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Tirado, Jacob


TIRADO, JACOB (ca. 1540–1620), one of the founding fathers of the Portuguese community in *Amsterdam. Tirado was born in Portugal into a *Converso family. In 1598 he was living in Amsterdam where he returned to Judaism. In notarial documents he appears as a wealthy merchant under the name of James (Gammez) Lopes da Costa. His trade concentrated on Portugal and Venice. Synagogue services were held in his house, at least in 1610. In about 1608 he must have been among the founders of the Sephardi community, together with Samuel *Palache and the poet Jacob Israel *Belmonte. The community was named Bet Ya'akov. He was among the first parnassim of the community and donated a Sefer Torah. After 1612 he left Amsterdam and moved to Venice, where he was active in charity and fund raising for Ereẓ Israel. He might have spent the last years of his life in Jerusalem. According to legendary tradition Tirado left Portugal in 1593 along with a group of Conversos and reached Emden, where R. Moses Uri b. Joseph Ha-Levi helped them to return to Judaism and accompanied them to Amsterdam. Their religious practices led the authorities to suspect that they were holding Catholic services – at that time forbidden – and on the Day of Atonement, 1596, the group was arrested. Tirado was able to communicate with the authorities in Latin and, when he told them the truth, they authorized Jewish worship.


E.M. Koen, in: Studia Rosenthaliana, 3 (1969), 121, 237, 240, 246 (Dutch). add. bibliography: O. Vlessing, in: Dutch Jewish History, 3 (1993), 43–75.

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