THE HISTORY OF TEMPLE EMANU-EL
On December 17, 1865, Abraham Jesurun laid the first foundation stone on behalf of the Jewish community, for the construction of the Temple Emanu-El, which was inaugurated on September 12, 1867.
The construction of the temple became necessary after the Dutch Reformed Jewish Congregation Emanu-El, separated herself in 1864 from the Orthodox Congregation Mikvé Israël. The prayer house was called "The Temple" in order to distinguish itself from the old synagogue, the "Snoa".
For the construction of The Temple the Government made a plot of 2.000 square meters east of the Council House available. The area was called " Fo'i Porta" (outside the door). It was a messy plain with a neglected cemetery and illegal garbage piles. It became a prime spot with a new name: the "The Pietermaai Square".
In 1963, a reunion took place of both Sephardic Jewish communities. With this the United Dutch - Portuguese Community Mikvé Israel Emanu - El became a fact. On August 9, 1963, the last worship service was held in the Temple. Since then, the Temple lost its function as a synagogue.
After this for 14 years the building was empty. The building has for some time served as a movie theatre, with a cafe in the basement. In 1989 the Jewish community sold the building, and a few years later, the former synagogue was purchased by the Island Territory of Curaçao as part of a settlement with the hotel chain Van der Valk.
Eventually, the building The Temple was transferred to the Conservation Foundation Curaçao, with the condition that after the restoration thereof, the Public Prosecutor's Office of the Public Prosecutor would be housed in the building. This became a reality on August 14, 1999.