An early group of Jews arrived in 1510, soon after the son of Christopher Columbus settled on the island.
Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492 and then forcibly converted to Christianity in Portugal, during a period of persecution by the Inquisition.
Some Spanish and Portuguese Jewish refugees went to the Netherlands and England, and from there to Jamaica.
Others were part of the Iberian colonisation of the New World, after overtly converting to Catholicism, as only Catholics were allowed in the Spanish colonies.
By 1660, Jamaica had become a refuge for Jews in the New World, also attracting those who had been expelled from Spain and Portugal.
Beginning in the 1840s, the British utilized Chinese and Indian indentured labour to work on plantations.