With nearly 400 years of history on display, the Jewish Cultural Historical Museum strives to preserve and display the heritage of Jewish Curaçao for generations to come.

Explore the history of Jewish Curaçao!

At the museum, visitors can view our permanent exhibits, which include a timeline of Jewish life on the island and a ritual bath, and our rotating temporary exhibit, which explores stories about Jewish Curaçao. In the future, museum visitors will also be able to view our forthcoming War Annex that will focus on the Second World War and Curaçao. If you are unable to visit us in person, virtual visitors can view our digitized temporary exhibits on our Digital page.

Explore Our Exhibits

Permanent Exhibit

Learn about nearly 400 years of Jewish life in Curaçao!

War Annex

Learn about the Second World War in Jewish Curaçao!

One Story at a Time

Help preserve the stories of Jewish Curaçao!

visit us

Interested in exploring our physical exhibits? Plan your visit to the Jewish museum today!

Learn about nearly 400 years of Jewish life in Curaçao!

Immersive Experience

permanent exhibit

With exhibits that explore the arrival of the first Jew to Curaçao in 1634 to the  social, cultural, and economic impact of Jews on the Caribbean island, the Jewish Cultural Historical Museum provides visitors with an in-depth look into the past and present Jewish communities of Curaçao. 

As a ‘Living Museum,’ the museum’s collection includes objects loaned from the community’s Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue  that continue to be used in services at the synagogue today. Visitors also gain a first-hand look into the Jewish community of Curaçao through various films and videos in the museum.

Learn about the Second World War in Jewish Curaçao!

war annex

The forthcoming “War Annex” will expand the Jewish Cultural Historical Museum and be located in a building across the courtyard from the museum. The new space will allow visitors to explore stories about the Second World War and Jewish Curaçao. The annex will include exhibits about the history of the Second World War, the story of Anne Frank, and various local war stories.

Interested in learning more about the new “War Annex”? We are currently finalizing the project dossier and will start raising funds shortly. Check back in the coming months for more information on our timeline

WHO WAS GEORGE MADURO?

An example of a local war story you would learn about in the future war annex is that of George Maduro. George Maduro was a reserve-officer in the Dutch army who joined the Dutch resistance after Germany invaded the Netherlands in 1940. While in the resistance, George helped downed Allied pilots escape mainland Europe via Spain. He was later arrested by the Germans and died of Typhus in Dachau in February 1945. George was a descendant of one of the first Jewish families to settle in Curaçao in the 1650’s and 60’s

Want to learn more about George Maduro? Here are some articles we recommend:

WHO WAS GEORGE MADURO?

An example of a local war story you would learn about in the future war annex is that of George Maduro. George Maduro was a reserve-officer in the Dutch army who joined the Dutch resistance after Germany invaded the Netherlands in 1940. While in the resistance, George helped downed Allied pilots escape mainland Europe via Spain. He was later arrested by the Germans and died of Typhus in Dachau in February 1945. George was a descendant of one of the first Jewish families to settle in Curaçao in the 1650’s and 60’s

Want to learn more about George Maduro? Here are some articles we recommend:

Help preserve the stories of Jewish Curaçao!

Jewish Curaçao: One Story at a Time

Are you a current or previous member of the Jewish community of Curaçao or have ancestor(s) that lived in Curaçao? The Jewish Cultural Historical Museum of Curaçao wants to hear your  stories about Jewish Curaçao!

The museum’s forthcoming rotating “Jewish Curaçao: One Story at a Time” exhibit will share a different story about Jewish Curaçao every three months. Each of the rotating exhibits will focus on a different story or person connected to Jewish Curaçao. Participants will also have the option to include a family tree and display any relevant objects or heirlooms with the exhibit. An exhibit can be written by the person being spotlighted or anyone that knows the person and/or the story being highlighted.

As both a temporary and digital rotating exhibit, the “Jewish Curaçao: One Story at a Time” exhibit will spotlight a new story about Jewish Curaçao in the museum every three months, but a digital archive of all the past stories will be accessible on the museum’s website.

Help preserve the stories of Jewish Curaçao by submitting a story for the “Jewish Curaçao: One Story at a Time” exhibit!

past examples

Interested in participating, but you have questions? Email us:

Steps to complete the “Jewish Curaçao: One Story at a Time” exhibit submission:

This section is intended to be interactive, below are the steps you need to take to participate.

1. Select a story/person to highlight in the exhibit

The “Jewish Curaçao: One Story at a Time” exhibit can be done for yourself, anyone you know related to Jewish Curaçao, or about a Jewish Curaçao story you know. Think about if there is a certain story, family member, or loved one you have photos and memories of that you would like to share.

2. Write the exhibit text and title

Based on the story or person you selected for the exhibit, use the following questions as inspiration for the exhibit’s text. The end product should be a story about your chosen individual or story connected to Jewish Curaçao. The story must be a minimum of 400 words and a maximum of 1,200 words.

Biographical Information 

  1. What is their name? Do they have any nicknames?
  2. When were they born? Where were they born?
  3. What are the names of their parents? What about their grandparents?
  4. Are they married? If so, what is their spouse’s name and when did they get married?
  5. Do they have any children or grandchildren? If so, what are their names?
  6. What profession(s) are/were they involved in? What about their parents and grandparents?
  7. If deceased, please provide details of their death (i.e. when and where they passed and/or where they are buried).

Life in Curaçao

  1. What is their connection to Curaçao? What brought them to the island?
    1. Did they immigrate to Curaçao? If so, when did they immigrate to Curaçao and from where?
    2. Did their family immigrate to Curaçao? If so, when did their family immigrate to Curaçao and from where? 
  2. How long have they lived in Curaçao?
  3. Do they still live in Curaçao?
    1. If not, why did they and/or their family leave Curaçao? Where are they now living?
  4. Do they have any favorite stories from living or spending time in Curaçao?
  5. What do/did they do in Curaçao?

Jewish Life in Curaçao 

  1. Do/did they belong to a congregation in Curaçao?
    1. If so, what congregation do/did they belong to? What is/was their involvement like in their respective congregation?
    2. If not, do they belong to a congregation elsewhere?
  2. Are they involved in the Jewish community of Curaçao outside of their congregation? If so, in what ways are they involved in the community?
  3. Were they Bar or Bat Mitzvahed here? If so, please provide any details you know about it.
  4. Did they get married in Curaçao?
    1. If so, did they have a religious ceremony? Where was the wedding held? Who officiated the wedding? Any other details you wish to share?
  5. Were they observant in their home (i.e did they keep kosher, come together for Shabbat and holidays, etc?)
  6. How has Judaism impacted their life or influenced them?

Once you have written the exhibit text, please create an exhibit title that summarizes the story you wrote.

3. Select photos for the exhibit and caption them

Based on the text you wrote, select relevant photos of the person or story being highlighted. This could include photos of a wedding, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, synagogue services, etc. It could also include photos of a person’s parents, children or grandchildren, or other relevant family members. Make sure to include a short caption with each photo (such as, “Esther Levy with her husband, Abe Levy, at their wedding in 1978”). Please submit at least three photos with your text. You may submit up to 10 photos.

4. Create a family tree (optional)

Based on the person(s) highlighted in the text and/or the main people in the story you wrote, create their family tree using the following document. The family tree should include at least two or three generations above and below the person spotlighted (if available).

Including the family tree in the exhibit is optional, however we do ask that each submission include a completed family tree form so it can be entered into a comprehensive Jewish Curaçao family tree database. While we are aware that Sandra de Marchena has already created the Sephardic Jewish community of Curaçao database, the Museum aims to also start mapping a database of genealogical information of the Ashkenazi community of Curaçao through this project. We will work with Sandra de Marchena to integrate the information from both communities.

Make sure to mention in the submission email whether you want the family tree included in the exhibit or not.

5. Selecting objects for display (optional)

Objects or heirlooms that encapsulate the life of the person showcased or the relevant story can be displayed at the museum with the exhibit (i.e. if someone dedicated their life to saving trees, they may have been awarded something the family is very proud of and would like to display in their exhibit). If you do not feel comfortable loaning objects to the museum, photos of the objects can be displayed at the museum instead. Displaying objects or photographs of them are not required for the exhibit, but we would love it if you did choose to do so. If you are planning to display objects or photographs of them, please include a description of them in your submission email. The museum staff will contact you in due time to arrange pick up, display, and return the items.

6. Consent for publication

By submitting the previous information to stories@jewishmuseumcuracao.org, you consent to this information being used and published in the museum, on the museum’s website, and on the museum’ s social media pages. If you do not want the submitted family tree to be published in the museum, on the museum’s website, or on the museum’s social media pages, please indicate that in your email.

If you have any questions or concerns about the exhibit, please email the museum at stories@jewishmuseumcuracao.org