Jews as Slave Liberators

Fact Paper 22

© Samuel Kurinsky, all rights reserved

A portion of a bas-relief from an Assyrian palace depicting Israelite musicians being marched into slavery in 732 BCE by Tigleth-Pileser's troops. An Assyrian source records that 13,150 Israelite artisans and musicians were taken into captivity. In 598 BCE the Babylonian king Nebuchadnazzer likewise deported tens of thousands of Judahites, including "all the craftsmen and the smiths." The memory of being slaves in Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia and the Roman Empire madeJews sympathetic to the plight of oppressed peoples everywhere, and led to a significant role for Jews in the American abolition movement

Jews as Slave Traders

Propaganda regarding the Jewish participation in the slave trade continues to penetrate into our colleges, the Internet and the Black media. It is composed of gross exaggerations, half-truths and outright fabrications. It is unfortunate that a large segment of the black community, and especially black students, have been swayed by these spurious reports. Likewise unfortunate is the absence of information made available to them by other sources about the significant Jewish historical participation in anti-slavery and human rights activities.

The black community has had no exposure to information about Judaic civil rights activities since the rupture between the blacks and the Jews was successfully fostered by separatist black activists over thirty years ago. The split was launched by characterizing the significant participation by Jews in the American civil rights movement as patronizing. It continued with a calumnious magnification of the Judaic role in the slave trade, spurred on by a book published by the Nation of Islam in 1991, The Secret Relationship between Blacks and Jews. The book declared that the Jews had "monumental culpability" for the slave trade.

The historian, Eunice Pollack, shocked by what she deemed "a monumental lie," was then "outraged that newspapers kept on reprinting the charges without rebutting them."1 She was but one of a few voices raised in protest. She petitioned the American Historical Association to address the issue, and a resolution was issued by the AHA on Jan. 5, 1995 that "The AHA... condemns as false any statement alleging that Jews played a disproportionate role in the exploitation of slave labor or in the Atlantic slave trade."

By and large, however, the media ignores the repetition of the demonstrably prejudicial charges on college campuses, in the black press, and from many pulpits. The characterization of Jews as "monumentally culpable" for the slave trade befogs the age-old participation of the Jewish people in the struggle for human rights.

Anti-Semitism among contemporary blacks can be attributed to ignorance about the sacrifices many Jews made in countering southern (as well as northern) bigotism. The slaughter of Jewish civil rights workers by white supremists in the South is neither remembered nor appreciated.

The citing of selected examples of Jewish slave-trading by anti-Semites such as City College professor Jeffries and Nation of Islam leader Farrakhan lays a spurious scholarly foundation under anti-Semitic trends among Afro-Americans.

Blacks suffer from the prejudices imbued by self-styled black-power activists, for their attention is diverted from the true causes of their status as second-class citizens.

The promulgators of the distorted version of the heinous history of the slave trade ignore the involvement of Arabs, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Dutch, English as well as Black Africans. Even the Jewish press has not deigned to provide the facts. Rebuttal of the ethnic calumnies is deemed to give too much attention to them. The fact is that left unanswered the accusations remain believed.

What are the facts? Anti-Semitic propaganda deals with half-truths. That it is true that some Jews participated in the slave trade is beside the point. Citing only those examples is crassly misleading, inasmuch as the Jewish participation in trading in slaves accounted for but a minuscule part of the massive commerce in human flesh. Jews were even more in the minority as slave owners.

In Slavery and the Jews: A Historical Inquiry, authored by Eli Faber for the Jewish Studies Program of Hunter College, Faber pointed out that the Portuguese were the first modern Europeans to acquire African slaves when they explored African coasts in the early 1400's. The Portuguese thereafter dominated the slave trade for more than a century until 1625. They transported no less than 4,190,000 blacks from Africa to the Americas, or two fifths of the estimated total of 11,000,000 slaves sold on the American auction blocks.

The Spaniards were prohibited in 1493 by the treaty of Tordesillas from trading in Africa. Nonetheless they did obtain slaves through the Portuguese for Spain's New World acquisitions. At the end of the 1500's Spaniards became able to issue asientos, licenses that gave foreigner holders the right to furnish Spanish colonies with slaves. "The asiento was so lucrative that it became the cause of thick intrigue, intricate diplomacy, and war, as the Portuguese, the French, the Dutch, the English and even Italian businessmen maneuvered to obtain it."

Jews could not obtain this contract.

Faber documents the French shipment of an estimated 1,150,000 slaves to the western hemisphere; the English shipment of 2,463,000 slaves. The Dutch came in fifth place with 498,000 slaves.

Jewish participation in the slave trade to the Americas was limited in the 15th and 16th centuries because the Jews were absent from the countries most engaged in slave trading . The Jews had been expelled from Spain in 1492 and from Portugal in 1497. England did not allow Jews to come back until the mid-seventeenth century.

England established the Royal African Company in 1672. "The governor of the company was none other than the king's brother, James, who was destined to become England's next king. The Company's stockholders consisted most notably of other members of the nobility, country gentlemen, ministers of the royal government, and, from London, 15 Lords Mayor, 25 sheriffs, and 38 alderman....Among the lengthy list of other major stockholders, not a single Jewish name appears."3

The only country in which Jews participated to any significant degree in the slave trade was the Netherlands. In 1656, seven out of 167 of the stockholders of the Dutch West India Company were Jewish. In 1674 the number of shareholders rose to a mere eleven out of 192.

Jewish settlement in the northern USA was almost exclusively urban. Virtually no slaves were to be found in Judaic households. Jewish colonists were absent from the English colonies where slaves were employed in large numbers. Virginia, the largest slaveholding state, had no Jewish inhabitants until the 1780's. Nor did Maryland and North Carolina. The few Jews in South Carolina and Georgia were likewise urban people.

There was one exception: Jews in Surinam owned forty plantations and held nine thousand slaves in the 1690's. Jewish plantation ownership reached its peak in 1730 when 115 out of 401 plantations on the island were owned by Jews. This period was of short duration; by 1787 Jewish plantation ownership declined to 46 out of 591.

The few Jews in France's three slave-owning sugar islands in the Caribbean were expelled from the islands.

Did the Jews thereafter profit from the slave trade in the New World? Much is made by the anti-Semites of the import of slaves by a few Jews in Rhode Island, a state which became the "capital" of North American slave trade. How significant was this traffic in the context of the total numbers of slaves imported through Rhode Island ports?

"In all, 934 Rhode Island vessels are known to have transported slaves to the western hemisphere between 1709 and 1807. A total of 925 owners have been identified for these ships, of whom only 42, or 4.5%, were Jewish. Furthermore, only a minute fraction of slaves were carried on ships owned by Jewish merchants. Shipowners whose religion is identifiable are known to have transported a total of 64,708 slaves to the New World. Of these, only 1,275 slaves, or 1.9%, traveled on vessels owned by Jews and non-Jews in partnership. In contrast, 62,829 of the slaves, or 97 percent, were transported on ships owned exclusively by Rhode Island's non-Jewish merchants."4

Aaron Lopez, a Rhode Island Jewish importer, is cited by the hate-mongers as an exemplification of egregious Jewish slave trading. The fact is that only 20 of the 200 ventures by Lopez were slaving expeditions; they constitute the total of the 1,275 slaves noted above.

The key fact ignored by the Nation of Islam purveyors of anti-Semitic propaganda is that the Europeans could not have obtained the millions of slaves without the participation of Islamic Arabs and Black Africans.

Arab slave dealers decimated thousands of villages in the interior of Africa, slaughtering the old and infirm, and bringing the remaining chain-linked captives to the coast for sale to the Europeans. Over the course of a half millennium, in addition to the 11,000,000 slaves sold in the Americas, Arabs transported more millions of black slaves to Islamic slavemasters in the Mid-East and North Africa as well as to European colonies in the eastern hemisphere.

The Arabs would not have been able to carry out their slave-raiding activities to the extent they did without the collaboration of black Africans. Tribes on the coast likewise conducted raids into the interior, and, most importantly, performed as middlemen between the Arab raiders and the Europeans.

Jews played no role in the deplorable slave-raiding activities in the interior or on the coast of Africa. Islamic Arabs and Black Africans continued to trade in and employ slaves into the mid-twentieth century!

Black Sudan is still guilty of this heinous practice!

It is held to be "politically incorrect" to discuss the involvement of Islamic Arabs and Black Africans in this dismal page of human history.

The record is clear. Jews have been taught from ancient times that the institution of slavery is reprehensible, that its practice must be limited in time. During the age when slavery was common to every land and people, the Talmud taught that slaves must be treated with humanity and dignity. Punishment is prescribed for those who abrogate these mitzvahs (commandments). The Talmud teaches that Jewish slaves must be freed after six years, and that "You shall sanctify the Jubilee year, declaring the emancipation [of slaves] all over the world. This is your Jubilee year, when each man shall return to his hereditary property and to his family." No other culture of that time was made subject to such commandments.

Jews as Slave Liberators

The Russian humanist, Count Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), recognizing human liberty as fundamental to Judaic ethics and philosophy, wrote that "The Jew is the pioneer of liberty. Even in those olden days, when the people were divided into two classes, slaves and masters - even so long ago had the law of Moses prohibited the practice of keeping a person in bondage for more than six years... The Jew is the emblem of civil and religious toleration. 'Love the stranger and the sojourner,' Moses commands, 'because you have been strangers in the land of Egypt.'"

The civil rights interests of the Jews and the blacks are, after all, historically parallel. I experienced this bitter lesson as a young man brought up in a small but largely Jewish community in central New Jersey in the 1920's and 1930's. The Ku Klux Klan was as virulent there as they were in the south. Monthly, on a Saturday night, a huge cross was burned on a hill not five hundred feet from our farm. The hill was on the property of a neighboring Jewish farmer.

Only one black family resided in the entire region. The burning cross was directed not at them but at us, the Jews who had presumed to settle in New Jersey's Middlesex County. A Christian community flanked the banks of a small lake only a quarter of a mile down the road from my house. At the entrance to the community and to the lake a sign was prominently posted:


The participation of Jews in the human and civil rights struggle was not altogether altruistic. Gaining civil rights for the blacks was also a means of gaining them for the Jews. While my skin was white, as was the skin of four other Jewish students majoring in chemistry at at Rutgers University, only we five of the forty-odd students in our class were unable to find employment in the numerous chemical plants of the area in that pre- WWII period.

I became one of those starry-eyed idealists who went south some sixty-five years ago to assist in organizing the steel-workers of Birmingham, Alabama. All but two of the score of northern volunteers to help them achieve better wages and job security were Jewish An immediate problem to be resolved was the unification of the black and white workers for their common interest. At first, blacks and whites sat separated by an isle in the union hall. As the realization grew that acting together was in the best interest of both groups, a mixture began to take place. The spark of the civil rights movement in the south was ignited then, several decades before the march in Selma.

Throughout that period, and elsewhere in the world, Jews were prominent in the movement for human and civil rights. For example, Professor Richard Hull of NYU, author of Jews and Judaism in Africa from Classical Antiquity to the Present, volunteered as a young man in his twenties in a school building project in Ghana. Through his subsequent studies Hull learned that there was a rich and sophisticated history in the Dark Continent, and that the Jews were prominent as a progressive force in it. "Jews are responsible for helping Africans organize against Apartheid in South Africa," Hull noted. "South Africa's human rights advocates grew out of the Jewish-led trade unions."

The facts are that not only were the Jews minimally involved in the slave trade but a substantial, ongoing activity of Jews in America for civil rights took place from the earliest colonial times. One of the first, and probably the most significant early American fighter for equality under the law for all peoples and universal citizenship for all immigrants was Asser Levi. Levi arrived in the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam in 1654 on board the vessel Saint Charles. He was one of a destitute group of Jews who had fled the Portuguese Inquisition in Brazil.

Governor Peter Stuyvesant sought to expel the wretched group of Jews on the grounds that, being impoverished, they would become the wards of the state. Levy sent a petition to Holland, then tolerant of the Jews.

Stuyvesant was importuned to allow the Jews to stay. He conceded by allowing the group to remain, but as probationers, and imposed severe restrictions on their activity. Although permitted to practice their religion, they were prohibited from erecting a house of worship, forbidden to seek assistance from the citizenry or government, and proscribed from engaging in the fur or any retail trade.

The Jews remained, and Asser Levi then appealed for the removal of the restrictions, pointing out that albeit the Jews were subject to the same taxes as the colony's citizenry, they possessed no citizen's rights. He succeeded in having the restrictions removed, with the exception of the rights to bear arms and to become a "burgher," or citizen.

Able to work and trade, the Jews prospered. After the City Council voted to levy a tax against all Jewish males from 16 to 65 in lieu of serving in the militia, "Levy, with the aid of one Jacob Barsimson, petitioned the council to reconsider this burdensome tax. The authorities, incensed at the audacity of these Jews, who had only recently had other restrictions removed, rejected their plea. Continuing their agitation, Levy and Barsimson were reluctantly permitted to bear arms, and with the passage of a new law in 1657, under which the Jewish settlers were permitted to become burghers, the last impediment to equal rights was lifted."

The principles of equality under the law was thus established for the first time in America. Asser Levy had "set a constitutional precedent, the foundation of the "open door" policy of American immigration law."5

Unfortunately, the precedent established by the persistent efforts of Asser Levy was not applied to black slaves. They were not imported as human beings but as property. Jews were prominent in the movement to abolish the laws which legitimized this horrendous proposition.

Jewish Fighters for Human Rights

Ernestine Louise Rose is an early, truly heroic figure in American history. She deserves far more renown and credit for her relentless fight for women's rights and as an ardent abolitionist. Born in Russian Poland in 1810, Ernestine and her family moved to England while she was a young child. Her father, a rabbi, recognizing her genius, saw to it that she was educated in Jewish scripture in the original Hebrew. Her mother died when she was sixteen. "Ernestine traveled to Berlin, where she found herself the victim of an anti-Semitic law that required every newly-arrived non-Prussian Jew to have a Prussian sponsor. Unwilling to suffer this affront, Ernestine, still a teen-ager, appealed directly to the king, who exempted her. Around this time, Ernestine invented a room deodorizer that she sold to support herself while she continued her travels. She visited Belgium, Holland, France, and England, where in 1832 she met Robert Owen, a renowned utopian socialist."6

PORTRAIT OF ERNESTINE ROSE by Grozlier, 1857. Illustration from Yuri Suhl, Ernestine L. Rose; Women’s Rights Pioneer, by courtesy of the author and of Biblio Press

For the next three years Ernestine lectured on human equality and equal rights under the law alongside of Owen. She fell in love with another Owenite, a Jewish jeweler named William Ella Rose. In 1836, a year after they were married, the couple moved to New York.

Ernestine considered slavery an abomination. In her lectures throughout the Northeast, her fiery condemnation of the institution was added to her support of religious toleration, public education, and equality for women. With consummate courage she took the issue of abolition to the South. Her lectures spurred one irate slaveholder to proclaim that if she had been a man he would have had her tarred and feathered.

"In 1854 Rose advocated for a New York State law allowing married women to retain their own property and have equal guardianship, with their husbands, of their own children. It took the legislature 15 years to adopt these now widely accepted standards."

Rose never ceased working for social justice until she died in England in 1892. "Rabbi Jonas Bondi praised Rose with what could be a fitting epitaph: 'She was the earliest and noblest among the workers in the cause of human enfranchisement in the United States.'"7

Quakers and Jews were outstanding in the anti-slavery campaign. They often acted in consort to salvage runaways and provide escape routes. Slaves freed by the Quakers and Jews had already attempted a colonization on Sierra Leone. Lacking land, support, and cohesion, the effort failed in 1815. Most of the villages from which a freedman or his progenitors had been ripped had been obliterated by the Arab or Black slave-raiders. Anything of value was taken. The elderly and the infirm, being of no value and a hindrance to the raiders, were ruthlessly slaughtered. Furthermore, those slaves who were several generations away from their uprooted progenitors had little knowledge of where they had come from and even less knowledge of how to comport themselves in what was now an unfamiliar land.

Nobody deserves more acclaim for overcoming these difficulties than Jehudi Ashmun. Jehudi's parents, Samuel and Parthenia Ashmun, were among the early settlers in New York State. Samuel was one of six men who were given a bounty of land from the State of New York in 1788 for their services during the American Revolution. They became the founders of what is now the town of Champlain. Jehudi, the third of ten children, was born 6 years later on April 21, 1794.

The town flourished, and a Presbyterian Church was built. According to its records, Samuel Ashmun, his wife and children were baptized on April 5, 1807. Three years later, on July 15, 1810, "Jahudi Ashman" was received into the church as a member. After a brief stint as a lawyer, Jehudi determined that his life must be devoted to educational and missionary labors. About 1820, after failing twice in the publication of theological journals, he joined the American Colonization Society and began publishing The African Intelligencer. The ACS had started in the South as a means to dispose of freed slaves. Under Ashmun the character of the Society changed to a broader program of slave liberation. From then on, Jehudi devoted his life to the resettlement of blacks in Africa. Jehudi proposed a practical solution to find a place in Africa where freedmen could make a life for themselves regardless of geographical and tribal origin. Jehudi campaigned for funds to buy a tract of land upon which a viable, autonomous colony could be established, and to provide logistical and administrative support to it.

Negotiations with African native rulers led to the granting of land to the ACS on Cape Mesurado, at the mouth of the Saint Paul River. In 1821, Jehudi Ahmun led the first American settlers to the territory. Settlements were installed along the coast during the next 20 years. The settlement was named "Monrovia," and the new colony was named "Liberia." Jenkins Roberts became the first black governor pf Liberia in 1841. A constitution modeled on that of the United States was drawn up. Liberia became an independent republic in July 1847. The United States did not recognize Liberia until 1862! Yehudi Ashmun was much honored for his selfless philanthropy after his death in 1828, The Life of Yehudi Ashmun and his considerable accomplishments was written by Ralph R.Gurley in 1835, but Ashmun has hardly been noted since.

The credit for the creation of a land in which Black slaves could"breathe free" belongs to Yehudi Ashmun and in great measure to his Quaker and Jewish supporters. Jehudi Ashmun should be remembered as a selfless idealist, a dedicated pioneer and abolitionist. It would be especially fitting that Jehudi Ashmun be acknowledged for his lifelong dedication to human freedom by the black community.

So should three Jews who enlisted in the small band of anti-slavery militants headed by John Brown be acknowledged: Theodore Wiener, immigrant to America from Poland; Jacob Benjamin, originally from Bohemia, and August Bondi a Viennese student revolutionary in the unsuccessful democratic revolution of 1848. Having suffered virulent anti-Semitism in Europe, these Jews were outraged over the condition of blacks in the "Free World."

In 1855 the settlers in the territory of Kansas voted to decide whether Kansas would become a free or slave state. The anti-slavery majority would have predominated, so 5000 heavily armed pro-slavery Missourians poured into the territory on election day, overwhelmed the polling places, captured the ballot boxes and "elected" a pro-slavery legislature. Thus protected by a pro-slavery government, pro-slavery gangs, so-called "Border Ruffians," launched virulent attacks against the anti-slavery settlers.

John Brown became one of those Kansas settlers in 1855. Becoming increasingly incensed at the continued attacks on the anti-slavery majority, he gathered a group of militants together. In May, 1956 he led a raid on a company of Border Ruffians, massacring more than a dozen of its leaders. The next day, Brown and his men captured 48 pro-slavery fighters at the Battle of Black Jack.

AUGUST BONDI Reproduced by courtesy of the American Jewish Historical Society

"Bondi, Benjamin and Weiner all fought with Brown at Black Jack. In Bondi's account of the battle, which can be found in the papers of the American Jewish Historical Society, he recounts marching up a hill beside Brown, ahead of the other men:"5

"'We walked with bent backs, nearly crawled, that the tall dead grass of the year before might somehow hide us from the Border Ruffian marksmen, yet the bullets kept whistling... Weiner puffed like a steamboat, hurrying behind me. I called out to him 'Nu, was meinen Sie jetzt?' (Now what do you think of this?'). His answer, 'Sof odom muves' (a Hebrew phrase meaning 'the end of man is death' or, in modern phraseology, 'I guess we are up against it,'

"John Brown took his quixotic last stand at Harpers Ferry... Benjamin only lived until 1866, and Weiner died in obscurity in 1906. August Bondi remained true to his convictions and continued to support the anti-slavery cause in Kansas. When the Civil War broke out, he was among the first to enlist., serving as a first sergeant in the Kansas cavalry. After the war, Bondi settled in Salina, Kansas, where he served as land clerk, postmaster, member of the school board, director of the state board of charities, a local court judge and a trustee of the Kansas Historical Society.. He was known for his political integrity and idealism."

"Bondi, who died in 1907, described himself as a consistent Jew throughout his life... Even in an age and place that could be inhospitable to Jews, Bondi always identified publicly and proudly with his Judaism."

A Philadelphia Story

As the recent rescue of several hundred thousand Ethiopians and their integration into Israeli life attest, Jews are ethically antithetic to racial bigotry. This does not infer that Jews are never infected with the prejudices of the societies within which they reside. It is true, however, that such bigotry is universally condemned in Judaic philosophy. Moses, after all, married Tziporah ("Lady-bird"), a Midianite.

In this context we should celebrate a Jewish immigrant, Aaron Levy, who was born in Amsterdam in 1742. "He came to America about 1760, settling at Northumberland on the Susquehanna River. He acquired a tract of land in Penn's Valley, and in 1786 made a public proclamation that he had there laid out a town called Aaronsburg, in the settlement of which he invited the cooperation of all who were interested. He built this city with wide streets, a uniquely ingenious water system and street lights. But much more important and significant is the fact that he imbued the atmosphere with a spirit of good will, tolerance and love of his fellow man. He gave to the Salem Evangelical Church four lots of ground for use of the members in communion with the church called Lutheran, for a church building, a school and a burial ground. He also presented them with a communion set. To Aaron Levy, a man was not first a Jew or a Christian, but a man like himself bearing the image of his creator."

Aaron Levy became active rescuing slaves. Among those rescued was a young woman named Rachel. Aaron educated and married her.

Rachel Levy lies buried in a quiet graveyard in the heart of Philadelphia's downtown at Ninth and Spruce Streets. It is the first Jewish cemetery of the "City of Brotherly Love."

Jewish slaves carrying treasures taken from the Holy Temple in Jerusalem by Roman legions under Titus, as shown in a copper engraving of the 18th century of the sculpture depicting the event of the Arch of Titus in Rome. Thousands of Jewish slaves were used to construct the arch and the "Temple of Peace," erected to house the Judaic treasures. Abhorrence of slavery is rooted in the Jewish psyche, and the oppression suffered by the Jews through the centuries imprinted sympathy into Judaic culture for all subjugated peoples.

The Real Miss Daisies

The stories of Judaic involvement in human rights activities are legion throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Noteworthy are those which pertain to the Jewish experience in the south, before and after emancipation.

It was not hazardous for Northern Jews to actively support the civil rights movement, but in the south it could have proved deadly. It was particularly courageous for Jews to make such sympathies known, for Klansmen listed Jews with Blacks on their hate list.

In the May 3-9, 1991 issue of The Jewish Week, Lisa Hostein reported on not one but three Southern gentlewomen, sisters reminiscent of the principal character in the movie "Driving Miss Daisy." The ladies, were part of the Jewish community of Jackson, Mississippi. Celeste Orkin, Phyllis Herman and Bea Gotthelf are still referred to endearingly by that community as "The Lehman Sisters."

"With their well-coiffed gray hair and impeccable dress, the sisters, in perfect southern drawl, recall growing up in a community where just a handful of their playmates were Jewish - and the pain that distinction often engendered."

As Jews, the sisters suffered ostracism in school and life, engendering sympathy for the far more egregious plight of the black community. The separation between black and white "was a way of life for us," recalls Gotthelf, who, along with her late husband, became an active proponent of racial equality. "When the civil rights movement arose, a light turned on."

The sisters became actively involved in the civil rights movement, and recounted the difficult years of the civil rights period from the assassination of Medgar Evans in 1963 to the bombing of the Jackson synagogue and its Rabbi's home.

Rabbi Jacob Rothschild, the spiritual leader of Atlanta's one Reform Temple, was one of Atlanta's most outspoken proponents of civil rights reform. "Like the Jackson temple, the Atlanta congregation, known as "The Temple," was also bombed during that stormy period. The scene in "Driving Miss Daisy" accurately portrayed that appalling event, according to those who lived through it.

The legacy of the Jews of the South, their contribution to its development, and the involvement of such Jews as the "Lehman Sisters' in the civil rights movement will now be preserved for posterity in the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience, a new museum about 20 miles southwest of Jackson.


At every Seder table throughout the world, in every year of the twenty centuries of Jewish life in the Common Era, the admonishment is repeated in every Jewish home and in every synagogue:

"We must remember that we were once slaves in Egypt."

  1. Toby Axelrod, reporting in Jewish week, Jan. 1995.
  2. Eli Faber, Slavery and the Jews: A Historical Inquiry, one of an "Occasional Paper Series," funded by Anne Bass Schneider and Dr. Louis Schneider of Fort Wayne, Indiana for the Jewish Studies Program of Hunter College.
  3. Faber, idem.
  4. Faber, idem.
  5. Bernard Postal and Lionel Koppman, Guess Who's Jewish in American History," Shapolsky Publishers, 1988, pp.34,5.
  6. Chapter 60 of Chapters in American Jewish History, in the Forward, March 15, 1998, one of a series published weekly by the American Jewish Historical Society in that remarkable newspaper.
  7. Forward 2/15, idem.
  8. This and subsequent quotes on the Jews who fought with John Brown are taken from a another of the Chapters in American Jewish History, published by the American Jewish Historical Society in the Forward, July 31, 1998.
  9. The Jewish Cemetery, Ninth and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia, compiled by Rev. L. H. Elmaleh and J. Bunford Samuel, May, 1906, Revised and enlarged by Rev. Leon H. Elmaleh