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the people who came the Jews

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1 the people who came the Jews on Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:30 am

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The first Jews came to the island during the Spanish occupation of the island, 1494-1655. These Jews came from Spain and Portugal. They fled because of the Spanish inquisition. To conceal their identity they referred to themselves as "Portuguese" and practiced their religion secretly.

At the time of the British conquest of the island in 1655, General Venables recorded the presence of many "Portuguese" in Jamaica. The Jews were allowed to remain after the conquest and began to practice their religion openly.

The Jews were granted British citizenship by Cromwell and this was confirmed in 1660 by King Charles. They attained full political rights in 1831. The status of British citizenship enabled ownership of property by the Jews.
JEWISH JAMAICA ­ PORT ROYAL
The Jews, many of whom were merchants and money changers, flourished in Port Royal. Trade between commercial centres inhabited by Jews such as Amsterdam, the Dutch colonies of Curacao, St. Eustatius and Saba, the Danish St. Thomas, Genoa, Venice, North America, London, Turkey and India was brisk. The ability of Jamaican Jews to speak Spanish also propelled their success in trade with Spanish America. Goods traded included pepper, cocoa, vanilla, pimento, cocoa and sugar. By the 19th century, some Jewish merchant families moved into shipbuilding and construction. (Arbell, 2000, pp. 48-49).


JEWISH JAMAICA ­ PORT ROYAL
The Jews, many of whom were merchants and money changers, not planters, flourished in Port Royal. Trade between commercial centres inhabited by Jews such as Amsterdam, the Dutch colonies of Curacao, St. Eustatius and Saba, the Danish St. Thomas, Genoa, Venice, North America, London, Turkey and India was brisk. The ability of Jamaican Jews to speak Spanish also propelled their success in trade with Spanish America. Goods traded included pepper, cocoa, vanilla, pimento, cocoa and sugar. By the 19th century, some Jewish merchant families moved into shipbuilding and construction. (Arbell, 2000, pp. 48-49).

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