Deep in the Surinamese jungle lies the ruins of what was once the prospering plantation town of Jodensavanne--Jew's Savanne. Just past the bricks that made up Beracha ve Shalom ("Blessings and Peace") synagogue, are two early cemeteries--one Jewish (below), one African. Deeper into the forest lies a third cemetery, the Cassipora Jewish cemetery. All three cemeteries harken back to the sepulchral traditions of ancestral homelands even as they adapted to changes in what it meant to be Jewish. As such they are a good example of both religious continuity and change within American religion.
|View of Jewish Cemetery, Photo by L. Leibman 2008|
|Sephardic Pyramid Stones in |
the Jewish cemetery near Cassipora Creek, Suriname
Historic photo ca. 1860 from the
Jodensavanne Foundation Archives