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A Jewish merchant by the name of Jacob opened the first coffee house at Oxford and is credited with being the first to introduce coffee to the English public.


Dedicated the Latin edition of his book The Hope of Israel to the English Parliament. Menasseh asserted in his book that the American Indians were the descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes.


First wave of immigration. The Jewish population rose to ten thousand.

1650 BENJAMIN DA COSTA (Carribean)

Introduced the sugar cane cultivation industry to Martinique.

1650 - 1726 NEHEMIA HAYYUN (Holland)

Kabbalist imposter and Sabbatian. His theory on the trinity caused an uproar in the Amsterdam community. He was supported by Salamon Ayllon and opposed by Haham Zevi.


The first group of Jews led by Joao de Yllan from Portugal tried to settle on this island, which was captured by the Dutch in 1634 from the Spanish. The effort failed due to the difficult agricultural conditions, and special restrictions placed by the West India company regarding trade and the use of slaves on plantations. The next attempt in March 1659 succeeded with a group of around 50 Jews led by Isaac Da Costa. A cemetery was set up, and in 1732 a synagogue was built which they named "Mikve Yisrael". Isaac was the nephew of Uriel Acosta/Da Costa (see 1590).

1651 July 1, POLAND

Was victorious over the Cossacks. The Jews were allowed to return to their lands.

1652 - 1729 TOBIAS COHN, (Tuviyah Cohen)(Germany – Eretz –Israel

Physician to five successive sultans, he spoke nine languages. He is also famed for his major work, Ma'aseh Toviyyah ("Work of Tobias") a scientific encyclopedia in 8 parts; (1) theology; (2) astronomy; (3) medicine; (4) hygiene; (5) syphilitic maladies; (6) botany; (7) cosmography; and (8) an essay on the four elements. His third part includes an illustration of the human body comparing it to a house. Five years before his death he moved to Jerusalem.

1652 December 1, MANUEL FERNANDES VILLAREAL (Portugal)

One of the foremost diplomats and men of letters of his day, he was garroted by the Inquisition. Villareal, who served as the council general in Paris, was a friend of Cardinal Richelieu and an author of some reknown. On a visit to Lisbon he was arrested and accused of practicing Judaism, which he did not deny.


A Protestant pastor, he wrote the first complete history of the Jews. This later served as a basis for the works of Jost and Graetz.


Published Yeven Metzolah (Pit of Mire) based on eyewitness accounts of the Chmielniki pogroms. It was translated into many languages, including English ("Abyss of Despair", 1950).

1653 June 6, PETER STUYVESANT (Curacao)

Governor of New Netherlands and the Curacao islands complained about the Jews to the West India company. He warned them to” be on your guard….." against " this fraudulent nation."

1654 CZAR ALEXIS (Russia)

Joined with Charles X of Sweden and Chmielniki to attack White Russia and Lithuania. The Cossack region was annexed by the Moscovite Empire.

1654 - 1696 MOSES IBN HABIB (Salonika- Eretz-Israel)

Rabbi and Halachist. In 1689 Ibn Habib (Chaviv) became the Rishon LeZion (Sephardic chief Rabbi of Israel), and the head of a major yeshiva in Jerusalem. His Halachic expertise lay in the area of marriage and divorce. His major works, Get Pashut and Ezrat Nashim, relate to the problem of agunot . Agunot refers to a Jewish woman who is "chained" to her marriage, either because her husband is missing (on a voyage, or after a battle), or one who husband refuses to grant her a divorce. His works still serve as a cornerstone in relating to these laws. In addition, he wrote Shammot ba-Aretz, dealing with the Talmud.

1654 January 26, PORTUGAL

With the capture of Pernambuco (Recife) from the Dutch, Portugal retook Peru and Brazil. The Jews, having fought on the side of the Dutch, fled by the hundreds to North America, especially to New Amsterdam.

1654 June 29, CUENCA (Spain)

57 Conversos were taken to the Auto da Fe; ten were burned to death. One of them, Balthasar Lopez, announced as he was taken to the stake "I don't believe in Christ even if you bind me." He had returned recently from Bayonne to persuade his nephew to return to Judaism when he was captured by the Inquisition.

1654 July 8, JACOB BARSIMSON (North American Colonies)

Left Holland aboard the Peartree for New Amsterdam and landed there on August 22. He was considered the first Jewish resident of New Amsterdam (New York). A month later, on September 23, Jews who had sailed from Brazil joined him.

1655 LUBLIN (Poland)

A force comprised of Cossacks and Russians led by Peter Ivanovich offered to leave the city alone if it surrendered and paid a heavy fine. The Jews, knowing what would happen to them, paid local people to hide them. The local leaders agreed to the offer, only once they were allowed in, the local inhabitants told the Cossacks where the Jews were hiding. Two thousand were slaughtered.

1655 April 26, ENGLAND

Menasseh ben Israel was invited to London by Oliver Cromwell to negotiate the resettlement of the Jews. William Prynne succeeded in officially postponing the resettlement for a couple of years. Cromwell's change of heart was partly due to the rise of Puritanism, which emphasized literal application of the Old Testament.

1655 April 26, THE WEST INDIA COMPANY (North American Colonies)

Refused to accept Dutch governor Peter Stuyvesant's request to ban the settling of Jews in New Amsterdam. In their letter, they relate to the "large amounts of capital which the Jews have invested in the shares of this company" therefore "these people (Portuguese Jews) may travel and trade...live and remain there provided the poor shall not become a burden to the company or the community."


From Spain with the help of Jewish pirates. Jewish Conversos were welcomed and in the same year the first synagogue was founded in Port-Royal A few years later when the Spanish tried to attack Port Royal it was defended in no small part by Jewish pirates. Penn was the father of William Penn the founder of Pennsylvania. rnrn

1655 August 8, RUSSIA

The Russians took Vilna. As part of the peace settlement between Chmielniki and Czar Alexis, the east bank of the Dnieper became part of the kingdom of Moscow. The Jews of Vilna were once again subject to expulsion and murder.

1655 August 17, ENGLAND

Antonio (Abraham Israel) Carvajal and his two sons received residency rights (endenizened) as "crypto Jews" thus becoming the founder of the converso (Marrano) London Jews community. Carvajal (see 1590) was an important trader whose wide connections provided Oliver Cromwell with vital information concerning both the Spanish government and the exiled Stuart, Charles II.

1655 December 4, WHITEHALL (England)

The question of the re-admittance of the Jews was brought to a conference of notables. The judges decided that there was no statute which excluded the Jews from the country. Cromwell dissolved the commission, considering it too pro-admittance.


Shah Abbas II (1632 -1666) declaring that all Jews were unclean, forced them to either convert or be expelled. Many Jews accepted Islam on the outside, but continued to practice Judaism in secret similar to their brethren 150 years earlier in Spain.

1656 March 24, ENGLAND

After the outbreak of the English-Spanish war, Jews living in England petitioned Cromwell to be allowed to stay in England, insisting that they were Conversos, not Spaniards. Although Cromwell chose not to reply officially, he permitted the community to establish a Jewish Cemetery, and to have protection during prayers. His unwritten agreement was conditioned on there being no public Jewish worship. This is considered by many to mark the official end of the expulsion of the Jews from England.

1656 May 16, ENGLAND

Antonio Robles, a successful Converso merchant, had his goods confiscated at the outbreak of the war with Spain. Robles contended that he was a Portuguese "of the Hebrew nation" and not Spanish - and therefore his property should be returned to him. In this landmark case the Council decided in his favor, strengthening the position of the community and opening the door for allowing Jews to live in England as Jews.


Its Directors ordered Peter Stuyvesant to permit the Jews to trade and own real-estate in New Amsterdam.

1656 July 27, SPINOZA (Holland)

Was excommunicated in Amsterdam. Spinoza had been accused - together with Juan de Prado - of denying the being of Angels, the immortality of the soul and that the Torah was given by God. De Prado apologized but Spinoza refused to do so. The council forbade anyone to communicate with him in any fashion or to read any of his books.

1656 October 4, LECZYCA (Lenshitz, Poland)

During what was known as the Russo-Swedish wars, Jews from the surrounding area took refuge behind the city walls. The Polish army attacked after the local garrison fled to the castle, leaving the Jews to the mercy of the attacking forces. Between 2-3000 Jews were murdered and hundreds of Torah scrolls were destroyed, many of which had been brought to the city by the refugees.

1657 SPALATO (Split, Croatia)

Jews had lived in this city since the third century. During the Turkish attacks against Venetian rule, the Jews so distinguished themselves that one of the city's towers became known as the "post of the Jews".

1657 April 20, ASSER LEVY (New Amsterdam, North American Colonies)

After a battle of almost two years Asser Levy, one of the original 23 settlers, was allowed to serve on guard duty ("watch and ward"). Levy, who was the ritual slaughterer of the town, opened his slaughterhouse on what is now Wall Street. He also petitioned to be allowed the rights as a Burgher or freeperson of the town, which he received (albeit reluctantly and as a "second class" Burgher) from the burgomasters of New Amsterdam.

1658 NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND (North American Colonies)

Fifteen Jewish families from Holland were accepted in what was then the most important port on the northeast Atlantic coast.

1658 - 1724 SAMSON WERTHEIMER ( Germany - Austria)

Rabbi, philanthropist and court Jew. Wertheimer , a friend of Samuel Oppenheimer (see 1630), served both Leopold I and his son Joseph I. As a Jewish scholar he held the title as chief Rabbi of Moravia and Hungary, presided over the Rabbinical court, and answered many halachic question posed to him by various communities. He was renowned for his generosity, scrupulously giving 10% of his money to charity and setting up foundations in both Vienna and Jerusalem . Wertheimer intervened whenever possible in defending his co-religionists ( see Entdecktes Judenthum 1700).

1658 February 23, MARYLAND (North American Colonies)

Jacob Lumbrozo, a doctor and the first Jew known to have settled in the colony, was arrested under the Toleration Act of 1649 (act concerning religion). This act imposed the death penalty for anyone denying the basic tenants of Christianity. Though Lumbrozo was saved by a general amnesty, proclaimed by Richard Cromwell it was not until the "Jew Bill" passed in 1826 that Jews could hold public office without submitting to a Christian oath.rnrn


The Dutch West India Company granted a charter to David Cohen Nassi for a Jewish settlement. The charter allowed for "freedom of conscience, public worship, synagogue, and school". This lasted only until the Dutch cession to the French in 1664. Though the French promised to continue the Dutch policy, they soon (1671) outlawed all public worship of Judaism.

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