Copy of Plan de la ville de Paramaribo marking the town’s synagogues

Rectangular map against black background. Hand colored in pastel shades. The map of Paramaribo featues the river in the upper right and two synagogues in the town grid: Neve Shalom and Tzedek ve-Shalom.

Jacques Nicolas Bellin (French, 1703-1772). Copy of Plan de la ville de Paramaribo marking the town’s synagogues. c. 1772. Amsterdam. G5264.P3 1772.B5 CARTA.
Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica, Special & Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida.

The Jewish community of Suriname is one of the oldest in the Americas. Jews arrived there from Holland and other parts of the Dutch colonies during the Inquisition period. This detailed map of Suriname’s capital city, Paramaribo, reveals that several Jewish communities were well-established there by the late 18th century.

Two synagogues are featured on the map: Neve Shalom and Tzedek ve-Shalom. Neve Shalom was built in 1719. It served both the Ashkenazi and Sephardi communities until differences arose between them, and the building was sold to the Ashkenazi Jews in 1735. The following year, the Sephardi Jews founded Tzedek ve-Shalom.

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