Jews in colonial America and the young United States, though a tiny fraction of the population, significantly negotiated the freedoms offered by the new nation and contributed to the flowering of American culture. The exhibition The First Jewish Americans: Freedom and Culture in the New World follows the trajectory of a people forced from their homes in Europe, South America and the Caribbean, from their controversial arrival in New Amsterdam in 1654 to the unprecedented political freedoms they gained in early 19th-century New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston. Rare portraits, drawings, maps, documents and ritual objects illuminate how they met the challenge of remaining distinct and socially cohesive amidst the birth of a new Jewish American tradition. Through February 26, 2017 at the New-York Historical Society, nyhistory.org.
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