Bernardini - Chapter 18
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The Jews in Suriname and Curaçao
IN HIS FAMOUS BOOK OF 1788 on the Jews of Suriname, David de Isaac
Cohen Nassy argued that "the Portuguese Jews have settled in Suriname
on much happier and more favorable terms than anywhere in the
universe: all and sundry were put on a par with the colonists of the
Protestant faith: all offices and functions were open to them unconditionally."
1 Both Suriname and the insular Dutch colony of Curaçao were, relatively
speaking, models of tolerance in the days of the ancien régime,
offering attractive opportunities to Jewish settlers. The Jews, in their turn,
made significant contributions to the economic growth of these colonies.
In this essay, I will analyze the nature of these contributions.