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1931 BETAR (Latvia)

Established a Navy School in Riga.

1923 April, BETAR (Brit Trumpeldor) (Riga, Latvia)

Was founded by Aaron Propes under the guidance and philosophy of Ze’ev (Vladimir) Jabotinsky. Betar believed in Jewish statehood, undiluted Zionism, self defense, Hebrew, and what was called Hadar a code of good manners, dignity and belief in the intrinsic value of the Jewish people.

1944 June 30, BLUT FUER WARE ("BLOOD FOR GOODS") (Hungary - Switzerland)

Hungarian Jewish leaders Joel Brand and Rudolf Kastner working together with the Jewish Agency and the War Refugee board concluded a deal with Adolph Eichmann. It became known as Blut fuer Ware ("Blood for Goods"). This date marks the first of three transports with 1,658 people to Switzerland. Included in this transport were 80 prominent Jews including the Satmar Rebbe (Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum), the Debreziner Rav, Rabbi Jonathan Steif, and Adolph Deutsch, head of the Budapest Agudah. This transport was held up in Bergen-Belsen for six months and only reached Switzerland in December. There were two other transports; one on August 18, with 318 people and the last on December 6, with 1,368 people. A total of 3,344 Jews were sent at a price of 1,000 dollars per head. The deal was the subject of much controversy and after the war, Kastner was accused by Malkiel Grünwald of collaboration with the Nazis and of testifying for an SS officer Kurt Becher who had negotiated with him on behalf of Eichmann. Much of the resentment had to do with the selection made for the transports. He was accused of helping only those who were either wealthy, had a personal connection to the committee, or were politically acceptable. Although the Supreme Court in Israel (on an appeal) cleared his name on January 17, 1958, it came too late for Kastner who had been shot and killed in March, 1957 in Tel Aviv by Ze'ev Eckstein, a Hungarian survivor.

1922 May 28, BNEI AKIVA (Eretz Israel)

The "Sons of Akiva", the youth movement of Ha-Po'el ha-Mizrachi, was founded. The basis for the movement was the idea of Torah va-Avodah ("Torah and Labor"), religion and pioneering. The spiritual leader of the movement was Chief Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook. One of its goals was to train its members in agriculture and crafts leading Bnei Akiva to form its own kibbutzim within the structure of Kibbutz Hadati, the religious kibbutz movement.

1945 January, BRICHAH (Lublin,Poland)

Organization was founded by Abba Kovner and Yitzchak Zuckerman joining the Lidovsky brothers and their group from Rovno. What had begun as an ideological discussion six months earlier had become a movement to get Jews out of Europe and into Eretz Israel. Mordechai Roseman was asked to direct the organization, which began sending small groups to Romania. It later merged into Mosad leAliyah Bet (or "Mosad", center for "illegal" immigration) in Palestine, whose head, Shaul Avigur, moved his office to Paris in 1946. Between 1944-1948, Brichah moved over 200,000 people to southern ports and eventually to Eretz Israel, mostly against the will of the occupying governments.

1944 December 11, BRICHAH (Romania)

Rabbi Meir Kahan and Dr. Shmuel Amarant were arrested by the NKVD, together with a number of Zionist youth trying to get through the Romanian border on their way to Eretz Israel. Abba Kovner was also on the wanted list and new routes had to be devised.

1944 March, BRICHAH ORGANIZATION (Rovno, Ukraine)

A month or so after the liberation of Rovno, Eliezer and Abraham Lidovsky, together with Pasha (Isaac) Rajchmann, decided that there was no future for the Jews in Poland. They officially formed an artisan guild to cover their activities. During that summer they sent a group to Cernauti Romania to explore escape routes. Yet it was only after Abba Kovner and his group from Vilna joined in January 1945 that the organization which was known as Brichah took shape.

1555 July 14, BULL CUM NIMIS ABSURDUM (Rome, Italy)

In his Bull, POPE PAUL IV (1555-1559), the former Cardinal Caraffa, renewed all previous anti-Jewish legislation and installed a ghetto in Rome. Jews were forced to wear a special cap and forbidden to own real estate or practice medicine on Christians. Communities weren't allowed to have more than one synagogue. He ordered Jews to pay an annual amount for every synagogue, "even those that have been demolished," and said: "Jews can only engage themselves in the work of street sweepers and rag pickers". Jews in all the papal states were forced to lock themselves into the confines of the ghettos each night.

1843 October 13, B'NAI B'RITH (USA)

Was founded under the leadership of Henry Jones at Sinsheimer's cafe on Essex Street in New York, to maintain orphanages and homes for the elderly and widows. It extended its work to many spheres of American Jewish life, including combating anti-Semitism (A.D.L.) and working with students on campus (Hillel). At the time of its founding, there were approximately 15,000 Jewsish in the United States. It was the first Jewish fraternal society in the world.

1835 March, BAB EL HOTA (Jerusalem)

A number of courtyards and houses near the Lions gate were purchased by Jews. Unfortunately, a local blood libel in 1838, although dismissed, created an environment of fear. This coupled with the distance from other Jewish houses and the decrease in the Jewish population after the epidemic of 1838-9, caused it to be abandoned.

1741 June, BABA'I BEN NURIEL (Isfahan)

Together with three other Rabbi’s, translated the Pentateuch and the Book of Psalms into Persian at the request of Nadir Shah (see 1736).


The massacre of local non-Moslem populations by the first Caliphs gave way to a practical accommodation, including Omar's encouragement of the Jews to return to Babylon (Persia).


The Jewish population numbered between 100,000 and 200,000, which was between 10-12% of the entire population. The Jews were semi-autonomous and had full freedom of religion.

1040 BACHYA IBN PAKUDA (Saragossa, Spain)

Published the first book on Jewish morals and ethics, entitled Chovot Halevavot (Duties of the Heart). In the 19th century his work, among others, became an integral part of the talmudic academy (yeshiva) curriculum. It was considered a tool for introspection and self-evaluation.

1807 May 14, BADEN (Germany)

Judaism was recognized as a tolerated religion. Although their rights improved, especially for the Schutzjuden (protected Jews), full emancipation would only be granted over 50 years later (see 1862).

1257 BADGE OF SHAME (Italy)

Although first proscribed in the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215, the badge of shame was imposed locally and infrequently in Italy until the Bull of Pope Alexander IV enforced it on all papal states. Over the years different variations were initiated both in color and in the actual apparel.

1163 BAGHDAD (Persia)

Benjamin of Tudela found 40,000 Jews living in Baghdad, with 28 synagogues and 10 Torah academies.

1228 BAGHDAD (Persia)

According to a Moslem custom each (non-Moslem) communal leader had his face publicly slapped upon paying the poll tax for his community. The elderly leader of the Jewish community, Ibn Ash-Shuwaikh, asked to be allowed to make the payment at night so as to avoid the shame. His request was refused.

1638 (16 Tevet 5399) BAGHDAD (Persia)

Ottoman Sultan Murad IV conquered Baghdad. The day was celebrated as a day of miracles (Yom Ness). In general, when the Ottomans ruled the city, life for its Jewish residents improved. When the Persian Shiites ruled the city the situation was very difficult to say the least.

1733 (11 Av 5493) BAGHDAD (Persia)

Persians, trying to reoccupy Baghdad, were defeated by the Ottomans. This day is celebrated as a holiday like the day in 1638.

763 - 766 BAGHDAD (Persia)

Baghdad was built as the capital of the Abbasid by the Caliph Al Mansur (754-775), successor to Al Abbari. The Jewish mathematician and astronomer Masha'allah/Mashallah Ibn Athari(see 640), together with a Persian astronomer Ab-Naubakht/Naubakht Ahvazi, were responsible for planning the city, which by the 13th century had a perimeter of 20 miles, 10,000 streets and a population of almost 2,000,000.

972 BAGHDAD (Persia)

A fire raged throughout the city killing 17,000 people, many of them Jews. This disaster contributed to the decline in Baghdad's Jewish population and its importance in the Jewish world.

1624 BAHIA (Brazil)

Conversos declared their Judaism after the Dutch conquest. This was the first colony in the New World in which Jews openly professed their Jewish beliefs. Unfortunately, the following year the Portuguese reconquered the region and the Jews were forced to flee.

C. 1255 - 1340 BAHYA BEN ASHER (aka RABBEINU BEHAYE) ( Spain)

Rabbi , scholar and biblical commentator. Famed for his Be'ur al ha-Torah, He was the first to build his commentary on the four methods of interpretation ( PaRDeS), " Peshat, plain text Remez, hints deeper allegoric meaning Drash, Haggadic and Midrashic meanings, and Sod, mystical Kabbalistic interpretation of the text.He also wrote Kad ha-Kemah "Flour Jar ". It consists of sixty chapters in religion and morality.


Jewish communities could be found on the Danube river near present day Nikopol.

1699 BAMBERG (Germany)

A mob, attacking the Jewish quarter, turned around and retreated after one quick thinker poured baskets of ripe plums on the attackers. An annual Plum fast (Zwetschgen Taanit) was instituted.


The school had been established a month earlier by Eliza Herz n’ee Laemel and the poet Ludwig August Frankl (1810-1894), making it the first Jewish school in Jerusalem to combine religious and secular study. A ban against any school which would include secular subjects was issued by the Ashkenazi Jewish community in Jerusalem. One of the co-signatories was Rabbi Samuel Salant. Other Rabbis, including Yehiel Michal Pines (1849-1913) and David Friedman of Karlin (1823-1917) as well as members of the Sephardic community, declared the ban invalid, and demanded it be rescinded. In actually, it was reinforced later on by Rabbi Yehoshua Leib Diskin (1818–1898) to include all Ashkenazi Jews anywhere in the land of Israel.


Mohammed demanded that the Jewish tribe contribute ‘blood money’ for two people that were killed by his own (Muslim) troops, the Banu Nadir refused. Consequently Mohammed accused them of plotting against him and besieged them. After 14 days when no promised help arrived, they surrendered to the Moslem army. The Banu Nadir were known for owning some of the most fertile land in the area. They were only allowed to take what they could on their camels. Everything else was confiscated with a significant portion going directly to Mohammed.

624 March, BANU QAYNUQA (Yathrib)

Surrendered to Mohammed after 14 day siege. The Banu Qaynuqa (Kainuka) were traders and goldsmiths. Abd-Allah ibn Ubayy one of the chiefs of the Khazraj tribe which was aligned (for the most part) with Mohammed convinced him to expel them rather then kill them. They were forced to leave their belongings and property behind. Eventually they settled in Dera in present day Syria joining the local Jewish community there. Abd-Allah ibn Ubayy is known to Islamists as a Munafiq (hypocrite).

1907 September 29, BAR GIORA (Eretz Israel)

A Palestinian Jewish self-defense organization was formed to protect the settlements in Sejera (the lower Galilee area) from raiders. Two years later it was reorganized and broadened into HaShomer (the Watchman) by Israel Shochat. HaShomer was eventually transformed into the Haganah. Despite opposition from local Jews and the Baron's overseers, they persevered with the idea of Jews taking responsibility for their own defense.

132 - 135 BAR KOCHBA REVOLT (Eretz Israel)

According to the Talmud the revolt was a reaction to the decree of the Roman governor of Judea, Tinneius Rufus, banning circumcision. Others believe it was provoked by the establishment of a temple to Jupiter on the site of the Temple.


(Also called apocryphal Mishnayot) were compiled. They are included in the overall term Talmud (Gemara), which embraces both the Jerusalem Talmud and the more famous Babylonian Talmud.

1942 March 1, BARANOVICHI (Russia)

The Germans demanded that the head of the Judenrat, Joshua Izikzon, hand over 3,000 old people. Izikzon refused, stating that they were all "dear to me." Three days later, with the help of Latvians and Poles, the first massacre took place. Izikson and his wife (both naked), were forced to watch and then were shot. The Belarusns, who dug the pits, were also killed to get rid of witnesses.

1942 July 19, BARANOVICHI (Russia)

Plans were made for the outbreak of a revolt. When the Judenrat heard of it, they threatened the fighters with exposure, warning them that such an action would bring disaster down on the whole town. The revolt was postponed and in the end, never took place. In any town that the population and the Judenrat were not behind a revolt, the chances that it would take place at all, let alone succeed, were almost nil. In most cases, the Judenrat counseled against revolt or even mass escape, afraid of the repercussions for the rest of the population. Others supported resistance, in spite of the possible consequences. Still others e.g. Bialystok and Vilna were ambiguous.


The first knowledge of Jews on the British conquered (1605) Island, was in a letter from one Abraham Jacob to the Earl of Carlisle. By 1680 there were over 200 Jews on the island , and by the end of the century 190 of them received citizenship.

1668 October 23, BARBADOS

The local British colonists passed "Jewish laws,” Theses determined where Jews could live and what commerce they could engage in, including a ban on retail trading.. Jews were forbidden from owning more than one slave, or employing Christians which prevented them from running a plantation. The Laws remained in effect until 1802.

1739 July, BARBADOS

The local synagogue, Semach David, “Offshoot of David,” was destroyed in by rioters after a non Jew was accused of theft at a wedding.

1671 BARBADOS (The Carribean)

Under Lord Willoughby and approximately 50 years after the British occupation of the island, Jews were granted freedom to worship without any restrictions. Later, jealous rival merchants sometimes succeeded in temporarily imposing disabilities, usually in the form of higher taxes or trade restrictions.

1326 July, Barcelona (Aragon, Spain)

Sixty families of Jewish refugees were permitted to settle in Aragon by James II after being expelled from France. For the most part the king managed to protected these Jews even those who had been previously baptized

1027 BARCELONA (Spain)

A Jew accused of committing adultery with a Christian woman had his property confiscated. He agreed to convert, and the charge against him was dropped.

1391 August 5, BARCELONA (Spain)

Although the city fathers and artisans tried to protect them, more than 400 Jews were killed in attacks instigated, for the most part, by Castilians who had taken part in the massacres in Seville and Valencia.

985 July 1, BARCELONA (Spain)

A number of Jewish residents were killed by the Moslem leader Al-Mansur. Many of them were land owners who left no heirs. According to the law, all their lands were given over to the Count of Barcelona. In Spain at this time it was not uncommon for Jews to own vineyards and other lands.

1909 - 1967 BARNEY ROSS (USA)

American boxer. He was one of the few boxers to win three division championships . He was born Dov Rosofsky and his early ambition was to be a Talmudic scholar like his father. After his father was murdered, he turned away from orthodoxy and began life as a local street tough. During his career of 81 bouts he was never knocked out . Ross joined the marines and actively fought in the pacific theater, winning a silver star and presidential citation for heroism.

1943 October 28, BARON ERNEST VON WEIZSACKER (Italy)

The German ambassador to the Vatican wrote to the German Foreign Office, "The pope, although pressed...has not allowed himself...any expression of disapproval against the deportations." A week earlier (October 22) Von Weizsacker forwarded to the Security Police Commander Herbert Kappler a protest against the deportations by Bishop Alois Hudal, rector of the German church in Rome.

1869 - 1944 BARON ERNST ABRAHAM VON MANSTEIN (Witsburg Germany)

Jewish convert, conductor, artist , educator, and scholar. A descendant of an aristocratic German family, he married Francisca Bezold, also a convert. His brother's adopted son was the Nazi general Erich von Manstein. Manstein tried to emigrate to Eretz Israel a number of times, but was refused permission. During the war, the Germans deported most of the Jews of the town to Terezinstadt, and although he could have stayed, he joined them. After his death his nephew arranged for him to be buried in Witsburg. Ironically he was buried with a Nazi flag in the Christian cemetery. His body was re-interred in the Jewish cemetery in 1960.

1812 - 1878 BARON JOSEPH GUENZBURG (Günzburg) ( Russia)

Philanthropist, and banker. He was the founder and first president of The Society for the Promotion of Culture Among the Jews of Russia ( see 1863). He and later his children, were strong defenders of Jewish rights and great supporters of Jewish education. Guenzburg also supported The Society for Handicraft and Agricultural Work (ORT), and the Jewish Colonization Association (ICA). During the pogroms of 1881-2 he extended relief to hundreds of its victims.

1858 BARON JULIUS REUTER (Germany-England)

Inaugurated the first news service agency to furnish European papers with political and general news (England). He started it in Germany (1849) using pigeons.

1831 - 1896 BARON MAURICE DE HIRSCH (France)

Banker and philanthropist, he tried at first to teach agriculture to Jews in Russia. When that failed, he established the Baron de Hirsch Fund of New York and later the Jewish Colonial Association (JCA). Both of these plans attempted to resettle the Jews in lands outside of Europe, especially Argentine rural areas, but both met with limited success. At the beginning of the 20th century the JCA also administered Baron Edmond de Rothschild's colonies in Eretz Israel. In 1873, Baron de Hirsch donated one million francs to the Alliance Israelite Universelle for its school system (see 1860).


After Eudocia had arranged for Jews to pray at the ruins of the temple for the feast of Tabernacles, the monk Barsauma of Nisibis, and forty of his followers, attacked them, killing many. At their trial, he claimed that he was innocent, and that by a miracle the stones fell from heaven. Although the case was originally brought before the empress, it was later transferred to the governor of Caesarea, who acquitted them. Over the next three years, Barsauma roamed the holy land, attacking and destroying synagogues. In 460 he became the Metropolitan Bishop of Nisibis (present Turkey). He was a favorite of King Firuz/Peroz or Persia.

C. 1290 BARTOLOMEO DE CAPUA (Apulia, Italy)

Was a Dominican friar who accused the Jews of killing a Christian child in a derision of the death of Jesus. The king ordered them to either accept baptism or flee. Most of the local synagogues in Trani, Bari, Naples, Apulia, and other cities were converted to churches. Thousands of Jews throughout southern Italy either fled or converted as a consequence, ending 1,000 years of active Jewish life.

1866 - 1939 BARUCH DOV LEIBOVITZ (Lithuania)

Dean of the Kamienice Yeshiva. He favored strict talmudic study with only thirty minutes daily devoted to the study of Mussar (ethics).

1753 - 1811 BARUCH OF MEDZHYBIZH (1753–1811)

Hassidic master and grandson of the Baal Shem Tov (see 1700). Baruch saw himself as the main heir to his grandfather. He possessed a quick temper and suffered from fits of depression. He was the first Hassidic Rebbe who ran his court as royalty (Malhhus) , which included a large house and a luxurious carriage. Baruch was also the first Hassidic Rebbe to raise money by requesting donations for his personal prayers or "interventions". This was disconcerting to many Hassidim including Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Lyadi (see 1745).

C. 1740 - 1812 BARUCH SCHICK (Shklover)

Rabbi, physician, and scientist. He began by serving as a dayan in Minsk but went to England to study medicine. Schick was asked by the Vilna Gaon to translate Euclid into Hebrew. Among his works are Kenei Midah (Criteria) on geometry, Derech Yesharah ( The Straight Path) on medicine, and Amudei Shamayim ( Pillars of Heaven) a scientific commentary on Maimonides. He believed in the importance of revitalizing Hebrew as a tool for scientific education.

1632 November 24, - 1677 BARUCH SPINOZA (Amsterdam, Holland)

As a child, he showed great promise in his religious studies, but as he grew older he decided that there was no place for him in organized religion. The brilliant heretic Van den Ende, who was later burned by the authorities for his beliefs, influenced him. Spinoza delved into Descartes and Bruno, and his radical theories on G-d and mortality brought about his excommunication from the Jewish community. He denied revelation, but not God's existence, although he was against all traditional religion. His later life was marked by poverty for which he never accepted any assistance. Spinoza's great works include his "Ethics" and "Theologico-Politica Tractate". He was buried in an unmarked grave at the church in Spux, Holland.

1866 BASEBALL - PIKE LIPMAN (1845-1893) (USA)

Was hired to play for the Philadelphia Athletics for $20 a month, becoming the first Jewish professional baseball player. That same year he hit 6 home runs in a single game, five of them in a row. In 1870 he joined the Brooklyn Atlantics and played in the famous game of 1870 when they defeated the Cincinnati Red Stockings, which was the first all professional baseball team.

1349 January 16, BASEL (Switzerland)

The guilds brought up charges against the Jews accusing them of poisoning the wells. Despite an attempted defense by the town council, 600 Jews together with the rabbi were burned to death. One hundred and forty children were taken from their parents and forcible baptized. The victims were left unburied, the cemetery destroyed and the synagogue turned into a church. The remaining Jews were expelled and not readmitted until 1869.

1602 BASEL (Switzerland)

The first all-embracing encyclopedia of ethics (Mussar) was published, called the Brant Speigal (Fairy Mirror). It was written in Yiddish and intended mainly for women.

1844 December 31, BASKET TAX (Korobka) (Poland-Lithuania)

The right to collect the tax on kosher meat, and its by products (leather etc). Its origin is found in 17th century eastern Europe when it was established in some towns as a means to help their communities pay a special “Jews tax” to local authorities. Any funds left over were used to pay for the Rabbi’s salary and educational services. The right of collection of the Basket tax was auctioned off to the highest bidder. There was great opposition to this tax since it hurt the weaker levels of society making kosher meat prohibitive. In many places the “intelligentsia” and other “privileged” people received exemptions It was still in force until the 20th century.


Sir Oswald Mosley and 3000 of his black shirt followers attempted to demonstrate in the East End of London, home to tens of thousands of Jews. The " battle" mostly led by the communist party, was one of the few times where the left succeeded in stopping the fascists. Mosley did not try again to enter the East End.

1942 October 23, BATTLE OF EL ALAMEIN (Egypt)

The British 8th Army, led by General Montgomery, began its push against Rommel's Afrika Korps. Its successes removed the threat of a German attack on Eretz Israel.


Crusaders crushed the Moslems. Although pockets of Moslems still existed in Spain, for all practical purposes Spain had become completely Christian and the situation of the Jews in Spain began to deteriorate.

732 BATTLE OF TOURS (France)

Marked the greatest infiltration of Moslem rule into Christian Europe and the beginning of its retreat. The Moslems were defeated by Charles Martel of France, grandfather of Charlemagne. This was the beginning of the Carolingian renaissance. Now on the offensive, the Christian forces added Septimania and Catalonia (near the Mediterranean Sea) to their possessions.

1086 BATTLE OF ZULA (Zallaka) (Spain)

It is reported that 40,000 Jews fought together with King Alfonso VI against the Almoravides. The Moslem armies also had a large amount of Jews serving in them - so much so that the battle was arranged not to fall on the Sabbath. Although the numbers may be exaggerated, they reflect the fact that Jews actually took part in most of the Spanish wars and fought valiantly.


Factions of the "Orthodox" upper class (Blues) fought the “Monophysites” lower class (Greens). The Jews in general supported the ruling class blues, which resulted in many attacks by the Greens. In one incident, the synagogue in Daphne near Antioch was razed, a number of Jews killed , and bones were removed from the Jewish cemetery and burned. Emperor Zeno (474-491) commented, that the greens deserved punishment for not throwing live Jews into the flames.

1715 March 12, BAVARIA (Germany)

Elector Max Emanuel ordered the expulsion of the few Jews still living in Bavaria.

1872 April 22, BAVARIA (Germany)

Jews were granted civil rights as part of the constitution of the German Reich of 1871, though some of the special "Jewish taxes" were only abolished in 1880.


Owed more than 21% of its public debt to Jews.

1564 - 1622 BAYLA FALK (Lemberg - Eretz Israel)

Described as a Bat Torah ( daughter of Torah) by Rabbis of her time . She was known for her knowledge and piety. She contributed her opinion in regards to candle lighting and ritual purity. She was the wife of Rabbi Joshua ben Alexander Ha-Cohen Falk (see 1555).

1755 February 22, BEATIFICATION OF ANDREW OF RINN aka Andreas Oxner (Germany)

Pope Benedict XIV issued his bull of Beatus Andreas which beatified Andreas Oxner who in 1462 was allegedly murdered by Jews in a ritual murder in Rinn near Innsbruck. This helped spread the anti-Semitic legends and performances which were based on the writings of Hippolytus Guarinoni ( 1651) . They were performed until 1954. Although the cult of the "Child of Judenstein" was proscribed in 1985, yearly pilgrimages are still made to the site.rnrn

1024 - 1029 BEDOUIN REVOLT (Eretz Israel)

Was led by Hassan ibn Mufarrij of the al-Jarrah clan, against Anushtakin al-Dizbari the Fatamid governor. Many Jews especial in the Ramla and Jerusalem area were killed or forced to pay exorbitant ransoms, leading to the decline of the Jewish population(see 1033).

1939 September 9, BEDZIN (Poland)

In a special operation, the Einsatzkommandos (The Nazi Special action groups which served as Mobile Killing Units) began to burn down synagogues. In Bedzin, the synagogue was set on fire and fire fighters were not allowed to put it out. The fire extended to the Jewish area and the Jews were not allowed out of their houses. Hundreds burned to death.


The Civil Service Law prohibited Jews from holding public service jobs. These included the civil service, army, labor service, commerce, teachers and lawyers.

1936 April 21, BEGINNING OF THE 36-39 RIOTS (ME'ORAOT) (Eretz Israel)

Arab headquarters called for a general strike and a rebellion against the Mandate in an effort to prevent Jewish immigration. Initially 80 Jews were murdered and 308 wounded. By the fall of '39, over a hundred Jews had been killed in Arab attacks. The official Zionist policy at the time was havlagah (self-restraint).

1490 April 24, BEHEADING OF THE COURT PHYSICIAN (Muscovite kingdom)

Grand Duke Ivan III had invited one master Leon, a Jewish physician from Venice, to be the court physician. When his son took ill master Leon was instructed to heal him. Unfortunately despite his efforts the Dukes son died (March 15). After the proscribed 40 days of morning, Duke Ivan promptly and publicly beheaded his physician.

1696 BEHREND LEHMANN (1661-1730) (Germany)

Was appointed to the court of Frederick of Saxony. Deeply religious, he built a beit midrash in Halberstadt and financed the Frankfurt printing of the Talmud. He used his influence to help other Jews whenever threatened. His job was to finance his ruler's military expenditures.

1911 June 22, - 1913 BEILIS TRIAL (Russia)

Took place after a Christian boy was found dead near a brick factory in which Mendel Beilis worked. He was accused of ritual murder by the government. The only evidence was the word of a drunken couple who claimed they saw a man with a black beard walking with the child. The Russian government actively took up the case after the assassination of Stolypin by a Jewish revolutionist. Professor Sikowsky,(Sikorsky), an eminent Professor of Psychology, "proved" that Jews use Christian blood for ritual purposes. Beilis's lawyers, Margolin and Grusenberg, fought the government for two years until diplomatic pressure forced the Russians to drop the charges. Beilis then settled in the United States, where he died after a long illness in 1934.

1886 - 1939 BELA KUN (Hungary)

A young supporter of Lenin, he eventually became the head of the Hungarian government, forming a Soviet Republic. Kun refused to tolerate any opposition and his harsh line alienated the peasants. He was forced to flee after a series of disasters. Kun was killed by Stalin in 1939. Although totally alienated from Judaism he did appoint other Jews to governmental positions. After his collapse, anti-Jewish riots broke out. Approximately 7,000 were murdered.

1940 October 28, BELGIUM

The German military occupation defined Jews according to the Nuremberg laws and demanded that they all register. In all only 42,000 registered and between 10,000 -15,000 either refused or went into hiding. Despite the local fascist movement, the Rexists, most of the Belgium people did not support Nazi persecution of the Jews. The military Governor General Alexander Von Falkenhausen and his deputy Eggert Reeder, although unenthusiastic about Nazi racial policies, never the less cooperated with the Security office especially when it came to foreign born nationals.At their trial in 1951. although guilty of departing 25,000 Jews. They were sentenced to 12 years but ended up only spending three weeks in prison.

1943 September 3, BELGIUM

Despite a promise made by military Governor General Alexander Von Falkenhausen to the Queen Mother Elisabeth and Cardinal Van Roey that Belgium Jewish citizens would not be deported, nevertheless, hundreds of Jews were taken for deportation. After a strong protest by the Queen Mother and the Cardinal, they were released. Although there were transports to Auschwitz of Belgium Jews, it was never done en mass.

1942 June 31, BELGIUM

Four Jewish partisans dressed as Gestapo officers entered the Judenrat known as the Association de juifs de Belgique (AJB) and destroyed the records and lists of Jews, thus hampering the German effort at deportation.

1943 April 19, BELGIUM

A Jewish partisan groups, under the direction of the Dr.Georges Lifshitz (Livchitz) and his brother Alexander stopped a deportation train that contained many resistance fighters and forced open its doors. Some 600 jumped from the train, with about half making it to safety. Eight were wounded trying to escape. On May 2, in a daring raid by another group, the wounded were abducted from the hospital while under German guard. Both brothers also active in the general Belgium partisan movement were later caught and shot by the Nazis at the Breendonck camp in Belgium.

1941 December 5, BELGIUM

Forcibly sent 83 Jewish families back to Poland making it the first western country to do so

1941 April 13, BELGRADE (Serbia, Yugoslavia)

The day after the arrival of German troops, the Volksdeutsche (local Germans) joined the Germans and destroyed much of the Jewish property in the city.

534 BELISARIUS (Byzantine Empire)

Justinian's general. He captured Carthage. The menorah and other Temple vessels were taken to Constantinople. Believing that they would bring him bad luck, Justinian sent them on to Jerusalem. It is not known whether they ever arrived.

1942 March 2, - 1943 April, BELZEC (Poland)

The second death camp (and former labor camp) became operational. Over 600,000 Jews, mostly Polish, were murdered in the camp before it was closed by the Germans. Odilo Globocnik was its first commandant. Globocnik was appointed by Himmler to be in charge of the European sector of the "Final Solution" and was involved in organizing Belzec, Sobibor, Majdanek, and Treblinka. He took poison in May 1945. Christian Wirth, another commandant, was killed by Tito's partisans. When the camp was abandoned, local villages were attracted to the site and dug for valuables. In order to obliterate the site, the Germans plowed it over and turned it into a farm run by one of the Ukrainian guards.

1894 February 28, - 1964 BEN HECHT (USA)

Novelist, playwright, and screen writer. He authored 35 books and many screenplays. Although some of his earlier works that dealt with Jewish themes were not overly sympathetic (A Jew in Love), he changed with the rise of Nazism (A Guide for the Bedevilled) and became involved in Jewish activism. During the 1940's, he staged two pageants, Remember Us and A Flag Is Born, and became active in the Irgun Zvai Leumi. Due to his political activities in Eretz Israel his credits were removed from all films shown in England for a number of years. An illegal immigrant ship was named Ben Hecht in his honor. Hecht wrote his controversial Perfidy about the Kastner trial and attacked Ben Gurion and the Zionist establishment for their conduct during the war. His best selling biography is called A Child of the Century. Hecht worked on 150 films including Monkey Business, Wuthering Heights, and Gone with the Wind as well as the successful play The Front Page.

1940 January 26, BEN SHEMEN YOUTH VILLAGE (Eretz Israel)

Was raided by British police. Weapons were found that were stored there by the Haganah. The principal, Dr. Seigfried Lehman (former headmaster of an orphanage in Kovno), and others were arrested and sentenced to terms from 3-7 years.

1851 Benedetto Musolino (Calabria, Italy)

Musolino (1809–1885), a Christian, wrote "Gerusalemme e il Popolo Ebreo" - "Jerusalem and the Jewish People". His book, which was never published, called for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine forty –five years before Herzl. Hebrew was to be its national language. He was active in "The Sons of New Italy" movement, and was elected in 1848 to the new parliament of the Kingdom of Naples.

1808 - 1863 BENEDICT STILLING (Germany)

An anatomist, he believed in the possibility of transplants. He was offered a senior position on condition that he renounce Judaism, but refused. He was then transferred to a small village. He resigned his position but continued to practice medicine and came to be considered one of the fathers of modern anatomy. Stilling was credited with determining the relationship between muscles, veins and arteries, and the role of the nervus sympathicus.


Proposed that transplants of the retina could cure certain types of blindness.

1922 October 30, BENITO MUSSOLINI (Italy)

Became premier of Italy. Though at first pro-Zionist and on good terms with the Jewish population, he was later pushed by Hitler to adopt anti-Semitic policies.

1947 June 21, BENJAMIN ("Bugsy") SIEGEL (1905-1947) (USA)

U.S. racketeer and criminal, was murdered. Siegel was a "student" of Louis ("Lepke") Buchhalter from whom he learned the basics of Mob affairs. Bugsy moved to Los Angeles, where he became involved with actors, gambling, sports, and narcotics. He then spread out to Las Vegas, believing that it was the future for rich profits in gambling and loan sharking as well as prostitution and drugs. Siegel was probably killed by a member of Al Capone's gang over gambling rights.


Was considered the real successor to Anan ben David, the founder of the Karaite sect, although he lacked the charisma of his predecessor. He formulated free biblical study and interpretation, and tried to base Karaite law on the Bible. He also sought a less belligerent attitude towards rabbinical authorities and is credited in being the first to use the name Karaites or Bnai Mikra.


Cardozo belonged to an old Sephardic family and served as Justice of the New York Supreme Court for many years. A tough liberal by nature, he was appointed to the Supreme Court by conservative Herbert Hoover in 1932. The Cardozo College of Law at Yeshiva University was named after him.

1650 BENJAMIN DA COSTA (Carribean)

Introduced the sugar cane cultivation industry to Martinique.

1804 - 1881 BENJAMIN DISRAELI (Earl of Beaconsfeld) (England)

Despite his father's conversion to the Anglican faith and his own baptism at the age of thirteen, he never lost his pride in being part of the Jewish people. He was elected as a conservative member of Parliament in 1837. Soon after, he founded the Young England movement with other young Tories. He was a favorite of Queen Victoria and became Prime Minister of England, leading the Tory Party in 1868. In 1875, he helped England acquire the Suez Canal and had Queen Victoria proclaimed Empress of India. In two of his novels, Alroy and Tancred, he described the Jewish desire for independence in their own land.

1670 BENJAMIN LEVY (c. 1650-1704) (London, England)

Arrived in England and was credited with founding of the London Ashkenazi community. Levy became very wealthy as a broker and purchased the first Ashkenazi cemetery in 1696.

1065 - 1173 BENJAMIN OF TULDE/TUDELA (Tudela, Spain)

Jewish traveler and historian. Much of our knowledge of this period is derived from his journal, Sefer Ha-massa'ot (Book of Travels), including the story of rn David Alroy, the false Messiah (see 1160).


Clarinetist and band leader. Goodman grew up in the Chicago ghetto, one of twelve children of an immigrant tailor who had fled anti-Semitism in Russia. He took his first lessons on the clarinet in his local synagogue. Goodman's band took off on August 23, 1935 when he played compositions arranged by Fletcher Henderson giving birth to a new style of jazz music - "swing." Goodman became known as the "King of Swing" and was the first to include black and white musicians in the same band. Goodman was one of the most recorded artists in history playing both jazz and classical music.

C. 1475 - 1554 BENVENIDA ABRAVANEL (Naples -Ferrara)

International business women, banker , and philanthropist. Daughter of Jacob (d.1528), and niece of Isaac Abravanel (see 1437). She married his son Samuel (1473-1551), a scholar in his own right and financier to Don Pedro de Toledo. Bevenida helped raise the daughter of Don Pedro, Leonora (1522–1562), which later proved a useful connection. When Donna Gracia ( see 1510) proposed the boycott of Ancona for their anti Jewish policies, Abravanel, who had extensive ties at the port, refused. She was also supportive of the controversial David Reuveni (see 1523. Benvenida together with her husband were active in financing Jewish scholarship, redeeming Jewish captives and using their connections to defend other Jews.

1881 - 1917 BER BOROCHOV (Ukraine)

Developed the Poale Zion (Zionist Labor Party). Its ideology was a synthesis between Jewish Nationalism and Marxism. He is best summed up in his own words: "Our ultimate aim is Socialism. Our immediate aim is Zionism. The class struggle is the means to achieve both aims."

1765 - 1809 BEREK JOSELEWICZ (Poland)

Colonel of the Polish armed forces. Joselewicz joined Kosciuszko in the Polish uprising and the Napoleonic Wars. He believed in the importance of having Jews take part in the revolution. Together with Joseph Aronowicz, they received permission from Kosciuszko to establish a Jewish Unit. His famous call in Yiddish for support elicited hundreds of volunteers. Five hundred were eventually accepted, many of whom died in the insurrection.He died in a Calvary charge in the war against Austria near the city of Kotzk.

1942 October 15, BEREZA KARTUSKA (Belarus)

The Germans began to liquidate the A camp (non-productive workers). In response, the Jews set fire to the camp. The local Judenrat was then ordered by the Nazis to hand over Jews for deportation. At their last meeting, many of the members chose to commit suicide rather then help the Germans. While many Jews were killed in the camp itself, over 18,000 were shot outside the town.

1944 August 21, BERGEN-BELSEN (Germany)

A token transport of 318 Jews was sent from Bergen-Belsen to Switzerland on the orders of Himmler to show "good will" for Kastzner and the other negotiators.

1802 - 1810 BERLIN (Germany)

Fifty out of the 405 Jewish families in the city converted.

1848 March 20, BERLIN (Germany)

Riots and street fighting killed 20 Jews. Anti-Jewish riots spread to Bavaria, Baden, Hamburg, and many other cities.

1943 February 26, BERLIN (Germany)

Was declared Judenrein (free of all Jews).

1878 June 13, BERLIN CONGRESS (Romania)

At a summit of European powers discussing the Balkan region, civil rights were "guaranteed" for Romanian Jews. The Romanian populace and government soon ignored this order.

1936 October 25, BERLIN-ROME AXIS

Was formed between Hitler and Benito Mussolini. This treaty helped pave the way for the beginning of World War II.

1243 BERLITZ (Berlin, Germany)

First accusation of desecration of the Host. The sanctity of the Host (the wafer and wine distributed as part of the ceremony of the Eucharist during Mass) is based on the doctrine of transubstantiation. In this doctrine (officially recognized in 1215), the wafer and wine is viewed by the Church as a substitute for Christ's body and blood. Therefore, an attack on the Host was considered a direct attack on the body of Jesus. This was the first of many times that the Jews were accused of "killing" Christ or torturing him by sticking pins into or burning the Host. In this case, the response to this accusation wiped out the entire Jewish population of Berlitz. Incidents of Host desecration accusations were as recent as 1836 (Romania).

1439 - 1494 BERNADINO DA FELTRE (Europe)

A Franciscan monk known for his preaching. He traveled through Europe inciting the public against the Jews. Da Feltre was responsible for a number of blood libels including the one at Trent in 1475. He was beatified after his death.

1885 - 1940 BERNARD (DOV) REVEL (Lithuania - USA)

Rabbi and educator. Revel began his studies in Europe at the famous Telz Yeshiva. After graduating with a M.A. from NYU and a doctorate from Dropsie College, the first awarded at that school, he decided to move to Oklahoma and work in his father-in-law's oil business. In 1915, he was asked to serve as dean of the Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in New York. Revel's dream was to combine secular and tradition education. With this in mind he opened a state-accredited high school, the talmudical Academy (1916), and despite fierce opposition, Yeshiva College (1928) which later became Yeshiva University.

1870 - 1965 BERNARD BARUCH (USA)

A tough financier, he made a name and fortune for himself on Wall Street. Baruch became friendly with Woodrow Wilson, serving as his advisor. Later he served as an advisor on defense and economy to President Roosevelt. Baruch was also highly regarded by both Truman and Eisenhower and was frequently consulted for his opinions. During Truman's administration he served as liaison to the Jewish community. Baruch was not a Zionist and was against the establishment of a Jewish state.

1812 - 1871 BERNARD ILLOWY ( Bohemia –USA)

One of the first Orthodox rabbis in the USA. In addition to ordination by Rabbi Moses Sofer (the Hatam Sofer) he also held a PHD and spoke many languages fluently, including Latin. Illowy served in a number of communities and frequently wrote articles stressing the importance of practicing traditional Judaism.

1894 BERNARD LAZARE (France)

Published "Anti-Semitism its History and Causes." The first systematic explanation of anti-Semitism. This took place after start of the Dreyfus trial. Lazare (1865-1903) a journalist and literary critic, played an active role in proving the innocence of Dreyfus and the emancipation of European Jewry.


Although he was one of the clergymen whose preaching inspired the Second Crusade, he consistently tried to protect the Jews from harm. His efforts were unfortunately, often disregarded by local clergy.

1934 October, BERNE TRIAL (Switzerland)

Was held after a demonstration in June of the National Front (a Swiss anti-Semitic organization) during which copies of the "Protocols" were distributed. The Jewish community brought a suit against the leaders for publishing and distributing indecent writings. Though later a court of appeals repealed the sentences, the trial succeeded in proving the "Protocols" a forgery.

1941 October 23, BERNHARD LICHTENBERG (1875 -1943) (Germany)

A Catholic priest was arrested by the Gestapo. Up until his arrest, Lichtenberg continued to publicly pray from his pulpit in the St Hedwig Cathedral for the both Jews and Jewish Christians, as well as other victims of the Nazi regime . He was imprisoned in May 1942 and offered a deal to be freed in return for his ceasing of all preaching in favor of the Jews – he refused . While being deported to Dachauconcentration camp be became ill and died on November 5, 1943. rn


Was presented to the League of nations by Emil Margolis and the Comité des Délégations Juives (Committee of Jewish Delegations) on behalf of Frans Bernheim who was dismissed from his job in Upper Silesia because of his religion. This was a violation of the German -Polish convention May 15, 1922, which guaranteed that all minorities in Upper Silesia would have their civil and political rights. The League agreed and the Nuremberg laws were therefore not activated there until German-Polish agreement on Upper Silesia expired on June 15 1937.

1859 - 1936 BERTHA PAPPENHEIM (Austria)

Social activist, feminist, poet and author. She founded the Jewish Women's Association and the League of Jewish Women ( Judischer Frauenbund) in Germany in 1904. Pappenheim suffered from an emotional illness and became Joseph Breuer's (Freud's mentor) patient. Known as Anna O, her treatment is regarded as marking the beginning of psychoanalysis. She fought to strengthening women's rights, education, and career opportunities. But is most remembered for her tireless war against human trafficking. Although she was originally against the idea of the emigration of children to Eretz Israel, she changed her position after the passage of the Nuremberg Laws.


Labor leader and activist. In September 1910, she led 16 women to strike against poor working conditions. Eventually 40,000 people joined the strike, paralyzing the industry. Abramowitz joined with labor leader Sidney Hillman (whom she would marry) to found Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (ACWA). She served in the AFL-CIO, and was an early and strong supporter for the Civil Rights Movement. President John F. Kennedy appointed her to the President’s Commission on the Status of Women.

1737 BET EL YESHIVA (Jerusalem)

A Yeshiva dedicated to the studying of the Kabbalah was founded by Rabbi Gedaliah Hayyon. The yeshiva achieved prominence under its second leader, Rabbi Shalom Sharabi (1720-1780, also known as Ha- RaSHaSH. During his time there were around 40 scholars both Sephardi and Ashkenazi. During the Israel War of Independence the Yeshiva was plundered and destroyed and reestablished in 1974

135 (9 Av 3895) BETAR (Eretz Israel)

The last major stronghold in Judea fell against overwhelming Roman forces. Simon bar Kochba (bar Kosiba) the leader of the revolt was killed. An estimated half a million Jews perished in this revolt which left over 985 villages and 50 fortresses in ruins. So great were the Roman losses that the emperor in his annual report to the Senate left out the customary: "I and my army are well."


A congregation for Russian Jews was formed with the help of former German Jewish immigrants. This traditional congregation opened a school and soon became the center of Orthodoxy in the U.S. Abraham Joseph Ash, an halachic authority, was elected as its rabbi in 1860 and held the position until his death in 1888. So as not to be dependent on a community salary, he also tried his hand in business without much success.

170 BETH SHEARIM (Eretz Israel)

Became the new center of learning under Judah HaNasi.

1701 September, BEVIS MARKS SYNAGOGUE ( England)

The oldest existing synagogue in Brittan was consecrated. It replaced the synagogue in Creechurch Lane which had been established in 1656.

1906 January 16, BEZALEL (Academy of Arts and Design) (Eretz Israel)

Was founded in Jerusalem by Boris Schatz (1867-1932), painter and court sculptor to King Ferdinand of Bulgaria. The school was named after the biblical artisan Bezalel, son of Uri, who was one of the main architects of the Tabernacle. It has well over 1000 students and offers degrees in art, architecture, and design.

1520 - 1592 BEZALEL BEN ABRAHAM ASHKENAZI (Eretz Israel)

Talmudist and Jewish leader. As Rabbi of Jerusalem he succeeded in renewing life there, raising money abroad and encouraging immigration to Eretz Israel. He is especially remembered for his collecting of old manuscripts of the Chidushim (Novella) of the Geonim (6th-10th c.) and Rishonim (10th to mid 15th c.) on the Talmud. His indispensable compendium, known today as the Shitah Mekubbezet, has preserved much of these commentaries and is used by most students of Talmud to this day.

1160 May 2, BEZIERS (France)

Bishop William, appalled by the custom of beating Jews during Palm Sunday, issued an order excommunicating priests who did so. Beziers, home to many Albigensinians, was one of the more liberal and open cities in France.

1209 July 22, BEZIERS (France)

(Capital of the Albigensians) 20,000 Christians and 200 Jews were massacred by de Montfort's troops. Jews were removed from office and their children were forcibly baptized.

1941 June 27, BIALYSTOK (Poland)

Was occupied by the Nazis. Some 50,000 Jews lived in the city, which was a major textile center. It was this factor that led the head of the Judenrat, Ephraim Barash, to believe that Jewish work was too important to the German war effort for them to be annihilated. An underground was formed, with the tentative backing of Barash. It was totally disunited.

1905 July 30, BIALYSTOK (Russia)

During the anti-Jewish riots physicians were prevented from treating the Jewish victims.

1906 July 4, BIALYSTOK (Russia)

Anti-Jewish riots. It was later revealed that the St. Petersburg police department paid for the leaflets inciting the people to riot.

1943 February 5, BIALYSTOK AKTION (Poland)

Although unprepared, still disunited, and with few weapons, the United Anti-Facist Bloc decided on limited revolt. Led by Mordecai Tennenbaum-Tamaroff, Daniel Moszkowicz (communist), and Edek Boraks (Bund), most of the fighters fought in small groups. Individuals fought with axes, knives, and even acid to prevent from being taken to Treblinka. After the Aktion, many informers were "taken care of." The small revolt proved the importance of a united front and forced the major second organization consisting of HaNoar HaTzioni, Dror, and other organizations to join in one united front.

1943 August 16 - 20, BIALYSTOK UPRISING (Poland)

The second largest ghetto uprising. Although an underground had been formed by Mordechai Tenenbaum-Tamaroff and supported by Ephraim Barash, head of the Judenrat , both were convinced that the ghetto could survive, and that military action was only to be used as a last resort ( see 1941) . The actions were further weakened by the division between those who wanted to fight in the ghetto, and those who wanted to fight in the forests as partisans. The day before Barash had been informed that that the ghetto was to be liquidated, and for whatever reason he didn’t update anyone, showing up to the main square with his suitcase. Himmler, not wishing a repeat of the Warsaw, uprising, appointed Odilo Globocnik as the commander of the operation. He had at his command 3 battalions and other police and military units as well as artillery. When the Germans surrounded the ghetto, some 300-500 fighters with 25 rifles and 100 pistols attacked them. The Germans called in tanks and even aircraft to put down the revolt . The fighting lasted less than a week and the deportations continued unabated. Its leaders Mordecai Tenenbaum-Tamaroff and Daniel Moszkowicz were believed to have committed suicide when their bunker was surrounded. Only 70 of the fighters succeeded in reaching the forests. One of its survivors was Chaika Grossman, who later became a member of the Knesset.

1882 January 21, BILU MOVEMENT (Ukraine-Eretz Israel)

As a result of the pogroms of the previous year, the Russian students at the University of Khrakov formed their own pioneering Zionist group called BILU, for Beit Ya'akov Lekhu Ve-nelkha (House of Jacob Let Us Rise and Go) (Isaiah 2:5). Led by Israel Belkind, it called for active colonialization of Eretz Israel. The BILU aspired to both a political-economic, as well as spiritual-national revival ("de retablir la situation").


David Szmulewski, one of the leaders of Birkenau's underground, and of the Jews of the Sonderkommados, who worked in the gas chambers and crematorias, blew up crematorium IV. Rosa Robota, one of the heroines of the Auschwitz underground, succeeded in smuggling explosives out of a munitions factory. Rosa was caught and tortured but refused to give away any of her comrades. Her last words scribbled on a piece of paper just before she was hanged were "Hazak V'Arnatz"--Be Strong and Brave." After killing several SS men, the group escaped, although few survived.

1934 May 7, BIROBIJAN (USSR)

The district of Birobijan (Birobidzhan) in south eastern Siberia was established as a Jewish Autonomous Region which was to cover an area of 14,000 square miles (36,000-square-kilometers). Its official language would be Yiddish. Within two years the government had a change of heart and its Jewish socialist leaders were liquidated. Partly due to its primitiveness and remoteness, it never reached a population of more than 18,000, less than a quarter of the total population of the region.

1928 February 28, BIROBIJAN, USSR

Decided to set up a Jewish district (Yevreyskaya Avtonomnaya Oblast) in Birobijan in South- Eastern Siberia. Most of its 14,000 square miles (36,000-square-kilometers) were uninhabitable due to floods. It was to be used as a buffer zone against China.


b.1244 ISAAC BEN SOLOMON SAHULA (Castile) Poet, scholar and physician. He is the author of Meshal ha-Kadmoni (Proverb of the Ancients), a large collections of stories and fables taken from mostly Jewish resources. He wrote this as an alternative to those who were reading translations of books such as the voyages of Sinbad. It was originally printed in 1491 and richly illustrated with miniatures and woodcuts.


Adolph Stoecker, a German theologian and anti-Semitic leader, founded the "Christian Social Workers Party" (later known as the CSP). Orginaly designed to fight against Social Democracy, it soon became synonymous with anti- Jewish demagogy. His Christian Socialist Workingmen's Union was a front for boycotting and/or bypassing Jewish businesses in favor of those belonging to the Teutonic race. Thus, a Jew became qualified to be a Jew not by his religion (which left him the option of conversion) but by his race, which not even the baptismal waters could cure. Stoecker can also be "accredited" with making anti-Semitism a national issue.

1391 - 1415 BIRTH OF THE CONVERSOS (Marranos) (Spain)

Between those years as many as 200,000 ( half the Jewish population) chose conversion and became New Christians or Conversos. Of these, many continued to practice Judaism in secret while paying lip service to the Church. They became known by the Christians as Marranos. The Jews never used the term Marrano themselves although some knew of it. Many scholars have speculated that the origins of the word stemmed from Latin, Arabic and even Hebrew, but in fact it was the Spanish term for pig or pork and expression of extreme disgust on the part of the Christians. The Jews referred to themselves as anusim "those who were forced to convert". Eventually, these mass forced conversions led to the establishment of the Inquisition.

1946 March 5, BIRYA (Eretz Israel)

British soldiers raided the kibbutz and after finding hidden weapons they occupied the moshav and arrested the settlers. On March 14, thousands of young people went up and started building Biriya Bet (Biriya II) but were driven off by British troops. The following night they returned with tents, eventually forcing the British to free the prisoners and withdraw from the kibbutz (June 7). Eventually the kibbutz was turned into a moshav for North African immigrants.


Wrote two books against the Jews . " Saint" Apollinaris defended Christian beliefs and strongly castigated the Jews for their "blindness".


Referred to the Jews as “a perverse people whom God has cursed forever”. Hilary (300-368) was recognized as one of the 36 "Doctors" or teachers of the church.

1943 January 17, BISHOP KONRAD GRAF VON PREYSING ( Berlin)

Warned Pope Pius XII that he would be forced to resign if the collaboration between the German bishops and the Nazi regime did not cease. Von Preysing (1880 – 1950), was a strong adversary to Nazism from the outset stating, "We have fallen into the hands of criminals and fools". He was also a supporter in the anti- Nazi resistance movement.

1197 BISHOP ODO OF SULLY (Paris, France)

In an effort to further isolate the Jews economically and socially, it was forbidden to buy meat from a Jew or hold a discussion with a Jew under pain of excommunication.


Complained that "Practically every ship [is] field with Hebrews and New Christians."

1916 BISHOP OF NANCY (France)

Suggested that belief in Dreyfus' innocence was equivalent to apostasy.


Confiscated the Synagogues of the city together with their guest houses. Since there was no provocation for his action, Pope Gregory forced Bishop Victor to make reparations. The building were not returned to the Jewish community since they had already be consecrated as church property. Gregory's policy regarding synagogues was on one hand not to allow new synagogues to be built, on the other, to leave the old ones undisturbed.


Special envoys from the Pope met with Hitler, who proposed that he was "doing Christianity a great service" with his policy regarding the Jews. The Vatican representatives described the meeting as "cordial and to the point."

1805 June 29, BLACK SABBATH (Algiers)

Hundreds of Jews were killed in rioting following the assassination of Naftali Busnach. Busnach, a shipping magnate, was the head of the Jewish community. He had a monopoly on much of the trade and extensive influence on the treasury. The Turkish garrison, jealous of his power, blamed him for the shortage of wheat and had him assassinated.

1946 June 29, BLACK SABBATH (Eretz-Israel)

In the largest operation against the Yishuv to date, a countrywide curfew was proclaimed, and 17,000 soldiers searched kibbutzim and institutions looking for weapons, documents, and individuals. The Jewish Agency, as well as homes of the Yishuv leaders, were ransacked, and truckloads of secret documents were taken away to the British military headquarters at the King David Hotel. Hundreds of the Yishuv's leaders were arrested. Only one "slick" (a hiding place for weapons) was found, at Kibbutz Yagur. In all, around 2,700 people were arrested, including Moshe Shertok (Sharett) and Bernard Joseph (Dov Yosef) of the Political Department of the Jewish Agency, and David Remez, chairman of the Vaad Le'umi. Most were taken to the Rafiah internment camp.


The Black Hundreds and other bands alleged that the Jews were responsible for their defeats in the Russian Japanese war and other Russian ills. In Odessa, the commander of the cadet school General Deryugin told his soldiers "Your on your way to massacre the Jews, You have my blessing for your work." In spite of many attempts at self defense, hundreds were killed, and thousands were wounded in more then fifty areas throughout Russia. In over 50 major pogroms over 40,000 homes and shops were destroyed, giving new impetus to immigration to both the West and Eretz Israel, with over 200,000 Jews leaving in one year.

1837 - 1907 BLAZER, ISAAC BEN MOSES ( Lithuania- Eretz -Israel)

Rabbi, educator, and leader of the mussar movement. While a student of Rabbi Israel Salanter, the founder of the movement, he worked a a painter, until Rabbi Salanter pressured him to stop. Blazer was appointed the Chief Rabbi of St. Petersburg at age 25, and was therefore also known as Rav Itzele Peterburger. He joined Rabbi Finkel (see 1849) in heading the Slobodka yeshiva. He settled in Jerusalem in 1904 and although he was very active in communal affairs, he refused to take a salary, except as a simple clerk. He published Pri Yitzchat (" Fruit of Isaac" ) a responsa , and Salanter's letters in Or Yisrael ("The Light of Israel").

1944 May 19, BLOBEL COMMANDO/SONDERKOMMANDO 1005 ESCAPE (Ponary, Lithuania)

Led by Isaac Dogim and Yudi Farber, a tunnel was dug with spoons running under a barbed wire fence and a mine field. It took 3 months to complete the 80 meter tunnel. It is unknown how many of the 80 prisoners actually escaped, although 11 managed to join a partisan unit near Vilna. The Sonderkommando 1005 under Commander Paul Blobel had the job of burning the bodies both in extermination camps and at mass graves. A month earlier Dogim had discovered the remains of his mother and three sisters at Ponary, Lithuania.

1171 May 26, BLOIS, (France)

First ritual murder accusation in Continental Europe. Charges were made even though there was no body nor anyone missing. Thirty-one Jews were burned, 17 of them women. One of those killed was Pulcinella (Puncelina), a close favorite of Count Theobald, and whose position attracted a lot of jealously. Bribes were offered but to no avail As they were burning, they chanted the hymn Aleinu (composed in Talmudic times). Rabbenu Tam declared a day of fasting and prayer in England, France and the Rhineland. The Count decided to expel all the Jews left in his county but "allowed" himself to be persuaded to change his mind by a payment of 2000 pounds.

1905 January 22, BLOODY SUNDAY (Russia)

Czarist guards fired into a crowd of workers, killing and wounding fifteen hundred of them. Bloody Sunday has symbolized the beginning of the end of the Russian monarchy's absolute power.

1760 December 14, BOARD OF DEPUTIES OF BRITISH JEWS (England)

Was founded. It is the oldest Jewish communal organization in Great Britain. All Jews, whether Ashkenazi or Sephardi (and later the Reform) could elect their deputies, who would in turn represent the entire community. Membership was originally based on synagogues, but much later other organizations were added.

1941 May 24, BOB DYLAN (Robert Zimmerman) (USA)

Was born in Duluth, Minnesota. Dylan became an icon for young people in the 1960's and is credited with the formation of Folk Rock, which combined Rock and Roll with Folk music.

839 BODO (Alemah, Carolingian Empire)

A nobleman converted to Judaism, married a Jewess and moved to Sarargossa, Spain. There he tried to influence his family to convert as well. This strengthened the arguments of Archbishop Agobard and others who were trying to convince King Louis the Pious to return to former medieval anti-Jewish policies.

1899 - 1902 BOER WAR (South Africa)

A direct outcome of the war was the movement into the interior. Jewish settlements were established and strengthened in Durban, Johannesburg, and Pretoria. At the time there were approximately 25,000 Jews in South Africa.


Bitterness over forced Catholicism by the Jesuits and the unscrupulous taxes collected (some by Jews) for the nobles set the stage for the Cossack uprising. During the reign of Vladislav IV, the Zaporozhin Cossacks lived in a semi-autonomous kingdom called Sitch. Led by their leader - or Hetman - Chmielniki, they decided to fight to establish an autonomous Ukraine with the Cossack leaders as the new aristocracy. Their victories over the Polish army encouraged the serfs to join them. The Jews were even more hated than the Poles and were massacred in almost every town. In the ten tumultuous years that followed, over seven hundred Jewish communities were destroyed and between 100,000-500,000 Jews lost their lives. This helped give rise to the messianic movement which soon followed.


The status of the Jews was classified by Konstantin von Neurath, the Reich Protector, in agreement with German legislation. This was always the first step with any German takeover. After Jews were "appropriately" defined it was only a small step to confiscation of property and deportation. Out of the 90,000 Jews in the protectorate only 10,000 would survive.


Granted a model charter protecting the Jews. Coming soon after the expulsion of the Jews from France and their persecution in Germany, it encouraged immigration to Poland.

1937 February 7, BOLESLAW PIASECKI (Poland)

Head of the Oboz Narodowo-Radykalny National Radical Camp – ONR) a facist Polish party which supported 'Catholic totalitarianism', called for the expulsion of all Jews from Poland


Jews were among the first settlers of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Although little is known of them, to this day many of the older families still light candles on Friday night and sit on the floor as a sign of mourning.


Jews were expelled. This was one of the few times during this period that Italian Jews were persecuted.

1511 - 1548 BOMBERG PRINTING HOUSE (Venice, Italy) (Daniel Bomberg) (d. c. 1550)

A pioneer printer. Despite his name, Daniel Bomberg was not Jewish. The son of an Antwerpen burgher, Cornelius von Bomberghen, he was shown the possibilities of printing Hebrew books by the apostate Jew, Felice da Prato, who had a printing license from the Pope. Bomberg moved to Vienna where he was able to obtain a similar license. His printing house published a total of more than 200 books, including the first Mikraot Gedolot (see 1517), which combined the Pentateuch with many commentaries on the same page and which is still used today. Bomberg is also credited with the first complete printing of both the Babylonian Talmud and the Jerusalem Talmud (see 1523).

1493 BONET DE LATTES (Carpentras-Rome)

Rabbi and astronomer, published a treatise describing his astronomical ring-dial, which could measure solar and stellar altitudes even at night. He later moved to Rome, and served as the physician to both Pope Alexander VI, Pope Leo X.

1288 June 8, BONN (Germany)

Riots, after a ritual murder accusation, left 104 Jews dead.

1942 February 27, BOOK AKTION (Lithuania)

Over 100,000 books including rare manuscripts and the entire library of the Slobodka Yeshiva are destroyed.

1179 BOPPARD (Germany)

A body of a Christian girl was found near the shore by some passengers on a boat. They immediately accused Jewish passengers on another boat of her murder. Their boat was followed to Boppard where they were attacked and thrown into the river to drown. The Jewish community was further fined by both Frederick I and a local Bishop. The perpetrators were never brought to trial nor prosecuted.

1296 June 19, BOPPARD AND OBERWESEL (Germany)

A blood libel instigated by Rindfleish, a German knight, resulted in the murder of 40 Jews. Heine's Der Rabbi von Bacherach was based on this massacre. Over the next few years the slaughter of thousands of victims, if not tens of thousands, in 146 communities in southern and central Germany and Austria were attributed to Rindfleish and his mobs. Emperor Albert I was too busy with internal threats to defend the Jews. A few years later he did make a half-hearted attempt at restoring peace, which was mostly ignored.

848 BORDEAUX (France)

Jews were accused to opening the town to Viking pirates. Although the allegation was totally fabricated they were attacked by the local populace. Jews were often accused of “betrayal " and helping "the enemy" whomever it was.

535 BORION (North Africa)

By order of Emperor Justinian, the synagogue was closed and all Jewish practices were prohibited.

1886 - 1932 BORIS SHATZ (Lithuania -Eretz Israel)

Artist and sculptor in 1906 he founded the Bezallel Academy of Arts, which also included crafts in 1908 he also opened the Bezallel museum, which eventually became the Israeli museum. He is considered the "father of Israeli art".


The first Exilarch to be recognized by Arab rulers. His birth and much of his life is surrounded by legend. As a token of appreciation, Caliph Ali gave him the daughter of the Persian king Yazdegerd III for a slave. Eventually Bustanai married her.


Federation of Jewish Charities was organized. It was the first organization to combine five separate groups for the purpose of common fund raising.

1788 January 18, Botany Bay Australia

The first group of approximately 1300 men, women, and children landed in Australia from England on what was to become known as the first fleet”. Most were convicted of crimes in England and were sentenced to various terms of forced settlement. Among them were twenty – three Jews (including an infant).One of them was John Harris who, after being freed, became the first policeman in Australia.

1510 July 19, BRANDENBURG (Germany)

Jews were accused of desecrating the host and stealing church vessels. Joachim the Elector had thirty-eight Jews burned at the stake in the market place along with the real offender (a Christian). Another two accepted Christianity and were mercifully beheaded. Soon after, all the Jews were expelled from the entire electorate of Brandenburg. All the accused were proved completely innocent at the Diet of Frankfurt in 1539, and those that left were permitted to return.

1941 July, BRATISLAVA WORKING GROUP (aka Jewish Center)

Was founded, with its goal being to help prevent or at least slow down, (usually though bribes) the deportation of Slovakian Jews. It was unusual, in that it was headed by Gisi Fleischmann (1894-1944), leader of the Women's International Zionist Organization, and an orthodox rabbi, Michael Dov Weissmandl. Later their plan was expanded into what became known as the "Europe plan" (see September 1942). After the Slovak revolt, in 1944 Rabbi Weismandel succeeded in jumping from a train on the way to Auschwitz. Gisi Fleischman as a result of her work was shot as soon as she arrived in Auschwitz at the request of Eichmann's deputy Rolf Gunther.

1937 June, BRAZIL

The ministry of Foreign Affairs distributed a secret memo urging all Brazilian consuls not to grant visas to Jews. In spite of this, between the years 1933 and 1945 almost 100,000 Jews made their way to Latin America.

1940 September 5, BRECKINRIDGE LONG, (USA)

Assistant Secretary of State, and a proponent of curbing Jewish immigration, sent a memo to his consulates that stated in part: "The list of Rabbis has been closed and now it remains for the President's Committee to be curbed."

1453 June 2, BRESLAU (Germany)

John of Capistrano led a mock trial of alleged desecrations of the host. The Rabbi hung himself and urged other Jews to commit suicide. Forty-one Jews were burned, their property confiscated, and all children under seven were forcibly baptized.

1933 March, BRESLAU (Germany)

Jewish lawyers and judges were attacked by the Nazis. This was the first official violence against Jews.


Jews were forbidden from becoming tax or toll farmers. According to customary practice, anyone could have bought these rights in a specific area for an agreed upon sum to be paid to the king. Despite this ruling, Jews often found this to be one of the few economic possibilities opened to them. This in turn caused resentment from both the local population and Christian tax farmers who saw them as competition. In general, its goal was to cut off contact as much as possible between Christians and Jews both socially and physically (ghetto).

1569 BREST (Lithuania)

The union of the kingdoms of Poland and Lithuania opened the door for Jewish settlement in the Ukraine, which became one of the main centers of Lithuanian Jewry. Up to this date there were no more than 4000 Jews in the area. During the next 80 years the Jewish population increased to more than 50,000.

1564 July 13, BREST LITVOSK (Lithuania)

Abraham, the son of a wealthy and envied Jewish tax collector, was accused of killing the family's Christian servant for ritual purposes. The accusation was encouraged by the local burghers who resented Jewish competition. He was tortured and executed. King Sigmund Augustus forbade future charges of ritual murder, calling them groundless.

1918 March 3, BREST-LITOVSK TREATY (Russia-Germany)

Signed between Russia and Germany, formally took Russia out of World War I. Russia had an interest in seceding from the war, and the price she paid was to relinquish control of the Ukrainian "bread basket" to Germany. The removal of the Russian influence in the Ukraine gave rise to nationalistic aspirations. The following year, while Simon Petlyura was commander of the army and national leader, mass anti-Jewish riots and violence broke out throughout the Ukraine.


Granted Iraq independence.

1933 - 1939 BRITAIN

Admitted 75,000 Jews.

1945 December 5, BRITAIN

Announced that Jews were no longer permitted to enter DP camps in their zone.


And evicted the pro-Vichy regime . Members of the Palmach took part in the attack. They included Moshe Dayan, Yigal Alon and Yitzchak Rabin.

1939 December 11, BRITAIN CALLED FOR VOLUNTEERS (Eretz Israel)

To join the British army. Most of the Jews boycotted the call since the British refused to allow Jews to serve in combat units.


Reported after a full investigation and also based on the 1878 commission, that none of the Arabs who were currently living in Beisian (Beit Shan) had been there before 1870.


Upon orders of the British police, the Yemenite residents decided to leave the village. Three days later, they were evacuated "for their own protection". Although the British administration promised that they would return as soon as the riots ended, they did not keep their promise.


Reached an agreement with Sharif Hussein ibn Ali of the Hashemi family, trading a revolt against Turkey for Arab independence everywhere except Eretz Israel. This agreement, which directly contradicted the Sykes-Picot Treaty, was like the Balfour Declaration: vague and ambiguous.

1947 April 17, BRITISH HUNG FOUR ETZEL FIGHTERS (Eretz Israel)

Dov Gruner Yehiel Dresner, Eliezer Kashani, and Mordechai Alkahi were hanged by the British. All four sang Hatikvah until they were hanged, one after the other. Despite accepted practice, no rabbi was present. Five days later Meir Feinstein and Moshe Barzani killed themselves before they were to be hanged.

1945 December 27, BRITISH INTELLIGENCE OFFICES (Jerusalem and Jaffa)

Were attacked again by a combined Lehi-Irgun force. Both buildings, despite fortifications were severely damaged.


The first major camp to be liberated by the Allies, the British found 60,000 inmates still alive although 14,000 of them died soon after the liberation. The dreadfulness of the camp received wide spread public attention. Among those found were its commandant Josef Kramer, and many of its administrators. The British forced them to help in the clean up. Twenty of them contracted disease and died. Kramer, who was also the commandant of Birkenau, was condemned to death November 17, 1945 by the British.


While the American troops captured Bizerte in northern Tunisia. This timely move prevented the Nazi’s from further implementing their plans for the Jewish community.

1876 - 1962 BRUNO WALTER (SCHLESINGER) (Germany-USA)

German conductor, he was forced to leave when the Nazis took power. Walter served as conductor of the New York Philharmonic and was considered one of the greatest interpreters of Mozart and Mahler.

1593 November 23, BUCHAREST (Romania)

As part of his revolt against the Turks, Prince Michael the Brave ordered the massacre of Jews and Turks. Since most of the local Jews were also Turkish citizens, his murder of the Jews also won support from the local merchants who resented Jewish competition.

1801 BUCHAREST (Romania)

A blood libel led to the death and wounding of 128 Jews.

1944 August 23, BUCHAREST LIBERATED (Romania)

By the Russians. Ana Pauker (1890-1960), who had been imprisoned for being a communist, returned and founded the Romanian Democratic Front. She became minister of Foreign Affairs in 1947, but was later expelled, being accused (wrongly) of favoring emigration to Israel.

1937 July 19, - 1945 April 11, BUCHENWALD (Germany)

Concentration camp. In all, almost 240,000 people were interned in Buchenwald. Over 56,500 of them died from disease, starvation or were murdered. During the last few days of Buchenwald, an underground succeeded in taking over the camp, preventing the German's mass evacuation plans.

1686 BUDA (Budapest, Hungary)

During the fighting between the Ottoman and Austrian imperial forces, the Jews chose the side of the Turks. When the Austrians finally conquered the city, only half of the approximate 1000 Jews had survived and their quarter sacked.

1944 November 28, BUDAPEST (Hungary)

As Soviet troops reached the outskirts of the city, the Germans forced 85,000 Jews on a death march towards Austria.

1944 April 5, BUDAPEST JEWISH LEADERS (Hungary)

Dr. Rudolf Kastzner and Joel Brand met with Dieter Wisliceny and proposed to ransom Hungarian Jews in what became known as Blut fuer Ware ("Blood for Goods"). Eichmann, with Himmler's approval, allowed Brand to go to Istanbul in order to broker the deal with the Allies. It is theorized that Himmler was trying to prepare for the inevitable Allied victory by "showing" that he was really in favor of Jewish emigration rather than annihilation.

1893 BUKHARA (Russia)

After the "May laws" were issued, many Jews decided to leave for Israel. The Bukharim set up their own community in Jerusalem.


Anti-Jewish riots began and continued until 1904. Many Jews immigrated to Anatolia, Turkey.

1944 August 29, BULGARIA

All anti-Jewish legislation was officially withdrawn.

(The ancient dishonesty of the Jews)

Was enacted by Pope Gregory XIII. It granted jurisdiction to the inquisition of Jews within Rome in cases of blasphemy or possession of forbidden books.rn

1567 January 19, BULL CUM NOS NUPER "When We Recently")

Was enacted by Pope Pius V, forbidding Jews to own real estate within the papal states.


Pope Martin V renewed the law requiring Jews to wear a distinctive badge.

1317 August 12, BULL EX PARTE VESTRA

Was issued by Pope John XXII. The bull concerned those who were suspected of heresy, and Jews who had "relapsed". It ordered the inquisitors to " Pluck out by the roots …such a noxious and pestiferous weed." The bull was confirmed by Pope Benedict XIV as late as February 20 1751 in his Elapso Proxime Anno".

1592 February 28, BULL CUM SAEPE ACCIDERE ( "As often happens")

Was published by Pope Clement VIII. It prohibited Jews in Avignon (which was a papal state) from trading in new goods. This, in order to put them in an economically disadvantaged position.

1242 June 6, BURNING OF THE TALMUD (Paris, France)

All copies of the Talmud had been confiscated by decree of Pope Gregory IX and King Louis. Declaring that the reason for the stubbornness of the Jews was their study of the Talmud, the Pope called for an investigation of the Talmud that resulted in its condemnation and burning. Twenty-four cartloads of Hebrew manuscripts (ten-twelve thousand volumes) were publicly burned in the Palace de Greve).


Jacob Frank, a follower of the false Messiah Shabbetai Zevi, had begun his own movement which emphasized the Kabbalah and denigrated the Talmud. His practices, some of which were sexual in nature, were condemned by the local Rabbinate. In revenge, he arranged a dispute in Lvov (June 20) between himself and the local Jewish leaders. Bishop Nicholas Dembowski, who presided over the disputation, ruled in favor of Frank and ordered all copies of the Talmud found to be dragged through the streets and burned. Around 1000 copies of the Talmud were destroyed. Within a few years, many of Frank's followers converted to Christianity.


In his book The Jews in America, he called for the barring of further Jewish immigration.

1494 BUTCHERS GUILDS (Kazimierz, Poland (near Cracow)

Limited to four the number of kosher butchers allowed in the entire district.

629 March 21, BYZANTINE EMPEROR HERACLIUS (Eretz Israel)

Marched into Jerusalem at the head of his army with the support of Jewish inhabitants. The Jews who had previously fought with the Persians against Byzantine rule decided to support him in return for a promise of amnesty. Upon his entry into Jerusalem the local priests convinced him that killing Jews was a positive commandment and that his promise was therefore invalid. Hundreds of Jews were massacred and thousands of others fled to Egypt. Thus, much of the rich Jewish life in the Galilee and Judea came to an end.


Anti-Jewish pogroms broke out from Syria to Asia Minor.


Emperor Romanus Lecapenus (Lekapenos)(920-944), co-ruler with Constantine VII, commanded that the Jews in the realm be forcibly baptized. Though it resulted in a mass emigration, his decree was never fully realized. This may have been due to the influence of Hasdai ibn Saprut, who used his position to persuade Constantine. Or, as others relate, it may be due to pressure from the king of Khazaria, who threatened to attack if the decree was not called off.

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