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The Diary of Asser Levy: First Jewish Citizen of New York Hardcover

The Diary of Asser Levy: First Jewish Citizen of New York

by Daniela Weil 

PUBLISHER: Pelican (March 9, 2020)
LANGUAGE:  English
HARDCOVER:  112 Pages
ISBN-10 ‏: ‎ 1455625213
ISBN-13 ‏: ‎ ‎ 978-1455625215

Customer Review – 5 Stars


In 1654, the first group of refugee Jews, fleeing persecution, arrived in America from Brazil. In New Amsterdam, they began a legal fight for religious and civil rights that helped shape the character of modern-day New York. Here middle-grade readers will be introduced to the real-life figure of Asser Levy, through imagined diary entries about his experiences.

Asser Levy’s long road to Manhattan began in Vilna, his birthplace in seventeenth-century Poland. He moved to Schwelm, a town in the Ruhr Valley near Dusseldorf, probably as a result of the Cossack pogroms, and then travelled to Amsterdam, where like so many others, he learned about new opportunities in New Amsterdam. Together with two other Ashkenazi Jews, Jacob Barsimon and Solomon Pietersen, he sailed to Manhattan on board the Peereboom, (Pear Tree) on 22 August 1654. Arriving as the bonfires celebrating the end of the First Anglo-Dutch War were burning, Levy and his fellow passengers were in the vanguard of a new surge in migration to New Netherland that would climax in the years before the English conquest in 1664.

New Amsterdam History Center