Bridgetown, Barbados

And then there is Bridgetown Barbados. British complete with right hand drive cars and an upper crust accent by those who are educated. According to several locals with whom I spoke, the town is turning more and more to tourism as a key part of the economy. The downstream effects are not insignificant.

For those who are students of American history – it was at Bridgetown, Barbados in 1751 where George Washington became ill with and survived Smallpox. There are statues, there is the former Trafalgar Square.

And there is Nidhe Israel Synagogue. Constructed ~ 1648 it was the first in the New World. Built by Sephardic Jews leaving Portugal (the Inquisition made that land a not particularly nice place to be) and augmented years later by Jews expelled from England at the high point the community numbered close to 700. The community was an interesting mix of Jews, Marranos, and Conversos.

Due to the efforts of the defendants one family of Jewish Polish immigrants (1930s) – the building was rescued from distraction in the 1980s and reconstructed as a Museum. The Mikvah was discovered with the excavation of the car park several years later. The cemetery, dating from the 1600s is still in use.

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