On the 15th day of May 1997, His Excellency the Governor General approved the vested ownership of the lands and hereditaments of the Jewish Synagogue in the Barbados National Trust. The provision being that the above could only be sold back to Government. This provided the proverbial icing on the cake’ for the Barbados National Trust, having won the battle for preservation of this significant landmark.
The Synagogue building is arguably the earliest consecrated temple in the Western Hemisphere. It is located in Historic Bridgetown which has recently gained inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
By agreement with the Trust, the Jewish Community is responsible for the upkeep and administration of the site which includes the temple, the cemetery and more recently the interpretive and interactive museum. The fully restored Synagogue was internationally recognized with an American Express Preservation Award in 1991. Restoration work continued on the cemetery where the gravestones have been raised, cleaned and the original inscriptions. Restoration of an old warehouse was completed to house the Museum which was opened in 2008. The museum traces the role played by the Barbados Jews in society; the role played in the development of the sugar industry and in commerce and commemorates and celebrates our Jewish Heritage.
In late 2008 an archaeological dig uncovered what was celebrated as an internationally significant find – an original Mikvah, fully intact. The entire site is opened to the public.