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1941 May 19, PALMACH (Eretz Israel)

The Palmach ("pelugot mahaz" - "assault companies") commando units were established by Yitzhak Sadeh as a defense from any Axis attack on Eretz Israel. Later they assisted in planning and executing the dropping of parachutists into occupied Europe. At its peak (November 1947) it had approximately 5000 members who were mainly responsible for capturing Safed and Tiberias as well as opening the road to Jerusalem. It was disbanded under Ben Gurion's order on November 7, 1948.

1751 December 15, PROBE TE MEMINISSE

Pope Benedict XIV stressed the necessity to control the Jews and encourage conversion. He delineated the situations where a child (even under the age of seven) can be baptized without parental agreement. At seven year of age, he is considered having attained the age of reason (see 1683). Although Benedict decreed that forced baptisms were illegal, nonetheless they would be binding, and any "backsliding" would be considered heresy.


First Jewish Socialist organization in the United States.


The pact is often ascribed to Omar I (Umar ibn al-Khattab), the second successor to Mohammed, although most historians believe it was only attributed to him by Omar II (Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz) an Umayyad caliph (r.717-720) known for his extremism. The pact determined the place of Jews in Moslem society. Jews were not allowed to build new synagogues, had to pray quietly and were forbidden from preventing other Jews from converting. They were also forbidden to ride horses or hold judicial or civil posts. In order to be easily distinguished from Moslems, they were eventually forced to wear a yellow patch (850), a practice the Christians later adopted. They were also banished from "Holy Arabia". In many Moslem countries (Saudi Arabia) some of the aspects of the pact are still in effect today.

1615 PADUA (Italy)

Despite church protests, non-Catholics were officially allowed to study at the university famed for its medical facilities, though at a far higher fee then regular students. Though it was rare, some Jews succeeded in attending by paying heavily for the right, the first being Benaia di Nigro in 1409. It is estimated that during the 16th and 17th centuries approximately 10% of the student body was Jewish.

1631 PADUA (Italy)

Due to the crowded and unsanitary conditions in the ghetto, 634 out of the 721 inhabitants were infected with various illnesses. Of these 431 died.

1684 August 20, PADUA (Italy)

Attack on the ghetto. During the war between Venice and Turkey, the Jews were accused of praying for the Turks during their attack on Buda (today: Budapest, Hungary). In actuality, it was the 9th of Av and all the Jews were in the synagogue mourning the destruction of the Temple. Soon after, the attack on the ghetto began. When the gates were opened to allow for an emissary to the Duke to leave, the crowd rushed in. As soon as the authorities heard about the disturbances, an order to forcibly curb them was given. The day of the order (10 Elul) became a day of thanksgiving, or Purim Buda.

1797 August 28, PADUA (Italy)

Four months after the entry of the French army, the provisional government decreed that "Jews are able to live in every part of the city." Jews enlisted in the National Guard and the main street in the ghetto was changed to Via Libera. Unfortunately, as in most parts of Italy, this newly won freedom only lasted until the arrival of Austrian troops 8 months later.


Was established. Later known as the Israel Land Development Authority (ILDC), the authority was in charge of purchasing and cultivating land for the Jewish National Fund and for private individuals. Its first Chairman was Otto Warburg and its first director Arthur Ruppin. The company was instrumental in establishing settlements such as Nahalal, Tel Yosef, Ein Harod, and the first kibbutz, Degania. Many of its purchases were in the Sharon Plain, and the Hula valley. They also played a major role in developing Tel Aviv and the Hadar Carmel section of Haifa.

1190 Palm Sunday, BURY ST. EDMUNDS (England)

Fifty-seven Jews were killed in a massacre. Shortly after, the local abbot, Samson, whose abbey was coincidentally in debt to Jewish money lenders, obtained permission to expel all the Jewish residents of the town (see 1181).

1391 July 10, PALMA DE MAJORCA

As news of the Spanish riots reached Majorca, riots broke out all over the island. Despite the efforts of Francisco Sa Garriga, the local viceroy, the entire Jewish community was destroyed and its inhabitants were either converted or murdered. Over 110 families converted, and the remnants fled to North Africa. Although a number of Jews were again invited to reside there the following year, a blood libel 40 years later ended the 800 year old Jewish community.


In Palma Majorica, after one hundred and fifty years of freedom from the Inquisition, an investigation led to the conviction of 219 people. All agreed to be reconciled with the Church. When they tried to flee the island 37 were burned to death, since it was considered a relapse to heresy. Among them were Raphael Benito and his sister Catalina, who, though declaring that she did not want to die, jumped into the flames rather than be baptized. Her steadfastness of belief was made into a ballad which is still sung on the island today: "She leaps into the flame. At the brink she cries, Oh brother mine, take courage your heart will not scorch."

842 - 858 PALTOI BEN ABAYA (Babylon)

Is considered the first Gaon of Pumbedita and is credited with increasing its stature. At the request of the Spanish Jewish community, he sent them a copy of the Talmud with explanations. He is also noted for imposing excommunications (cherum), whereby those deemed to have harmed the Jewish people were no longer considered part of the community. (An excommunicated Jew, for example, is not counted for a minyan (quorum) for prayers, nor is he called to the Torah in the synagogue.) Excommunication was considered the most severe form of "civil-religious" punishment and was rarely used.


Although there had been minor Jewish immigrations since 1821, it was only in 1876 that the first Jewish congregation, Kol Shearith Israel, was founded.


Pope Eugene IV (1383-1447) issued his bull Dundum ad nostram audientiam forbidding Jews from living with Christians. Just two days later he issued Super Gregem Dominicum which annulled all "privileges" previously extended by Pope Martin V. He also imposed additional restrictions, including banning Jews from Universities.


Pope Innocent IV in a letter to the King Louis IX of France ordered the Talmud to be burned. "Our dear Son, the Chancellor of Paris, and the Doctors, before the clergy and people, publicly burned by fire the aforesaid books (The Talmud) with all their appendices.” Two months later( May 9) he also issued papal bull Impia judeorum perfidia (The Disrespectful, Deceitful Jews). In it he called the Jews a "perfidious" race reaffirming the restrictions on Jews implemented by Pope Gregory IX. The Talmud was banned and Jews were prohibited from hiring Catholics to for manual labor including employing Christian nurses or servants because their faith might become confused.

1569 February 26, PAPAL STATES (Italy)

Pope Pius V in his Bull Hebraeorum Gens ( Nation of the Hebrews) ordered the eviction of all Jews who refused to convert from all the papal states except Rome and Ancona where he needed them due to their position in trade with the Levant (Mediterranean lands east of Italy). Most of the approximately 1000 Jewish families living there decided to emigrate.rnrn

1391 November, PARDONS FOR RIOTERS (Valencia Spain)

Was granted by King John I of Aragon upon the recommendation of his wife Queen Yolande to those who had rioted against the Jews. The king declared the city leaders, the clergy, and most of the rioters innocent, commenting that no royal personnel were killed and that the Jews themselves were not blameless. Only five rioters were executed. After the riots no Jew was permitted to enter Valencia without permission. In general, most of the cities were fined, and a few of the perpetrators hung or banished. The Jewish communities never recovered.

1290 PARIS (France)

A Jew by the name of Jonathan and his wife, living in the Rue de Billetts, were accused of stabbing the wafer (Host). Blood was said to have flowed unceasingly from the wafer. They were both burned to death at the stake, their house was razed and a chapel was erected on the site. The "Miracle of the Rue de Billetts" is still celebrated in Paris.

1807 February 9, PARIS (France)

First meeting of the Napoleonic Sanhedrin under the leadership of the Assembly of Jewish Notables. It opened amid great pomp and celebration under the direction of the financier Abraham Furtado. The Sanhedrin was modeled on the ancient tribunal in Jerusalem and consisted of 71 members; 46 Rabbis and 25 laymen. Rabbi David Sinzheim of Strasbourg was its president.

1925 April 30, PARIS (France)

The Revisionist Party (Brit Ha-Tzionim Ha-Revisionistim) was founded by Zev (Vladimir) Jabotinsky. Jabotinsky adhered to the Herzlian concept that Zionism is basically an ideological movement. He demanded a more aggressive policy toward the British, believing that only world-wide pressure would force the British to abide by the Mandate. The revisionists believed that the highest priority of the Zionist movement should be in bringing the greatest number of Jews to Eretz Israel in the shortest possible time.

1941 May 14, PARIS (France)

Thousands of foreign-born Jews were arrested by French police.

1919 January 12, PARIS PEACE CONFERENCE (France)

Was convened. The American Jewish Congress was represented by Louis Marshall (President of the American Jewish Committee), Rabbi Stephen Wise and Judge Julian Mack, President of the Congress. In France they joined with other world Jewish organizations to form the Comite des Delegation Juives with Julian Mack and then Louis Marshal as chairmen. Dr. Leo Motzkin, Zionist and publicist, was appointed secretary. They succeeded in passing a plan ensuring the right for minorities to establish their own schools and speak their own languages, while retaining full citizenship.

1942 April 10, PARTISAN UNIT (Minsk, Belarus)

Was set up by Israel Lapidus who fled the ghetto with 20 men. His unit, known as the Kutuzov detachment, became very active in the area, bombing German supplies even in Minsk itself. Two weeks later, another group under Nahum Feldman also fled the ghetto establishing the Budyonny detachment, of whom many of its guides were 10 -13 years old. All of the units set up became mixed with non-Jews, although many Jews remained in command. The main force behind these efforts was Hersh Smolar (Smoliar), a Communist activist from Bialystok who managed to survive the war and later immigrated to Israel. All of them received direct help from local Belarusns. It is estimated that out of the approximately 10,000 Jews who succeeded in fleeing the Minsk ghetto, more than half survived.

1943 July 22, PARTISAN UNIT NEKAMA (Lithuania)

Was founded in the Narosch forest near Vilna by Josef Glazman, the head of Lithuanian Beitar. Glazman was one of the founders of the F.P.O. On October 7, 1943, the Germans attacked and only one young girl survived.


King Manuel, in an effort to prevent the Jews from fleeing the persecutions, secretly ordered the baptism of all children between the ages of four and fourteen.

1320 July 7, PASTOUREAUX (Southern France)

A crusade against the Jews was started by a shepherd. It spread throughout most of southern France and northern Spain. One hundred and twenty communities were destroyed. At Verdun, 500 Jews defended themselves from within a stone tower where they killed themselves when they were about to be overrun.


A German orientalist and anti-Semite, wrote the essay "Jews and Indo-Germanics. “One would have to have a heart of steel to not feel sympathy for the poor Germans, and, by the same token, to not hate the Jews,… (or) those who…advocate for the Jews, or are too cowardly to crush these vermin". He laid the foundation for Stoecker (see 1879) and Nazi ideology.

1854 - 1917 PAUL EHRLICH (Germany)

First expounded the theory of immunity which led to the development of serums. Ehrlich enabled people to study blood cells by injecting dyes. He won the Nobel Prize (1908) for his development of the "606" treatment for syphilis. Ehrlich was also a noted Zionist.

1865 - 1941 PAUL HYMAN (Belgium)

Premier of Belgium and the first president of the League of Nations. His father wrote the Belgian National Anthem.

1398 PAUL OF BURGOS (Spain)

Was appointed by Pope Benedict of Trevińo. Paul (c. 1351 – 1435) (aka Pablo de Santa Maria) not to be confused with Abner of Burgos, was the former scholar Solomon Halevi. There is controversy as to whether he converted before or after the riots of 1391. After his conversion, he set as his goal to convert by force as many Jews as possible To that end he instigated anti Jewish legislation known as the Laws of Valladolid ( see 1412). His Dialogus Pauli et Sauli contra Judćos… became a source book for anti Jewish polemics and which was later used by Geronimo de Santa Fé, and Martin Luther. His wife refused to convert and was killed in 1420.

1288 PAULA DEI MANSI (Italy)

Female scribe. She translated a collection of Biblical commentaries adding explanations of her own. Dei Mansi was from a family of well known scribes and copyists. She also copied a prayer book adding her own clarifications. Among her other works are a extensive book on Halachah which she copied for a learned relative.


Between Justinian and Khosrow I, was concluded. This brought to an end the Jewish hope that the Byzantine Empire would fall. Justinian II broke the treaty within the decade, and the Persians were eventually defeated.

1334 - 1369 PEDRO (Peter) OF CASTILE (Spain)

Known as "the Cruel", he (r.1350-1369) was in general friendly to the Jews. When he was overthrown by his step-brother, Henry, the Jews were forced to wear the Yellow Badge in penance for their loyalty to Pedro. They also had to renounce their Spanish names, the use of which was considered a privilege.

1485 September 17, PEDRO ARBUES (Spain)

The infamous inquisitor of Aragon was slain. Appointed by Torquemada, he was zealous in finding lapsed "new Christians" to bring before the Inquisition and have them burned alive. He was murdered in church by a group of Conversos which included the elderly Jaime de Montessa the deputy chief justice, in retaliation for his actions against their families. The perpetrators were caught, had their hands cut off, and were then beheaded and quartered. Other leaders such as Francisco de Santa Fe, the grandson of Joshua Ha-lorki (see 1413) ,committed suicide, or as in the case of Juan de la Sanchez (brother of the treasurer Gabriel Sanchez), fled to France. Arbues was canonized in 1867.

C. 1502 - 1578 PEDRO NUNES (Portugal)

Influential mathematician and royal, cosmographer. His book De arte atque ratione navigandi - On the art and science of navigation was one of the important contributions of his day. He is considered the inventor of the marine navigational rhumb line (loxodrome) which is a line crossing all meridians of longitude at the same angle. Nunes was not bothered by the inquisition, since he was the teacher of the Inquisitor General Cardinal D. Henrique but in 1620 his grandchildren were questioned.

1936 November 11, PEEL COMMISSION

A royal commission of inquiry, headed by Lord Robert Peel, arrived in Jerusalem on Armistice Day to investigate Arab riots. Though Peel judged Arab claims to be baseless, he encouraged partition into three separate Arab and Jewish states and an International zone. This, he claimed, would silence Arab objections to a Jewish state.


Was published. The Peel Commission concluded that "unlike the Jewish, the rise (in the Arab population), has been due in only a slight degree to immigration." The report totally and willingly ignored the documentation of tens of thousands of illegal Arab immigrants.Yhe commission recommended the partition of Mandatory Palestine into two states. The Zionist Congress (see August 3), while rejecting the actual borders, agreed to consider the proposal. The Arabs rejected it out of hand.

1842 - 1885 PERETZ SMOLENSKIN (Russia-Austria)

Hebrew novelist laureate of the Haskalah. He started the monthly periodical Ha-Shachar (the Dawn) and is accredited with six novels including "The Wanderer in Life's Paths". Though he was not religious he was strongly nationalistic and opposed religious reform, fearing that it would weaken national feeling.


Due to the difficulty of importing Jewish books from abroad and the major censorship of the Talmud by pope Pius IV, King Batory granted Kalonymus Ben Mordecai Jaffe the right of printing Jewish books in Lublin. This lead to greater competition between the polish printing houses and those of Venice and Prague.

1873 July 12, PERSIA

Shah Nasr-ed-Din and Adolphe Cremieux met to discuss the problems of oppressive social and economic discrimination against the Jews. The Shah agreed to encourage Jewish schools, and work to improve the Jewish condition. Unfortunately, despite his intentions, the government did little to prevent attacks against the Jewish population or to rescind many of the anti-Jewish regulations.


As a result of constant persecutions Jews began to emigrate to Eretz Israel.


Shapur II (309-379) forcibly transferred approximately 7000 Jews from outlying territories to the interior of Persia.

602 - 628 PERSIAN CAMPAIGN - PERSIAN CAMPAIGN – KHOSROW (Khosroe) II (King of Persia)

Attacked Heraclius, the Eastern Roman Emperor, and succeeded for a time in reconquering all of Western Asia and some of Egypt. Heraclius, supported by Caucasian tribes and the Khazars, defeated him at Ctesiphon. These loses led to his murder in 628 by Persian assassins. The Jews took an active part in many of his campaigns believing that this was the beginning of the Age of Redemption.


Shah Abbas II (1632 -1666) declaring that all Jews were unclean, forced them to either convert or be expelled. Many Jews accepted Islam on the outside, but continued to practice Judaism in secret similar to their brethren 150 years earlier in Spain.

1736 December 23, PERU

The last Auto da Fe in the New World took place. Dona Ana de Castro, a former lover of the viceroy (among others), was accused of Judaizing and burned at the stake. Her execution probably had more to do with official embarrassment than any religious devotion on her part.


Was created, becoming the first set up in the new world. It was disbanded only in 1820. Thirty four trials were held during that period resulting in the conviction of 131 Jews, twenty –four of which were burned alive(see 1639). In spite of this conversos continued to arrive.

1863 PESEL BALABAN (Ukraine)

Printed the Bible with commentaries. After her husband's death she expanded both the scope and quality of her publications. Her edition of the Shulhan Aruk published with commentaries in 1898, is considered one of the best ever printed.

1878 August 8, PETAH TIKVAH (Gate of Hope) (Eretz Israel)

A colony was established in Eretz Israel that was founded by a group of Orthodox Jews who wished to "work the land". It was abandoned in 1881 after Arab attacks and re-established a year later by people of the first Aliyah.


Despite his reluctance to appoint any Jews to the court he had many strong personal relationships . During his reign (1336-1387) although their financial position (and help to the crown) was greatly reduced the Jews were allowed a great amount of autonomy. He tried to protect the Jews against the worst of the inquisition and anti- Jewish ferment.


A Spanish priest and member of the inquisition accused a non Jewish financial broker from Gerona of practicing Judaism. Although the charges were dismissed it marked the first time the inquisition prosecuted a so-called " Judaizing Christian".

1383 March 13, PETER IV ( Spain)

As a pretext to exhort funds from the Jews, he demanded an immediate full translation of Maimonides' Mishneh Torah into Catalan on pain of losing his “favor". Loans had to be secured in order to come up with the enormous sum demanded by the king.

1653 June 6, PETER STUYVESANT (Curacao)

Governor of New Netherlands and the Curacao islands complained about the Jews to the West India company. He warned them to” be on your guard….." against " this fraudulent nation."

1707 PETER THE GREAT (Russia)

Conquered Vilna and the Grodno province. Jews were forced to pay a fine for "not supporting" the Russians. When Karl XII "The Great" of Sweden liberated it from the Russians, the Jews again had to pay a heavy fine for not having supported the Swedes.


The Abbot of Cluny who urged Louis VII that the Jews should be "execrated and hated but not killed...rather punished in a way more fitting to their perversity."


The former Jewish residents of Cayenne (French Guyana) petitioned the king to be allowed to return to their homes. King Louis (1710-1774) replied, " His majesty does not see it convenient…" It was only in 1994 after over 300 years that Jews were officially invited to resettle on the island.rn


Was established by Rebecca Graetz. Classes opened a month later on March 4, with six teachers and sixty students. It became the longest running Jewish Sunday school in American history. Only in 1993 did it merge with another school.rnrn

1180 January 9, PHILIP AUGUSTUS (France)

(The new king of France) arrested large numbers of Jews while his father, Louis VII, who tried to protect the Jews (though not always successfully) was still alive. All the Jews found in synagogues on the Sabbath were arrested. Philip agreed to free them for 15,000 silver marks.


(Aka Phillip II),agreed to take in Jewish refugees from northern France, for three different reasons: his anger at Pope Innocent III's refusal to sanction his second marriage or the divorce of his first wife, his arguments with Richard of England, and realizing that the expulsion of the Jews caused more of an economic loss than a gain.

1182 June 24, PHILIP II (France)

The 17 year old King decreed the total expulsion of Jews from all royal possessions within two months. This was due in part to debts owed to Jewish moneylenders. The debtors were exempted from all payment to the Jews but had to pay a tax of 20% of their debt to the Treasury. This only served to force those Jews who were considered an asset into other French provinces not directly under the King's control. The Synagogue in Paris was converted into the Church of St. Madeleine, while the one in Orleans was changed into the Chapel of St. Sauveur. This expulsion - with the confiscation of land and property - was a strong factor in Jews leaving agriculture as a profession in favor of moveable property and trade.

1900 - 1987 PHILIP LEVINE (Russia-USA)

Immunohematologist. Levine did extensive work on human blood groups and blood transfusion, discovering many blood groups including the Rh factors.


Popular novelist who gained fame for his portrayal of Jewish life in America. His satirical Portnoy's Complaint became a best seller in 1969. Among his other books are My Life As a Man, Our Gang, The Counterlife, and many others.

1306 July 22, PHILIP THE FAIR (France)

Expelled the ( approximately 100,000) Jews from his lands after arresting all of them (on the day after the 9th of Av) and confiscating their property. Phillip began planning the expulsion six months in advance. All their property and belongings were auctioned with the king receiving the takings. Their debts were also transferred to the King and he received the payments from their Christian debtors. Gradually, they were allowed to drift back. In 1315 his son Louis cancelled the decree but they were expelled again in 1322.

1942 October 12, PHILIPPE ETTER (Switzerland)

The former president of Switzerland persuaded the Red Cross not to adopt any resolution which related to "certain nationalities" ... (who suffered) attacks on their lives for acts they did not commit. On the other hand, Carl Burckhardt, another Red Cross official, helped pass information on the plight of the Jews to the American Legation in Switzerland that same month.

1569 January 25, Phillip II (Spain)

Issued the order to set up an inquisition in the New World. Five years later, Mexico was the first in the New world to establish one.

1802 - 1864 Phillip Joseph Cohen (England – Australia)

Was the first person to be authorized (by Rabbi Solomon Hershel) to perform marriages. Cohen, who arrived in 1827 for commercial purposes became very active in the small Jewish community. He founded the first synagogue in his house Beit Hatphilla and the first New Year services in 1828.

1848 PIEDMONT, (Italy)

As a result of full emancipation given to the Jews, 235 joined the Piedmontese army. Among them was Enrico Guastalla who fought against Austria, and was promoted to Major. Guastalla joined Giuseppe Garibaldi, Italy's most brilliant soldier of the Risorgimento (Reunification), in his campaigns and was elected to Parliament in 1865.

1942 July 2, PIERRE LAVAL (Vichy, France)

The premier of Vichy France reinstated in April 1942, agreed to a German request to expel 100,000 Jews from France. Laval conditioned it by limiting it to "foreign-born Jews," further stating that he was also not concerned about their children. Within a month, 50,000 foreign-born Jews were handed over to the Germans for deportation. Laval was executed for treason on October 15, 1945 in France.

1907 - 1982 PIERRE MENDES-FRANCE (France)

Lawyer and politician, he was descended from a well-known Sephardic family. He joined the Radical Socialist Party in 1927 and was elected to the National Assembly. He became Prime Minister in 1954, ending the war in Indo-China. He was replaced a year later and was soundly defeated by the Gaullists in 1968. Mendes was known as the "Roosevelt of France" for his "fireside chat" manner. He was a staunch supporter of Israel and the Zionist movement.

1730 - 1805 PINHAS HOROWITZ (Ba'al ha-Hafla'ah) (Poland-Germany)

Rabbi and scholar. Despite his hasidic leanings Horowitz was appointed the rabbi of Frankfurt (see 1772). There he was widely respected for his piety and his vast knowledge. His title "Ba'al ha-Hafla'ah" (author of the Sefer Hafla'ah) was based on his classical works of halachic pilpul in three volumes. Among his students was Moses Sofer (see 1762).

1940 May 23, PINHAS RUTENBERG (Eretz Israel)

A leader in the Yishuv (see 1879), suggested to a British official, Bruce Lockhart, that the Mufti be assassinated. The War Office and Winston Churchill formally approved the idea, but the Foreign Office, concerned with his popularity in Iraq objected to the idea, and it was dropped.

1879 - 1942 PINHAS RUTENBERG (Russia-Eretz Israel)

Engineer, revolutionary, and founder of the Israel electric company. He took an active part in the Russian revolution before was forced to flee by the Bolsheviks. Rutenberg was one of the forces behind the creation of the Jewish legion in 1917 and the Haganah. In January 1926, he became the first citizen of "Mandatory Palestine". In 1930, he completed the building of the hydroelectric power station at Naharayim on the Jordan River and in 1937, founded the short-lived Palestine Airways.

1919 April 5, PINSK (Poland)

35 well-known Jews were executed. They were taken from a legitimate business meeting of the Jewish Cooperative and accused of being Jewish Bolshevists. Others also arrested were told to dig their own graves and then released.


Located near Lodz, became the first ghetto established by the Nazis in Poland. It was set up upon the order of Reinhard Heydrich, only 38 days after the invasion. The area which used to house 6000 people now held 28,000 Jews. By 1944 only 1,000 Jews remained. As the Soviet front drew near in December 1944, those who had survived were set to Buchenwald and Ravensbruck.

1885 November 16 - 18, PITTSBURGH PLATFORM (USA)

A council on Reform Judaism which rejected the Messianic concept and the return to Eretz Israel. The platform took Reform further than the English Reform movement in that it also rejected dietary laws, some Mosaic legislation, and the Talmud. The platform was adopted four years later by the Reform Rabbinical organization, the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR). Many rabbis resented the extremes to which Reform had gone and formed their own groups (i.e. Sabato Morais, 1823) which led to the creation of the Conservative movement.


Were found on the wall of many churches claiming "The Messiah has not come. Jesus was not the true Messiah." Expansive rewards were offered to find the perpetrator. The Conversos fearful of the reaction posted an announcement declaring that" I the author, am neither Spaniard nor Portuguese, but an Englishman" Despite this the author Manuel da Costa was caught and confess after his hands were cut off and he was stretched on the rack. The he was publicly burned.

1539 February 7, PLACARDS IN LISBON

Were found on the wall of many churches claiming, "The Messiah has not come. Jesus was not the true Messiah." Expansive rewards were offered to find the perpetrator. The Conversos fearful of the possible repercussions, posted an announcement declaring that, "I the author, am neither Spaniard nor Portuguese, but an Englishman" Despite this, the author Manuel da Costa was caught and confessed after his hands were cut off and he was stretched on the rack. Then he was publicly burned. Diogo da Silva, the grand inquisitor, resigned soon afterwards.


Bern, Chillon, Zurich. In the Castle of Chillon on Lake Geneva, Jews under torture admitted to being given poison to place in wells around Venice.


Oscar Schindler obtained permission from SS commandant Amon Goeth to move his factory, which produced ammunition for the German army, from Plaszow near Cracow, to Brunnlitz in occupied Czechoslovakia. Schindler succeeded in drawing up his own list of 1,098 workers which became known as "Schindler's list." Most of the other 25,000 Jews in Plaszow were sent on the short 60 km journey to Auschwitz. Goeth, who was known for his cruelty which included target practice on bypassing Jews, was hanged near Plaszow on September 13, 1946.


Local Conversos were accused of plotting to assassinate the two newly appointed inquisitors. Under the direction of the mayor, Gomez Manrique , six of them were hung, and local Rabbis were commanded to have their communities report any backsliding of Conversos.

1882 April 10, PODALIA (Russia)

A pogrom left 40 dead, 170 wounded, and 1,250 dwellings destroyed. Fifteen thousand Jews were reduced to total poverty.

1946 January 6, POGROM IN ZANZUR (LIBYA)

Islamic instigators encouraged the local population to attack the Jewish community. Half of the 150 local Jews were murdered. The rioting spread to a number of small towns near Tripoli, leaving a death toll of approximately 180 Jews and nine synagogues destroyed. The local police and Arab soldiers often joined in the destruction and murder.


An estimated 20-30,000 Jews were living in Poland. Within 75 years the number of Jews would reach 150,000.


The Jagello Dynasty ended. Poland was weakened and the king became a figurehead, while the nobles and landowners ruled the country.

1651 July 1, POLAND

Was victorious over the Cossacks. The Jews were allowed to return to their lands.

1791 May 3, POLAND

While Austria and Russia fought against the Ottoman Empire and unrest mounted in Poland, King Stanislaus Augustus Poniatowski adopted a constitution turning Poland into a constitutional monarchy. The constitution itself did not change anything for the Jews, or even of the old class (feudalist) regime with the nobles rights remaining as they were. It was too little too late. Polish noblemen, who opposed the new constitution, invited Czarina Catherine II to send Russian troops which resulted in the second partition and the canceling of the constitution.

1794 June 23, POLAND

With the second partition of Poland, additional territory was added to the Pale which came to include parts of the Ukraine and the city of Kiev.

1830 - 1831 POLAND

Revolted against Russia. Even during the revolt, General Chlopicki expelled the Jews from the National Guard at the insistence of the officers. The Jews formed their own unit called "the Beardlings".


Roman Dmowski, Jan Poplawski, and Sigismund Balicki founded the Endeks (National Democrats) which vowed to refuse Jews citizenship and expel them. They planned to have a "national state, not a state of nationals".

1909 - 1910 POLAND

A boycott of Jewish goods was organized under the guise of nationalism.

1919 March, POLAND

An anti-Jewish boycott became a serious threat. Cooperatives were created to undersell Jews and numerous laws were passed to force Jews out of business and the legal and medical professions.


At a Mizrachi convention, it was decided to build the Tachkemoni Rabbinical Seminary, setting aside 20 of the 48 hours per week for secular subjects. This became a precursor for modern religious education. Among the supervisors were Rabbi Moses Soloveichik and Dr. Moses Adler.


Jozef Pilsudski, the Polish statesmen and later first marshal, aligned himself with Petlura and decided to attack Russia in the midst of the Russian Civil Wars. During this attack, which reached as far as Kiev, the armies assaulted the Jewish quarters in each town. Although Pilsudski himself was not considered anti-Semitic, he only acted to stop them after foreign pressure was applied. Approximately thirty thousand Jews were systematically killed before Allied pressure slowed them down. This linked the idea of Polish nationalism with pograms in the mind of the Jews.


Central Yiddish School Organization (CYSHO) was established by the Bund and Poale Zion. It opposed Jewish religious life.


Began to methodically dismiss Jewish factory workers.


Members of anti-Semitic political organizations (Endeks and Naras) attacked Jews in the streets.

1934 September 13, POLAND

Just eight months after Poland signed a non-aggression pact with Germany, it revoked the minority treaty - the first international effort to establish and enforce minority rights - that was signed in Paris in 1919 on the same day as the Versailles treaty.


Edward Smigly-Rydz (Pilsudski's immediate successor) ordered Jews to be segregated in university classrooms. He was part of what was known as the anti-Semitic "colonels" clique." (see 1937)

1937 October 20, POLAND

In response to discrimination policies, Jews, assorted liberals and students went on strike. Within a few weeks the government succeeded in putting down the strike and enforcing its decrees.

1938 March 25, POLAND

After several attempts, the Seym (parliament) outlawed ritual slaughter of meat. The bill was never enforced since the Seym dissolved in September during the Czech crisis.


Polish legend has it that when various tribes decided to unite, they asked a Jew, Abraham Prochownik, to be their king. He declined in favor of a peasant named Piast, the founder of the Piast dynasty.

1939 October 27, POLAND

Forced labor was instituted by Hans Frank for all Jews between the ages of 14 through 60.

1945 October, POLAND

From the beginning of the year until October, 351 Jews had been murdered in anti-Jewish riots in Poland.

1941 October 15, POLAND

As part of its plan to concentrate all Jews in one region, a regulation was enacted enforcing the death penalty for anyone leaving any district of the general government.


According to legend a certain Prince Leshek(Leszek) IV gave German Jews written permission to enter Poland. What is known is that German Jews did arrive in the late 9th century prior to the Piast Dynasty (960) and preceding its becoming a Christian country in 966.

1939 September 27 - 28, POLAND SURRENDERED

Warsaw fell. Poland's capital, home to 350,000 Jews, surrendered to German troops after a three-week siege. Out of over 90,000 Polish Jewish soldiers, 32,216 were killed and another 61,000 captured, most of them dying in captivity. The first stage of surrender was the forcing of all Jews into large cities and the establishing of local Jewish councils. The second stage was ghettoization (May 1940) - total separation from other populations, and the final stage (December 1941) was annihilation. At the outbreak of the war there were 3.3 million Jews in Poland. Less than 300,000 would survive.


This was the first of three partitions (1772, 1794, 1795). The Ukraine went to Russia, Galicia to Austria (whose Jewish population now doubled), and Lithuania to Prussia. Thus Catherine II inherited many of the same Jews she was trying to be rid of. Each monarch made an effort to integrate and assimilate its Jews into the "State of Order" and central administration, thus abolishing self-rule for the most part.


Gained independence.

1919 January 26, POLISH ELECTIONS

Although the Jews won about 10% of the vote they were only allowed to elect 4% of the representatives due to the electoral system.


The Polish parliament in exile, demanded that the allies intervene to stop the extermination of Jews in Poland. This call as well as others, were reported in the New York times and other media. Coupled with with the defeat of the Germans in Stalingrad, it may have helped change slightly the position of some of Germany's allies ( e.g. Romania Slovakia and France ), as to their active participation in the holocaust during 1943.

1863 January 2, - 1864 June 18, POLISH REBELLION

Against Russian rule, and aimed at the restoration of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth which had been established in 1569. The commonwealth had been forced to become a Russian protectorate in 1768, which was then followed by three partitions. To some degree, the revolt was driven by the success of the Italian revolution of 1859. Most Rabbinical leaders were reverently anti- Russian and encouraged Polish patriotism. They included the Hasidic leaders, Menahem Mendel Morgensztern of Kotzk, Isaac Meir Alter of Ger, and Israel Freidman of Ruzhin.


Left to Madagascar to investigate the possibility of sending Polish and/ or French immigrant Jews to the Island for resettlement. The commission, under Mieczyslaw B. Lepecki, the director of the special office of the prime minister, was supported by the foreign minister Josef Beck. Its report stated that it was probably not a feasible solution, for the number they had in mind.

1889 POLNO (Poland)

A young Jew named Hilsner was imprisoned on a ritual murder charge. Although there wasn't any real incriminating evidence, he was kept in jail until after the Revolution in 1918.

1944 April 15, PONARY (Lithuania)

During the years from July 1941 until July 1944, approximately 100,000 people (mainly Jews) were murdered in the forests of the resort town, Ponary in Lithuania. As the Russians approached, a group of 70 Jews and 10 Russians were given the task of burning all the bodies to cover up the mass murder. Realizing that at the end of their work they too would be killed they dug a tunnel thirty meters long with spoons over a period of three months. On the night of April 15 they escaped. Only 13 reached safety alive.

1826 August 20, POPE LEO XII

Prohibited Jews from leaving the Rome ghetto without a written permit from the Criminal Tribunal. Jews meeting Christians while outside the ghetto were forbidden from speaking to them in a "familiar way".He also rebuilt the ghetto in Ancona, which had been demolished by Napoleon.


In reaction to some of the disorders in Christian Spain, he issued a warning against attacking local Jewish communities - despite the fact that at the same time he was trying to organize a "crusade" against Moslem Spain.

1066 POPE ALEXANDER II (France-Spain)

Warned French knights fighting to reconquer Spain to stop "excesses" against the Jews. His advice wasn't heeded.


Sent an encyclical (a papal letter) Aquo Primum to the heads of the Polish clergy. In it Benedict(1675-1758) praised their efforts in combating Jewish " domination." He further encouraged them not to lease any land, or loan any money to Jews. Benedict called the Jews “cruel task makers" and urged that no Jew be in any position to give an order to a Christian including as an employer.


Based on a Bull of Pope Callixtus II (1120) Sicut Judaeis(Latin: "As the Jews")written during the first crusade, he forbade Christians to harm the Jews, destroy their cemeteries, or forcibly baptize them. The Bull was confirmed many times by different popes but unfortunately did not have a lasting effect.

1120 POPE CALIXTUS II (1065-1124)

Prompted by the massacres of first crusade, he issued the protective bull, Constitutio pro Judaeis known as Sicut Judaeis (Latin: "As the Jews") or Sicut Judaeis non debet esse licentia , condemning the persecution of Jews. The term "bull" referred to an official document issued by various Popes and is taken from the Latin bullum, "seal". This specific bull was not "pro Jewish" per se, but rather reflected the Church's official position, as stated by Pope Gregory I (598), which objected to forced conversions or the wanton destruction of synagogues and cemeteries . In addition it states "Too, no Christian ought to presume... to injure their persons, or with violence to take their property. Some newly elected Popes would issue a similar pro Judaeis bull, on occasion after receiving a gift from the Jewish community.rnAlthough the bull was reaffirmed by 20 popes over the next 40 years, it was in reality ineffective and ignored.

1267 June 26, Pope Clement IV

Issued the papal bull Turbato corde., which equated conversion or relapsing (of Jewish converts) to Judaism with heresy. According to Clement, Dominican and Franciscan Inquisitors should include in their investigations, baptized Jews, and those who help them return to Judaism, as well as Christians who express interest in Judaism, and Jews who encourage such conversions.

1267 July 14, POPE CLEMENT IV

Ordered the archbishop of Tarragona Benito de Rocabertí to gather all Jewish books for examination by the Dominicans and Franciscans. He strongly urged that they take Pablo Christiani (see 1194) to coordinate their efforts.

1668 January 28, POPE CLEMENT IX (1667-1669) (Italy)

Cancelled the humiliating forced races of near naked Jews through the streets of Rome during Saturnalia carnival time (known as the Palio). In return for this revocation, the Jews of Rome had to pay a special cancellation tax of 200 ducats. This tax was paid for almost 200 years.The races had been first introduced by Pope Paul II in 1466.

1348 September 26, POPE CLEMENT VI

Issued a Bull contradicting the libel against the Jews. In it he stated that the Jews were suffering just like the rest of Europe. Other rulers issued similar denunciations, but to little effect.

1523 - 1533 POPE CLEMENT VII

Another Medici Pope who continued and expanded the policies of Leo X regarding the Jews.


Issued papal bull Caeca et Obdurata Hebraeorum perfidia (The blind and obdurate perfidy of the Hebrews) , expelling the Jews from all Papal states except Rome and Ancona, and thus revoking the bull Christiana pietas (1586) of his predecessor Pope Sixtus . The Jews had three months to leave.He also confirming an earlier bull of Pope Paul III Cum Nimis Absurdum ( 1555) which established the Jewish ghetto in Rome.

1145 December 1, POPE EUGENIUS ( EUGENE) III

Published a call for a second crusade after the fall of the crusader state Edessa (in present day Turkey). He offered absolution for any debts owed to Jews to anyone who would join.

594 October, POPE GREGORY I

Recommended the use of financial persuasion to convert Jews in Sicily. He did not approve of forced conversion per se, as it could lead to "back sliding".


Instituted the papal inquisition. The inquisitional court was set up to look into the large scale heresies (i.e. Cathari and Waldenses) which arose during the 11th and 12th centuries. Until that time, most treatment of heretics was dealt with locally, usually by burning. The name "Inquisition" is derived from the Latin verb "inquiro" (inquire into), and at lest at the beginning, inquisitors traveled from town to town looking into individual cases and pronouncing judgment. According to Gregory's decree any heretic who confessed and repented only received imprisonment with penance. The heretic who persisted received capital punishment. The inquisitors - or judges - of this medieval Inquisition were recruited almost exclusively from the Franciscan and Dominican orders. There were three inquisitions. The first started in 1231. The second, which was against Conversos, started in 1478. It was known as the Spanish Inquisition (also see 1461). The third, which started in 1542, was for the most part was against the protestants, and was known as the Roman inquisition.


In his Decretals, ( official letters of response) The pope condemned the Jews to perpetual servitude based on the doctrine of perpetua servitus iudaeorum. This would result in official second class status for Jews.

1239 June 20, POPE GREGORY IX

Published his bull Si vera sunt, “ If it is true” which was addressed to the kings and prelates of France and Spain. In it Gregory (1145-1241) ordered the confiscation, inspection, and burning of the Talmud, or any other Jewish book which might be construed as blasphemy. Over the next three centuries this Bull would serve to encourage the repeated burnings of the Talmud, and other Jewish books.


Formulated the official Papal policy regarding Jews; they were to be tolerated according to the regulations passed by the previous council. Gregory objected to forced baptism, but valued converts. This policy which was officially set in canon 60 of the council of Toledo(633), became the basis for the rejection of forced baptism by many Popes. Even anti- Jewish popes like Innocent III rejected forced baptism.

1078 POPE GREGORY VII (Hildebrand)

Prohibited Jews from holding offices in Christendom.

1272 October 7, POPE GREGORY X (590-604)

Condemned the ritual murder libels. In addition, since Jews could not bear witness against Christians, he refused to accept testimony by a Christian against a Jew unless it was confirmed by another Jew.

1581 March 30, POPE GREGORY XIII

Issued a Bull banning the use of Jewish doctors. This did not prevent many popes from using Jews as their personal physicians.

1578 September 4, POPE GREGORY XIII

Ordered the Jews of Rome to contribute 1,100 gold scudi (Approximately $13,750) toward the maintenance of the Casa dei Catecumeni (Home for Converts to Christianity). One scudo was roughly $125 in today�s terms.rn

1577 September 1, POPE GREGORY XIII (Italy)

Pope Gregory XIII, issued the Bull Vices ejus nos “ He Turns Us”, reconfirming the Bull of Pope Nicholas III (1278),which decreed that one hundred and fifty Jews must hear conversion sermons in Rome every week. He reissued a similar Bull a few years later in 1584. A college for neophytes was set up with instruction in Hebrew and even Arabic.

1836 November 5, POPE GREGORY XVI

Refused to stop the special cancellation tax which the Jews had to pay in lieu of running naked through the streets during the Saturnalia winter carnival. The race had been initiated by Pope Paul II in 1466. Pope Gregory XVI ruled: "It is not opportune to make any innovations" and affirmed its continuation.

1843 September 29, POPE GREGORY XVI

Denied Klemens von Metternich’s (1773-1879) chief minister of the Austrian Empire appeal for Tolerance Towards Jews. The Pope replied that the restrictions placed on Jews have a sacred origin and cannot possibly be lightened. “the Jews are forbidden such ownership ( property) by the sacred Canons as a Nation of deicides and blasphemers of Christ,”

1838 July 18, POPE GREGORY XVI

Criticized the lack of measures against Jews in recent years."The unfortunate political events… have produced ... the failure to observe Apostolic Constitutions and the other Edicts regarding the Jews."


rnIn his bull Ad nostram Noveritis audientiam (To the hearing, know that…), Honorius reconfirmed his previous bull (1218) and demanded the enforcement of the 4th Lateran Council ban on Jews holding public office. Jews were required to wear a distinctive badge in public and were made to pay a tithe to local churches.rn


After the body of a two year old girl found in Velress (Vaucluse), France, was used as an excuse for plundering the surrounding area (March 27), Pope Innocent IV (who was semi-retired by Emperor Frederick II) issued the Papal Bull Lacrimabilem Judaeorum against blood libels and sent it throughout Germany and France.

1250 April 15, POPE INNOCENT IV

Issued a papal bull denying Jews in Cordova permission to build a synagogue. It also forbade them from living in the same house as Christians, from eating or drinking with Christians, or generally associating with Christians in any way.

1320 September 6, POPE JOHN XII

Ordered the burning of the Talmud and the expulsion of Jews from the Papal States. A large bribe managed to avert the expulsion order although two years later the Talmud was burned in Rome during the festival of Shavuot (Pentecost). During the riots which ensued, the father-in-law of Immanuel of Rome was killed and local expulsions did take place ( Milan).

1881 - 1963 POPE JOHN XXIII

The first Pope to speak out forcefully on behalf of the Jews. Pope John (1958-1963) followed the controversial Pope Pius XII who during the holocaust had never publicly condemned the murder of the Jews. Pope John was outspoken in his sympathy for those Jews slaughtered by the Nazi's. He composed a "Prayer of Repentance" in which he begged forgiveness for all that the Church had done to the Jews.

1554 May 29, POPE JULIUS III

After an appeal by Jews in Catholic countries, the Pope agreed only to allow the burning of the Talmud, but not "harmless rabbinical writings".

1513 - 1521 POPE LEO X

An enlightened clergyman from the Medici family, he even encouraged Hebrew scholarship.

1420 November 25, POPE MARTIN V

Favorably reinstated the old "privileges"/charter of the Jews and ordered that no child under the age of twelve could be forcibly baptized without parental consent.

1422 February 20, POPE MARTIN V (1417-31)

Issued a Bull reminding Christians that Christianity was derived from Judaism and warning Church leaders not to incite against the Jews.He also criticized Dominican friars for their policy of compulsory sermons. The Bull was withdrawn the following year, following allegations that the Jews of Rome attained the Bull by fraud.

1427 March 9, POPE MARTIN V (Italy)

Ordered the Italian fleets to cease transporting Jews to Eretz Israel. The basis for the order was the claim that the Jews were responsible for building a Mosque on Mount Zion in the hope of eventually turning it into a synagogue. This made immigration to Eretz Israel far more difficult.

1278 August 4, POPE NICHOLAS III

Issued the papal bull Vineam Soreth , forcing Jews to attend conversion sermons. The earliest record of forced sermons stems from Agobard of Lyon's (see 820) Epistola de baptizandis Hebraeis, where he ordered the local priests to preach in the Synagogues. This will remain in effect for the next 600 years (see 1870).

1540 May 12, POPE PAUL III

Published a bull against blood libels, concluding that "those accusing the Jews of drinking the blood of children are blinded by avarice, and only want to rob their money"

1542 POPE PAUL III (Rome, Italy)

The Congregation of the Holy office - also known as the Roman Inquisition - was established, originally to counter Protestantism. In 1555, when Cardinal Caraffa became Pope Paul IV, he immediately expanded its operation, advocating the tracking down of all "suspects", especially conversos. Until this date, many conversos had found refuge in the papal states and were able to return to Judaism unmolested. After this, the Inquisition operated within the papal states, Venice, Milan, Naples, Mantua, and Tuscany.


Published the first Index of Forbidden Books which would lead to burning of the Talmud as well as any other books deemed offensive to Catholic faith or morals.

1555 May 23, - June, POPE PAUL IV (1555-1559) (Ancona Italy)

The former Cardinal Caraffa was elected to the papacy. As part of his Counter-Reformation, Pope Paul IV supported the arrest of 51 Conversos. Twenty-five were burned. rnDonna Gracia Mendes Nasi tried to organize a boycott of the port of Ancona by Jewish merchants throughout the Ottoman empire but was opposed by some merchants and many rabbis who feared that the Pope would retaliate.rn

1564 March 24, POPE PIUS IV

Permitted the publication of the Talmud - after censorship and the deletion of the name "Talmud".


Persuaded Tuscany to ban the use Jewish doctors.

1852 February 21, POPE PIUS IX (1792 – 1878)

Protested the Grand Duke of Tuscany Leopold II’s, decision allow them to live outside the ghetto. In his objection he wrote "Otherwise, it will open the door to requests for other civil rights for Jews and for other non-Catholics."

1566 April 19, POPE PIUS V (The Papal States, Italy)

Three months into his reign, he rejected the leniencies of his predecessor and re-invoked all the restrictions of Paul IV. These included Jews being forced to wear a special cap as well as the prohibitions against owning real estate ( see 1567) and practicing medicine on Christians. Communities were not allowed to have more than one synagogue and Jews were confined to a cramped ghetto.

1775 April 5, POPE PIUS VI (1775-98)

Partly in reaction to success of the reformation, he issued the Editto Sopra Gli Ebrei. The proclamation of Pope Pius VI reinstated all former anti-Jewish legislation. The 44 clauses included prohibitions against possessing talmudic writings and erection of grave stones. They also forbade Jews from passing the night outside the ghetto under pain of death. The regulations were in effect until the arrival of Napoleon's army 25 years later.

1937 March 14, POPE PIUS XI

Criticized the Nazis for interfering with Catholic education in the Third Reich. Although he denounced Nazi racism and totalitarianism, he also mentioned that the Jews were guilty of deicide. This was one of the few times the Vatican came out publicly against the Nazi regime. The next pope, Pius XII, did even less.

1928 March 25, POPE PIUS XI

Disbanded the catholic organization Friends of Israel Opus sacerdotale Amici Israel, which had been active for only two years. Their aim had been to promote a better attitude to Jews by among other things canceling the charge of deicide against the Jews, and to work towards their conversion.

1945 June 2, POPE PIUS XII

At the college of cardinals attacked the former Nazi regime. In his speech he mentioned the catholic priests imprisoned in Dachau, and other priests and nuns who died in Nazi concentration camps. He did not say one word about the annihilation of the Jews or any other group.

1938 May 27, POPE PIUS XII

In one of his rare public references to Jews, described them at an international conference in Bucharest, as a people " whose lips curse him and whose hearts reject him". During the war and in the aftermath he never mentioned the word Jew.

1939 November 11, POPE PIUS XII

Sent Hitler a congratulatory letter expressing his “deep satisfaction", after he survived an assassination attempt in Munich by a communist sympathizer.

1943 June 2, POPE PIUS XII

Speaking to the Sacred College of cardinals, he deplored those who suffer " for reasons of nationality or decent". Never once during the war did he mention Jews by name stating to American diplomat Harold H. Tittmann, that " If I denounce the Nazis… and Germany loses the war… Germans would feel that I contributed to their defeat… I can't afford the risk of alienating so many of the faithful. "

1946 September 14, POPE PIUS XII (Rome, Italy)

Met with Rabbi Phillip Bernstein who had replaced Judge Simon Rifkind as advisor on Jewish affairs to the U.S. European theater of operations. Bernstein asked the pope to condemn the pogroms. The pope's reply was cautious, claiming that it was difficult to communicate with the Church in Poland because of the Iron Curtain.

1482 January, POPE SIXTUS IV

Published his bull Numquam Dubitavimus (He Never Hesitated To…). Sixtus permitted Ferdinand to appoint inquisitors to continue with his investigations and to root out any Jewish practice among converts to Christianity.Yet, Sixtus after receiving complaints from conversos regarding illegal procedures, initially protested that the inquisitors were abusing their powers. Ferdinand forcefully rejected the Popes remonstrations and intervention. The pope’s protest subsided.

1478 November 1, POPE SIXTUS IV (Spain)

At the request of King Ferdinand V ( aka Ferdinand II of Aragon) and Queen Isabella, he issued a Bull Exigit sincerć devotioni s empowering them to establish to investigate charges of heresy known as the Spanish Inquisition. Unlike the papal inquisition of 1230, this one was totally under royal authority. This tribunal was established ostensibly to root out "backsliding” Jews who had converted, sometimes under duress, to Christianity. Often these Jews - known as New Christians or conversos - succeeded in obtaining high social and political positions which aroused the jealousy on the part of “old Christians”. Thus, although officially religious in nature, the inquisition was a political tool. Specific signs such as no fires on the Sabbath, no eating of pork, washing hands before eating, turning the face towards the wall when dying, etc., were given to root out those who may have continued to secretly practice Judaism. The Spanish inquisition- which spread to all Spanish and later Portuguese (1536) colonies and possessions - was finally disbanded on July 15, 1834. It is estimated that over 300,000 people were tried (not all for Judaizing) and 30,000 executed.

1483 October 17, POPE SIXTUS IV (Spain)

Despite his previous protest, Pope Sixtus gave into Ferdinand's pressure (allegedly threatening to withhold military support from his kingdom of Sicily) and extended the authority of the Inquisition to Aragon, Catalonia, and Valencia. This consolidated the Inquisition into one central body under Torquemada.

1586 October 22, POPE SIXTUS V (Italy)

Gregory's successor. He revoked Gregory's policies allowing Jews to reside in the Papal states and to print the Talmud. These policies were reinstated upon his death and lasted until 1870.

768 - 772 POPE STEPHAN III (Carolingian Empire)

Complained to the Bishops of Narbonne and Septimania about the Frankish Kings allowing Jews to own land.


He served as the Pope (314-335) the time of Nicea. Though little is known about him, he did forbid priests to "be friendly or sociable with Jews", on pain of excommunication. Today in many parts of Europe and Asia New year's day is also known as "Sylvester".

1365 June 7, Pope URBAN V

Reaffirmed the Bull of Sicuti judaeis “ Thus to the Jews”, forbidding to molest Jews or to force them to baptism. Many other popes published similar affirmations, but unfortunately they often were ignored or rejected (see 590, & 1120).

1625 October 23, POPE URBAN VIII

Decreed that Jews should be buried in unmarked graves. Pope Urban VIII (1568-44) also ordered per-existing tombstones to be removed or destroyed.


Was estimated as thirteen thousand inhabitants. These included eight thousand Turco-Egyptians, four thousand Greeks and Armenians, and one thousand Jews and Maronites. Very few local Arabs were noted as living in the city.


An estimated 3,114,000 Jews lived in Poland, comprising 9.8% of the total populace.

1248 - 1325 PORTUGAL

In spite of the problems that hampered the awakening in Spain, the Jews in Portugal under Alfonso III and Diniz enjoyed a fair amount of freedom. They were not required to wear a badge or pay forced taxes to the Church. They also held high offices (i.e. Chief Rabbi Judah who also served as the Treasurer). At the end of this period the Church began to resent the position of the Jews and started to complain and pressure subsequent rulers.

1392 July 17, PORTUGAL

King John (Joao I) (1385-1432) ordered compliance with the Bull of Pope Boniface IX protecting Jews from forced baptism and extended it to Spanish Jewish refugees.

1531 December 17, PORTUGAL

Under pressure from King John III, Pope Clement VII appointed Frei Diogo da Silva, the king's confessor, as the Inquisitor General. Frei Diogo never took up his post, and was accused of being in the pay of the New Christians.(see 1533).

1536 May 23, PORTUGAL

Pope Paul III, acting upon the petition of King John III, issued a Bull providing for the establishment of an Inquisition based on the Spanish archetype to begin in 1539. The first inquisitor was John de Mello a doctor of Papal law. The first grand inquisitor was Diogo da Silva but he was soon asked to resign being considered "too weak". In 1544, after numerous bribes, it was again postponed for three years but reestablished permanently in 1547. The last Auto da Fe in Portugal was held in October 1791. Over the years (until 1821) there were more then 40,000 recorded cases tried before the Portuguese Inquisition, with 30,000 condemnations (though many of these were reconciled).

1547 July 16, PORTUGAL

An irreversible and independent Inquisition was finally approved by the Bull Meditatio Cordis by Pope Paul III. Offices of the Inquisition were established in Lisbon, Evora, Coimbra, and even in Goa.

1654 January 26, PORTUGAL

With the capture of Pernambuco (Recife) from the Dutch, Portugal retook Peru and Brazil. The Jews, having fought on the side of the Dutch, fled by the hundreds to North America, especially to New Amsterdam.

1739 October 19, PORTUGAL

Antonio Jose da Silva, a well-known dramatist, was burned at the stake for alleged heresy. Da Silva, whose parents had also been persecuted by the Inquisition, was arrested numerous times and tortured. Although the King himself was inclined to leniency, he was burned while one of his plays was being performed in a popular theater in Lisbon.

1765 October 27, PORTUGAL

The last "public" Auto da Fe (Act of Faith) was held. The latest recorded Auto da Fe in Portugal was held in 1791 and the last in Valencia, Spain was held in 1826.

1814 July 21, PORTUGAL

King Ferdinand VII re-established the Inquisition six years after it was abolished by Joseph Boneparte.


Against the Maranos was temporary suspended by pope Clement X. Unfortunately it continued unabated in Spain, and was reintroduced into Portugal by the next pope, Innocent XI in 1681.

1938 January 12, POSEIDON (Eretz Israel)

An illegal ship charted by HeHalutz arrived in Eretz Israel signaling a renewed attempt to bring in refugees. Later that year the Haganah officially joined the effort, establishing the Mosad le-Aliyah Bet ("Organization for 'Illegal' Immigration") which was run by Shaul Avigur (Meirov).

1468 POSEN (Poland)

With conditions similar to that of Cracow (1464), an anti-Jewish riot ensued.

1590 June 11, POSEN FIRE (Germany)

Built of wood, the entire Jewish quarter burned while the gentile population watched and pillaged. Fifteen people died and eighty scrolls were burned.

1064 PRAGUE (Bohemia)

Western Jews arriving here were not allowed residence and so moved east to Russia.

1093 PRAGUE (Bohemia)

Comas, the early Bohemian historian, mentions Jews living in what he called the Mezi gradi Vysehrad (between the castles) on the right bank of the river "who had amassed large amounts of gold and silver." This settlement was destroyed in 1096 and not rebuilt.

1270 PRAGUE (Bohemia)

The Altneuschul (the "Old-New Synagogue"), the oldest existing synagogue in Europe, was built in the new Jewish quarter.

1601 March 13, PRAGUE (Bohemia)

Mordchai Meisels, one of the wealthiest people and biggest philanthropists in Bohemia, died. Although his widow had given presents of tens of thousands of florins to the king and city, soldiers forcibly entered his house on the Sabbath. His nephews were tortured until they "confessed" that there was still more money hidden away. All the money was declared property of the Bohemian Chamber, with nothing left to the family.

1689 June 22, PRAGUE (Bohemia)

The Jewish quarter was destroyed by French troops who shelled the area. In one synagogue the roof caved in, killing the 100 people who had sought refuge there. Most of the population was taken in by their Christian neighbors until new shelters were built.

1744 November 8, PRAGUE (Bohemia)

Frederick the Great took Prague in the Wars of Succession and the populace ransacked the ghetto. He soon left and the Croats returned. They accused the Jews of treason and again their quarters were sacked, this time with the help of Austrian and Hungarian soldiers.

1852 PRAGUE (Bohemia)

The ghetto was officially abolished.

1897 PRAGUE (Bohemia)

After a decade of developing anti-Semitism, anti-Jewish riots broke out.

970 PRAGUE (Bohemia)

On a visit to the city, the Spanish Jewish traveler Ibrahim Ibn Ya'kub found Jewish merchants actively involved in trade.

1744 December 18, PRAGUE (Bohemia)

Empress Maria Theresa ordered the expulsion of all the Jews of Bohemia and Moravia. Due in part, to the protests of the governments of England and Holland, the decree was dropped everywhere but in Prague.


The first complete siddur (prayer book) in English was published by Isaac Pinto. Pinto (1720-1791), who also translated it from the Hebrew, was a learned merchant who had come from the west indies in 1751. He was a member of Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, and active in supporting the colonial cause against the British.

1865 April 14, PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN (1809-1865) (USA)

Was assassinated. Lincoln was the first President to deal with national Jewish problems, including the appointment of Jewish Chaplains in the U.S. Army and his involvement with the expulsion order of Ulysses S. Grant. (see 1862)


Pushed Congress to limit immigration. This had a direct effect on Jewish immigration prior to and during World War II.


Was presented with a petition by prominent non-Jews requesting an international conference to consider and bring to a just conclusion the Jewish claims to Eretz Israel.


In reaction to the Harrison Report, President Truman severely criticized the conditions of the DP's and contended that his policies "are not being carried out." In addition, he urged the British government to grant 100,000 immigration permits to the DP's in Germany. It was also decided to arrange for Jews to live in separate camps with the Joint providing additional rations.


During a commencement exercise he advocated the use of quotas against Jewish college applicants. Though he was forced to retract his statement, a precedent had been set and the quota system rapidly gained acceptance in American universities.

1942 November, PRESIDENT RAMON CASTILLO (Argentina)

Agreed under pressure to accept 1,000 French Jewish children. The government (ostensibly neutral) refused to put the plan into operation.

1942 September 26, PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT

Sent his representative Myron Taylor, to the Vatican to discuss the destruction of Polish Jewry, and to ask for practical advice as how to prevent " the continuation of this barbarism" A month later on October 10 the Vatican, through Cardinal Luigi Maglione the Vatican Secretary of State, replied that reports of "measures against non Aryans have come to the Holy See…but at present it has not been possible to verify their accuracy".


After submitting to friendly pressure by Stephen Wise, who stated that refusal to meet with them may be "gravely misunderstood," met with Jewish leaders of the Temporary Committee for half an hour. Roosevelt spoke 80% of the time and mostly about issues unrelated to the plight of the Jews. After hearing the evidence he confirmed its veracity, stating the U.S. was "well acquainted with most of the facts." Despite his acknowledgement of the planned annihilation of European Jewry his only concession was to agree issue a war crimes warning. The entire holocaust part of the conversation lasted less then two minutes. This was his only meeting with Jewish leaders concerning the Holocaust. His only other meeting to discuss the issue was with 7 Jewish congressmen on April 1 1943.


Under pressure from Congress, he abrogated the Russian Treaty of 1832 on the grounds of Russian discrimination and persecution of the Jews.

1946 October 4, PRESIDENT TRUMAN (USA)

In his holiday message on Yom Kippur Eve, President Truman announced his support for partition and the setting up of the Jewish state.

1946 October 28, PRESIDENT TRUMAN (USA)

Confirmed in a letter to King Ibn Saud that he supported the establishment of a Jewish "National home".


Was presented with an updated Blackstone memorial petition (see 1891) by Louis Brandeis and Rabbi Stephen Wise. They hoped he would endorse American Zionism and the soon to be presented British Balfour Declaration. The Memorial, though presented only privately, was very effective in gaining his support.

1918 September 5, PRESIDENT WILSON

On the eve of Rosh Hashanah, publicly announced his support for the Balfour declaration. He had already agreed to the idea the previous October both in meetings with Louis Brandies and Stephen Wise, and in cables to the British government. However, due to pressure by Secretary of state Robert Lansing and non-Zionists like Henry Morgenthau, he had refused to make it public.


Vetoed the anti-immigration bill. This bill, part of the growing anti-immigration feelings in the country, had been brought up as far back as 1882. In 1897 President Cleveland vetoed it, as did Taft in 1913. Each time it was sustained by a narrower margin until 1917 when the bill finally passed despite Wilson's veto. There were decided anti-Jewish insinuations in much of the lobbying.


At the city councils request, the Jews were expelled.


The Jewish community, which relied heavily on contributions, had to retrench, cutting back on essential services to orphanages, synagogues and schools. Discrimination in the form of job rejections became commonplace. The Depression led to a hiatus in immigration to the USA and pressure on the government to apply immigration quotas. The Depression was world-wide and encouraged the growth of both communism and fascism. In Germany it led directly to the rise of the Nazi party.

1945 September 16, PRIME MINISTER ATLEE (Britain)

Rejected Truman's request to allow the admission of 100,000 refugees into Eretz Israel. A few days later, (September 21), the British cabinet decided that despite previous promises, "Palestine" was to become a country with an Arab majority. Jewish immigration was to be limited to 18,000 Jews a year.


With the (albeit) reluctant agreement of Prince Paul, Yugoslavia agreed to join forces with Germany. As soon as the capitulation became known, a bloodless coup led by General Bora Mirkovik and King Peter II took over the government. The Germans retaliated by a full scale invasion. The Germans had to postpone their invasion of Russia for the five weeks it took to subdue Yugoslavia thus forcing them to contend with the Russian winter.


Endorsed an "economic war" against the Jews

1919 - 1987 PRIMO LEVI (Italy)

During the war Levi joined the partisans, but was captured and deported to Auschwitz. After the war he began to write about his experience, becoming a leading figure in 20th century literature. His works include If This is a Man, The Truce, and If Not Now, When?. Levi was a detached but passionate writer who constantly warned that only alertness can prevent a repeat of the Holocaust. Levi committed suicide in 1987.

1506 August 9, PRINCE FEODOR YAROSLAVITCH (Lithuania)

Established the community of Pinsk. At the same time, he reconfirmed the rights given to the Jews by King Alexander Jagello, king of Lithuania/Poland. By the beginning of the 18th century Jews became the majority of the town and remained such until July 4, 1941 when the Germans entered the city. The final "aktion", which took place on Oct. 28, 1942, left alive only 150 artisans, who were killed a few months later.

1917 March 26, PRINCE G.E. LVOV (Russia)

The first Prime Minister (and minister of the Interior) in the provisional government, sent a message to the Alliance Israelite Universelle promising that Russia would respect the beliefs and varied natures of its people. On that same day in Petrograd, a conference of Russian Jews was held which tried to find common ground in post-czarist Russia.


Founded Vilna and made it his capital. He then brought a number Jews to live there. Although a real Jewish presence would not find its way to Lithuania until the end of the century (1389) and the rule of Grand Duke Witold.

1681 PRINCESS ANNE ( England)

The future queen visited a London synagogue in Creechurch lane (later to evolve into the Bevis Marks synagogue). Making Anne ( 1665-1714) the first member of the royal family to visit a synagogue ,since before the expulsion of 1290.

1493 PRINTING PRESS ( Istanbul)

Within one year of the expulsion from Spain , David & Samuel ibn Nahmias brought in printing press making it the first Hebrew printing press in Istanbul.


Eleven of the thirty-eight Germans to win the Nobel Prize and three of the six Austrians were Jewish.

581 PRISCUS (Gaul)

The royal jeweler to Chilper I (Gaul) was forced into a debate with Gregory of Tours, a respected Christian theologian. Despite the fact that the king also put pressure on Priscus, he held his own and even Gregory conceded that the debate ended without a winner. The king tried forcing Priscus to convert together with other Jews. When that failed, Priscus was imprisoned and then murdered by Phatir, a recent convert. Phatir was granted a royal pardon, but was killed within a few days by Priscus' relatives.


King James I (1208-1276) offered the Jews protection and privileges in many areas of his country, mostly in those re-conquered. This led to a flowering of culture and participation within his realm. One of those who held high office was Judah ben Lavi de la Caballeria, who from 1257 to 1276, was in charge of the administration of the property of the king and judicial matters. A little over 210 years later one of his decedents Alfonso de la Caballeria , a ”new Christian”, served as vice-chancellor of Aragon and a strong supporter of Columbus.


Was proclaimed by a number of leading polish rabbis including Moses Mat (1551-1606). Mat also is recognized for his Matteh Moshe ("Staff of Moses"), a compendium of Jewish ritual law.


In the bull Si ad Reprimendos (If He Is Preventing…) Pope Calixtus III(1378- 1458) prohibited Jews from testifying against Christians, but permitted Christians to testify against a Jew.rnrn


Despite efforts by Italian Jews to self- expunge the Talmud of any anti- Christian sentiment, Pope Clement VIII issued his bull Cum Haebraeorum malitia reaffirming the ban against owning or even reading the Talmud.


Moses Montefiore proposed to Mohammed Ali (1769-1849) the setting up of Jewish agricultural settlement. He was supported by Rabbi Mordechai Tsoref Salomon (1812-1866) of Jerusalem who wished to establish a place for those “less gifted at study”, and where they could practice the agricultural “laws of the land”. There was strong opposition by sectors of the Perushim (descendants of the disciples of the Vilna Gaon) community. Ali turned down the proposal. Tsoref was the father of Yoel Moshe Solomon who helped create the Nakhalat Shiv'a ("the homestead of the seven") neighborhood (see Yoel Moshe Solomon).


Pope Eugene IV (1383 -1447) issued a bull against forced baptism and disturbance of synagogues and graveyards. The same Pope demanded the complete separation of Jews and Christians (see 1442).


Broke the Roman Catholic hegemony over Europe.

1903 August 26, PROTOCOLS OF THE ELDERS OF ZION (Russia)

An abbreviated version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion appeared in the Russian language paper Znamia (The Banner). The full version appeared two years later.

1788 PRUSSIA (Germany)

The poll-tax was lifted from the Jews.


Chancellor Karl August von Hardenburg with the approval of king Frederick William III (1770-1840) announced the full rights being extended to Jews of the Prussian Monarchy. Jews were still not allowed to be appointed to judicial and administrative offices. One of the other directives was that Jews now had to adopt family names. This directly led to the publishing of David Friedlander’s call for a radical change in synagogue service, including substituting German for Hebrew, and deleting most references of the destruction of out “ancient homeland”. “Prussia is out fatherland and German is out mother-tongue (Muttersprache)”

1943 January 27, PRUZANA (Pruzhany, Belarus)

In a surprise visit to the Judenrat, the Gestapo ran into two members of the resistance who were meeting with Yitzchak Janowicz. The members of the Judenrat helped them escape, although their watchman was killed. In retaliation, over the next four days, the entire Jewish population of about 10,000 was sent to Auschwitz.

1559 March 29, PRZEMYSL (Poland)

King Sigismund II granted the Jews a charter despite opposition from the local authorities.

1630 March 14, PRZEMYSL (Poland)

Moses the Braider, a Jewish merchant, was accused of conspiring to desecrate the host and was burned alive.


Often confused with St Gregory, wrote Testimonies against the Jews,. In it he emphasizes gods rejection of the Jews, and the obsolescence of Jewish law.


A translation and commentary on the Pentateuch. The work itself also became known as the Bi'ur (Explanation). It was initiated by Moses Mendelssohn who only succeeded in writing a commentary on Exodus. Others including Naphtali Herz Wessely Aaron Jaroslav and Hertz Homberg who carried on the work, became known as the Biurists. Solomon Dubno who wrote the commentary on Genesis, resigned after many in the orthodox community issued a ban against its use. The orthodox rabbis feared that it would encourage Jews to study the secular (German) texts rather than the Torah and Jewish sources.

786 PUENTE CASTRO (near Leon, Spain)

One of the oldest tombstones in Spain attests to the existence of a significant Jewish community in northern Spain. "The tomb of Mar (anrnimportant title) Jacob bar Rabbi Isaac who was murdered... in his 45thrnyear" was written on it. A number of other tombstones were found in the samernarea.rn


Jews were allegedly accused that during their revelry of the Purim holiday they " mistreated ( a Christian boy) until he died". The incident was only reported by one church historian Socrates Scholasticus and totally ignored by all others for hundreds of years. It is only in 1150 that it was revived and embellished by Thomas of Monmouth who claimed that it was not drunkenness, but actually part of a Jewish ritual in his book, The life, and miracles of St William of Norwich (see 1150).

1524 February 24, (27 Adar 5284) PURIM CAIRO (Egypt)

Celebration of the deliverance from the self-proclaimed Sultan Ahmed Shaitan. The Sultan, upset with being rejected as Grand Vizier, ordered his Jewish coinager, Abraham de Castro, to print his likeness and title of Grand Vizier on coins. When De Castro fled, the Sultan got his revenge by ordering the Jewish community to choose between paying a massive fine or being killed. On the last day before the Sultan's edict would have been enforced, he was assassinated by one of his viziers.

1669 (8 Iyar 5429) PURIM CHIOS (Aegean Island)

The Venetian armies' attack on the island, which had a sizeable number of Jews, was beaten off. In commemoration, the local Jews instituted an annual celebration.

1449 June 5, PURITY OF BLOOD Limpieza de Sangre TOLEDO (Spain)

In the aftermath of the converso trial in January of that year, the council decided not to allow New Christians to hold any public office. The Sentencia-Estatuto de Toledo, composed by its mayor Pedro Sarmiento, states" " all the said conversos descended from the perverse line of the Jews, in whatever situation they may be...." This is considered by many to be the earliest reference to Jewish blood rather than Jewish faith and the first example of racial rather than religious discrimination. Pope Nicholas V condemned the decision, claiming that all Catholics constitute one body.

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