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, but since they’ve been without a rabbi for 40 years, a couple or family interested in a ceremony must provide a letter from their hometown rabbi to confirm they are Jewish. Visiting hours are Monday through Thursday, 10AM to 4PM. There are two further sites of interest adjacent to the synagogue; the Jamaican Jewish Heritage Centre displays an inspiring collection of Jamaican Judaica, and the Jamaica Jewish Genealogical Institute traces ancestry from as far away as Panama and Venezuela.