This tour explores Curaçao's Jewish heritage and visits the Western Hemisphere's oldest synagogue. Board your air-conditioned transportation and drive to Willemstad's Scharloo District, home to old colonial mansions built by the island's Jewish merchants. Intolerance and the Inquisition drove Iberian Jews first to Brazil, then to Curaçao. The island's thin volcanic soil made conventional farming a near impossibility, forcing the immigrants to turn to commerce. Visit Beth Haim Cemetery, consecrated in 1659, and a repository of superb funerary art. Drive to Landhuis Bloemhof, mansion of a Sephardim family, bought by Mrs Emma Maduro-Lopez and used in the past as a family retreat and vacation house. Tour Landhuis Bloemhof with its excellent collections of art and some artifacts from Curaçao's Jewish past. Your final destination is Mikve Emmanuel Israel, the oldest synagogue in constant use the Western Hemisphere, built in 1732.
Tour does not operate on Saturdays, Sundays or Jewish holidays. Modest attire is required; knees, shoulders and midriffs must be covered. Men must wear a kippot (skullcap) in the synagogue (one will be provided for your use).