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Previously published in Middle Atlantic Review of Latin American Studies

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Recife is the location of the first synagogue and the first Jewish community in the New World. The original Jewish community was formed during the period of the Dutch occupation and was mostly Sephardic. It wasn't until the second decade of the twentieth century that Jewish life in Recife was rekindled, this time mostly Ashkenazi. Even though the two periods of Jewish life are distinct, they both show signs of a similar underlying vitality.