The Library celebrates its 100th anniversary!

A Kippah in the Caribbean

— March 31, 2016

Share on social media:
On Wednesday April 6th the Educational film: A Kippah in the Caribbean will be screened at the library . Hans Ziekenoppasser, expert on Dutch Caribbean Jewish history will give an introduction to the film and will answer questions from the audience.
A Kippah in the Caribbean
A Kippah in the Caribbean is a documentary about Jewish-Caribbean identity produced by Tanja Fraaij and Mike Ho Sam Sooi. The documentary searches for answers to the following questions: What is it like to be Jewish when you have Caribbean roots? What traces of Jewish identity can still be found in Antillean and Surinamese customs, language, and cooking? How does the future look for the Jewish community in Curacao, Aruba, and Suriname.

The film includes the voices of about twenty Caribbean Jews. One of them is the 17-year-old Surinamese Jew Achira Beck, a student at the Maimonides Jewish school, who keeps the day of rest, Shabbat, every Saturday. No eating, no playing football in the street, no telephone calls until the sun goes down. A difficult challenge, according to another Jewish teenager, Yermo Abrahams: ‘It seems as if it would be like taking away my freedom." Tamara, Ilena, and Elizabeth Winkel, three sisters in Curacao, had a Jewish upbringing rooted in family ties and traditions. There’s a special sense of belonging when they visit Curacao’s synagogue, the Snoa, with other Jewish families on Yom Kippur. ‘A warm, homey feeling.’ A 400-year history The film follows in the footsteps of the Jews who were driven out of Portugal and Spain, first to Amsterdam and Brazil, and finally to Curacao and Suriname. There they established a successful economy based on plantations and trading. Trade also flourished on the island of Sint Eustatius, thanks to the Jewish influence. What remains of these communities, which at their height had thousands of members? Many people are concerned about what the future may bring. ‘Curacao’s beautiful Snoa will become a museum and no longer function as an active community,’ says Paulette Smit of Curacao. Bob Pinedo, whose family left for Curacao exactly 300 years ago, agrees that it will be ‘very difficult’ for the Jewish community to endure. ‘I hope it will. The documentary was made in connection with the exhibition Jews in the Caribbean, which has been on show in Amsterdam's Jewish Historical Museum for the past few monthsThe general public is invited to the first screening of “a kippah in the Caribbean “ on Wednesday April 6th at 6.30 pm at the Philipsburg Jubilee Library. The entrance is free. For more info contact your library at tel. 542 2970 or e-mail

More Articles →
Litemoon logo