by Victor Sharpe, September 29, 2010

It was Catholic Spain’s (and later Portugal’s) forcing Jews to choose conversion to Christianity, flight or death that was a major force in scattering the Spanish Jews to various parts of the Old World and the New. Conversos, Jews who professed conversion but who identified themselves as Jews, were among those that sailed with Columbus in 1492, looking for a new home where they could be proper Jews. One of them, Luis de Torres, was the first Jew to settle in the New World. In fact, as Sharp points out, “much of the discovery and charting of the New World was undertaken by secret Jews who knew each other and maintained strong trading links.” In the 1600’s, Jewish refugees settled in New Amsterdam, now New York City. In time, they moved to other towns in the Colonies. and were joined by other Jews.

AUTHOR: Victor Sharpe writes on Jewish history and the Islamist-Israel conflict. He is also the author of Volumes One and Two of Politicide: The attempted murder of the Jewish state.

This article was published September 29, 2010 by The Jerusalem Connection and is archived at

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