Curacao's Synagogue Mikve Israel-Emanuel was founded in 1651, and is the oldest active Jewish congregation in the Western hemisphere. It was from Amsterdam's that one Joao d'Yllan petitioned the Dutch West India Company to bring a company of settlers to colonize Curaçao. The group were Sephardic Jews, with roots in Spain and Portugal. Other heritage sites include the Jewish cemetery; Jewish Historical Musem; and Scharloo, the Jewish quarter of Willemstad.