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Origin and Development of Judaism

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By kashara
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TABLE OF ILLUSTRATIONS Fig. 1 how Judaism came to the Caribbean. Fig. 2 challenges faced by early Jews. Fig. 3.1 development of Judaism in Jamaica Fig. 3.2 the Hillel Academy School


2. To find out the challenges faced by the early Jews and how they impacted on their traditional practices.

3. To find out how Judaism is developed in Jamaica

METHOD OF DATA COLLECTION METHOD USED TO COLLECT DATA | WHERE DATA WAS COLLECTED | WHEN DATA WAS COLLECTED | INSTRUMENTS USED TO COLLECT DATA | Research | Gordon Crescent Granville | June 8, 2015 | Paper and pen | | Gordon Crescent Granville | June 18,2015 | Tablet and laptop. | | Gordon Crescent Granville | November 29, 2015 | Pencil and book | | St. James Parish Library | December 22, 2015 | Notepad and Pen |

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS According to L. Carman et al “Judaism came to the Caribbean during inquisition, (a law set up by Queen Isabella that all non- Christians should be killed) in around 1493. Emigration from Brazil in around 1664. The Sephardic Jews (Jews who originate from the Iberian Peninsula- that is mother day Spain, Portugal, Andorra, Gibraltar and France).” Well however R. Bennett, states that “Judaism came to the Caribbean in around 1492 when Christopher Columbus landed in the New World, where Jews were expelled from Spain. Settlements in the New World offered opportunity for many Jews, where the hoped to escape persecution faced in Europe.” Fig.1 Ariel Scheib states that challenges faced by the early set of Jews were that “they were prohibited from holding public offices and had to work on their Sabbaths, they were not allowed anymore to worship in public, the burning down of the synagogues in Kingston, the destruction of the synagogue Montego Bay, Jamaica by an earthquake.” This impacted on the Jews lives causing them to hook up causing synagogues to attempt to merge. The Shaare Shalom was destroyed by an earthquake this impacted the Jews that they thought about reconstructing it, so that they were able to worship the God of heaven that they refer to as Yahweh. Fig. 2 According to Carman et al, “Judaism in Jamaica developed after the Jews found freedom to thrive and practice religion in Caribbean countries.” However Scheib states that approximately two hundred Jews reside in Jamaica but only 75 attend High Holiday services. Females weren’t allowed to be a part of the minyan but in today’s society they are welcome for practical reasons. Since the jews were granted the the right to have public worship the established a school with the name Hillel Academy School. fig. 3.1 Fig. 3.2 ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION Fig. 1 According to Lucy Carman, et al, “Judaism came to the Caribbean around the same time as Christopher Columbus (1493). Jews were persecuted and killed in Spain, and later in Portugal, as a part of inquisition. Many Jews fled to the Caribbean and some became parts of Columbus’ crew. On Caribbean islands Jews found freedom and peace to practice religion.” While R. Bennett states that “Judaism came to the Caribbean in around 1492 when Christopher Columbus landed in the new world where Jews were expelled from Spain and re-settled throughout the world. For many Jews, settlements offered an opportunity for many Jews where they hoped to escape persecution they had been subjected to in Europe. Lucy Carman also said that” Judaism came to the Caribbean through the emigration from Brazil. Where most of the Jews that arrived in the Caribbean were Sephardic Jews- Jews who originated from the Iberian Peninsula (modern day Spain, Portugal, Andorra, Gibraltar and France.) other European Jews came to Caribbean during the second war. Around 1664, large numbers of Jews began arriving in the Caribbean from Brazil; they fled to Brazil in order to escape persecution in Portugal.

Fig. 2 According to Ariel Scheib, challenges faced by early Jews were: “they were prohibited from holding public office and had to work on their Sabbaths the burning down of the synagogues in Kingston, Jamaica and the destruction of the synagogue in Montego Bay, Jamaica, by an earthquake and a hurricane.” The Jews were allowed to worship in public and hold public offices but in 1783 they were prohibited from holding public office and had to work on their Sabbaths, and also had to pay extra taxes. The synagogue that was consecrated in Montego Bay in 1840 was destroyed by a hurricane in 1912. The Shaar Hashamayim and the Kingston Ashkenazi was ruined by the great fire of 1882. The original Shaare Shalom was destroyed by an earthquake in 1907 along with the Neveh Shalom synagogue in Spanish Town. Despite the restrictions they impacted on the Jews life, allowing them to seek to continue to make the Jewish community grow and prosper. They even got involved in sugar and vanilla industries of the island. In 1530, the Jews introduced sugar cultivation to the island and were also leaders in the Island’s international trade and shipping companies. Many years, Jews demanded emancipation and political rights, and on December 19, 1831, they were granted official recognition and equality in the land and also they were permitted to vote in the elections and so the Jewish population increased and it was at 2535.The destruction of the synagogues did not stop the Jews from working with each other to re-establish a synagogue and in spite of all the challenges they faced they re-established two synagogues: the Shaare Shalom and the Ashkenazim, and in 1921 the congregation of both synagogues agreed to amalgamate, causing only one synagogue to stand in today.

Fig. 3.1 Carman says that “in the Caribbean today Jews have brought wealth and development to the Caribbean islands and in exchange they have found freedom to thrive and practice their religion. Jews are mostly found in Caribbean islands such as: Jamaica, Barbados and Puerto Rico.” However Scheib states that ”approximately 200 Jews reside in Jamaica today, predominately in Kingston, while there is only one synagogue an only 75 attend High Holiday services. Females weren’t counted as minyan but now they are and it started in 1970s for practical reasons. The synagogue ark contains thirteen Torah scrolls, many of which has been preserved from the past synagogues on the island. Jews were once orthodox, Rabbi Kaplan was ordained at the reform Movement's Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem, and he introduced Debbie Friedman's Mi Sheberach into the services in the 2010s; and aims to replace the classical American Reform organ music and British Jewish hymns now in the siddurim with more modern tunes from local Jamaican musical traditions - especially because the country is the birthplace of amazing reggae music. During every service, the congregation still recites the Portuguese prayer, “for our brethren who are imprisoned by the Inquisition.”The Jews in the Jamaican community today are very diverse: they are Ashkenazi and Sephardic, black and white, and come from a myriad of geographic locations. Cantor Carl Stick is a black descendant from the Mendez family, one of the first Jewish families in Jamaica. Rabbi Kaplan has helped Jamaicans with Jewish ancestry who wants to return to Judaism convert, though there is much skepticism and opposition from some other community members, who actually shut Kaplan's program down. As Kaplan sees it, "conversion is key," because the community is so small and there are many Jamaicans with Jewish heritage who want to convert. The Jamaican Jews, though small in number, are a highly respected minority group.” Today in Jamaica there is a Jewish communal organization that is active nondenominational Hillel Academy School, founded in 1969. Since Jamaica’s independence in 1962, Israel and Jamaica have maintained full diplomatic relations. The Israeli ambassador in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic represents the government of Israel’s interests in Jamaica.

Fig. 3.2


BIBLOGRAPHY, Ralph G. Bennett, Ariel Scheib Jews around the world,, Ed Kritzler,

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