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Sugar, Slavery and the Sephardim of Barbados 1654-1934

February 16 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Speaker: Simon Kreindler


Shaarei Shomayim Congregation

 470 Glencairn Avenue

Entrance: North (parking lot) doors

Doors open at 10:00 am

The Portuguese brought sugar cane from their Atlantic colonies to Brazil in the early 1500s and within a relatively short time, that country became the largest sugar producer in the world. In 1630, the Dutch ousted the Portuguese and the Sephardi Jews from Holland followed and got involved in the production, trading and shipping of raw sugar.

Meanwhile, in 1627, Barbados was settled by the English and they introduced sugar cane from Brazil which rapidly replaced cotton and tobacco. When the Dutch lost control in Brazil in 1654, Sephardim with experience in the sugar industry came to the island and helped the planters with their technical expertise and shipping know-how. Within a few years Barbados had become England’s wealthiest Atlantic colony.

Simon’s presentation will look at the Sephardim’s success, their ultimate demise, and the legacy they left the Ashkenazi community that followed them.



Simon Kreindler was born and grew up in Barbados. After completing high school there, he studied medicine at McGill University in Montreal and did post-graduate training in adult and child psychiatry in the United States. He recently retired after 48 years in private practice in Toronto.


Simon’s long-standing interest in his family’s history led to him writing an autobiography in 2013 for his children and grandchildren, incorporating his 40 plus years of genealogy research.  His Ashkenazi research led to another book, Peddlers All, Stories of the First Ashkenazi Jewish Settlers in Barbados, which was published in 2017.


More recently, Simon has been researching the Sephardim who came to Barbados from Brazil in 1654 and who lived on the island for more than 250 years.



Members:  Free                      Guests:  $5


February 16
10:30 am - 12:00 pm


Shaarei Shomayim Congregation
470 Glencairn Ave.
Toronto, Ontario M5N 1V8 Canada
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