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Today in history: Jews of New York

Today in 1657, the New Amsterdam colony granted freedom of religion and worship to Jews.

Jews first arrived in New Amsterdam in 1654. It was a Dutch-Spanish community that settled in the Dutch colonies in Brazil, but were forced to flee after Portugal occupied and the anti-Jewish Inquisition resumed. The granting of religious freedom in the colony allowed for the creation of a community base, and the conditions of freedom remained even when the colony was occupied by the British a decade later, and its name was changed to New York. In 1682, the first synagogue was inaugurated, and it was not until the middle of the 18th century that the community began to receive a more Ashkenazi character. New York became one of the most important cities in the colonies after the founding of the United States, making it an economic base and entry point from Europe. At the beginning of the 19th century, thousands of Polish and German Jews came to the city, which strengthened the communities with a yucky and Reform character. Beginning in 1880, a huge wave of emigration from Eastern Europe began, and many Jews decided to stay in New York, doubling the size of the community to tens of times and significant social assimilation. In 1950, it was the largest city in the world (8 million inhabitants), with the most Jews in the world (close to 2 million – about a quarter of the population). To this day, Jews have a huge cultural impact on the city, and through it on the United States (and the entire world).

Photo Source: Wikipedia

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