The first Jews began to arrive in Bridgetown in the 1650's. Most of the early settlers were Sephardic merchants from Brazil. Most had Dutch heritage as did so many of the early Jews throughout the Caribbean.
The first synagogue was consecrated in 1754. However, it was destroyed by a hurricane in 1831 and rebuilt in 1833.By the 1920's the Sephardic community was for the most part gone, however Ashkenazic Jews from Russia began to arrive after WW 2. Records from the cemetery at Bridgetown still survive, some dating as early as the 1660's. Those records have now been added to The Knowles Collection: Jews of the Caribbean, and will be available after the next update (mid October 2010)