Jews have lived in Curacao for over 350 years. The community peaked in 1800 with over 2,000 Jews living on the island, many of them slave-owners who ran large sugar plantations. Today, the population has dwindled to about 450.
Consecrated on the eve of Passover in 1732, Curacao is also home to the oldest extant synagogue in the New World. The Mikve Israel-Emanuel Synagogue covers about a square block, right in the heart of Willemstad, and is a fine example of Dutch architecture.