Jamaica may have claim to one unusual historical chapter: Jewish pirates. Among them: Moses Cohen Henriques, who attacked Spanish ships loaded with silver, according to Edward Kritzler's Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean.
Mr. Kritzler, who attended the conference, is an American who has been in Jamaica on and off since the late 1960s. He's fond of wearing a Star of David pendant over shirts studded with skull and crossbones.
Many Jewish pirates, he writes, were "secret Jews" who converted to Catholicism in name only to survive the Inquisition, then fled to the Caribbean.
Today, finding a kosher kitchen can be tough. But the island is used to preparing vegetarian meals for its religious Rastafarian population—some of whom consider themselves a lost tribe of Israel and follow Jewish dietary restrictions forbidding shellfish and pork. One Kingston hotel recently purchased new cooking tools dedicated to kosher meals for guests.
BennyBwoy, calls himself "the original Jewmaican." A former Wall Street analyst, he was invited to the conference to perform. He did so wearing a yarmulke knitted in the colors of the Jamaican flag, braided hair and sunglasses decorated with gold snakes. "I'm not Jamaican. I just love the music and the people," Mr. Goldis said. "But I really am Jewish."