ABOUT US

Jews have been recorded living in Aruba since the 16th century. In 1754, Moses Solomon Levie Maduro settled in Aruba with his wife and six children; the family remained in Aruba until 1816. Maduro came from a prominent Portuguese Jewish family in Curacao. Maduro worked for the Dutch West Indies Company and founded the Aruba branch, Maduro and Sons.After the arrival of the Maduros, several other European families moved to Aruba. 

By 1867, there were 23 Jews living on the island. Although, the Jewish population in Aruba grew over the years, it became difficult to establish an organized communal association.

There is an Old Jewish Cemetery in Oranjestad, which contains eight gravestones dating back to 1563. The cemetery did not begin to be utilized by Jewish settlers regularly until 1837. These gravestones are the only indication of Jewish presence on the island in the past centuries.

In 1942, the community created the Jewish Country Club on Palm Beach. This center was utilized for such life-cycle events as weddings and bar/bat mitzvahs. By 1946, the Jewish Country Club was officially recognized in Aruba as a center for worship, Hebrew school, and social events.

On December 1, 1956, the Dutch Kingdom officially recognized the Jewish community of Aruba. By the 1960s, however, as many young Jews left Aruba for the United States, the Jewish Country Club was closed. 

On November 4, 1962, the Beth Israel Synagogue was consecrated in Oranjestad. Both Beth Israel and the Jewish Community of Aruba (Israelitische Gemeente) share their place of worship. Because the community is so small, there is a joint congregation blending both Ashkenazi and Sephardic traditions. 

The Jewish Community of Aruba is lead by Rabbi Daniel Kripper.