With the expulsion of the Jews from the Iberian Peninsula at the end of the 15th Century, the Sephardic diaspora spread to the far corners of the globe searching for a place to settle. Many reached the New World during the Age of Discovery, and they played important roles in both the exploration itself as well as settlement. Jews, either hidden or openly Jewish, became merchants and were active in trade. There were even all Jewish colonies such as the one in Suriname.

In the 17th century, Jews found another vocation- piracy. Joining forces with Muslims in the Mediterranean and with the Dutch and British in Caribbean, Jews sought revenge against the Spanish Empire. Some became prominent and successful pirates. Jamaica became one of the earliest British possessions in the new world thanks to the Jews. And the island became a center for Jewish merchants as well as pirates.

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