Friday, February 12, 2010

Synagogues: Jamaica

The Jewish community of Jamaica recently held a conference on the Jewish Diaspora of the Caribbean (Jan. 12-14, 2010). I'll have more to say about this fabulous conference in future posts, but in the meantime, I wanted to highlight the architecture of Kingston Synagogue Kahal Kadosh Shaare Shalom of the United Congregation of Israelites.

This magnificent building was built in 1885 and then reconstructed in 1911 following an earthquake that destroyed much of Kingston.

The building recalls the architecture of many of the older Spanish-Portuguese synagogues of the Caribbean: it has sand floors and rich mahogany. The women's section is in an upstairs balcony held up by pillars. Like the Curacao congregation, this synagogue has an organ. Today the gardens of the synagogue also house gravestones from one of the destroyed cemeteries.

Enjoy the Video of Eli Gabay (sp?) singing in the synagogue.


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