• Joshua de Sola Mendes

Two Historical Novels on Two S&P Champions

Readers may enjoy a couple of recent historical novels on two notable figures in the history of Western Sephardim:

The Girl from Lisbon by Guiora Barak

This book focuses on the story of Doña Gracia Nasi (c. 1510–1569), who grew up in Portugal in a Jewish family forcibly baptized and went on to escape and become a savior to thousands of Jews also seeking to escape the Inquisition. She is viewed as truly the Queen Esther of her time. Israel-based Guiora Barak spent many year in the diplomatic corps and has a longstanding interest in the history of the Spanish & Portuguese Jews. Purchase here: https://www.amazon.com/Girl-Lisbon-Guiora-Barak/dp/1711701408

The Diary of Asser Levy: First Jewish Citizen of New York by Daniela Weil

American patriot Asser Levy began life in Vilna (part of today's Lithuania) and, after stops in Poland and Amsterdam, eventually made his way to colonial New York in 1654 where he became a prominent advocate for Jewish political and civil rights, successfully petitioning the Dutch governor, Peter Stuyvesant, who sought to limit them. All the while, he adhered to his Jewish faith, providing an inspirational model for other Jewish immigrants. Purchase here:



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