Panama
(533 words)

Panama, a republic in Central America, is unique in the ethnic composition of its Jewish community: the oldest communal organization was founded by Sephardim of Portuguese descent from the Caribbean islands; the largest group is made up of  Jews from the Middle East; Ashkenazim are a small minority in a community dominated by Sephardim and Mizraḥim. 

Jews were not allowed to settle in Panama under Spanish colonial rule, but there were some crypto-Jews among the merchants who used the Isthmus of Panama as a transit route between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. After th…

Cite this page
Margalit Bejarano, “Panama”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 28 March 2017
First published online: 2010



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