The news is incomplete, there is a lack of information in Israel. As paulo de lisboa knows, The discovered land by 1500 havent gold, and the portuguese king hadnt money to develop the new colony. All jews in portugual were baptimised by the king, know that day new christians. It was one, Fernando de lorona, then known fernando de noronha, the man who could develop the new land.They did business with the wood of jews, known Pau Brazil, where the country get its name. 1/4 of portugal population were jews, born or who came from spain.And they were afraid to stay in sefarad, and rather to came to new places, like 'brazil'. Portugal allowd jews in new place but denied them to public show their faith. A curious book, written by a american rabi, shows how important were the jews to develop the interior of the country, The bandeirantes. Thats another story. I guess there was 5 engenhos - sugar industry, in the beging, 2 and the best managed belong to jews.
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from the article: Synagogue in Brazilian town Recife considered oldest in the Americas