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BELMONTE, JACOB ISRAEL:

One of the founders of the Portuguese-Jewish community of Amsterdam, his colleagues being Jacob Tirado and Solomon Palache; born on the island of Madeira in 1570; died at Amsterdam Dec. 4, 1629. He married Simḥah (Gimar) Vaz, whose picture by her son Moses is to be found in David Franco Mendes' "Memorias do Estabelecimento . . . dos Judeos Portuguezes," preserved in manuscript in the archives of the Portuguese congregation at Amsterdam. Jacob Israel came to Amsterdam on Jan. 13, 1614. He wrote a poetic account of the Inquisition in one hundred octaves, which he called "Job." Of this, De Barrios ("Rev. Et. Juives," xviii. 282) says:

"Contra la Inquisición Jacob Belmonte Un canto tira del Castalio monte Y comico la Historia de Job canta."

Together with Rahel Yeshurun and Joseph Israel Pereyra, Belmonte drew up the articles of incorporation for the newly acquired burial-ground of the community in Oudekerk, Jan. 13, 1614. At his death Morteira founded a yeshibah in his honor. He left ten children: Sarah i., Sarah ii., Rachel, David, Rebecca, Joseph, Benjamin, Moses, Solomon, and Samuel.

Bibliography:
  • De Castro, in Nieuwe Isr. Weekblaad, 17 Jan., 1873, No. 26;
  • idem, De Synagoge der Portug.-Israel.-Gemeente te Amsterdam, p. 7;
  • idem, Keur van Grafsteenen, p. 53;
  • Kayserling, Sephardim, pp. 289 (quotes an octave from his Job), 359;
  • idem, Bibl.-Esp. Port.-Jud. p. 27.
G.
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