Berg, Gertude (Molly Goldberg)
Brandeis, Louis D.
Ginsburg, Ruth Bader
Lehman, Herbert H.
Levy, Uriah P.
Magnes, Judah L.
Noah, Mordecai E.
Santangel, Luis de
Seixas, Gershom M.
Singer, Isaac B.
Straus, Isidor & Ida
Torres, Luis de
made important contributions to the history and culture of America
from the time of Columbus. This virtual tour gives brief sketches
of people, places and events that are recognized by the Jewish-American
Hall of Fame and have significantly influenced future generations.
it was Spanish Jewry, not Spanish jewelry, that paid for Columbus'
voyage of discovery. Discover that one of the first rights fought
for and won by Jews in America, was the right to bear arms in
the local militia (Asser Levy). Read how the man who raised funds
for the American Revolution died penniless (Haym Salomon). Meet
women who were pioneers in education (Rebecca Gratz) and equal
rights (Ernestine Rose).
yourself with the leader of a nation (Golda Meir) and with a leading
entertainer (Barbra Streisand). You will find the famous (Einstein
and Houdini), as well as those whose names are not household words
(Judah Magnes and Bela Schick). There are legends in sports (Hank
Greenberg) and music (Benny Goodman). Plus much more -- like the
Jewish heroes and heroines of the Titanic disaster (Isidor & Ida
Straus and David Sarnoff) and to Thomas Jefferson's home of Monticello
(Uriah P. Levy).
the virtual tour in chronological order, or just click on people,
places, and events of interest.
are illustrated by the limited edition commemorative medals that
have been issued annually by the Jewish-American Hall of Fame.
For availability, visit our
by Paul Vincze (1986), commemorates 500th anniversary of
Columbus' first audience with Queen Isabella.
been much speculation over the centuries as to whether Christopher
Columbus may have been Jewish or of Jewish descent. The Encyclopaedia
Britannica indicates that he may have come from a Spanish-Jewish
family settled in Genoa, Italy. But there is no question that
it was his Spanish-Jewish friends who were instrumental in arranging
for his meeting with the Spanish Monarchs in 1486 and who turned
his dream into reality.
de Santangel (?-1498)
to popular opinion, it was not Queen Isabella's jewelry, but Spanish
Jewry that made Columbus' historical trip of discovery possible.
Actually it was Luis de Santangel, whose grandfather had converted
from Judaism to Christianity under pressure of Spanish persecutions,
who lent nearly 5 million maravedis to pay for the voyage. In
addition, Santangel's influence with King Ferdinand and Queen
Isabella was decisive in gaining their acceptance of Columbus'
proposals. In recognition of his assistance, Santangel was the
first to hear of the historic discoveries directly in a personal
letter from Columbus. Showing his allegiance to his former co-religionists,
Luis de Santangel made substantial contributions toward the hiring
of ships that enabled them to leave when they were expelled en
mass from Spain.
Isaac Abravanel (1437-1508)
of Columbus' stalwart friends was Don Isaac Abravanel, who had
remained stalwart to his religion and who was one of the most
distinguished biblical scholars, philosophers and statesmen of
the period. He also helped to finance Columbus' voyage, although
he was not there to greet the great explorer upon his return ...
since Abravanel was also expelled from Spain, in spite of his
high position in the court of Ferdinand and Isabella.
Expulsion, Abraham Zacuto was forced to leave his native Spain.
He was later named Royal Mathematician to the Portuguese royal
court. There, he improved the astrolabe (early navigational instrument)
and prepared astronomical tables, greatly improving navigational
accuracy on the high seas. A copy of Zacuto's astronomical tables,
along with Columbus' personal annotations, is still preserved
Here to Take Christopher Columbus Quiz
Go to page: