In the 15th century, the Jews of Spain and Portugal were forced to leave their homes on the Iberian peninsula, fleeing the tyranny of the Spanish Inquisition. In 1654, the first group of Spanish and Portuguese Jews arrived in New Amsterdam and founded the Congregation Shearith Israel, the oldest Jewish Congregation in the United States. In this program, three experts discuss those early pioneers, the Judeo-Spanish Diaspora, and the history of Spanish Jews in New York.
Louise Mirrer is the President and CEO of the New-York Historical Society and has written extensively on the Judeo-Spanish Diaspora. Rabbi Marc D. Angel is Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Shearith Israel and the Founder and Director of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals. Jonathan Sarna is the Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University and Director of its Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program.