23 Jews

Jewish American Heritage Month
#1 – Only 23 Jews
By Ann Rabinowitz

Peter Stuyvesant and New Amsterdam at the Time of the Arrival of the Jews
From “Mapping Jewish History”
Harrie Teunissen, MSc, Map Curator, Historian

The Early American SIG Digest had an inquiry regarding the names of the twenty-three (23) Jews from Recife, Brazil, who first came to the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam in 1654 which became the City of New York.  Since May has been designated Jewish American Heritage Month, I thought it might be appropriate to start off the month by mentioning this historic group of early Jews. 

Coming to New Amsterdam on the St. Catrine, 1654

An interesting link about the family names of those who arrived in 1654 is found at: http://nychistory.blogspot.com/2010/08/return-to-establishment-of-shearith.html.

The link also refers to a number of other resources which might be of interest too.

According to the information on the link which was extracted from Stephen Birmingham's book "The Grandees", the Sephardic family names were:
  • Asser Levy
  • Abraham Israel De Piza (or Dias)
  • David Israel Faro
  • Mose Lumbosco
  • Judith (or Judica) Mercado (or De Mercado or de Mereda)
  • Ricke (or Rachel) Nunes
There are numerous other references to this topic which can be found online and this is just one of them.  As I find time during the month of May, I will mention other Jews who settled in America.


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  2. Asser Levy was not a Sephardic Jew.

  3. Why do you think that Asser Levy was not Sephardic?
    Who knows the full names of all the 23 Jews?
    Somebody could check please Ana Domingos and Paulo Mendes Pinto Tracing the History of the First Jews in the US not available at www.rockefeller.edu


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