Thursday, August 12, 2010

(BLOG) This Week In History: Jews In New York

"The first Jew set foot in New York - August 1654.

In search of freedom to worship and equal opportunities, Jacob Barsimson set sail from Holland to American on on July 8, 1654, to become the first Jew to set foot in New York. The Pear Tree docked in New Amsterdam on August 22 that same year, and 23 Jews from Dutch Brazil followed Barsimson’s example and went on to establish the first Jewish settlement in the United States.

However, Barsimson and the others found that New Amsterdam was no different from whence they came. Governor Peter Stuyvesant treated them as separate citizens; they couldn't engage in retail trade, practice handicrafts, hold public position, serve in the militia or practice their religion in a synagogue or in gatherings."

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