||Song of Songs and Pirke Avot in Hebrew, Ladino, with Spanish translation for the Marranos. The Marranos arrived in Amsterdam around 1590, some 11 years after the Union of Utrecht (1579) and the birth of the United Provinces of the Netherlands as a Protestant state. They had to wait until 1615 before Jewish settlement was officially authorized, but the Marranos in Amsterdam differed from those in other Protestant countries in that they openly practiced Judaism almost from the moment of their arrival. Thanks to the Marranos, Amsterdam became one of the greatest Jewish centers in the world in the 17th century; it had some of the finest academies and produced some of the greatest Jewish thinkers. Amsterdam was also a haven for oppressed Jews from other places, including France in 1615 and Eastern Europe after the Chmielnicki massacres (from 1648). Erstwhile Marranos from Holland were among the first settlers in Suriname and Curacao, where a substantial Sephardi community came into being after 1650. Other former Marranos were also found in Barbados and in other parts of the West Indies, including Martinique and the Leeward Islands.
Proophs, family of Hebrew printers, publishers, and booksellers in Amsterdam. Solomon b. Joseph (d. 1734), whose father may have been a Hebrew printer as well, was established as a bookseller in Amsterdam and associated with other printers from 1697 to 1703. In 1704 he set up his own Hebrew press, which produced mainly liturgical books but also a wider range of works in halakhah, aggadah, Kabbalah, ethics, and history. In 1714 Proops began to print a Talmud edition in competition with that planned by Samuel b. Solomon Marches and Raphael b. Joshua de Palasios, but was forced by them to discontinue in view of their prior rabbinic monopoly. From 1715 productions by Proops carried advertisements of books he had published, and in 1730 he issued a sales catalog (Appiryon Shelomo), the first such Hebrew publication.