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1947 July 29, EXODUS (France)

Reached Southern France. The British demanded that the refugees disembark - the passengers refused.

1941 May, EINSATZGRUPPEN (Mobile Killing Units) (Germany)

Was officially established by Heydrich and army quartermaster Wagner. Although there were killing squads which operated in Poland as early as September 1939, the Einsatzgruppen was put into place in preparation for the attack on Russia which concluded the agreement between the Army and the SS as to the division of responsibilities. These mobile killing units consisted of about 3000 men. Most of them were professionals, including many lawyers and professional soldiers. There were even doctors and an opera singer. Each of the four main groups were assigned a different sector from north to south moving with the troops east. "A" moved into the northern sector and the Baltic states, "B" went through Bialystok and Vitbesk toward Moscow. "C" through Zhitomir, Kiev, and Krakow and "D" moved into the southern sector through Kaminetz, Odessa, and up to Stalingrad.

1947 July 18, EXODUS 1947 (Eretz Israel)

Was towed to Haifa. The refugees were forced off the boat into three other boats. The Exodus (originally the President Warfield) carried 4,515 survivors and was stopped at sea by the British Navy. During the struggle, three Jews were killed and 28 injured. The passengers were forcibly removed and sent first to France. The Exodus was destined to become the symbol for all Jews prevented from being able to leave the slaughterhouse of Europe and immigrate to Israel.

1936 December 5, IRGUN ZVAI LEUMI (Etzel)(Eretz –Israel)

Signed an agreement with Vladimir Jabotinsky. The Irgun, which was known at that time as Haganah Bet, was under the command of Abraham Tehomi who had split with the Haganah five years earlier. The agreement was that Tehomi would be the commander under Jabotinsky's political guidance. Tehomi rejoined the Haganah a year later and took 30% of his forces with him. The Irgun believed that armed force was a prerequisite for the creation of a Jewish state, that Arabs who attacked Jews should expect retaliation and that no one had a right to prevent Jews from immigrating. The relationship between the Irgun and the Haganah was usually stormy, though they did have periods of cooperation.


" This is the resting place of Claudia ( probably named for her owner/husband Tiberius Claudius Proculus) Aster ( Esther ) …..prisoner from Jerusalem……. she lived 25 years ".

C. 200 EARLY SYNAGOGUE IS BUILT (Stobi, Macedonia)

By Tiberius Polycharmus, who converted the bottom floor of his house into a prayer hall. Letters sent by Agrippa to Caligula proved that Jews settled in the region during Roman times.

363 EARTHQUAKE (Eretz Israel)

A major earthquake over much of the country heavily damaged the cities of Sepphoris (Zippori) in the Galilee, and Afek (Antipatris) near the Yarkon River in the Sharon plains Sepphoris was rebuilt and continued to flourish until the Arab conquest. Afek never attained its former status.

1033 December 12, EARTHQUAKES (Eretz Israel)

A series of earthquakes caused major damage to Ramla, Jerico, and Nablus. Jewish farmers, especially in the Sharon Valley, suffered great losses due to an earthquake. When extra taxes were issued to non-Moslem landowners, almost all of the remaining Jews were forced to leave agriculture.


With the ascension of Alfonzo V of Aragon (r.1416-1468), John II of Castile (r.1406-1454), as well as the rule of Pope Martin V, many of the anti-Jewish edicts were repealed. Copies of the Talmud were returned and a number of synagogues we placed again in Jewish hands. In many communities local governments refused to follow the kings declarations. Despite some efforts by the government, Jews no longer lived in Barcelona or Valencia. Most were concentrated in Castile. The Jewish community was impoverished monetarily and spiritually and had no influence on the King and his court.

576 Easter CLERMONT-FERREND (Gaul)

During a procession, a recent convert to Christianity was doused with rancid oil by a former co-religionist. Though Biship Avitus succeeded in temporarily calming the crowd . Four days later local Christians burned down the synagogue and began attacking Jews. The Bishop offered the Jews a choice baptism or exile, he reported that 500 Jews accepted conversion.The rest fled, mostly to Marseilles. Many of those who ostensibly converted managed to eventually return to practicing Judaism.


Riots ensued after Jews were accused of causing the earthquake by their alleged denigration of the cross. Pope Benedict VIII ordered the beheading (others say burning) of 20 Jews for causing the disaster, and the resulting plague.

1018 EASTER, TOULOUSE (France)

According to a Christian tradition called "Colaphisation," a Jew had to present himself to the local priest to receive a blow to his face. Hugues, the local Chaplain, hit the unfortunate victim so hard that "his brains and eyes...spilled to the earth". Only in the 12th century did the Jews succeed in paying a fine in remuneration instead of going through the ceremony.


Punished the entire Jewish community of Antioch after a Jew violated one of his laws.

1797 April 17, EASTERN POLAND

After falling to Prussia in the third partition of Poland in 1793, the government enacted "The Regulation", which removed a number of regulations regarding occupations and domicile restrictions for Jews. This still left many of the old regulations in place, including the one about not being able to marry under the age of 25, and then only upon proof of a fixed income.

1796 April 17, EASTERN POLAND

After falling to Prussia in the third partition of Poland in 1795, the government enacted "The Regulation" which removed a number of regulations regarding occupations and domicile restrictions for Jews. This still left many of the old regulations in place, including that of not being able to marry under the age of 25, and then only upon proof of a fixed income.


Was enraged by the lack of a greater number of “voluntary” conversions after the Christian "victory" at the Tortosa disputation. Benedict XIII (not to be confused with Pope Benedict XIII (1649-1730), published his Bull Etsi Doctoribus Gentium. In it, he banned owning or studying of the Talmud, the right to bake and sell unleavened bread, and engaging in any vocational or medical professions. He instituted forced Christian sermons (where Jews were forced to listen to conversion sermons each Sunday), and prohibited Jews from leaving the country.

1492 March 31, EDICT OF EXPULSION (Spain)

King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile, signed the Alhambra Decree. Since professing Jews were not under the jurisdiction of the Inquisition, the Church leveled a ritual murder accusation against them ( see 1490).Thus both Jews and Conversos were ordered to be expelled of from Spain within three months beginning May the first. Jewish leaders, including Don Isaac Abravanel, offered compensation for its annulment but their appeal was rejected. In his plea to the king he wrote, “On behalf of my people, the people of Israel,…, I declare them blameless and innocent of all crimes declared in this edict of abomination. The crime, the transgression, is for you, not us, to bear". It is estimated that approximately 200,000 Jews (some quote higher numbers) were living in Spain. They were forced to sell all their property and prohibited from taking out any precious metals. Most synagogues were taken over by the church without any compensation. As the borders on the north were only opened for practicing Christians, approximately half of them found temporary sanctuary in Portugal. Another 50,000 fled to friendlier shores (e.g. Turkey) and the rest (approximately 60,000) remained as "Christians". By July 31 no professing Jews were left in Spain.


The forcing of Jews to hear conversion sermons was abolished by Pope Pius IX, after almost six hundred years(1278).

1782 January 2, EDICT OF TOLERANCE (Toleranzpatent) (Austria)

Guaranteeing existing rights and obligation of the Jewish population, was enacted by Joseph II of Austria, the son of Maria Theresa. Joseph II was influenced by Wilhelm von Dohn, a friend of Mendelssohn and beginning with this edict, followed a generally enlightened attitude toward the Jews. The Edict (with the final edict less liberal then the original), received mixed reviews by Jewish leaders including Ezekiel Landau and Moses Mendelssohn.

313 EDICT OF TOLERATION (Roman Empire)

The Emperor Constantine and his co-emperor Licinius officially recognized Christianity. This edict authorized the toleration of different religions in the Roman Empire yet gave supremacy to Christianity.

1239 March 6, EDICT OF VALENCIA (Spain)

King James I validated the "privileges"/charter of the Jews of Aragon. The Jewish courts (Bet Din) were authorized to try all cases except capital offenses. He furthermore forbade all harassment except for financial debts, and only if these could be proven.

1845 August 19, - 1934 EDMOND DE ROTHSCHILD "Hanadiv Hayaduah" (France)

Philanthropist and art expert. Known as the "Builder of Modern Eretz Israel". Rothschild's interest began as early as the mid-1870's after viewing a play by Alexandre Dumas, La Femme de Claude. This play promoted the return of the Jews to their homeland. But it was only after being approached by Rabbi Samuel Mohilever that he became active in supporting the new settlements of Zichron Yaakov and Rishon Lezion and helped establish Ekron and Rosh Pina. Rothschild at first did not wish to use his name and so the soubriquet "Hanadiv Hayaduah" (The well-known benefactor) was used instead. Although later there was tension between the settlers and Rothschild's managers, he single-handedly helped maintain the early efforts of the Zionist movement. Rothschild established PICA, the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association, which acquired land and established industries. It is estimated that he spent over 50 Million dollars in supporting the settlements, as well as another half a million to help develop an electrical power station.


Wrote Ein Zukunftsbild which envisions a Jewish state ruled by a constitutional monarchy and divided into tribes with Hebrew as its national language. He described a modern exodus and predicted a Europe without Jews after anti-Jewish persecution that would be led for the most part by Germany. Eisler wrote his book 17 years before Herzl's The Jewish State.

1942 February, EDON REDLICH - "GONDA" (Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia)

A member of Maccabi HaTzair, helped in opening the first children's home in Theresienstadt. Redlich organized psychologists, teachers, and medical personnel to supervise about 2,300 children. He was sent to Auschwitz in September 1944 and did not return.


Published his notorious anti-Semitic harangue La France Juive in which he attributed all of France's ills to the Jews. His writings helped provoke and maintain the Dreyfus Affair.

1798 - 1839 EDUARD GANS (Germany)

Jurist and one of the founders (along with Zunz and others) of the Verein fuer Cultur und Wissenschaft der Juden (Society for Jewish Culture and Science). Gans' contribution to jurisprudence was a series of papers concerning the Jews of Rome and Roman Law.

1892 October 20, EDUARD SCHNITZER (Emin Pasha) (1840-1892) (Austria-Africa)

Was assassinated. He had taken on the Turkish name Emin Pasha and traveled throughout Africa as an explorer, linguist, adventurer, administrator, and especially as a doctor. He spent much of his time in Khartoum (in the Sudan) while serving as a governor under General Gordon. Pasha was a tireless fighter against the slave trade which was still rampant. He had returned to Central Africa on a semi-political voyage for Germany when he was murdered by slave traders.

1816 - 1841 EDWARD DAVIS ("Teddy the Jewboy") (Australia)

Australian Highwayman. Davis was born in London and deported to Australia in 1832 for stealing five shillings. After his arrival in Australia he escaped and organized a gang of runaway convicts known as the Teddy and the Jewboy gang. Davis was considered a kind of "Robin Hood" for his help to the poor, polite language, and refusal to engage in violence. Although Davis only used force in self-defense, his luck failed him when in December 1840, one of his men killed a shopkeeper. Davis and five of his men were caught and convicted. He was accompanied by the hazzan of the Sydney Synagogue when he was hung. His brother John was at the same time police chief in Penrith and his nephew became speaker of the Tasmanian House of Assembly. Many former deportees formed the basis for the Australian Jewish community.

1893 December 12, - 1973 EDWARD G. ROBINSON (Emanuel Goldenberg) (USA)

Originally typecast as a gangster, he starred in over 150 films. Robinson was a linguist and broadcasted to Germany in German during WWII. He was an accomplished painter, and one of the foremost art collectors in the United States.

1278 November 17, EDWARD I (England)

Arrested all the Jews for alleged coin clipping and counterfeiting. 680 were arrested, jailed and put on trial. The judges were given prior instructions clearly biased against the Jews. Although many Christians were accused, many more (ten times as many) Jews were hung than Christians (269 Jews and 29 Christians). Edward received 16,500 pounds from the property of the executed Jews and the fines of those charged. At that time Jews comprised 1% of the English population. 16,500 pounds was almost 10% of the exchequer's national income.

1290 July 18, EDWARD I (England)

Pressured by his barons, the Church and possibly his mother, he announced the expulsion of all the Jews. By November 1 approximately 4,000 had fled, mostly to France. The Jews had to pay their own passage. They were allowed to take movables (i.e. clothing). A number of Jews were robbed and cast overboard during the voyage by the ship captains. The Jews did not return to England until 1659. This was the first national expulsion of the Jews. (England was one of the only centralized and national monarchies of that time.)

1829 October 14, - 1884 EDWARD LASKER (Germany)

One of the first German Jews to enter politics. A defender of his people, he introduced the law which gave the Orthodox the right to establish their own school system.


Robinson a biblical scholar was the first to identify the Siloam pool and the bridge, which led to the temple mount known today as Robinson's arch. He used the Arab names of villages to identify old biblical sites, and is considered the founder of biblical archeology.

1917 August 23, EDWIN SAMUEL MONTAGU (Britain)

A member of the British cabinet, while discussing the idea of what was to be known as the Balfour Declaration stated," Zionism has always seemed to me to be a mischievous political creed, untenable by any patriotic citizen…" Montague (1879-1924) was the second Jew to serve in a British Cabinet. A strong anti- Zionist, he told Prime Minister Lloyd George. "All my life I have been trying to get out of the ghetto. You want to force me back there". He was also responsible for changing part of the declaration.


Archbishop of York ordered all “good Christians" not to eat together with a Jew.

1301 EGYPT

Riots broke out, encouraged by the Mamluk rulers. Many Jews and Christians - including all the Jews of Bilbeis - were forcibly converted to Islam.

1945 November 2, EGYPT

Riots took place on the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. A mob broke into Cairo’s Jewish quarter, attacked Jewish shops, and desecrated synagogues. “The riots, which also spread to Alexandria and to the European community there, lasted two days. Six people were killed, five of whom were Jews, and 670 injured, 500 of them in Alexandria.

1831 October, - 1833 December, EGYPTIAN - OTTOMAN WAR

Led by his son Ibrahim Pasha (1789-1848), Muhammad Ali (1769-1849) the Armenian born ruler of Egypt succeeded in conquering much of the middle east. With Constantinople now being threatened, the French and British forced him to cease his attack and eventually retreat. He controlled the holy land for almost a decade, and encouraged greater tolerance toward Christian pilgrims. This lead to the growth of Christian Zionism, and increased their influence on the future of Eretz Israel.


Eichmann (1906-1962) was so successful in forcing Jews to emigrate and confiscating their property that the Center later served as a model in Prague and in Berlin. Eichmann had joined the SS in 1933 and served in Dachau. His promotions were partly due to friendship with Ernest Kaltenbrunner who later commanded the Reich Security Head Office (R.S.H.A.) and partly due to his total association with Nazi ideals. Eichmann was compulsive about details and in preparation even learned some Yiddish and Hebrew. He eventually came to head Gestapo's Section IVB4. Eichmann's fanaticism in carrying out the "Final Solution" even came at the expense of the German war efforts. Eichmann was captured by Israeli agents in Argentina in May 1960 and put on trial in Jerusalem. A year later he was hung, his body cremated and his ashes strewn into the sea.

653 December 16, EIGHTH COUNCIL OF TOLEDO (Spain)

Renewed the decrees of 633 and proposed that any convert who continued to observe Jewish traditions should be executed by other Jewish converts.


Arrived in Athens under the command of Walther Rauff, who had served on Heydrich's staff. Hans Weise an SS officer, who also served as the liaison with the Mufti, set it up. Rommel, under whose command the unit was attached, did not offer any objections. Its goal was to eliminate the Jews in the Middle East, after the conquest of the Suez Canal by the Nazis.

1841 - 1842 EL SALVADOR

After the revolution it became an independent republic, with Dr. Juan Lindo serving as its president. Lindo, a descendent of Spanish and Portuguese Jews, was the founder of the National University of El Salvador, and author of the second constitution. His strong stand regarding education is reflected in his law which required each town with more then 150 people to erect a school. He also served as the president of Honduras (1847-1852).

C. 570 - C. 640 EL'AZAR HAKALIR (Tiberias, Eretz Israel)

Poet and mystic. He wrote more than 200 hymns ( Piyutim) . Many of them are still recited today. These include those read for the 9th of (the month of) Av, the book of slichot (recited leading up to the high holy days), and those recited for rain in the fall and dew in the spring. There is some controversy as to his exact identity and time he lived.

1875 - 1942 (11 Tamuz 5702) ELCHANAN WASSERMAN (Poland)

Jewish leader and talmudic scholar. An outstanding teacher, Wasserman joined the Kollel of the Chafetz Hayim (see 1838) and was considered his spiritual heir. His Yeshiva at Baranovitch was considered one of the most famous in Eastern Europe. Wasserman was one of the main leaders of Agudat Israel in Europe. A brilliant organizer and instructor, he established a grade system for rabbinical studies. He supported and contributed works to the Mussar movement. He was caught with a number of other rabbis while visiting Kovno by the Nazis and executed. His last words were: "The fire which consumes our bodies...will be that which the people of Israel will arise to a new life. His works include Ikvita D'mashicha, Ohel Torah, and Shiurei Rav Elchanan. He was a frequent contributor to the journal Sharei Tzion.

880 ELDAD HADANI (the Danite)

Claimed to belong to the ten lost tribes who lived near Ethiopia and the river Sambatyon. According to legend, the river threw up stones all week long and rested on the Sabbath. The lost tribes were therefore doomed to remain forever on the other side of the river, since on the day when the river was still they observed the Sabbath and therefore could not cross. Eldan maintained that the lost tribes observed certain ritual differences and had an Oral Law of their own, given by Moses and Joshua. Although he was not generally believed, he helped rekindle hope that salvation was near. His tales were printed in 1480.

C. 1165 - C. 1230 ELEAZAR BEN JUDAH OF WORMS (Germany)

Halachic scholar. He also wrote liturgical poetry (piyutim) which were influenced by the deaths of his wife, son, and daughters during the Second Crusade, an event in which he was also injured. His major works include Sefer ha-Chochmah (Book of Wisdom) and Sodei Razaya (Secrets of Secrets) on theology. Many of his other works including commentaries were lost. Eleazar belonged to a group of German Jewish scholars, known as the Hasedei Ashkenaz, which had a lasting influence on the direction, customs and philosophy of German Jewry.

1533 - 1600 ELEAZAR BEN MOSES AZIKRI (Safed, Eretz Israel)

Kabbalist, ascetic scholar and poet. Azikri divided his waking ours into two-thirds writing and one-third silent contemplation. His Sefer Hareidim arranged the commandments according to time and the limbs of the body. His best known poem was Yedid Nefesh (Faithful Friend) which is in all prayer books and recited in most synagogues and homes on Shabbat. Another well-known poem ascribed to him is Bilvavi Yivneh beitcha (In my heart I will build your house).


One of the leading scholars of his day. He traveled to Sura (Babylon) to deepen his studies, bringing his students a greater understanding of the Latin references in the Talmud.

1892 ELHANAN LEWINSKY (1857-1910) (Russia)

A Hebrew writer who published a utopian view of the Zionist dream, A Journey to the Land of Israel in the Year 2040. Lewinsky combined his job as the representative of Carmel wines with that of a Zionist leader traveling throughout Russia. He was a prolific journalist who made use of humor and Jewish legends in his writing.

1924 - 1965 ELI COHEN (Egypt-Israel)

Israel intelligence officer, Cohen succeeded in infiltrating the highest echelons of the Syrian military and civilian government before he was caught and hung in 1965. The Syrian government is still refusing to allow his widow to rebury him in Israel.

1468 - 1549 ELIAS (ELIJAH BAHUR) LEVITA (Germany-Italy)

Grammarian and Lexicographer. Levita was renowned in his day for his teaching of Hebrew to Christian scholars. His own works include Dikduk Eliyahu Halevi, Pirkei Eliyah and Masoret Hamasoret. Two additional important compositions were Meturgeman (a dictionary) and Tishbi which is a lexicon of Hebrew used in the Talmud. Although invited to Paris in the name of the king to lecture, he refused, stating that it would make it too difficult for him to continue to live as a religious Jew. Levita is credited with writing the first Hebrew-Yiddish dictionary and being the first to publish a Yiddish translation of the Psalms. With all his accomplishments, he is most famed for his adaption of the epic Bovo d’Antonia (Anglo-Roman romance, "Sir Bevis of Hamton) into Yiddish, also known as the Bovo Buch (1507). It was the first Yiddish non-religious book, and went through 40 re-printings over the next five centuries.rnrn

1928 - 2016 ELIE WIESEL (Romania - USA)

Writer, political activist, and Nobel laureate . Wiesel published 57 books in both French and English, many of them concerning the holocaust. He was also in the forefront for creating the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Wiesel's bestselling memoir Night described some of the horrors he experience during the holocaust. The book, originally published as La Nuit in 1958, has been translated into 30 languages, and is considered one of the most important memoirs on the holocaust.

1090 - 1170 ELIEZER BEN NATHAN OF MAINZ (RaBaN) (Germany)

Rabbi, commentator and historian. Rabbi Eliezer was known as one of the "elders of Mainz". His major work Even ha-Ezer (Stone of Help) is famous not only for its responsa but for the light it sheds on religious practice in Germany and France. As a historian his Kuntres Gezerot Tatnav (Booklet on the Massacres) of 1096 is one of our best sources for its accounts of the Rhineland massacres at the time of the First Crusade.

1858 January 7, - 1922 ELIEZER BEN YEHUDA PERELMAN (Lithuania-Eretz Israel)

Hebrew essayist and compiler of the first modern Hebrew dictionary. He is credited with transforming Hebrew into a modern language. To this end he established the Vaad Halashon (Language Council) for the purpose of coining new words. He began work on a dictionary of which the last two volumes were later completed by Moshe Zvi Segal.


Reached Jerusalem. Bregman (1826-1896) a Russian financier and philanthropist tried a revolutionary model to help sustain Jewish immigrants. He analyzed in detail the possibilities for industry and trades in the holy land, with the idea that people should be able to provide for themselves and not rely on charity. This put him into direct conflict with Zvi Hirsch Lehren, who was in charge of the Halukah and whose view on the redemption of the land of Israel was anti-activist.

1905 ELIEZER LIPA JOFFE (1882-1944) (Russia-USA)

Founded Ha-Ikkar HaTzair ("Young Farmer") as well as the American branch of HeHalutz. They provided agricultural training with their goals to encourage its members to move to Eretz Israel. Joffe was also one of the originators of the idea of Moshav Ovdim "workers' cooperative settlement" This was different than a kibbutz in that families had their own farms and lived in their own houses although there were cooperative purchasing and marketing. The first such settlement was Nahalal (1921). Joffe also was founder of Tnuva, the agricultural marketing cooperative (1928).


Finished his major work Reshit Chochmah (The Beginning of Knowledge). De Vidas was a student of Moses Cordovero (see 1522) in Safed. His Reshit Chochmah synthesized ethical and moral teaching with Kabbalah. Written in an easy and understandable style, it became very popular.

1720 - 1797 (19 Tishrei 5558 3rd day Chol Hamoed Succot) ELIJAH BEN SOLOMON ZALMAN (the Vilna Gaon)

The greatest talmudic mind of his time. He had mastered the Bible and started on the Talmud at the age of six. Though he preferred to live in seclusion, his reputation grew until he was known as the unofficial spiritual head of Eastern European Jewry. Feeling that the Hasidim leaned toward Sabbetianism and that they were dangerously anti-intellectual, he issued a ban and excommunicated its followers. The group which opposed the Hasidim became known as the Mitnagdim (Misnagdim) or the opponents. As a scholar, he pointed the way to a systematic study of the Torah in its entirety, not just those sections relevant to practical life. He wrote over 70 commentaries on all aspects of Jewish life.

1523 ELIJAH CAPSALI (c. 1483-1555) (Crete)

Published Seder Eliyahu Zuta. Capsali was a rabbi and historian and his book deals with the history of the Ottoman Empire, focusing on the persecutions and expulsions from Spain and Portugal. It is a primary resource of that time period.

1460 - 1497 ELIJAH DEL MEDIGO (Crete)

A distinguished physician, philosopher, translator and kabbalist. He was respected throughout the Italian courts.At the request of Pico della Mirandola the Italian Renaissance humanist and scholar, he translated many of Averroes, the Andalusian-Arab philosophers commentaries into Latin.

C. 1450 - 1525 ELIJAH MIZRACHI (HaRe'em) (Ottoman Empire)

Talmudist and Halachist and mathematician. He is best known for his Sefer ha-Mizrachi, a supercommentary highlighting Rashi�s Talmudic and Midrashic sources (see 1040 SOLOMON BEN ISAAC). He served as HaRav HaGadol (Chief Rabbi) from 1497 to 1526. His works on math and astronomy include Sefer ha-Mispar, a commentary Euclid's Elements, and . a commentary to Ptolemy's highly influential Almagest, on motions of the stars and planetary paths.

1717 - 1786 ELIMELECH OF LIZHENSK ( Poland)

Rabbi and hasidic leader . He is credited with the spread of the hasidic movement in Poland and Galicia. He and his brother Zusya were disciples of Dov Baer, the Maggid of Mezeritch. He wrote Noam Elimelech, a commentary on the Pentateuch. His book developed hasidic theory and delineated the position of the Rebbe he believed that the tzaddik, or “righteous one”), serves as a mediator both in the spiritual sphere and in all areas of life.

1696 ELLA BAT MOSHE (Dessau)

Printer. In 1696 she printed the siddur (prayer book) Tefilat Moshe , when she was 9 years old. Her family were famous from their work which also included her younger sister Gela.

1928 October 13, ELWOOD MEAD (USA)

Agricultural specialist and Commissioner of Reclamation at the Department of the Interior, together with other professionals he wrote a report on the potential for agriculture in the "Holy Land" entitled "Report of the Experts" Its conclusions were very optimistic comparing the land of Israel to California. Mead supervised the building of the Hoover and Grand Coulee dams. He had visited Eretz Israel in 1923, and at that, time recommended draining of the Hula basin as well as the development of the upper Jordan valley.

1861 March 3, EMANCIPATION ACT (Russia)

In an effort to gain support of the liberals, censorship was eased on newspapers, and controls relaxed in universities. Serfdom was also abolished with about half of them owning some land. Ironically this worked to the detriment of the Jews. The serfs, now producers, began to see the Jewish merchant middlemen as standing in their way to attaining wealth. This would lead to mass participation in the pogroms of 1881.

1862 October 4, EMANCIPATION IN BADEN (Germany)

In spite of the fact that much of Prussia had removed the anti-Jewish disabilities years earlier, Baden had refused, conditioning it on Jewish cession of outward characteristics. On this date they were finally removed unconditionally.


Jews had been present in Jamaica since the time of the British conquest in 1655, yet they were not allowed to vote until this date. Within fifteen years, eight of the 47 members of the House of Assembly (which didn't meet on Day of Atonement) were Jewish.

1868 - 1941 EMANUEL LASKER (Germany-England)

A mathematician by profession, he was the foremost chess champion of his day. In 1892 he won his first major tournament in London. In 1894 he defeated Wilhelm Steinitz for the championship which he defended against Frank Marshall, David Janowski, and others. He held the championship until 1921 when he was defeated by Capablanca with ten draws and four losses. Lasker wrote two classic books on chess: "Common Sense in Chess" (1896) and "Lasker's Manual of Chess."

1854 - 1944 EMANUEL LOEW (Hungary)

Naturalist and botanist. His four volume work "Flora of the Jews" names and examines the nature of plant life in the Bible and the place of plant life in Jewish law and legend. He listed 117 names of plants in the Bible and 320 in talmudic literature.

1096 May 3, EMICHO (Emico), COUNT OF LEININGEN (Germany)

On his way to join the Crusade led by Peter the Hermit, he attacked the synagogue at Speyer. The Jews defended themselves but were systematically slain. Until this time atrocities in Europe were sporadic. From here on in they became organized and frequent, and Jewish martyrdom began in earnest. (It should be remembered that the atrocities committed by the rampaging crusaders were not always supported by the local burghers and bishops. Furthermore, in many countries - especially the Slavic states - the local Christian community suffered from pillages as well. John, bishop of Speyer even called out his army after 11 Jews were killed in a riot, but he was an exception rather than the rule. Approximately 5,000 Jews were murdered in Germany in 1096.)

1851 May 20, - 1929 EMILE BERLINER (Germany-USA)

Inventor and Zionist. He wrote convincingly on the compatibility between Orthodox Judaism and the world of science. He invented the "loose contact telephone transmitter", which was purchased by Bell. Berlinger established the largest telephone company in Europe. He also invented the microphone and the disc record, based on Edison's cylinder inversion.

1858 - 1917 EMILE DURKHEIM (France)

A descendant of a French rabbinical family, he became a noted sociologist. He explored suicide, religion, the conscience, and "anonymity" by using scientific research methods.

1898 January 13, EMILE ZOLA (France)

Acting on behalf of Dreyfus, he issued his famous "J'Accuse" letter in Clemenceau's paper L'Aurore condemning the French establishment in the Dreyfus Affair.

1919 March 3, EMIR FAISAL

Wrote a letter to Felix Frankfurter expressing his support for the Zionist cause. "We Arabs...look with deepest sympathy on the Zionist Movement....We will wish the Jews a most hearty welcome."

1869 June 27, - 1940 EMMA GOLDMAN (Lithuania-USA)

Anarchist leader. Goldman edited the journal Mother Earth which dealt with the injustices of American society. She believed that the state hindered the achievement of personal freedom. Among her causes was was the freedom of birth control. Leon Czolgosz, who assassinated President McKinley, claimed that Goldman had a strong influence on him. Goldman was arrested and eventually deported but found living under the Bolsheviks equally distasteful. Among her works are Anarchism and Other Essays, My Further Disillusionment in Russia, and Living My Life.

1849 July 22, - 1887 EMMA LAZARUS (USA)

American poet whose poem "New Colossus" is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty. She wrote many poems about the problems facing the Jews all over the world. In 1882 she wrote a series of open letters in the journal American Hebrew, called “Epistle to the Hebrews”, calling for American Jews to help establish a Jewish state. The following year she went to London, with letters of introduction from Henry James in an effort to put forth the idea of establishing a Jewish national homeland.


Called on Pope Urban II and western countries to help him against the Sejuk Turks, who were threatening his kingdom and who controlled Syria-Eretz Israel.

877 EMPEROR BASIL I (Byzantine Empire)

Called on Sheftaiya ben Amitai to cure his daughter of insanity. After she recovered, ben Amitai requested that the law prohibiting Jewish worship be repealed. Although the Emperor refused, he did agree to revoke the ban in Shefatiya's city of Orua.

1544 April 3, EMPEROR CHARLES V (Holy Roman Empire)

Was convinced by Josel of Rosheim to condemn the ritual murder accusations.


Issued a decree confiscating the property of anyone who converts from Christianity to Judaism.

212 EMPEROR CRACALLA (Roman Empire)

Allowed all free men including Jews within the empire to become full Roman citizens. Cracalla (188-217) the son of Septimius Severus, was evidently friendly to the Jews. Also named Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, he is considered by some to be the "Antoninus" mentioned in the Talmud as a friend and benefactor of the patriarch Judah I.


The Roman emperor (284-305) visited Eretz Israel as part of his campaign against the Persians. His reign is viewed favorably in the Talmud.

1561 EMPEROR FERDINAND I (Holy Roman Empire}

Took an oath to expel the Jews from Prague. They were saved by Mordechai Zemach, who hurried to Rome and convinced Pope Pius IV to release the Emperor from his oath. While he was gone, many Jews were forced to leave or were attacked by robber barons.


After appointing a commission to investigate the truth of "blood accusations", he adopted the Jews' unanimous denial of any such crime.

1236 EMPEROR FREDERICK II OF HOHENSTAUFEN (1194-1250) (Holy Roman Empire)

Declared Jews of Germany servi camerae nostre (servants of our treasury) or Kammerknechtschaft. The simple legal meaning of this was that Jews and all their possessions belonged to the King and was partly instituted by Frederick I in 1157. This also supposedly assured them protection. Jewish rights and their assets were now the actual property of the king, to be bought, sold, or traded. This concept, mostly economic but also theological, spread to France England and Spain.


Made sacrifices to the emperor obligatory, though he exempted the Jews from the order. Galerius (r.293-305) also upgraded the respect given to the patriarchal office.

1097 EMPEROR HENRY IV (Germany) and WILLIAM II (England-Normandy)

Denying any complicity in forced conversions, they offered the Jews of their realm who had been forcibly baptized the possibility of returning to Judaism. Rashi (the leading Sage and commentator) pleaded for them to be re-admitted by the community.

632 - 634 EMPEROR HERACLIUS (Byzantine Empire)

Forced baptism on North African Jewish communities. This was probably the first case of officially sanctioned forced baptism. Until this time Jews were protected by Theodosian Law which protected them from forced conversions, though it imposed limitations on Jewish freedom. Once breached there was no longer any hesitation on the part of Christian leaders to use forced conversions as a political tool whenever they wished.

531 EMPEROR JUSTINIAN (527-565) (Byzantine Empire)

Ruled that Jews cannot testify against Christians. He also censored part of the synagogue liturgy for being anti-trinitarian. Justinian is famous for his Codex Justinianeus (Corpus Juris Civilis), which he began in 527, as well as his new regulations known as Novels (Novellae Constitutiones Post Codicem). In his Codex and Novellae, he revised many of the older ordinances and added some of his own. These included new anti- Jewish imperial directives and restrictions. In general, his code united church and state making anyone who was not connected to the Christian church a non- citizen. These regulations determined the status of Jews throughout the Empire for hundreds of years.

543 EMPEROR JUSTINIAN (Byzantine Empire)

Tried to force Jews to postpone Passover until after Easter.


Declared that no Jews could remain within his kingdom. The general position from the 7th (see Perctarit 661) to the 13th century was only to permit sparse Jewish population. Most cities had less than 30 Jewish families. This was due to a fairly constant position of exclusion by the Church.

1437 EMPEROR SIGISMUND (Holy Roman Emperor r.1433-1437)

Though he drained the Jews of their wealth whenever he could, he protected them from some of the worst excesses. His successor, Austrian Archduke Albert V (1397-1439) (Emperor Albert II), hated the Jews passionately and welcomed any excuse for persecuting them.

423 June 8, EMPEROR THEODOSIUS II ( Eastern Empire)

Ordered, that "Jews may not construct new synagogues or improve existing ones, but old ones will not be torn down, and if so they will be compensated." No penalty was attached to those who ignored his order. This was his last effort to offer some protection to the Jewish community in the Roman Empire. From here on he made no attempt to stop anti- Jewish persecution by the clergy and himself began to denounce Judaism in no uncertain terms.


As part of what would be known as the Codex Theodosianus (CTh 16.8.24), Jews were banned from joining the imperial service, "They are however allowed to continue to serve as advocates before judges (see 439).

787 EMPRESS IRENA (Byzantine Empire)

Decried the practice of forced conversion. With clerical support, she called for conversion only of those who voluntarily confessed and rejected Judaism and its "customs and pursuits".

1745 May 15, EMPRESS MARIA THERESA (Prague, Bohemia)

After many appeals and petitions, she revoked her decree banishing all Jews from Moravia and Bohemia, allowing Jews to live there for an unlimited time. Only the Jews in Prague itself were still under the order. They were soon permitted to return on a restricted basis.


Sumptuary laws (see 1432) were at times self enacted and at other times imposed by the local Christain rulers. The laws at Casale belonged to the latter and were designed to humiliate and punish the Jews in the name of Christ.


Was marked by the death of Judah HaNasi. Known as the age of the Tannaim, this age commenced with Hillel the Elder around the beginning of the Common Era. The actual compilation of the Talmud began in 135 in the aftermath of the Bar Kochba revolt, and in response to the fear that the Oral Law may be forgotten. The Mishna itself is a compilation of Oral Law which serves as a second teaching of the Bible. According to rabbinic sources, this Oral Law was given to Moshe at Mt. Sinai and passed down from generation to generation. It is divided into six "orders": Zeraim (Seeds), Mo'ed (Festivals), Nashim (Women), Nezikim (Damages), Kedushim (Holy Matters) and Taharot (Purity). There are a total of 63 tractates. It was compiled in concise Hebrew and was intended to be memorized. The Mishna and the later Talmud (Gemara) served and still serves as a code for regulation of all Jewish life.


Hisham III (1027–1031) was overthrown . Beset by factionalism, the caliphate crumbled into a number of independent taifas or small principalities. The Umayyads had ruled with stability for 250 years. However, they never recovered from the Berber invasion and the sacking of Cordova twenty years earlier.Due to the general instability, many Jews emigrated to the Castile region especially to Toledo, or to Saragossa in Aragon. Others went to Leon or south to Almeria, and still others left for Egypt. As Jews moved away from established communities it led in many cases in a loosing of ties with the Jewish community, resulting in a rise in assimilation.


London Jews loaned Thomas Beckett 10 marks for his flight to France. The King, furious at the loan, confiscated the revenue.


Frederick Barbarossa complained to King Henry II about a number of Jews who had left his domain and were now residing in England. Henry forced the richer Jews to return to Germany and the rest to pay him a fine of 5000 marks in order to be able to remain in England.


Joyce (Yoseph) of Gloucester was fined by Henry II 100 shillings for lending money to Richard Care for his expedition to Ireland. Although Joyce did not break any law, the king was nervous about the use of Jewish loans to finance any independent actions or policies.


King Henry II enacted the "Assize of Arms", ordering that all weapons in possession of Jews be confiscated on the grounds that Jews, who were supposedly protected by the King, would not have any reason for owning arms. The weapons were turned over to the King's forces. A direct result of this was that there was little they could do to protect themselves when riots broke out less then ten years later.

1190 March 22, ENGLAND

King Richard (the Lionhearted), angered by the riots and the loss of crown property (since the Jews were seen as serfs to the crown), renewed a general charter in favor of the Jews that was first issued by Henry II. His chancellor, Longchamp, instituted heavy fines against the Pudsey and Percy families, who had been involved in the 1190 pogrom at York. This enriched the treasury and hurt his political opponents at the same time. Three people who were also accused of destroying Christian property were executed.

1287 May 4, ENGLAND

Jews were arrested and again accused of "clipping" the coinage. Although there was no evidence, the community as a whole was convicted and ordered to be expelled. A ransom of 4,000 (others say 12,000) pounds of silver was paid.


Joachim Gaunse of Prague, a professing Jew, had been invited to England to help oversee and develop mining operations. He was accused of heresy when he denied believing in Christianity, but whether he was punished for this is unknown.


A woman was accused of keeping Jewish customs and refusing to eat meat which was not ritually prepared. She was imprisoned by the Court of High Commission. Though officially Jews were not allowed to settle in England, there were a number of legal cases which show that some Jews did indeed live there.

1649 January, ENGLAND

The first petition to re-admit the Jews to England was presented to Lord Fairfax. The petition by Johanna and Ebenezer Cartwright called for "Repealing the Act of Parliament" for their banishment from England. Unfortunately, due to the turmoil in England and the execution of King Charles, the petition was never given a hearing.


A Jewish merchant by the name of Jacob opened the first coffee house at Oxford and is credited with being the first to introduce coffee to the English public.

1655 April 26, ENGLAND

Menasseh ben Israel was invited to London by Oliver Cromwell to negotiate the resettlement of the Jews. William Prynne succeeded in officially postponing the resettlement for a couple of years. Cromwell's change of heart was partly due to the rise of Puritanism, which emphasized literal application of the Old Testament.

1655 August 17, ENGLAND

Antonio (Abraham Israel) Carvajal and his two sons received residency rights (endenizened) as "crypto Jews" thus becoming the founder of the converso (Marrano) London Jews community. Carvajal (see 1590) was an important trader whose wide connections provided Oliver Cromwell with vital information concerning both the Spanish government and the exiled Stuart, Charles II.

1656 March 24, ENGLAND

After the outbreak of the English-Spanish war, Jews living in England petitioned Cromwell to be allowed to stay in England, insisting that they were Conversos, not Spaniards. Although Cromwell chose not to reply officially, he permitted the community to establish a Jewish Cemetery, and to have protection during prayers. His unwritten agreement was conditioned on there being no public Jewish worship. This is considered by many to mark the official end of the expulsion of the Jews from England.

1656 May 16, ENGLAND

Antonio Robles, a successful Converso merchant, had his goods confiscated at the outbreak of the war with Spain. Robles contended that he was a Portuguese "of the Hebrew nation" and not Spanish - and therefore his property should be returned to him. In this landmark case the Council decided in his favor, strengthening the position of the community and opening the door for allowing Jews to live in England as Jews.


The Sephardi community drew up regulations for Jewish communal organizations. They were known as the Ascamot or Agreement. The original document was written in Portuguese. One of the regulations against the founding of another synagogue was later to cause controversy.


The first Anglo-Jewish charity, Hebra (Chevra) of Bikur Holim was set up for visiting the sick.

1673 February 11, ENGLAND

According to the Conventicle Act of 1664, any prayer meeting of more the five persons that was not according to the Book of Common Prayer would be considered seditious. The act had been originally designed as a device against the Puritans, but soon Jews were prosecuted as well. The Jews requested from the King to either be allowed freedom of worship or to be allowed to leave the country with their possessions. Charles II ordered the Attorney General to desist from prosecuting the "offenders".


After a number of minor persecutions the crown confirmed freedom of worship for the Jews.


The first Hebrew printing press in England was opened.


Jews were allowed to be admitted to the Bar. Two years later in 1835 Francis Goldsmid became the first Jewish barrister.

1840 August 11, ENGLAND

Lord Henry Palmerston, the Foreign Secretary, in a letter to the ambassador in Constantinople wrote: "There exists...among the Jews...a strong notion that the time is approaching when their nation is to return to Palestine.... I instruct ... to strongly recommend to the Turkish Government ... to encourage the Jews of Europe to return to Palestine."


An act was passed which replaced the oath of admission to Parliament, paving the way for Jews to be admitted to both houses.


Enacted anti-alien legislation.

1920 January, ENGLAND

The Jewish Peril, an English translation of the "Protocols", was published. During the same year it was also printed in Poland and France and reprinted in newspapers.


The earliest reference to Jews appeared in Liber Poeintentialis by Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury. These were rulings against social interaction between Christians and Jews. There is a question as to whether these rulings were of a general nature and thus not a proof that Jews lived in early England. The first documentation of early Jews were mostly traders from northern France was in 691.


The society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, S.P.C.A., was founded by Louis Gompertz.

1190 ENGLAND (Jewish Population)

The Jewish population in England numbered approximately 2,500 Jews. Until this time they enjoyed relative freedom of movement, education, and the right to own real estate as compared to the Jews on the continent.


King Edward banned usury and tried to encourage Jews in agriculture, crafts and local trades. He failed, partly because of local prejudice and opposition. Jews were forbidden to lend money at interest and the order was renewed that all Jews over the age of seven had to wear a badge shaped like the twelve tablets of law. This was similar to the edict of Louis IX (1254). The Jews, mostly financially drained and impoverished, were replaced by the Lombards of Italy as the bankers of the King - and were thus no longer considered an asset.

1931 - 1934 ENGLEBERT DOLFUSS (Austria)

An anti-communist who served as chancellor. He soon convinced the president to appoint him dictator (1933). Although he persecuted the Nazis, he considered all Jews communists and treated them as such.

1760 October 23, ENGLISH PRAYER BOOK

The first English translation of the Prayer book (Siddur) was published in England.

1905 - 1944 ENZO SERENI

Italian Zionist Pioneer who helped found Kibbutz Givat Brenner. During World War II he joined the British Army. He was instrumental in organizing parachute drops from the Yishuv to behind German lines. Sereni insisted that he be allowed to participate in those drops as well. He was dropped in the wrong area, captured by the Germans, and shot at Dachau. Kibbutz Netzer Sereni was named after him.

1132 - 1198 EPHRAIM BEN JACOB OF BONN (Germany)

Rabbi, talmudic commentator, and liturgical poet. His Sefer Zekhirah (Book of Remembrance) consists of both the historical events and liturgical poems relating to the massacres of the second and third crusades. He was also the author of the well-known legend describing the martyrdom of Amnon of Mainz, the composer of U-Netanneh Tokef (Let us tell the mighty) prayer for the High Holy Days which was actually written by Kalonymus Ben Meshullam (the Great)Of Mainz, (c. 1000).

C. 680 - C. 1060 EPHRAIM BEN SHEMARYA ( Gaza- Fostat)

Head of the Eretz Israel community in Fostat, Egypt. He is mostly remembered through his many correspondences, especial those with the Gaon Solomon ben Judah, which found their way into the Cairo Geniza .

1550 - 1619 (7 Adar 5379) EPHRAIM SOLOMON OF LUNTSCHITZ (Poland-Prague)

Rabbi, preacher and biblical commentator. "Ephraim of Luntschitz" was renowned for his brilliant sermons, in which he spared no sector. He bullied the rich for not being more generous, criticizing their pretensions of religious status based on finance rather than on deeds. At the same time he accused the poor of not doing enough to "help themselves" and relying on charity. His sermons were collected and published in Ir Giborim, Revivot Efrayim and others. His Klei Yakar is included in many editions of the Bible as a standard commentary.


Written in Greek, its goal was to deter new Christians from being influenced by Judaism , stressing that Jews no longer share in God's covenant. It is one of the earliest examples of Adversos-Judaeum , theology, which concludes that Jews have been abandoned by God, and thus by the church and all Christians. It was read in churches in the first three centuries, though it was not included as part of the canon.


Joseph di Montagna, a traveler from Italy, reported a thriving community of 300 families in Safed.

1902 - 1914 ERETZ ISRAEL

Twenty-nine settlements were started by the World Zionist Organization.


Ten years after the first Zionist Congress there were approximately 80,000 Jewish inhabitants in Eretz Israel: 45,000 in Jerusalem, 8000 in Jaffa, 8000 in Safed, 2000 in Haifa, 2000 in Tiberias, and 1000 in Hebron. In addition, there were 14,000 people living in over 30 villages and underdeveloped land.

1915 March 22, ERETZ ISRAEL

The majority of the Palestine Refugees' Committee, under the encouragement of Joseph Trumpeldor and Vladimir Jabotinsky, endorsed a resolution calling for the formation of a "Jewish Legion", and proposed to England its utilization in Palestine. Within a few days about 500 enlisted.

1918 September 19, ERETZ ISRAEL

The beginning of the last major offensive against the Turks. Within 11 days all of the area from north of Jerusalem until Damascus, including Transjordan, was overrun by the British. Both the Jewish Brigades (38th and 39th) played an active role in the offensive.

1921 February 23, ERETZ ISRAEL

Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook and Rabbi Ya'akov Meir were elected the first two chief rabbis. (The Sephardic chief rabbi retained the title of Rishon le-Zion.)

1922 October, ERETZ ISRAEL

Population reached eighty-four thousand.

1929 August 16, ERETZ ISRAEL

Although warned by the Zionist Executive that the Arabs were preparing to attack the Jews of Jerusalem with massive riots, High Commissioner Sir John Chancelor refused to cut his vacation short, declaring that relations between the two sides were improving. The day after the ninth of Av, after Friday prayers, two thousand Arabs attacked Jews praying at the Western Wall. One Jewish youth was stabbed in the back. The British Government refused to condemn the attack, leading the Arabs again to believe that the British supported their riots.

1929 August 23, ERETZ ISRAEL

Arabs began to riot throughout pre-state Israel after Moslem Friday prayers. The next day, the riots spread to Hebron where over 60 Jews were killed and over 50 injured. During the week of August 23-29, 113 Jews were killed and 339 wounded. As a result, Sir Walter Shaw headed a commission which urged the banning of Jewish immigration and absolved the Arabs and the Mufti of guilt. Another commission led by Sir John Simpson declared that the entire Zionist operation was unsound and undesirable. Both of these commissions were under the auspices of Lord Passfield, the British Colonial Secretary.


Jewish population reached 175,000.


Mapai (Labor Zion) emerged as the major political party.

1937 July, - August, ERETZ ISRAEL

Arab riots convinced the British to send another commission, this time headed by Sir John Woodhead, who declared partition unworkable.

501 July 23, ERETZ ISRAEL

A massive earthquake hit the coast. Acre was partially destroyed. Cities as far inwards as Jerusalem suffered damage.


Johanan ben Zaccai received permission from Vespasian to retire with the rabbinical leaders of his generation to Yabneh. There the foundation was laid, for the survival of the Jewish people in dispersed communities without a central Temple. Their proclamations included the replacement of sacrifices by charity, repentance, and the fixation of initially set prayers (the Amidah, Shemah and Alenu). In addition they began the establishment of an educational system for children, the fixing of the Biblical cannon and the separation between Judaism and Christianity.

1939 December 31, ERETZ ISRAEL

During the year 1939, 34 immigrant boats tried to break through the British blockade. Seventeen new settlements were founded and more than 100 Jews were killed by Arab terror.

1941 December 31, ERETZ ISRAEL

Due to the war and British restrictions, only 4,600 Jews made it to Israel (the lowest number in 10 years) and only five new settlements were established.

1946 December 31, ERETZ ISRAEL

During 1946, 25 new settlements were established and 22 boats containing over 20,000 illegal immigrants tried to reach the shores of Israel. Most were caught. Some of the illegal immigrants were freed after a short time, and were allowed to stay in Israel. The rest were sent to Cyprus.

1831 - 1840 ERETZ ISRAEL

Was occupied by the Egyptian force led by Mohammed Ali and his son Ibrahim Pasha. In an effort to break the power of the Bedouins be brought a large group of Egyptians known as the Masarweh to settle in the country. Mohammed Ali also colonized Jaffa, Nablus, and Beit She'an with Egyptian soldiers and their Sudanese allies. He instituted reforms, which included legal rights to non-Moslem's, strengthened regional administrations to combat corruption ,and increased security on the roads. The latter made it much safer for westerners to travel from Jaffa to Jerusalem.

1915 April, ERETZ ISRAEL - NILI (Hebrew initials for Netzah Israel Lo Yeshaker)

Was organized by Avshalom Feinberg and Aaron Aaronsohn to spy against the Turks for the British. Based in Zichron Yaakov and locally run by Aaronsohn's sister Sarah, they passed messages regarding Turkish troop maneuvers around the Haifa area. In 1917 the Turks broke the spy ring. Sarah was arrested October 1, and after being tortured for three days, managed to commit suicide. Most of the other members were captured and killed.


Probably began in Tiberius, and moved to Jerusalem around 920. Beset by famine , attacks and internal struggles, they tried to press for the prominence of Jerusalem over Babylon. Unlike Babylon where there were two separate offices; the Exilarch ( Reysh Galuta) for political / administrative affairs and the Gaon who headed the yeshivot, they combined both functions. With the Seljuk conquest, it was forced to move, first to Tyre in 1071 and then to Fostat, where it continued in some form until the crusader invasion.

1939 September 12, ERETZ- ISRAEL

Within two weeks of the outbreak of the war 135,000 people offered to volunteer for the British army. The British were reluctant, fearing that their training would eventually be used against them.

1221 June 26, ERFURT (Germany)

Although the Archbishop of Canterbury forbade anti-Jewish riots by English crusaders, they continued unabated. A group of religious "pilgrims" on their way to the Holy Land attacked the Jewish quarter, burning two synagogues. Some 26 Jews were killed. Among the martyrs was the paytan and cantor Samuel b. Kalonymus. Others threw themselves into the fire rather then be forcibly converted.

1349 March 21, ERFURT (Germany)

After a mob marched into the Jewish quarter carrying a flag with a cross, the Jews tried to defend themselves. Over a hundred Jews were killed and much of the ghetto burned.

1874 - 1926 ERIC WEISS (1874-1926) (USA)

Better known as Harry Houdini, the master escape artist. Born in an Orthodox home and a rabbinical family, he performed publicly for 43 years. His reputation was greatest when it came to freeing himself from a wide range of chains and locks, even while under water. Houdini spent much of his time decrying and challenging super-naturalists and mediums.

1880 - 1959 ERNEST BLOCH (Switzerland-USA)

Although Bloch was not formally traditional, his music is suffused with Jewish themes. In Bloch's words: "This it is which I seek to feel within me and to translate in my music - the sacred race - emotion that lies dormant in our souls." His well-known works include the Shelemo, Baal Shem, America (an epic rhapsody) Symphony in C Sharp Minor and Avodat HaKodesh (Sacred Service for the Sabbath).


A composer, he arrived in the United States and conducted a concert the following year in Carnegie Hall.

1823 - 1892 ERNEST RENAN (France)

French philosopher, historian and Semitic Philologist. Some have considered him the "Father of anti-Semitic anthropology" for his description of Jews as selfish exploiters trying to entrap "honest Christians", and his belief that the Semites were " an incomplete race. " . This being said he did not belief that Jewish people constitute a biological racial entity.

1946 October 16, ERNST KALTENBRUNNER (1903-1946) (Germany)

The S.S. leader and successor of Heydrich as chief of the RSHA, was hanged after a trial at Nuremberg. Kaltenbrunner, a friend of Eichmann, was a key figure in the implementation of the "Final Solution". As the end of the war approached, he insisted on continuing the annihilation of the Jews until the last possible moment.

1944 June 7, ESCAPE FROM AUSCHWITZ (Poland)

Vladimir Epstein and two Russian POW's escaped from the camp and formed their own partisan unit known as The People's Avenger (Narodny Mstitel). When he met the first Russian detachments on January 15, 1945, he presented them with the identity papers of 120 SS men that they themselves had killed.

1946 June 29, ESCAPE FROM ERITREA (Eastern Africa)

Fifty-four Irgun and Lehi prisoners succeeded in tunneling seventy meters under the fence. Although none succeeded in escaping from Ethiopia itself, it humiliated the British, who decided to move them to Kenya.

1738 ESTHER BRANDEAU ( New France )

A young Jewish woman traveled to Quebec disguised as a boy. Since Jews were prohibited from settling in New France, she was told she must convert. After a year or so of refusal, she was forcibly repatriated back to France(fall 1739). It would be another 22 years before Jews would be allowed to settle in New France.

1592 ESTHER CHIERA (Ottoman Empire)

Was executed along with one of her sons by the Sultan Murad III's cavalry. Esther, the wife of a Jewish merchant, was known as a Chiera or Kiera, the title given to the women in charge of all relations (including commercial) between the wives in the sultan's royal harem and the outside world. Esther was extremely influential with Safiyeh, the favorite wife of the Sultan. Jealousy on the part of other ministers and the desire of the Sultan for her assets led to their arrest (officially for interfering in a military appointment) and execution, with all their possessions and property going to the Sultan.

1815 ESTHER EMANUEL (Louis Grafemes)

Dressed as a man, she joined the German army to be near her husband. She was promoted to sergeant major and decorated with the Iron Cross. Only after her husband's death did her true identity become known.

1649 ESTHER LIEBMANN (née Schulhoff;) ( Germany)

Business woman, financier, and court Jew. She served with her first husband Israel Aron as the purveyor of jewels to king Friedrich I of Prussia, After Aron died, she married Jost Liebman and together they established excellent relations with the King. Upon Josts death she continued running the business, and even received permission to mint coins.

1356 ESTHERKA ( Poland)

Daughter of a Jewish tailor won over Casimir III "The Great" (1310-1370) so completely that many of his pro Jewish enactments are said to be due to her. He installed her in a royal palace near Cracow. She was said to have born him 2 sons and two daughters. The daughters raised as Jews and the sons as Christian. She was killed around 1370 by Casimir's successor, Louis of Hungary during his persecution of the Jews.

1925 February 5, ESTONIA

Became the only country in Eastern Europe to recognize its four minorities - Russian, German, Swedish, and Jewish, even though it had refused to become a signatory to the Minorities Treaties.

1942 January 31, ESTONIA

Franz Stahlecker, commander of Einsatzgruppe A , in a report to Himmler, affirmed that there were no more Jews in Estonia and only a few thousand left in Latvia. By the end of the war, 90% of all Jews in the Baltic countries had been eliminated. Stahlecker was killed by Estonian partisans two months later.

1942 January 20, ESTONIA

Was declared Judenfrei (free of any Jews) at the Wannsee Conference, making it the first country to be declared as such. Most of the Jewish population had been able to flee to the USSR before the Germans occupied the country. Of those remaining (less than 1000) almost none survived. A further 10,000 foreign Jews from central Europe were transferred there and murdered, many at the Kalevi-Liiva execution site.

1280 - C. 1355 ESTORI (Isaac ben Moses) HA-PARHI (Spain-Eretz Israel)

Physician and topographer. Ha-parhi settled in Eretz Israel around 1314 and moved to Beth Shean where he wrote Sefer Kaftor va-ferach. In it he described the topography of Eretz Israel, its borders and the names of various towns. He was the first to identify the towns of Beitar and Modiin.


Was founded by Felix Adler, a former rabbinical student. Throughout most of his life he kept himself apart from all Jewish interests. He expounded his theories through his writings, i.e. Creed and Deed, An Ethical Philosophy of Life, etc.

1326 ETZ HA-HAYYIM SYNAGOGUE (Basra, Ottoman Empire)

Was established with permission of Sultan Orhan Gazi (1281-1360) after his conquest of Bursa in northwestern Anatolia. The synagogue was active until 1941 when it was destroyed in a fire.rn


With the approval of chief Rabbi Samuel Salant. Moses Montefiore made a donation to help school children study Arabic. This aroused the ire of some religious extremists, who backed by the Austrian consul, demanded that the studies cease. The British consul, Noel More (1833-1903) who was well respected, tried to intervene but was unsuccessful. The money was returned.

1942 September, EUROPA PLAN

Was developed by Gisi Fleischmann and Rabbi Michael Dov Weissmandl as an outgrowth of the Bratislava working group (see July 1941). The idea was to offer an initial bribe to Dieter Wisliceny, Eichmann's emissary to Slovakia, to agree to "ransom" Jews. A figure of 2-3 million dollars was discussed for the rescue or rather non-deportation of 1 million Jews. As the figure was impossible to raise the plan was reduced to $ 200 000 for 1000 children who would be transferred from Auschwitz to Thereisienstadt and eventually to Switzerland. The U.S. government put pressure on the JDC stating that it was illegal to transfer money to Germany and the negotiations fell through. Although the effort though unsuccessful, it led to the “Blood for Goods” plan to rescue Hungarian Jewry (see June 1944).


Jews became the scapegoat for the over-speculation which occurred after the Franco-Prussian War.


Wrote his Historia Ecclesiastica, , a chronological account Early Christianity. Eusebius (c. 260–c. 339), tried to prove that immediately after rejecting Jesus, the Jews were punished by heaven with many disasters. In his fear that some Christians still sympathize with Judaism, he wrote a Jew is "a liar, even as also is his father the devil" He urged Christians to have nothing to do with Jews ,"For where there is Christianity there cannot be Judaism".

1938 July 5, EVIAN CONFERENCE (France)

Was called by President Roosevelt, eleven days after Hitler annexed Austria, to discuss what to do about the Jewish refugees trying to escape Nazi Germany (It took three months to arrange). Delegates of thirty-two nations attended and decided they could do very little. The Dominican Republic and Costa Rica were the only countries willing to take in Jews fleeing Europe - and then only for payment of huge amounts of money.

1696 December 24, EVORA (Portugal)

A provincial capital of Portugal, it had been an important center for Converso Jews. On Christmas Eve, the victims were led from the palace of the Inquisition (still existing today) to the Roman square, the most visible height of the town, where they were burned. The tribunal of Evora was infamous for its cruelty and was responsible for almost two-thirds of the Portuguese Inquisition's sentences to be burned alive, though it had far less than half the trials in Portugal.

1666 December 9, EXCOMMUNICATION OF NATHAN OF GAZA (Constantinople)

Shabbetai Zevi's foremost "prophet" was excommunicated by the rabbinical council in Constantinople.

1945 December 22, EXECUTIVE ORDER (USA)

By President Truman was to give priority to DP's and allow into the United States almost 40,000 per year. In reality, between December 1945 and July 1948 (when the Displaced Persons act was passed) the State Department only let in 45,000 DP's of which only about 12,600 were Jews.


Between Daniel, a sympathizer with Karaism, and David ben Judah. The entire Jewish population of Babylon became embroiled. The outcome was that David ben Judah eventually held office as Exilarch until 840.

1430 October 3, EXPLUSION OF THE JEWS FROM EGER ( Bohemia)

After complaints by local Christians to King Sigismund of Luxembourg (1368 – 1437) "Holy Roman Emperor", that Jews weren't serving in the army, he gave the town permission to expel them all. The synagogue was turned into a church. Four years later (1434), the town's leaders asked the king to readmit as many Jews as the city's businesses interests could accommodate.

1550 April 2, EXPULSION FROM GENOA (Italy)

A physician named Joseph Hacohen (see 1496)and his nephew tried to open a practice in Genoa. They were chased out of the city. The rest of the Jews were expelled soon afterwards.


Alexander the Grand duke of Lithuania ( brother to king John Albert of Poland) expelled the Jews from his districts including Grodno, Brest, Lutzk, and Troki, and confiscated their properties. He allowed them to return 7 years later and some of their properties were returned.


As Jews were generally not allowed to live permanently in Warsaw they had settled in the outlying areas including a settlement known as New Jerusalem. The local populace organized street attacks and their expulsion, taking over their property. Fifteen years later after the Jews had returned, they were once again attacked and expelled

1450 October 5, EXPULSION OF JEWS (Lower Bavaria)

Louis IX, Duke of Bavaria, successor to Henry of Landshut, who had invited the Jews to live in his area, decided to banish them. He first tried conversion, then had many Jews arrested, then fined them 32,000 florins, and finally expelled them


From "France", after which Philip confiscated their land and cancelled the debts owed them. Since Philip did not control the whole of France, many Jews moved to other areas. In 1192, after expanding his kingdom to areas which still had Jews, he decided to allow them to return to his whole kingdom - for a fee and under strict conditions.


By Prince (later king) Alexander, he forced most of the Jews to forfeit their property or convert. The main motivation for the expulsion was to cancel the debts owed by the nobles to the Jews. Within a short time trade ground to a halt and the Prince was forced to invite the Jews back in with some of the properties returned to them.


Aka "Reb Edele". The daughter of Rav Shlomo of Belz she was considered her father's favorite. He supposedly lamented that if she had been born a boy she would have been his first choice to continue his dynasty. She was very knowledgeable and took on some of the roles of a Rebbe for her father including accepting kvitilekh (a written request for divine intervention or a blessing) and other typical male-only roles. She married R' Isaac Rubin and had six children all of her boys became rabbis and the girls married into rabbinic families. Some claim that she later became "possessed" and was exorcized by her brother R' Joshua, but remained depressed and solitary the rest of her life.


Was executed together with his brother Ezra, after a libel was brought against them. Gabbai aka Baghdadli, was a important banker serving as the personal banker to Sultan Mahmud II. He played a pivotal role in helping suppress a rebellion against the sultan which earned him many enemies. Gabbai used his office many times to help the Baghdad Jewish community. His grandson Ezekiel Gabbai (1825-1898) became the first Jew to serve in the Ottoman Ministry of Education and later became president of the Supreme Criminal court.

1763 June 4, EZEKIEL SOLOMONS (North American Colonies)

After opening a trading post two years earlier, he was taken prisoner by the Indians. During this uprising in the Mackinac territory that was known as "Pontiac's conspiracy" at least three other Jewish traders were captured and ransomed. This territory later became the state of Michigan.

1660 - 1742 EZRA HA-BAVLI (Iraq)

Rabbi and Hebrew poet. Ha-Bavli had a extraordinary knowledge of the Bible, and Talmud. He was renowned for his Tokhaḥot Musar(Moralistic Reproofs) an ethical guide and Netivot Shalom ( Paths of Peace), which included moral rebukes, sermons, and interpretations of the bible.

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