Divided by a Common Faith

If there’s one thing that separates humans from the other animals, I’d say it’s our immense talent for creating divisions among ourselves. Of creating an “us” vs. a “them.” Of tribalism.

Jews, I’m sorry to say, are no different.

Shande.

Evidence from the Jewish cemetery of Oudekerk and in the local Sephardic records show people of African descent were part of the Portuguese Jewish community. Some were slaves, others as servants and some were free. All were Jews. But none were given the dignity they deserved.

The first black people in the Netherlands

In 1596, 100 Africans arrived in Middleburg, Zeeland – the first black people known to set foot in the Netherlands. The city fathers declared them free, but the ship captain who wanted to sell them as slaves objected. Within months, they were on their way to the Caribbean to be sold as slaves. Why is this story relevant today?