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A View on The Halakhic Status of the Congregation “Siva Darkhey Y’sharim” – the Judeo-Creoles of Suriname
By H.A. Oron

In the latter part of the eighteenth century, a group of about hundred and fifty people18 who regarded themselves as Jews, origanised their own congregation or fraternity in defiance of the way they were treated in the two existent synagogues of the Sephardi and Ashkenazi communities in Paramaribo, Suriname. Though they most of them had enjoyed a Jewish education, and the men at least were allowed into the synagogues, as a group they were not recognised as full Jews, and even denied the right to become proselytes. The name of this congregation was Siva Darkhey Y’sharim ‘He [G-d] has made smooth the Paths of the Righteous’. [Read more]


Antecedents and Remnants of Jodensavanne
By Rachel Frankel

Today all that remains of Jodensavanne, the first permanent Jewish plantation settlement in the Americas, is a brick ruin of the formerly grand synagogue, the first of any architectural significance in the New World. Additionally there remain two overgrown cemeteries each with marble and bluestone graves inscribed primarily in Hebrew and Portuguese, some with illustrative imagery. Also, there exists a third weathering cemetery with uniquely and artistically crafted wood and concrete grave markers. [Read more]


Beschrijving Jodensavanne 1828
By M.D. Teenstra

De Joden Savane is een weinig beteekenend dorp of eene buurtschap, zijnde een eigendom en de voormalige zetel van Portugesche Joden, doch nu meer en meer in verval gerakende, liggende in de divisie Boven-Suriname, tien uren en dus twee tijen varens boven Paramaribo, echter aan de andere zijde (en dus in het opvaren aan den linkeroever) der rivier Suriname, alwaar dit romaneske dorpje op eene hooge zandrits gebouwd is. Dan ten einde dit dorpje eenigermate te doen kennen, zal ik hier een uittreksel uit mijn reisjournaal laten volgen. [Read more]


CREOLE JEWS: Negotiating Community in Colonial Suriname

“I was born in 1936. My mother came from an orthodox family; she was Portuguese. As a little boy, her father still lived at Jodensavanne. He visited the city [Paramaribo] only during the [Jewish] holidays. At home, we lived quite kosher and made our own salted beef. My brothers had to attend the synagogue services during Sabbath. My mother was very strict about this. And when there was no minjan2, poor Jews were paid for their presence.” [Read more]


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