NEW YORK (Dec. 21)
The New York City Council is expected to approve a measure to re-name part of Seaside Park in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn in honor of Asser Levy, reputedly one of the first Jews permitted to settle in Nieuw Amsterdam in 1654. A bill to that effect was adopted by a 7-0 vote by the City Council’s Parks Commission yesterday.
The legislation culminated a 10-year effort by Murray Tate, a student of American-Jewish history and former district commander of the Kings County Jewish War Veterans, to honor the pioneer Jewish settler in an area of the city that today is closely identified with the Jewish community. Tate, who died earlier this month at the age of 65, founded the Asser Levy National Council to make others aware of Levy’s contributions.
These included winning the right for Jewish settlers to help defend the Dutch settlement on lower Manhattan against Indian attacks; contributing money for its defense against the British and himself fighting against the forces of the British Crown; struggling for equality for fellow-Jews and for civil rights generally and contributing money for construction of the first Lutheran church in what was to become the city of New York. Levy, who died in 1681, was honored a number of years ago by the naming of a plaza for him on East 23rd St. in Manhattan.