- The United Congregation of Israelites—known as Shaare Shalom Synagogue—has a sand floor, which remains as a memorial to the Jews who were forced to observe their faith in secrecy. The sand floor muffled the sound of the Jews footprints and when swept showed no trace of their presence. The 100-year-old Sha'are Shalom synagogue is Jamaica’s only synagogue and a treasure trove of Jewish-Jamaican history. The present building was erected in 1912 to replace an earlier structure dating from 1881. The synagogue has a stark white exterior and an imposing mahogany staircase. Inside check out an Ark of the Covenant, 14 Torah scrolls brought from Israel, and two burning lights commemorating the 1921 union between Jamaica’s original two congregations. The synagogue is used for Bar Mitzvahs and weddings. It is designed and built in the traditional Sephardic style by the Jamaican Jew, Rudolph Daniel Cohen Henriques, and his brothers. The congregation sponsored and is still responsible for the Hillel Academy, a private preparatory and secondary school open to all denominations, in Kingston. They also maintain a Jewish home for the aged and less fortunate members of the community.