Access and Provenance 

Scope and Content Note 

Box and Folder Listing 


A Finding Aid to the

Leo Hershkowitz Collection

Manuscript Collection No. 418

1682-1723. 0.2 Linear ft.


The Leo Hershkowitz Collection was donated in 2005 by Leo Hershkowitz. He received these papers from the New York Court of Appeals via Queens College in New York City.

Dr. Hershkowitz, by the act of donating this collection to the American Jewish Archives, assigned the property rights to the American Jewish Archives. Questions concerning rights should be addressed to the Director of the American Jewish Archives.

The Leo Hershkowitz Collection is open to all researchers and available in the reading room of the American Jewish Archives.

Nebraska at Omaha gave him an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree in 1985.


The Leo Hershkowitz Collection was compiled by Dr. Leo Hershkowitz, an esteemed historian of American and specifically New York Jewry, through his employer, Queens College in New York City. The records were originally obtained through the New York Court of Appeals who were deaccessioning a portion of their records. Dr. Hershkowitz then studied and transcribed these inventories.

The first Jews to settle in New Amsterdam were Spanish and Portuguese Sephardic refugees from Brazil in 1654. By the late seventeenth century the community had formed a synagogue. After a few decades the majority of the Jews in New Amsterdam were of Ashkenazic or central and eastern European descent though the synagogue and community rituals remained dominated by Sephardic traditions. Some of the outstanding leaders of the kehillot of this era have their estate inventories included in this collection. Among these are Nunes, Pinheiro and Buono familes, although Asser Levy stands out as a prominent business, political and communal leader.

This collection contains ten inventories of colonial New York Jews. These inventories, though somewhat difficult to read because of handwriting styles or the wear of time, contain valuable information on the households of the merchant class of Jews in New York. Each of these lists the property and assets of the deceased as well as any debts incurred.


Box	Folder	Contents
1 1 Brown, Ester. 1 July 1708. 2 Bueno, Joseph. 10 Nov 1708. 3 Elias, David of Southampton, Suffolk County. Dec 1723. 4 Financial record, New York State. 1752. 5 Levy, Asser. 24 April 1682. 6 Levy, Samuel. 9 March 1721. 7 Marquis, Isaac Rodrigues. 19 Jan 1707. 8 Nunes, Joseph. 8 Oct 1705. 9 Pinheiro, Isaac. Inventories. 22 Feb 1709/1710. 10 Samuell, Judah. 2 Dec 1702.
Copyright © 2005 The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives