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First Jews in the US

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Topic: 1st Jews in USA

Leslie Tanner wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

I was wondering who the first Jewish immigrant was to come to the United States to live? What year? Did they have family? Also who was the first Jewish person born in the U.S.? Thank you.

Dear Leslie Tanner,

I referred your question to one of today's foremost Jewish historians, Rabbi Berel Wein. He said, that as far as he is aware, this information is not known. What he could tell me though, was that the first Jews to settle in what is now the US were Sephardic Jews who came from the West Indies in the 1650's. The first family to settle in Philadelphia (whether they were the first in the US, Rabbi Wein did not know) was the Seixas family.

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