Conventional history is that the first Jews to come to the later-to-be United States arrived in the first week of September in 1654 in New Amsterdam, the town that the British renamed New York. The 23 Sephardic Jews who landed were fleeing persecution that stemmed back more than 150 years to the Spanish Inquisition.
But the group that has dubbed itself The St. Augustine Jewish Historical Society is exploring the possibility that the first Jews to settle in the United States arrived in St. Augustine during the first weeks of September 1565. In other words, they arrived with Pedro Menendez de Aviles, who established St. Augustine.
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