Florida Jewish Heritage Trail
Although there is a perception that Jews did not arrive in Florida until after World War II, Jewish history in Florida actually can be traced to 1763 with the arrival of Alexander Solomons, Joseph de Palacios and Samuel Israel in Pensacola. In the 1800s, many Jewish families emigrated to Florida from northern states and foreign countries to settle both inland and along the coast. Today, South Florida is home to the second largest concentration of Jews in the world. Miami-Dade County has the nation's third largest Jewish community, estimated in 1990 at 800,000.
Temple Israel of Greater Miami
Henry Brash House, Apalachicola
The first organization formed by a Jewish community is often a chevra kadisha, literally a holy society, whose purpose is to prepare bodies for Jewish burial. Until Jewish cemeteries were established in Florida, such organizations shipped remains out of state for ritual burial. It was inevitable that as the Jewish population grew, the local community would create a nearby Jewish cemetery.
Florida Jewish Heritage Trail retraces the steps of Florida's Jewish pioneers from colonial times through the present. You are invited to visit the historical sites that reflect the Jewish experience in Florida. Good luck on the Trail. Shalom aleichem! Peace be with you!
Holocaust Memorial, Miami Beach
- Read the Florida Jewish Heritage Trail online
- Download the Florida Jewish Heritage Trail (pdf, 4.5 MB)
- Read more on this topic using the State Library of Florida's Jewish Heritage Bibliography
- Discover other Florida Heritage Publications
Published by the Florida Department of State,
Division of Historical Resources.
ISBN ISBN #1-889030-20-1