Temple Nidhe Israel,BridgetownI came upon a book not too long ago titled Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean . I stared incredulously at the title wondering if I was seeing things. Turns out my people were accomplished sailors and some of Europe’s top Navigators. They were also rather adept at Trade…and skilled in Spy craft. This led them acting on behalf the English, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese to the New World and surrounding islands. When I read that one of the oldest Synagogues in the new world was in Bridgetown, I knew I would have to make the pilgrimage and take a few hours off from the beach. Jews from South America fled intolerance for once…and ended up this time on an island paradise running the sugar trade. Temple Nidhe Israel was established in 1654 and still strands in Bridgetown, Barbados.Though it has dwindled there still is a small Jewish population on the island and the Temple still has services. There is a museum there as well on the history of Bajan Jews.

Now as a very wise man once said to me a long time ago “life is about the journey, not the destination”, well getting to the Temple, this was most certainly the case. My adventure started on the side of the road waiting for the Bus into town…when that didn’t show up I hopped into one of the Mini Vans that go around the island charging $1. This one was all Rasta’ed out(see pic) and nice and packed. The Mini Vans go into the back of town so getting out I had no idea where to go. I saw a couple of Police Officers and asked them how to get to the Temple. One of the Police Women said follow me and the next thing I knew I was being escorted through Bridgetown all the way to the Temple! Officer Sophie was pretty cool sharing info on Barbados, the recent election, how things are changing for the better and not so much, and asking me about NYC. Kudos to Officer Sophie and the Bridgetown Police Department. I’ll let the pictures of the Temple and of Bridgetown tell the rest…

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