The Diary of Ass­er Levy: First Jew­ish Cit­i­zen of New York

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2019
Ass­er Levy is the teenage son of the shochet of a Dutch ter­ri­to­ry in Brazil. In his town, known as the colo­nial Jerusalem,” Levy can live open­ly as Jew. How­ev­er, when the Por­tuguese recap­ture the colony from the Dutch in 1654, Levy is forced to flee back to Hol­land. He is sep­a­rat­ed from his father but makes him a promise: to become a kosher butch­er him­self. Levy boards the Fal­con with about twen­ty oth­er Jews. But when his ship is blown off course, it’s attacked by pirates and ship­wrecked. Levy uses his wits and resource­ful­ness to nego­ti­ate their res­cue with a French cap­tain sail­ing to North Amer­i­ca. His group of 23 becomes the first group of Jew­ish refugees to land in the island of Man­hat­tan. Lit­tle does Levy know that his prob­lems are just start­ing. The gov­er­nor of New Ams­ter­dam is set on deport­ing the refugees and cur­tail­ing their rights. But Levy’s promise to his father gives him the strength to fight for his reli­gious rights and become a cit­i­zen and the first shochet in America.

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