New Book: Joseph Bernard’s “Histoire Juive d’Haiti”


Published by Éditions Henri Deschamps, Dr. Joseph Bernard’s new book, Histoire Juive d’Haiti [Haiti’s Jewish History] will be released at the Haitian Book Fair “Livres en Folie” on May 30, 2013. “Haiti Holocaust Survivors” recently conferred the 3rd Tikkun Olam Award to Dr. Bernard.

Book Description: Expelled from Spain in 1492 by the Alhambra Decree, the Jewish nation had to seek for other havens. The discovery of the New World was a golden opportunity, and some Sephardic families chose to settle in Hispaniola. Although they contributed to the prosperity of the Pearl of the Antilles, the French crown edited discriminative laws against the Jews of Saint-Domingue. The French revolution of 1789 was a turning point for the status of the Jewish nation, but the slave revolt of 1791 forced him once again to move abroad, for the sake of their lives. After 1804, other Jewish families settled in the new Republic of Haiti, led by the vast trade network of the Jewish nation in America. The Arab migration of the end of the 19th century revived the Jewish nation of Haiti, menaced of extinction by deculturation. And during the Shoah, the Haitian government saved the lives of hundreds of Jews from Europe by granting them the Haitian nationality. So many historic links between the Jewish people and Haiti, a country with no synagogue or Jewish town. . .

Joseph Bernard Jr. was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on July 5, 1984. He studied Medicine at University Notre Dame of Haiti. Specialist in infectious diseases, he is assistant professor of Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Toxicology at the University Notre Dame of Haiti and the School of Dentistry at the State University of Haiti. He is presently completing his minor in Psychology at the School of Human Studies of the State University of Haiti. In 2009, he began research on the history of foreign communities in Haiti. He is also the author of Histoire de la colonie allemande d’Haïti [History of Haiti’s German Colony] and Histoire des colonies arabes et juives d’Haïti [History of Haiti’s Arab and Jewish Colonies] published in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

Regarding the personal reasons behind his research, Dr. Bernard writes: “I am of Jewish descent through my mother, born Naar. My grandfather, Andre Emmanuel Naar, used to talk about our Jewish origins. The Naars came to Haiti from Curaçao during the colonial period. They were Sephardic Jews who in time converted to Catholicism.”

[Histoire Juive d’Haiti can be ordered online beginning May 27. To order the book, go to the website (which will be activated on May 27); click on “ACHETEZ EN LIGNE” on the top of the page. Then select the book title.]

To see Joseph Bernard’s Tikkun Olam Award and read more about his background, see

For more information, see

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