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ShoreTrips logo Shore Excursions - City Tours - Day Activities

PRIVATE HISTORY OF THE JEWS OF CURACAO

Private Tour for up to 4 (Not a per person rate.) $582 USD
Private Tour for up to 6 (Not a per person rate.) $758 USD
Private Tour for up to 8 (Not a per person rate.) $873 USD
*Selections and optional choices will be made during checkout

PRIVATE HISTORY OF THE JEWS OF CURACAO

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ShoreTrips says...

To retain its young population, Curacao has instituted a law that requires people to retire at 65. This year, our wonderful guide has reached that number and the government will not renew her license to drive people. We know, though, that the knowledge she has is irreplaceable. Therefore, we have contracted with her to do this tour using a taxi. Since she won't be driving she'll be able to direct all of her attention to you.

Your Jewish tour takes you into an amazing past. The first Jew who set foot on the island was Samuel Cohen, an interpreter, pilot, and guide to Johan van Walbeeck, the Dutch naval commander who took Curacao from the Spanish in 1634. In 1651, a group of 12 families arrived under the guidance of Joao d'Yllan and settled in the "Jewish Quarter."

Your tour will include this area, which is now in the center of the oil refinery because the famous Beth Haim cemetery is still there. You will also travel to a Jewish countryhouse and the Maduro Library before moving into the residential area for the present Jews on the island and you can explore an Ashkenaz synagogue. Another section of the city will offer an array of 17th century baroque Dutch architecture, homes once occupied by prominent Jewish families. The highlight of this tour is the most beautiful Mikve Israel Synagogue, built in 1732. This Synagogue and its ancient ritual objects bear witness to the long and peaceful history of the Jewish people in Curacao. Your tour will also include the Jewish Historical Museum with its exquisite ceremonial silver, many of it in the typical filigree style. The last stop will be the already mentioned Beth Haim cemetery, the oldest Sephardic cemetery of the Western hemisphere. The inscriptions on the marble tombstones are of historical importance; they offer information about the countries and towns that the Jews from Curacao traded with. You'll hear about the Touro family that emigrated from Curacao to North America with a group in 1693. (The famous Touro Synagogue at Newport, Rhode Island was named after one of them). This is an exceptional tour. It just took one of these stops to give me goosebumps!

Barry and I were excited to arrive in Curacao. We both had a secret passion to visit this island. Our first meeting was an early breakfast with a very special lady, and it turned out that she set the tone for our entire island stay. We were impressed beyond belief at her qualifications and her background. She has degrees in psychology, geology, biology, and archeology, and moved to Curacao 39 years ago from Holland. We were terribly fortunate to have this be our first encounter on the island because her introduction to Curacao made everything more meaningful during our stay. We were on this island on September 11, 2001.

  • This Tour Includes:
  • Private vehicle
  • Expert local guide
  • A glimpse into Curacao's Jewish past
  • See/Visit:
  • Beth Haim Cemetery
  • Ashkenaz synagogue
  • Mikve Israel Synagogue
  • Jewish Historical Museum

Days of Operation

Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun
Mon - yes
Tue - yes
Wed - yes
Thu - yes
Fri - yes
Sat - no
Sun - yes

Departures (local time)

  • 8:30 AM (3 hrs)
  • 9:30 AM (3 hrs)

Transfer / Meeting Instructions

No Taxi Required Specific pick up or taxi instructions will appear on your voucher after you purchase your trip.

Special Instructions

• The price of this tour includes transportation in an air-conditioned van, services of a local guide, entrance fees, and bottled water.
• There is only one terrific guide on the island who is knowledgeable about Jewish history. Please book this tour as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

Restrictions

• This tour is not available on Saturdays and will be restricted on most Jewish holidays.