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First Synagogue on Martinique Opens

The 500-strong Jewish community on the Caribbean island of Martinique has obtained a synagogue, the first Jewish temple on the French island in 350 years.

The chief rabbi of France, Joseph Sitruk, and Jean Kahn, the secular leader of France’s Jewish community, inaugurated Kenaf Aretz Synagogue last week in Fort- de-France, Martinique’s capital.

Nearly all of Martinique’s Jews came from Morocco and Tunisia in the early 1960s, when the former colonies wrested their independence from France.

Nothing remains of a synagogue that was built in Martinique in 1653 for a small number of Jews who once lived there.

A rabbi, who is also a mohel, from the nearby island of Guadeloupe, will also officiate at the Martinique synagogue.

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