Do you know where the second oldest Synagogue in the United States is located? I can tell you it’s certainly not in New York or Philadelphia. In fact, it is found in the continental United States on the lovely Caribbean Island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Yes, that’s right the St. Thomas Synagogue or its full name the Beracha Veshalom Vegmiluth Hasidim Synagogue which translates as “the Congregation of Blessing, Peace, and Loving Deeds” was originally built in 1883 by Sephardic Jews from Spain and Portugal. The sand on the floor of the is not due to the location, but it is said to signify the Exodus from Egypt.

Officially designated a historic site on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1997, the synagogue has a long history of serving the once flourishing Jewish community of St. Thomas whose members originally flocked to the Caribbean to foster trade between Europe and the New World. It is still in use today located in the town of Charlotte Amalie.


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