• Meyer Grunberg

The Jews of New Amsterdam Denied Permission to Build Cemetery, 1655

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

On This Day in Jewish History: July 27th, 1655

https://www.instagram.com/p/CDJ8zVVl9Yu/

.

.

The Jews of New Amsterdam (soon to be New York) requested permission to build a cemetery and were denied. It would take another year for the much needed request to be approved for this new Jewish community.

.

One of the first things that every Jewish community builds is a cemetery since according to Jewish law, Jews are required to be buried in one in accordance to Jewish laws & traditions.

.

Peter Stuyvesant (known antisemite and director general of the colony, image 3) denied their request since they had no dead body yet and, therefore, "no need for a cemetery."

.

Ultimately, in 1656 they were allowed to use a small plot of land outside of the city walls as a cemetery for the first Jew to die in New Amsterdam.

.

The location of this cemetery is currently unknown. Over the next 200 years, due to the needs of the community, three more cemeteries were created that continue to exist today.

.

These were all controlled by Congregation Shearith Israel which was created by the first 23 Jews who immigrated to America in 1654. They came from a Dutch colony around modern day Brazil. These Jews left when Portugal took control of the colony as they rightly feared the Inquisition would spread to Brazil.

.

At first, Peter Stuyvesant did not allow Jews in to New Amsterdam so they petitioned the Dutch West India Company and were ultimately allowed to settle in what one day would be Manhattan.

.

This began Jewish settlement in New York and it has grown steadily until this day where we see the largest population of Jews in the US.

.

#judaism#jewish#history#jewishhistory#onthisday#jewishcemetery#newamsterdam#peterstuyvesant#otd#otdjh


Image Source:

http://www.bigapplesecrets.com/2017/04/first-shearith-israel-graveyard-oldest.html

Text Source:

https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/jewish-new-york-the-early-years/


3 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All