Who was the first Jew to circumnavigate the world?
No, clever reader, the answer is probably not Pedro Teixeira. Read on.
First, to make it clear: there were two Portuguese explorers named Pedro Teixeira. One was the first European to go up the entire Amazon. This is not him.
This Teixera did come to the New World, but he also circumnavigated the globe. He started in Europe in 1585, went to the Far East, then America, and back to Lisbon in 1601.
Was Teixeira Jewish? Depends how you look at it. Supposedly, he came from a marrano family. There are even theories that after his time in America, he returned to Europe and reverted to Judaism.
So, perhaps this Teixeira was the first Jew to circumnavigate the globe, or perhaps he wasn't exactly Jewish, or perhaps there were some hidden Jews on Magellan's ships, who would have preceded Teixeira by a good 80 years...
So, who was the first Jew to circumnavigate the world?
No one really knows.
How is that for an answer?