The Jews in the Caribbean (Littman Library of Jewish Civilization)

The Jews in the Caribbean (Littman Library of Jewish Civilization)

By: Jane S. Gerber (editor)Paperback

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The Portuguese Jewish diaspora was born out of a double tragedy: the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 and the forced conversion/expulsion of the Jews from Portugal in 1497. The potent combination of expulsion, Inquisition, and crypto-Judaism left people neither wholly Jewish nor wholly Christian in their identity. Subsequently many left the Iberian peninsula; some found refuge in the Caribbean, but succeeded in maintaining strong connections with Portuguese Jews in western Europe, the Ottoman empire, and the Far East, while they also forged ties with the surrounding peoples and cultures. This book looks at many different aspects of this complex past. Its interdisciplinary approach allows a wealth of new information to be brought together to create a comprehensive picture. Part I sets the context, and also considers the relationship of Caribbean Jewry to European trading systems; its special ties to Amsterdam and Dutch-ruled Curacao; and the role of Jewish merchants in Jamaica's commerce. Part II examines the material and visual culture of Jews in the British and Dutch Caribbean, while Part III looks at Caribbean Jewish identity and heritage and their modern manifestations. Part IV contains archival studies that illuminate other subjects of importance-adventure and piracy, Jewish participation in a nineteenth-century revolt of black slaves and in the first Jamaican elections after Jews were granted the right to vote, and questions of concubinage and sexual relations between Jews and blacks. Part V moves from the local to the international, in particular the connection with mainland America. In their diversity, the contributions to this volume suggest the many ways in which the formation of the Caribbean Jewish diaspora can be understood today: as a Jewish diaspora dispersed under different European colonial empires; as a Jewish cultural entity created by a set of shared traditions and historical memories; and as one component in a web of relationships that characterized the Atlantic world. Defining it is no simple matter: like all diaspora identities it was constantly in flux, reinventing itself under changing historical circumstances. CONTRIBUTORS: Aviva Ben-Ur, Miriam Bodian, Judah M. Cohen, Eli Faber, Rachel Frankel, Noah L. Gelfand, Jane S. Gerber, Josette Capriles Goldish, Matt Goldish, Jonathan Israel, Stanley Mirvis, Gerard Nahon, Joanna Newman, Ronnie Perelis, Jackie Ranston, James Robertson, Jessica Roitman, Dale Rosengarten, Barry L. Stiefel, Hilit Surowitz-Israel, Karl Watson, Swithin Wilmot

About Author

Jane S. Gerber is Professor Emerita of History and director of the Institute for Sephardic Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is a past president of the Association for Jewish Studies. She is author of 'Jewish Society in Fez: 1450-1700' (1980), 'The Jews of Spain' (1992), winner of a National Jewish Book Award, and 'Sephardic Studies in the University' (1995), and editor of 'The Jews in the Caribbean' (also published by the Littman Library). She has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, the Hebrew University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Jewish Theological Seminary, and has lectured widely in the United States and elsewhere. She heads the Advisory Board of the American Sephardi Federation and serves on the Academic Advisory Council of the Center for Jewish History and the Academic Board of the Rothberg School of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


List of Illustrations Note on Transliteration Introduction - JANE S. GERBER PART I The Historical Background of the Caribbean Sephardi Diaspora 1 The Formation of the Portuguese Jewish Diaspora - MIRIAM BODIAN2 Curacao, Amsterdam, and the Rise of the Sephardi Trade System in the Caribbean, 1630-1700 - JONATHAN ISRAEL3 To Live and to Trade: The Status of Sephardi Mercantile Communities in the Atlantic World during the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries - NOAH L. GELFAND PART II Authority and Community in the Dutch Caribbean 4 Amsterdam and the Portuguese Nacao of the Caribbean in the Eighteenth Century - GERARD NAHON5 `A flock of wolves instead of sheep': The Dutch West India Company, Conflict Resolution, and the Jewish Community of Curacao in the Eighteenth Century - JESSICA ROITMAN6 Religious Authority: A Perspective from the Americas - HILIT SUROWITZ-ISRAEL PART III Material and Visual Culture 7 Jonkonnu and Jew: The Art of Isaac Mendes Belisario (1794-1849) - JACKIE RANSTON8 Testimonial Terrain: The Cemeteries of New World Sephardim - RACHEL FRANKEL9 Counting the `Sacred Lights of Israel': Synagogue Construction and Architecture in the British Caribbean - BARRY L. STIEFEL PART IV Jews and Slave Society 10 The Cultural Heritage of Eurafrican Sephardi Jews in Suriname - AVIVA BEN-UR11 Shifting Identities: Religion, Race, and Creolization among the Sephardi Jews of Barbados, 1654-1900 - KARL WATSON12 Sexuality and Sentiment: Concubinage and the Sephardi Family in Late Eighteenth-Century Jamaica - STANLEY MIRVIS13 The `Confession made by Cyrus' Reconsidered: Maroons and Jews during Jamaica's First Maroon War (1728-1738/9) - JAMES ROBERTSON14 Jewish Politicians in Post-Slavery Jamaica: Electoral Politics in the Parish of St Dorothy, 1849-1860 - SWITHIN WILMOT PART V Reassessing the Geographical Boundaries of Caribbean Jewry 15 The Borders of Early American Jewish History - ELI FABER16 Port Jews and Plantation Jews: Carolina-Caribbean Connections - DALE ROSENGARTEN Part VI Personal Narratives 17 The Strange Adventures of Benjamin Franks, an Ashkenazi Pioneer in the Americas - MATT GOLDISH18 Daniel Israel Lopez Laguna's Espejo fiel de vidas and the Ghosts of Marrano Autobiography - RONNIE PERELIS19 `My heart is grieved': Grace Cardoze-A Life Revealed through Letters - JOSETTE CAPRILES GOLDISH PART VII The Formation of Contemporary Caribbean Jewry 20 Refugees from Nazism in the British Caribbean - JOANNA NEWMAN21 Inscribing Ourselves with History: The Production of Heritage in Today's Caribbean Jewish Diaspora - JUDAH M. COHEN Notes on ContributorsIndex

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781906764999
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 428
  • ID: 9781906764999
  • weight: 930
  • ISBN10: 1906764999

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