gogues and ceme­ter­ies on Bar­ba­dos, Cura­cao, Jamaica, St. Thomas, St. Eusta­tius, and Suri­name through his sin­gu­lar style of pho­tos with his­to­ries writ­ten by Stan­ley Mirvis. The enclaves, formed by Sephardic Jews who fled the Catholic Inqui­si­tion, became so influ­en­tial that they helped fuel the suc­cess of the Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion and par­tial­ly finance the first syn­a­gogues in New York City and New­port, Rhode Island. Once home to thou­sands, today these his­toric com­mu­ni­ties are rapid­ly dwin­dling and could soon dis­ap­pear. Only five his­toric syn­a­gogues remain in use, and many of the ceme­ter­ies have been dam­aged or lost to nat­ur­al dis­as­ters, van­dal­ism, and pol­lu­tion. These pho­tographs bear wit­ness to the lega­cy of New World Judaism and pro­vide a record for future generations.

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