Early Jews in the New World

 The New York Historical Society is showcasing an exhibit of Jews in the New World before and after the American Revolution. The exhibit highlights familiar information on Spanish and Portuguese Jews that settled in New Amsterdam (Present Day New York), in Philadelphia, Savannah, as well as Jewish settlement in the Caribbean.  The exhibit also covers early Ashkenazic settlement in the New World and includes the rise of  Reform Judaism.

The exhibit includes the memoirs of Luis Carvajal el Mozo, the nephew of the older Luis Carvajal y de la Cueva, the governor of el Nuevo Reino de Leon in the present day Northern Mexico and which includes parts of Texas and New Mexico.

The exhibits includes diverse artificats such as paintings, synagogue ornaments, siddurim (prayerbooks), and even lists of mohalim (ritual circumcisers).

The article in the Jewish Standard can be found at The First Jewish Americans.

Posted by Rabbi Juan Bejarano-Gutierrez the director of the B’nei Anusim Center for Education and the author of Secret Jews: The Complex Identity of Crypto-Jews and Crypto-Judaism.

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