New York, 1664-1755
THE terms of the capitulation which the English imposed when they took New Amsterdam may be described as liberal. The rights which the Jews had. laboriously won from the Dutch were maintained. But they were expected to conform to the old-world guild restrictions which forbade them to engage in retail trade or to practice a craft.
Yet onerous as these and other disabilities seem now, they were in reality not very formidable. The Jews were not interested in such matters as converting their Christian neighbors; they were too busy trying to make a living to aspire to public office; and in place of the prohibited public worship they were quite satisfied to hold private religious services in a home or in the obscurity of some rented room. They needed no urging to live off by themselves for mutual comfort and for socio-religious relations, like other religious and ethnic groups. The Jews would have congregated together even if they had not been invited to do so.
Furthermore, they practiced their crafts if they possessed