Beth Israel Synagogue is the synagogue of the Aruban Jewish community, located in Oranjestad
. Beth Israel Synagogue is an independent congregation with a liberal style similar to Reform Judaism
or Conservative Judaism
The small community which makes up the membership of the synagogue is both Sephardic
with families originating predominantly from the original Portuguese Jews plus Dutch, Polish, and Surinamese Jews. The synagogue blends rites due to the small size of the community.
Beth Israel Synagogue is led by Rabbi Mario Gurevich, formerly of Argentina
, most recently from Bogota
. Rabbi Gurevich has been the spiritual leader of the Jewish Community of Quito and the Asociacion Israelita Montefiore (AIM) where, upon his retirement he was honored as Rabbi Emeritus. He has also served several other congregations in Colombia
, like the Centro Israelita Filantropico in Barranquilla.
Rabbi Gurevich has lectured at the Shalom Institute in Sidney, Australia, and was consultant to the project “Beit Praha” in the Czech Republic. He is an accomplished lecturer in Jewish History and Thought, and an accomplished teacher with professional degrees in medicine and philosophy. For years he served as volunteer in the Civil Air Patrol of Colombia, as both a gynecologist and a pilot, bringing medical care to deprived rural zones of the country.
The Rabbi has also been Executive vice President of B'nai Brith district XXIII and university professor at several Latin American institutions of higher learning.
Rabbi Gurevich is presently oriented toward adult education in the History and Culture of the Jewish people.