In 1932 the Ashkenazi Jews founded a social center (Club Union), and their own sports club. A permanent synagogue did not come until much later, in 1959. It was called ‘Shaarei Tsedek,’ Gates of Righteousness and was located in a villa at Scharloo (Scharlooweg 39-41) near the center of Willemstad, close to Punda. Scharloo was the historic prestigious neighborhood of the Sephardic Jews. Until 1959 services were conducted in different locations (in the 1930s the Ashkenazi Jews rented an upper floor in the former Graham building, next to Cinema Cinelandia. After some years the congregation met at the Penstraat, and then at Bargestraat.)
For kosher meat, the congregation hired a Shochet, a ritual slaughterer.
Many of the Ashkenazi Jews from Eastern Europe came from very traditional homes and from the onset the new forming congregation maintained a House of Worship and services in the Orthodox manner. A Mechitza, separation between men and women, was part of the interior and orthodox rabbis were hired throughout the years to lead the congregation.
In the mid-1980s, when the once lucrative area, Scharloo, began to deteriorate, the Ashkenazi Jews sold the synagogue building it had consecrated in 1959. More and more Ashkenazi Jews were moving east from Punda to newly built suburban areas adjacent to it. During this transition services were held temporarily in a former private home of one of the members of the congregation located in the residential neighborhood Mahaai (Lelieweg 1A), which was close to most members’ homes.
The pictures below are of the celebration on the land that our community bought circa 1981.
The Synagogue was built 22 years after the land was acquired.
A donation from the community to Israel which is being handed over to the Honorary Consul of Israel of that period, Mr. Cohen Z"L.
Photos courtesy of Mrs. Sandy Ghitman
On June 10, 2006, the congregation moved into the new shul located in Mahaai (Magdalenaweg 37). This date marks the most momentous and significant event in the history of the Ashkenazic Jewish community since its members stood at the cradle of its inception. Visit our new shul.