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1943 August 15, FATHER MARIE-BENOIT (Italian Zone, France)

And Angelo Donati devised a plan to save over 30,000 Jews in the Italian zone by taking them through Italy to North Africa. They won support from the Allies with the entire expense covered by the JDC (Joint Distribution Committee).

70 FISCUS JUDAICUS (Jewish Tax) (Eretz Israel)

As a result of the war, Vespasian ordered the donations of a half-shekel, given by most Jews to the Temple, now be paid to Rome. This marked the first time that a disability was imposed on religious grounds. Anyone who tried to deny their Jewish origin was subjected to a humiliating examination especially under the reign of Domitian, brother of Titus.


Was signed between Chayim Weizmann and Emir Faisal ( 1885-1933). The agreement included a call to " work together to encourage immigration of Jews… while protecting the rights of the Arab peasants … agreed borders... and a commitment to carry into effect the Balfour Declaration of 1917, calling for a Jewish national home in Palestine." An addendum was attached by Faisel " Provided the Arabs obtain their independence But if the slightest modification …shall be made, I shall not be then bound by a single word of the present Agreement'. Unfortunately the British and the French went back on their word having signed the then secret Sykes–Picot Agreement dividing the Middle East between themselves, thus paving the way for the ongoing conflict.

1726 FAMILIANTS LAWS (Austrian Empire)

Are introduced by Charles VI of Habsburg (1685-1740) and remained in force until 1848. Although for the most part the Habsburgs protected the Jews in their realm they decided to limit their numbers. Accordingly, no Jew could marry unless he possessed one of the "family numbers" (Familiennummern). This led to many Jews marrying "under the table", which made the children illegitimate. Many families were forced to wander from town to town because they were not allowed to permanently settle anywhere. There were strict regulations as to how the numbers were passed on in each family. These laws led to both immigration and assimilation.

1941 June 1, FARHUD POGROM(Shavuot) (Baghdad, Iraq)

After the defeat of the pro-German Prime Minister Rashid Ali al-Gailani by the British, organized riots broke out often joined by the police. Approximately 180 Jews were killed and nearly 2000 wounded, 586 Jewish-owned businesses were looted and hundreds of Jewish houses destroyed. This marked a turning point for Iraq's Jews. Eventually, in 1948 after their rights were canceled, and many fired from their jobs, they were left with little choice other than a mass exodus.


"The Radio Priest" began his broadcasts in 1926 and by the 1930's was one of the most influential men in America with almost one third of the population listening to his anti-Semitic broadcasts. Coughlin also edited the paper Social Justice. A supporter of Roosevelt, he turned against him feeling that his reforms weren't radical enough. Though there was public protest against his broadcasts, his superiors took a surprisingly long time (1940's) before terminating his activities.


A Roman Catholic priest in Detroit, Coughlin began his weekly anti-Semitic broadcasts over national radio. He also formed the American Christian Front in New York City which carried out anti-Semitic street meetings and boycotted Jewish businesses.

1943 July 16, FATHER PIERRE-MARIE BENOIT / PADRE BENEDITTI (Italian Occupied France)

Known in Marseilles as "the Father of the Jews." Pledging himself to protect Jewish refugees, he met with the Pope Pius XII. Marie-Benoit realized that it was only a matter of time before the Germans took over France and asked the pope to help convince Mussolini to allow 30,000 safe passage through Italy and settle them in North Africa. Unfortunately, with the fall of the Badoglio government and the occupation by the Germans of northern Italy, the plan came to naught.

967 - 1169 FATIMID KINGDOM (Egypt)

Except for the mad caliph, al-Hakim (996-1020), the Jews were generally well treated.

1948 January 10, FAWZI AL KAUKJI (Kfar Szold, N.E. of Hula Vallery, Eretz Israel)

The commander-in-chief of the Arab forces, led a force of 900 men in the first attack on a settlement in the war. Though vastly outnumbered, the forces in Kfar Szold held out and Kaukji was forced to retreat.

1851 - 1933 FELIX ADLER (Germany - USA)

Educator and social reformer. Adler began his career at Temple Emanuel in New York, but soon decided to reject all forms of traditional Judaism. He served for a while as a professor at Cornell and in 1876 founded the Society for Ethical Culture which was non-sectarian and believed in the philosophy of ethical humanism. Adler became chairperson of the National Child Labor Committee and helped liberalize legislation regarding maternal and child welfare, labor relations, and civic reform.


Was nominated by Roosevelt to the Supreme Court. Though a liberal once on the court, he took a more conservative view. Frankfurter served until 1962 when he suffered a stroke.


United States Supreme Court judge, Harvard Professor of Law, and founder of the Civil Liberties Union. Frankfurter was known as a liberal and close associate of Brandeis as well as an early supporter of the Zionist movement.He is also remembered for his role in the Sacco and Vanzetti case.

1809 - 1847 FELIX MENDELSSOHN (Bartholdy, Germany)

Grandson of Moses Mendelssohn, he was raised as a Protestant and became a world-renowned composer. His works include five symphonies and a great number of violin and piano concertos, and oratories (Elijah, St. Paul).

1923 FELIX SALTEN (1869-1945) (Austria)

Wrote a novel about a deer in the forest called Bambi. Salten, an Austrian novelist and critic, worked at the Neue Freie Presse and was was a friend of Herzl.

1479 - 1516 FERDINAND AND ISABELLA (Spain)

Ruled a unified Spain. Isabella was the heiress to the crown of Castile, and Ferdinand heir to the crown of Aragon. Five years after their marriage - which ironically is credited to Jewish and Converso courtiers - they began to reign in Castile, and five years later (1479), over both realms. Both of them, desiring the support of the Church, determined that Spain should be unified under one religion. Isabella and Ferdinand's desire to "protect" the Converso's from Jewish influence, and their belief that the Jews were no longer of major economic importance, led to the final expulsion of the Jews from Spain.


One of the most noted mathematicians of his day, especially in the field of algebra.

1295 April 25, FERDINAND IV

Ascended the throne of Castile and Leon. Unlike his mother Dona Maria before him, he refused to ban Jewish courtiers. Ferdinand (1285-1312) opposed the church in anything which he perceived to be not in his best interest. "The Jews and all their possessions are mine ( not the Churches) ".

1825 - 1864 FERDINAND LASSALLE (Germany)

Builder of the German Labor movement and Social Democracy. He rejected Marx in favor of reform and universal suffrage, fighting for the right of all to vote. Those who were against his new ideas called Lassalle "The terrible Jew". He was killed in a duel over a woman.

1937 October, FERENC SZALASI (Hungary)

"Prophet of Hungarian National Socialism" merged similar parties into the anti-Semitic Arrow Cross Party. It was originally formed in 1933 by Zoltan Mesko after the swastika was declared an illegal emblem.

C. 1470 - 1540 FernĂŁo de Loronha aka FERNANDO DE NORONHA (Portugal- Brazil)

Converso Explorer and Merchant. He arrived in 1503 in Brazil with six ships and a charter allowing his exculsive right exporting brazilwood. Many of his passengers were “New Christians”. De Loronha was instrumental in settling Brazil and even is thought to behind creating the name which had been formally Santa Cruz. The islands of Fernando de Noronha are named after him.

1624 FERRARA (Italy)

A ghetto was instituted.

1033 May, FEZ (Morocco)

The Jewish community was decimated when the rebel Abul Kamal Tumin conquered the city. Six thousand Jews were killed.

1165 FEZ (Morocco)

The new Almohad ruler declared that all Jews must convert to Islam. Judah ha-Kohen ibn Shushan was burned alive for refusing to convert. Maimonides fled the country, moving to Egypt.

1275 FEZ (Morocco)

The local population attacked the Jewish community. Abu Yusuf Yaqub (1269–1286) the Merinide/Marinid sultan quickly put down the riot. The Marinid's were a Sunni dynasty which overthrew the Almohads in 1244 and ruled for about 200 years.

1465 FEZ (Morocco)

Riots broke out after Sultan Abd al-Haqq asked the Jews of Fez for financial help and appointed Harun (Aaron ben Batash),a local Jew to be his prime minister. During the riots the Sultan was murdered and Aaron was executed by having his throat cut. Most of the city's Jews were killed. Some reports claim that thousands were killed with only 11 left alive.

808 FEZ (Morocco)

Re- established the city of Fez which had been founded by his father Idris I twenty years earlier. The city was first built on one river bank ( Madinat Fas) in 788. Idris II (791-828) built an additional, and competing city (Al-'Aliya) on the other side which became his capitol. Idris II encouraged Jews to live freely in their own quarter, in return for an annual tax. The city soon became a commercial center, and schools of Jewish learning were established. One of its earliest scholars was Judah ibn Quraysh, a Semitic linguist and grammarian who was fluent in Hebrew, Aramaic and Arabic.

860 FEZ (Morocco)

The local ruler,Yahya Ibn Muhammad, seeing a beautiful Jewish girl, followed her and forced his way into the woman's bath house, causing a local Jewish riot. It is not known what were the repercussions, if any.

1912 April 17, FEZ RIOTS

Began as a protest against the French protectorate in Morocco. After attacking the local French garrison in Fez, the local soldiers attacked the Jewish quarter. Almost 7,000 Jews took refuge in the Sultans gardens, some taking shelter in empty cages used for Sultan’s menagerie. The rebels attacked anyone that they believed to be European or Jewish, killing 66 Europeans, and 42 Jews. The French retook control also using an artillery barrage, killing some 600 Moroccans

1931 - 1939 FIFTH ALIYAH (Eretz Israel)

One hundred thousand Jews came to Eretz Israel, most of them from Germany.


Largest ever meeting of Merovingian Bishops. They decided that all Jews holding military or civil positions must accept baptism, together with their families.

1938 May 22, FIFTY CHILDREN ( Vienna)

Left Austria after receiving visa permits for the United States. This was conceived of and orchestrated by Gilbert and Eleanor Krauss, wealthy and well connected Philadelphian Jews who traveled to Austria and Germany in order to facilitate their escape. This was the largest private initiative to help Jewish children receive sanctuary in the USA.


Rabbi Hanania (nephew of Rabbi Joshua) had arrived in Babylon a few years earlier prior to the Bar Kochba revolt. In the wake of the persecutions and the weakening of the Sanhedrin, he decided to institute a calendar to be used in the Diaspora. His move was vigorously opposed by the Rabbis of Eretz Israel (Judah b. Bathyra), fearing that it would lead to a decline in the importance and centrality of the scholars in Israel

1913 FILMS (USA)

Carl Laemmle (1867-1939), the founder of Universal Studios, is credited with making the first feature-length film, Traffic in Souls. He is also considered to be the originator of the "star system" which idolized actors.

1054 FINAL BREAK (Italy, Byzantine Empire)

Between the Churches of Rome and Constantinople. This was facilitated by the Norman conquest of Southern Italy with the backing of the Pope. (Southern Italy had been under the influence of the Eastern Empire.) This also marked the end of Byzantine rule in Italy, which had focused on the Empire rather than on the Pope. Clergy there were also allowed to marry, which gave them closer ties with society.


Jews were officially allowed to live in three cities: Helsinki, Turku, and Vyborg. Although there were already about 1,000 Jews in Finland, until this date all Jews were temporary residents and had to renew their permits every three months. They were only permitted to deal in second-hand clothes and were forbidden to leave their city of residence.

1917 December 6, FINLAND

Became independent of Moscow and finally granted Jews civil rights. The implementation of the original law, passed in 1909, was delayed by the Russian government.

1941 June 22, FINLAND

Joined Germany and invaded its old nemesis, Russia. In the following months, Himmler tried to induce the Finns to deport their 2000 Jews. The Finns and their Foreign Minister Rolf Witting flatly refused.


Politician, member of congress, and mayor of NYC. Although he did not overtly express his being Jewish, he was one of Hitler's earliest and fiercest opponents in the USA (see 1933). In1934, he supported the boycott of all German goods. His sister Gemma la Guardia Gluck born in the USA, was in Budapest with her husband Herman when rounded up by the NAZI's and taken to Ravensbruk as a political prisoner. Her husband Herman, did not survive.

1494 June 29, FIRE IN CRACOW (Poland)

A fire broke out in the Jewish quarter, destroying part of the city of Cracow. The Jews were accused of purposely setting the fire and attacked with many of the Jewish residents trying to defend themselves King John Albert I (1459–1501) ordered them to leave the city and move to the "suburb" of Kazimierz, which became the first Polish ghetto. Jews were confined to the ghetto until 1868.


Was started under order of General Enea Silvio Piccolomini, who served in the Hapsburg army and led the attack to capture Kosovo from the Ottoman empire. He claimed he set fire to the city after an outbreak of cholera, others differ. The Jewish quarter and its synagogues were totally destroyed.

1882 July 6, FIRST BILU SETTLERS ARRIVED (Eretz Israel)

The first group of 14 settlers arrived and hired themselves out as agricultural laborers at Mikve Yisrael and Rishon L'Tzion.


(Although reports indicate there was no permanent settlement prior to the eleventh century.) These early Jews were mostly traders from northern France. Some may have come to England with the Romans.


Was printed in the USA by Moses Lopez. The calendar listed Jewish festivals etc from 1805-1858. Lopez was born in Portugal and immigrated with his family to Rhode Island in 1767.


During the reign of grand duke(Prince) Svyatopolk II (1093- 1113) the Jews resided in relative peace. This despite the anti- Jewish ranting of Theodosius, abbot at the famous monastery in Pechera. Upon the death of the duke wide spread rioting took place with Jewish homes plundered . Russian historians claim that the new Prince Vladimir Monomakh expelled all the Jews from Russia, but there is no evidence that this actually happened.

1935 September 5, FIRST ANTI-JEWISH DECREES (Italy)

Were enacted. All Jewish teachers were dismissed, and all Jewish children were barred from studying in public schools.

1528 October 17, FIRST AUTO DA FE (Mexico)

And the first Auto da Fe that took place in the new world One of its first victims was Hernando Alonso. One of Cortes' conquistadors, he is considered the first Jew to have arrived in Mexico, He was burned at the stake with another "Judaizer". The official office of the inquisition would follow only in 1571.

1481 February 12, FIRST AUTO DA FE (Seville, Spain)

Six Converso (Marrano) men and six women were burned alive for allegedly practicing Judaism.Diego de Suzan a prominent merchant and the others were turned in by his daughter. The Auto da Fe (Act of Faith) combined the Judicial ceremony of the Inquisition with vociferous sermons. An individual could be denounced for having lapsed back into his old religion or committing heresy. Although the Inquisition and the Auto da Fe was used on anyone accused of heresy, its main victims were Jews. The inquisition accused people of backsliding or heresy for actions such as not eating pig (for whatever reason), washing hands before prayer, changing clothes on the Sabbath, etc. Over two thousand Auto da Fes are said to have taken place in the Iberian Peninsula and its colonies. The number of victims in Spain alone is estimated at 39,912, many of whom were burned alive. Some were burned in effigy. Others, convicted posthumously, were dug up and burned - and the property they left was confiscated from their heirs. Approximately 340,000 people, many of them Jews, suffered at the hands of the Inquisition, although the vast majority were given lesser punishments. The last Auto da Fe was held in 1790.


Kvutzot Yaakov " The collection of Jacob" was composed and published by Rabbi Jacob Margaliyot. It included chapters on ethics ,commandments, and tales of early Hasidic masters. It was published 20 times in different formats over next century.

1897 October 7, FIRST CONFERENCE OF THE BUND (Jewish Workers Union) (Vilna,Lithuania)

It was the first Jewish Socialist party in Eastern Europe. At first decidedly anti-Zionist and pro-Yiddishist, it was organized as a union of Russian Jewish socialist groups. The Bund exerted a great influence on Jews in Europe and America.

1475 February 18, (10 Adar 5235) FIRST DATED COMPLETE HEBREW BOOK (Reggio DernCalabria, Italy)rn

Rashi's commentaries (without the Bible) was printed by Abraham ben Garton. It is believed that the first printed books in Hebrew began a few years earlier.rn


From France. Many of the 1100 prominent foreign Jews had been arrested the previous December. Some had been held in the Drancy camp, others in the camp at Compiegne.

1939 November 28, FIRST GHETTO (Poland)

Was set up under the General Government in Piotrkow Trybunalski, about 16 miles (26 km) south of Lodz.


Kurt Gerstein, a member of the SS, reported in detail the existence of extermination camps to Swedish Consul Baron Gören von Otter. Baron von Otter conveyed it to the head of the Swedish legation in Berlin, which refused to pass it on to the allies until August 1945. Gerstein tried again to speak to Papal Nuncio Cesare Orsenigo, who threw him out. Gerstein had joined the Nazi movement early on but left it in 1935 disillusioned. He joined the SS after his sister-in-law had been killed by their Euthanasia program with the intent to "see its workings.. and proclaim them to the world." Gerstein surrendered to the Americans and presented them with accurate information regarding Zyklon B gas and his biography. He was being held in a French prison with other SS prisoners when he allegedly hanged himself.


Rabbi David Twersky a descendant of the Tolener Rebbe, became the first official Hasidic Rabbi to settle in the USA. Rabbi Joshua Segal known as the Sherpser Rav, who had who arrived in 1875 was technically, not a Hasidic Rebbe although many Hasidim gravitated to him.


Was printed at Soncino.


Was published by Isaac Leeser in the USA.

1882 September 10, FIRST INTERNATIONAL ANTI-JEWISH CONGRESS (Dresden, Germany)

Presided over by Adolf Stoecker, founder of the Christian Socialist Party, court chaplin to Kaiser Wilhelm, and a member of the Reichstag for almost 20 years

1784 FIRST JEWISH PUBLIC SCHOOL (Altofen, Austria)

Was opened by Naphtali Wessely. Wessley advocated combining both Torah haAdam (human knowledge) and Torat Elokim (Divine knowledge) in one curriculum.

1856 September, FIRST KINDERGARTEN OPENED IN THE USA (Watertown, Wisconsin)

By Margarethe Meyer Schurz (1832 – 1876). She had studying under Friedrich Froebel, who is considered the father of the kindergarten. The language of her kindergarten was German. In 1859 she met Elizabeth Peabody who founded the first English speaking kindergartens . Margarethe's husband Carl served as a Major General in the Union Army and later became the U.S Secretary of the Interior.

1932 March 28, FIRST MACCABIAH GAMES (Eretz Israel)

Were held in Tel Aviv. Participants arrived from 21 countries.


By a Bedouin boy in a cave in Qumran on the northern shore of the dead sea. Over 800 texts written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek; were found over the next decade. Most were written between 200 B.C.E. to 68 C.E. They included biblical texts hymns, prayers, and various Jewish writings.


Peretz Rosenberg jumped behind German lines into Yugoslavia. Sent by the British, he served with Marshall Tito as a wireless operator. In all, 250 men and women, some who had recently immigrated to Eretz Israel from the target countries they planned to infiltrate, volunteered. 110 were trained by the British but only 37 actually went. Twelve were captured and 7 were killed in action. These included Hannah Szenes, Enzo Sereni, Zalman Rabinovich, and Haviva Reik.


A Christian woman was accused of stealing 3 “hosts” and giving them to Jews for the purpose of desecrating them. Under the instigation of the local Archbishop, the Rabbi, thirteen members of the community and the woman were all tortured and burned alive slowly. The community was forced to pay a special tax each year for more until the 18th century.

1948 February 16, FIRST ORGANIZED ARAB ATTACK (Beit Shean Valley, Eretz Israel)

Despite promises to the British that they would refrain from attacking while the British were still in the country, Kaukji's forces attacked Kibbutz Tirat Tzvi. Forty Arab attackers and one Jewish defender were killed.

1486 FIRST PRAYER BOOK (Siddur) Italy)

Was printed in Italy by Soncino. This was the only time that the Siddur was published during the 15th century. For the most part hand-copied manuscripts (of which there were plenty) were used.


After the public burning of the Talmud in Rome (see 1553) the center for publishing the Talmud moved to Poland.


Although some scholars have dated Jewish arrival to the end of the second temple, the first actual proof can be found on an inscription on a tombstone in Adra written as follows: " here lies ... nia daughter of Solomon one year four months and a day, a Jewess". Some use Paul's Letter to the Romans (58 ce), which mentions the need to visit the Jews of Spain, as proof of an earlier date.

1810 July 17, FIRST REFORM SERVICE (Germany)

Was organized by Israel Jacobson in Seesen, Germany. Five years later, he began Reform services in his home in Berlin where he introduced prayers in German.

1144 March 22, FIRST RITUAL MURDER LIBEL (Norwich, England)

The first medieval ritual murder libel - which set the pattern for subsequent accusations in England and France - arose against the background of the Civil War. A 12 year old boy, William, was found dead on Easter Eve and the Jews were accused of killing him in a mock crucifixion. They were not, however, accused of using his blood for the making of matzos (matzot), although this would become a standard feature of later libels.(The idea behind the blood libel was to accuse Jews of killing Christians in order to obtain their blood. In almost all cases it was linked to the baking of matzos for Passover - Christians alleged that blood was an essential ingredient in matzos. It was later presumed by scholars that the boy either died during a cataleptic fit or was killed by a sexual pervert. After Easter a synod convened and summoned the Jews to the Church court. The Jews refused on the grounds that only the king had jurisdiction over them and they feared that they would be subjected to "trial by ordeal". William was regarded as a martyred saint and a shrine was erected in his memory. In spite of this episode there was no immediate violence against the Jews. The origins of the ritual murder accusation go as far back as to Democritus of Thrace (c.460-370 BCE) and Apion (first century C.E.) an anti-Jewish Greek propagandist who accused the Jews of preparing a human sacrifice in the Temple, who was saved by King Antiochus Epiphanes. Over the years ritual murder libels continued, (even it in popular literature such as Geoffrey Chaucer's "Prioress' Tale") despite denunciations by various popes. Possession of a saint's shrine bestowed great economic benefits on a town because sacred relics drew pilgrims, who spent money on offerings, board and lodging. For bones to be considered sacred relics they had to be killed by a heretic (i.e. a Jew). Such charges were used as an excuse to murder Jews as late as 1900 (Konitz).


Was led by a Jewish Squadron Leader Michael Plotkin, who was later awarded the "Hero of the Soviet Union" medal.


Shaar Hashamayim (Gate of Heaven) was built by Isaac Netto a merchant and Rabbi, on land granted by the governor.

1947 March 13, FIRST USE OF THE DAVIDKA (Jaffa, Eretz Israel)

A homemade Israeli mortar created by David Lebowitz was used on the front, near Abu Kabir and Jaffa. It was said, half in jest, that its noise sometimes did as much damage as the shell. These mortars were the only heavy artillery the Haganah possessed until the arrival of Czech arms in the spring of 1948.


By Jacob Pollack (see 1470).

1897 August 29, FIRST ZIONIST CONGRESS (Basel, Switzerland)

Was convened by Theodore Herzl and Max Nordau. It was represented by a hundred and ninety-seven delegates. Herzl put forth his Basel Program, whose aim was "the establishment of a Jewish Homeland in Eretz Israel secured by public law". The congress endorsed the founding of the Zionist Organization later known as the World Zionist Organization, along with other permanent institutions. It also endorsed the Zionist congress as a national assembly representing the entire Jewish people. The congress transformed the Zionist movement into an official political movement.

1437 FLORENCE (Italy)

The Jewish community was founded when a number of Jewish bankers were asked to set up services in the town. For the most part, the Medici family tried to protect the Jews against the local population, which was opposed to their presence in the city.

1527 June 16, FLORENCE (Italy)

With the expulsion of the Medici family (as in 1495) the Jews were again ordered to leave. Their actual expulsion was delayed until 1531, when Alessandro de Medici became duke and the order was rescinded.

1570 July 31, (Av ) FLORENCE (Italy)

Duke Cosimo I the Duke of Florence in an effort ( successful) to have Pope Pius V to crown him Grand Duke of Tuscany forced all the Jews of his principality into a ghetto in Florence. This despite that until a few years earlier his rule was considered one of the most liberal in Italy. The following year (December 1571) he did the same to the Jews of the Siena district. At that time roughly 60% of the Jewish community (approx 24,000) had lived in small towns and cities.rnrn

1374 FLORETA CA NOGA (Spain)

Received a license to practice medicine throughout Aragon. She received 15 gold florins for successfully treating Sibila of Fortia, Queen consort to the kingdom of Aragon.

1145 FORCED CONVERSION TO ISLAM (Sijilmasa Morroco)

An oasis town on a major trading route had been captured by the Almohad leader Abd al Mumin (1094-1163). He tried to convert them for 7 months, and when that failed the Jews were given a choice to convert of be killed. The first to convert was the leader of the community Josef ben 'Amram who later returned to Judaism. One hundred and fifty people refused to convert and were killed. Sijilmasa was also noted as a town where many of the Jews had been forced since the 9th century, to work as masons (which were looked down upon), gutter cleaning and sewer maintenance. . After its fall most of the Jews relocated to the Touat(Tuat) oasis and Tlemcen kingdom (present day northwest Algeria), whose Ibadi rulers were more tolerant.


Influenced by other anti-Jewish riots under Mohammad Shah Qajar (1808-1848), the local community attacked the Jewish quarter. The synagogue was destroyed, over 30 Jews were killed and the rest of the community was threatened with annihilation. Moslem leaders offered to prevent further riots on condition that the Jews convert, which they did. The Jews became known as jadīd al-Islām (Ar.) by Muslims and as /i> Mashhadis by themselves. In secret they continued to practice Judaism. Years later over than two-thirds of them left Mashad for Khurasan and Afghanistan, where they openly returned to Judaism


Pope Gregory XIII issued his bull Sancta mater ecclesia "Instruction on the Historical Truth of the Gospels", ordering the Jews of Rome to send 100 men and 50 women every Saturday afternoon to listen to a conversion sermon given in Hebrew in a local church . This was over a third of the local Jewish population.


The Jews were accused the Egyptian sultan Al-Nasir Muhammad (1285- 1341) of starting a fire. They were given the choice of death or a payment of a fine of 50,000 gold pieces. They paid the fine.


AKA 'The London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews'. This evangelical society’s main aim ( though meeting with little success) was to convert Jews to Protestant Christianity. In addition, they believed in the importance of restoring the Jewish people to the land of Israel. Known today as the CMJ (Church's Ministry Among Jewish People) they have constantly taken a pro Israel position.

1819 November 27, FOUNDING OF THE VEREIN FUER CULTUR UND WISSENSCHAFT DER JUDEN, (The Society for Culture and Science of Judaism) (Germany)

Set up by Leopold Zunz and Eduard Gans. It delved into Jewish history, culture, and literature using scientific methods of criticism and assessment. The Society lasted less then five years. Gans and many others converted to Christianity.

945 FOUR SCHOLARS (Egypt, North Africa, Spain)

Were captured by pirates while on a financial mission for the Sura Academy. They were ransomed at various ports, where they remained and continued teaching. Shemariah ben Elhanan was ransomed in Cairo, Hushiel in Kairuan (North Africa), Nathan ben Isaac Kohen in Narbonne and Moses ben Hanoch in Cordova. Moses ben Hanoch and Hushiel both established renowned institutes of talmudic learning in the cities where they settled.

1924 - 1930 FOURTH ALIYAH (Eretz Israel)

Was comprised mainly of older Jews who feared conditions in Europe and were barred from the United States by its closed door policy (the Johnson Act). Nearly half of the 62,000 immigrants were from Poland. Due to an economic slump, 11,000 of the immigrants subsequently left the country.


Canon 89 prohibited the celebration of " Jewish superstitions and festivals", on pain of excommunication. In another canon, all those deemed "infamaia to wit, actors, persons of evil habits heretics, pagans, and Jews", were not permitted to give evidence in court.


Under the presidency of Saint Isidore, Bishop of Seville, King Sisenand renewed Sesbut's (612-620) decrees. Forced conversions were denounce but Converts (even if forcibly baptized) were forced to adhere strictly to Christianity and were forbidden to socialize with unbaptized Jews. Children of unbaptized Jews were baptized to be taken from their homes, and raised as Christians. This cannon was to be used numerous times over the next 1200 years by the church to justify the removal of children from non Christian parents (See 1858).

1204 FOURTH CRUSADE (Byzantine Empire)

Constantinople was taken and the Rome-Constantinople conflict came to a head. Italians massacred Greeks and Turks. The failure of different factions of crusaders because of infighting and incompetence weakened the entire effort - and the Byzantine Empire in particular.

1215 November 11, FOURTH LATERAN COUNCIL (Pope Innocent III, 1161-1216)

His papacy marked the zenith of papal power. Old anti-Jewish decrees were expanded and Jews were compelled to wear the Yellow Patch - the "Badge of Shame" - to distinguish them from Christians. These decrees were enforced in France, England, Germany and later in Hungary. Jews were also prohibited from holding public office and were prohibited from appearing in public on Easter Sunday and the last three days of Holy Week. The Pope also originated the Doctrine of Transubstantion, in which the wafer (Host) and wine in the Eucharist were believed to become the blood and flesh of Jesus. This led to the infamous Host Desecration libels of the next few centuries.

1663 FRA VINCENTE DE ROCAMORA (Spain-Amsterdam)

The confessor of the Infanta Maria of Spain and the Empress of Austria. He disappeared, but soon turned up in Amsterdam, where he changed his name to Isaac and became a prominent physician.


Louis IX expelled the Jews from France. This signaled the end of the Tosafists period. Most left for Germany and then further east.

1306 January 21, FRANCE

Phillip the Fair, needing funds after his war with the Flemish, issued secret orders to ready for the expulsion of the Jews and the confiscation of their property. Any Jews found after a given date were to be executed.

1321 August 21, FRANCE

Jews were accused of encouraging lepers to poison Christian wells. This directly led to wide-spread and similar accusations during the Black Plague. This time, five thousand Jews were killed. At Chinon, 160 Jews were burned in a pit on an island outside of town. The king, Philip the Tall, in due course admitted that the Jews were innocent. The island is still known as Ile de Juifs.


The defeat by the English at Poitiers, and the ransom that was needed to be raised, led to a financial crisis. This prompted King John II ( The Good), to readmit the Jews (mostly financiers) back to France, this time for 70 years.

1615 April 23, FRANCE

Louis XIII decreed that all Jews must leave France within one month on pain of death.


After two centuries, the New Christians of Southern France (Bordeaux) were recognized as Jews. Two years later their residency was legalized.

1789 July 14, FRANCE

Fall of the Bastille. Jews viewed the fall of Bastille as a triumph although by and large they were not allowed to participate in the election of the Estates-General which became the Constituent National Assembly. Many of them enlisted in the National Guard.

1790 January 27, FRANCE

Active citizenship was extended to the "well born" Sephardic Jews of Bordeaux, who promptly bowed out of the fight for equal rights. They looked upon their poorer brothers in Alsace-Lorraine with contempt.

1791 September 27, FRANCE

On the last days of the National Assembly, a declaration was passed granting Jews full rights and citizenship. This is the first time that Jews were declared full citizens in a European country since the Roman Empire. This, after many delays and arguments against it, mainly led by the representative from Alsace Jean-François Rewbell.

1798 September 12, FRANCE

In the wake of the French capture of Mayence (1792), the gates of the ghetto were torn down. The Jews of Mayence remained French citizens until the end of the occupation in 1814.

888 February 29, FRANCE

Count Eudes, the defender of Paris, crowned himself King of France, officially marking the end of the Carolingian Empire. The feudal society in which local lords were the virtually independent rulers of their estates became the rule. In general, as a result of this decentralization the situation of the Jews differed between each local Lord.

1942 August 24, FRANCE

Handed over to the Germans around 15,000 foreign-born Jews. By the end of the month, 25,000 Jews were deported, although not from the "free" zone.

1942 December 17, FRANCE - SPAIN

The first organized group of young French Jews left to try crossing to Spain. Upon arrival, they were arrested and spent the next 2 ˝ months in the prison of Pampeluna. Only later the next year, under pressure from both England and the United States, did the Spanish government allow refugees to move into boarding houses provided that the funds would come from abroad. Until that time, many of the refugees were kept in camps under appalling conditions. The Spanish government, although rarely turning away people at the border, did its best to discourage refugees crossing over from France.

1943 October 23, FRANCESKA MANN (Auschwitz)

A beautiful, young dancer from Warsaw who performed at the famous Melody Palace nightclub, arrived at the death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau along with about 1700 other Polish Jews. As she was preparing for the gas chamber, one of the SS men, Josef Schillinger, stared at her as she undressed. Mann threw her shoe at him. As he drew his revolver she wrested it away from him, shooting him twice and killing him and shooting another SS man, Emmerich, as well. The Germans opened fire with machine guns and forced the survivors into the gas chamber.

1589 January 14, FRANCIS KETT (England)

An Anglican clergyman was burned alive. Kett (c.1547–1589), was accused of heresy by the Church for suggesting that Jesus was not divine, but “ a good man” and that Jews would one day return to the Holy Land.


Became the first Jew to die in the American Revolution at the age of 29. His exploits as an officer earned him the title of the "Paul Revere of the South." He lead an army of 330 men defending the frontier settlers against the Cherokee Indians, who had been incited by the British.

1774 December 19, FRANCIS SALVADOR (USA)

Was elected to the first Provincial Congress of South Carolina which became the General Assembly in 1776 making him the first Jew to hold a State office. He was killed in August 1776 while fighting against British supported Cherokee Indians.

1548 - 1617 FRANCISCO SUAREZ (Spain)

Was considered a major Jesuit theologian and philosopher. Suarez advocated the banning of the Talmud and the building of synagogues, as well as forbidding "any familiarity with Jews".

1453 FRANCONIA (Germany)

Bishop Godfrey of Wurzburg (Duke of Franconia), previously a benefactor of the Jews, was persuaded by John of Capistrano to expel them. When Capistrano arrived at Neustadt, Israel Isserlen offered to follow him to the stake to see by what miracles he could save himself - needless to say, Capistrano turned down the opportunity.

1915 February 18, FRANK ALEXANDER DE PASS (England)

Became the first Jew and the first officer of the Indian Army to be awarded the Victoria Cross. De Pass who was of Sephardic decent served as a lieutenant in the Indian Army. On November 24, 1914 he had rescued a wounded man while under heavy fire. He died in action the next day.

1772 FRANKFURT (Germany)

Rabbi Pinhas Halevi Horowitz was appointed Rabbi in Frankfurt despite his Hasidic leanings. He held the position until his death in 1805.

1462 FRANKFURT (Germany)

After intensive pressure by the Church and especially the Pope, the Jews were confined to a special area (ghetto) known as the Judengasse, which was behind gates and walls. Since the ghetto was not permitted to be enlarged, all building within it had to be done vertically.

1509 August 19, FRANKFURT (Germany)

Battle of the Books. Johann Pfefferkorn, an apostate Jew, convinced Maximillan I to destroy all Jewish books, especially the Talmud. A gentile, Johann von Reuchlin, who was a noted humanist, scholar and student of the Zohar, defended the books. The battle was decided in von Reuchlin's favor, and the decree was voided. Such challenging of the Church by Christian scholars - on its own ground - helped bring about the Reformation and the revolt against the Church.

1614 August 22, (27 Elul 5372) FRANKFURT (Germany)

Vincent Fettmilch, a former pastry cook and leader of "the guilds", calling himself the "new Haman of the Jews", attacked the synagogue while the community was at prayer. Although many tried to organize a defense, they were soon overpowered and many took shelter in the cemetery while the community was destroyed. He and his accomplices were hung and quartered for their actions two years later.

1614 August 24, FRANKFURT (Germany)

The Jews were allowed to leave but without any property. 1,380 Jews left. To the credit of some of the Christian inhabitants, many Jews were given shelter in neighboring small communities.

1616 March 10, (20 Adar 5376) FRANKFURT (Germany)

Fettmilch (see 1614) was hanged. That day is commemorated as a feast day known as "Purim Winz" (Purim of Vincent)by the Frankfurt community, with the reading of the Megillat Vinz composed by Elhanan b. Abraham Helin.

1711 January 14, FRANKFURT (Germany)

A fire, which broke out in the house of the Chief Rabbi, Naphtali Katz, destroyed almost the entire Jewish quarter. Although they were able to find temporary refuge at their non-Jewish neighbors, they were forced back into the ghetto as soon as it was rebuilt.

1241 May 24, FRANKFURT(-ON-MAIN) (Germany)

A Jewish boy preparing for baptism was persuaded by his parents to repent. As a result, local Christians attacked the Jews who fought back and a number of townspeople were killed. As the attack intensified and seeing no other option, the Jews set fire to their houses. The fire spread to the rest of the community, destroying nearly half the city. One hundred and eighty Jews died, and twenty-four agreed to be baptized. Conrad IV, the emperor's son, granted amnesty to the Christian residents.

1883 July 4, - 1924 FRANZ KAFKA (Germany)

Author who combined psychological analysis and moral philosophy in his brilliant works, i.e. The Trial, The Castle, and America. His metaphysical thinking was reflected in his belief in the "indestructible" in men who are always "guilty". Kafka became one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. He had little contact with Judaism and considered temple services "boring", yet as he grew older he began to take an interest in Zionism tried to learn Hebrew and even considered the idea of emigrating to Eretz Israel. None of Kafka's novels was printed during his lifetime. In spite of his instructions to destroy his manuscripts after his death, his friend Max Brod published them.

1886 December 25, - 1929 FRANZ ROSENZWEIG (Germany)

Born into an assimilated Jewish family, he decided to convert to Christianity by first discovering Judaism. He never converted, but became a practicing Jew and renowned philosopher. His book, Star of Redemption, centered on the part that tradition should play in the life of a Jew and the role of Judaism in the world. Later in life he became paralyzed but continued to dictate his works to his wife. He helped create the Free Jewish House of Study in Frankfurt, and collaborated with Buber on a new translation of the Bible.

1485 August 1, FRAY DIAGO DE MARCHENA ( Guadalupe, Spain)

A monk at the monastery of St. Jerome, was burned at the stake for Judaizing. A fellow priest, Fray Diego de Burgos was condemned to permanent imprisonment. During the trials, 21 of the 130 friars in Guadalupe were accused of Judaizing. Due to the sensitivity of the issue only two were made public. There are many other cases of active Conversos who took refuge in monasteries .


Reissued the "privileges"/charter for the Jews of Ratushon. For the first time he stated his intention of providing for the "well being" of the Jews. In return for "Imperial protection," the Jews of Germany would make contributions to the court.

1188 March 29, FREDERICK BARBAROSSA (Germany)

Was convinced diplomatically and financially by Moses bar Joseph Hakohen of Mayence, to issue a decree declaring "that anyone who wounds a Jew shall have his arm cut off, he who slays a Jew shall die." This decree succeeded in preventing most of the excesses of the previous crusades in the Third Crusade that was soon to follow.

1157 FREDERICK I (Worms, Germany)

In confirmation of the 1080 "privileges" or charter, introduced the idea that Jews were ad cameram attineant “belonging to our chamber”. It was enacted partly to exclude any competing legal claims by the church or nobles to Jewish property and revenues, and partly to strengthen the relationship of the Jews to the king. This was soon to develop into servi camerae nostre or servi camerae regis which made the Jews the actual property of the king (see 1236).


Decided to combine the manufacturing of silk and the dying trades and to give them over to a number of Jewish families. Both these trades were for many years almost the exclusive activities of Jews in Sicily, Naples, and other parts of Italy.

1750 April 17, FREDERICK II OF PRUSSIA (Germany)

Issued a general patent to the Jews that limited them to commerce and industry. Jews were no longer to be considered dependents of the king but rather of the State. Jews, on the one hand, were encouraged to be part of the State and its economy, while on the other hand they were still second class citizens who were divided into two classes - privileged and protected. An "enlightened monarch", Frederick wrote his Political Testament (published in 1752) in which he described Jews as dangerous, superstitious, and backward.

1865 March 13, FREDERICK KNEFLER (1833-1901) (Hungary - USA)

Army officer. Born in Hungary, Knefler had the distinction of being one of the only people to rise from a private to a general during the course of a war. In 1861 he volunteered for the Union Army and became a captain within one year. Fighting under General Sherman, he was promoted to brevet brigadier general just before the end of the war.

1814 March 29, FREDERICK VI (Denmark)

Officially allowed Jews to find employment in all professions and made racial and religious discrimination punishable by law. Frederick (1768-1839) while giving the Jews the right to vote, still denied them the right to be elected to Parliament.

1671 May 21, FREDERICK WILLIAM "THE HOHENZOLLERN" (The Great Elector) (Germany)

Became the Margrave of Brandenburg. On September 10 of that year, he re-admitted 50 wealthy Jewish families from Austria to the capital, Berlin. Although they were permitted to live and trade where they wished, they had to pay a protection tax of 8 Thalers per person per year and a gold florin for every wedding and funeral. In addition, Jews were not allowed to sell their houses to other Jews, and were permitted to have prayer rooms, but no synagogues.

1640 - 1688 FREDERICK WILLIAM (the Great Elector of Prussia) (Germany)

After the 30 years war he reformed economic conditions and broke the hold of the guilds. He encouraged Jews and other foreigners to settle in his lands, and is accredited with building up Prussia as an important power.

1840 March 28, - 1861 FREDERICK WILLIAM IV (1795-1861) (Prussia, Germany)

Elected emperor of Prussia. Frederick William was decidedly not an advocate of Jewish civil liberties and believed that they should only have rights within their own community.

1603 August 3, FREI DIOGO DA ASSUMPCAO (Portugal)

A young, partly Jewish Franciscan friar became attracted to Judaism. Arrested while trying to flee to England, he was imprisoned and subjected to constant attempts to force him to renounce Judaism. During his imprisonment he did his best to keep his Judaism alive, including lighting candles Friday night. Finally, realizing he would not recant, he was burned alive in Lisbon. He was twenty-five years old. His arguments against Christianity were published and gained wide popularity.

1940 June 22, FRENCH ARMISTICE (Compiégne, France)

Was signed. France was divided into two sections; an occupied zone under direct German rule and an unoccupied "free" zone in Vichy. It was estimated that of the 350,000 French Jews, less than half were native born. Approximately 90,000 were murdered.

1065 FRENCH CHRISTIANS (France-Spain)

Attacked the Saracens in Spain to drive out the infidels (non-believers). On their way to Spain they stopped in a number of towns and killed any Jews they found. This type of "outbreak" became more common during the Crusades, the idea being "why travel to kill the infidel when we have so many near to home? Get them first!"


Jewish population and position declined.

1919 FRITZ HABER (Germany)

A chemist, he received the Nobel Prize for developing ammonia. Haber(1868-1834) is less graciously remembered as the "Father of Poison Gas".

1890 - 1976 FRITZ LANG (Germany-France-USA)

Film director - Lang began his career as a painter. His early expressionist films - Dr. Mabuse the Gambler, Die Nibelungen, and Metropolis - made him an important player in German film. Though offered directorship of the Third Reich's film industry by Goebbels he fled to France and then to the USA, fearing that the Nazis would discover that his mother was Jewish. His American films included Fury, Scarlet Street and While the City Sleeps. They were considered prime examples of film noir.


Educator and scribe. She reproduced a copy of a book on Jewish law Kitzur Mordechai for her husband. She also ran a school for young children.

1914 - 1943 FRUMKA PLOTNICZKI (Płotnicka) (Poland)

Was the first person to bring concrete proof of German mass executions in the east .She was active in the Jewish Fighting Organization (Z.O.B.), and died fighting during the liquidation of the Bedzin ghetto on August 1, 1943.

1860 January 4, FUAD PASHA (Galilee, Eretz Israel)

The Turkish governor ( Sanjak of Acre), encouraged and invited Moorish tribes from Algeria to move to the Galilee. This in effort to boost the Muslim population especially around the area of Safed.

1943 August 17, FULDA CONFERENCE (Germany)

In the presence of twenty-six Archbishops and Bishops, and presided on by Cardinal Adolf Bertram, Archbishop of Breslau (1859-1945, the conference debated whether to speak out about the Holocaust. They decided not to.

1011 December 31, FUSTAT (Egypt)

A mob attacked Jews returning from a funeral. Twenty-three Jewish leaders were taken prisoner. They were going to be executed, but their release was ordered by the sixth Fatimid caliph, al-Hakim (996-1020), even though he definitely was not a friend of the Jews.

850 FUSTAT (Old Cairo, Egypt)

Became the largest Jewish community in the East.

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