The first Jewish settlement in what became the United States was in Dutch New Amsterdam, which is now known as New York City. The first significant group of Jews to come to New York, then the colony New Amsterdam, came in September 1654 as refugees from Recife, Brazil. Portugal had just conquered Brazil from the Netherlands and the Sephardi Jews there promptly fled. Most went to Amsterdam in the Netherlands but 23 headed for New Amsterdam instead. They were greeted by some Ashkenazi Jews who had preceded them by just a few weeks, and by governor Peter Stuyvesant who was at first unwilling to accept them. Jewish stockholders in the Dutch West India Company convinced the company to pressure the governor into accepting the arrivals, but the latter still imposed numerous restrictions and taxes on his Jewish subjects. Eventually, many of these Jews left.
As of 2012, New York has a Jewish population of 1,761,020, 9% of the state. In 1899, there were 400,000 Jews in New York.