Their synagogue was at Jodensavanna. The end of the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th century brought many problems between the Suriname Jews and the Dutch Government. Their privileges of 1665 and 1667, viz. contract marriages, opening their shops on Sunday and administering justice, were criticized. In 1767 hostilities culminated in considering creating a ghetto for the Jews in Paramaribo. The Jews had to build their own theatre in 1775. But notwithstanding all these problems, Suriname was the place for Jews where they could live far better than any other place in the world. In 1730, out of the 400 plantations in Suriname, 115 were in Jewish possession. Important Jewish names in the old times were David Mercato (who invented a new way to build sugar mills in 1663), Joseph Nassy (Commander of the rivers Sinamery, Iran and Connamawe in 1668), Isack Meza,
Samuel Nassy and Jacob Perera (members of the Civil Council of War in 1677), Abraham Nunes (a surveyor in 1682), Samuel Nassy (Jurator = Justice of the Peace in 1684), Samuel de la Parra and Josua Servatty Pina. Suriname was attacked by the French under the command of Du Casse in 1689 and under the command of Cassard in 1712, who looted the colony and inflicted also much harm to the Jewish planters. The latter had been terrorised already by the attacks of the indians and the marroons (run away slaves). The attackers were chased in the jungle by the very remarkable and rich Commander Samuel Cohen Nassy and by David Nassy. The latter chased them even on Jom Kippur. He died in 1734 during or shortly after one of his campaigns. Other militant Jews were Jacob d'Avilar (1718), Isac Arias and Abraham de Britto (revengers after the murder of Manuel Pereira by the Marroons), captain Naar (1749) and Isac Nassy who was killed by the marroons in 1750. An economic downfall occurred in the second half of the 18th century (1765-1775). This was caused by the raising of huge loans (especially by the firm "Deutz" in Amsterdam), which were not put to profitable use for improvements on the estates or which were spent injudiciously, both resulting in suspension of credit.






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