Did Jewish people participate in the transatlantic slave trade, either in Europe or North/South America, at any point throughout the 16th-19th centuries?

Always more to be said, but in the meantime you might check out u/hannahstohelit’s response to How much validity is there to the claims that Jews were major players in the Atlantic slave trade (per the linked official “historic department” Nation of Islam, book).

(tl;dr: Jews did actively participate in the transatlantic slave trade; however, the claims you’re referring to are largely not a case of “historical events justifying current prejudice” so much as of the systematic manipulation and misrepresentation of historical evidence to exaggerate Jewish participation in the trade to historically untenable levels.)

/r/AskHistorians Thread