Jewish Synagogue, Bridgetown, St. Michael, Barbados Pocket Guide

The Jewish Synagogue

The capital of Barbados, Bridgetown can lay claim to many historical buildings and artifacts which add to its richness as a place to roam while visiting the island. One such gem which is not much publicized is the Bridgetown Jewish Synagogue.




The birth of the Jewish society in Barbados dates back to the 17th Century, where after an uprising following extreme persecution in South America, a group of some three hundred (300) Jews, fled and settled in Barbados. The Synagogue, which is located in Synagogue Lane and is in relatively close proximity to The Central Police Station, say approximately two hundred (200) yds or so from Broad Street, is the first so constructed in the western hemisphere.


A massive restoration exercise was undertaken in the early 1980s which has brought the synagogue to its present state. There is also a cemetery in which only Jews are buried. It is fully claimed and recognized as a heritage site and falls under the aegis of The Barbados National Trust and is in use by the local Jewish community, though meetings and some services may be held at private residences from time to time.


The Mikvah

Mikvah at the Jewish Synagogue, Bridgetown, St. Michael, Barbados Pocket GuideTheir is a natural body of water that exists in the base of the Mikvah that was used in those times as an immersion bath or pool. Such water was used back in the day as a symbol of purity when it came to menstruating women, pregnant women or women about to get married. It would be safe to say that a rebirth takes place once one enters the waters of the Mikvah as both men and women with spiritual needs would go here for purification. In the late 19th century, after the disappearance of the Sephardic community, the Mikvah became filled with loads of debris. Upon clearance, the spring on which the Mikvah had been  constructed, in accordance with hakakah or religious law, flowed again and filled the bath to its present existing levels.


In 2011, Barbados can "speak to" there being in the vicinity of 30 Jews who live on the island.


The Synagogue is open to the public during the week. Monday to Friday 9:00 am - 12 noon and then from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm.


Artefacts on Display at the Jewish Synagogue, Bridgetown, St. Michael, Barbados Pocket Guide


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