De Castro Family (Sephardi Jewish) - Hananeel de Castro

Hananeel De Castro

English communal worker, son of Mosseh and Judith de Castro, born London, 16 October 1794, died 23 March 1849

During 1817 to 1818, he served with the English volunteers in Barbados, and soon after returned to London where in December [1828, he married his cousin, Deborah de Jacob Mendes da Costa.

In London, De Castro at once took an important part in the communal life of the Bevis Marks Synagogue. At the time of the blood accusation at Damascus (1840) he was president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, and was among the first to urge Sir Moses Montefiore's journey to the East. About the same period (20 January 1845) he laid the foundation of Sussex Hall, consisting of a library and lecture hall, which was the first Jewish literary institution in London.

During the bitter controversies following the promulgation of the herem against the Reform synagogue in 1841, Hananeel de Castro strove unceasingly to bring about a reconciliation. Finally, on 9 March 1849, a few weeks before his death, he secured the repeal of the herem insofar as it applied to Ascama No. 1.

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