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1780 JACOB JOSEPH(Polyonnye, Poland)

Rabbi and author, he published the first Hasidic book, Toldoth Yaakov Yoseph , which put forth the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov. He was the developer of the Hasidic doctrine of the Tzaddik, as the Holy One, the soul of the Hasidic body.

1780 - 1852 Judah Bibas- Rabbi and “Dreamer of Zion” ( Gibraltar-Hebron)

Born in Gibraltar he later headed a Yeshiva there. He was appointed Rabbi of Corfu in 1832 where he reformed its educational system. Bibas also had a doctorate from Livorno Italy. He became a strong supporter of the “Teshuva” movement which believed that inner repentance had to be coupled with returning to Eretz Israel. During his travel around of Europe (1839-40) promoting his ideas, he met Judah Alkelai (1798-1878) of Sarajevo, who from then on considered himself Bibas’ student. He settled in Hebron in 1852 near the end of his life and is quoted as saying “ Jews must learn science and arms(weapons) so they can wrest the land of Palestine from the Turks”.

1780 - 1855 RACHEL JOSEPH (SOLOMONS) ( Canada)

Early Canadian pioneer she married Henry Joseph a ritual slaughterer/ businessman who fought in the war of 1812. Her father Levy was one of the first Jews in Canada and a founder of the Shearith Israel congregation in Montreal ( 1768) the oldest synagogue in Canada. Rachel remained orthodox throughout her life and on her own did her best to educate her children as such.rn


Cancelled the "rights and property" of three members of the Hart family for supporting the British. Isaac Hart was murdered for the same "offence." Although many Jews were supporters of the revolution, others were supporters of the Tory cause. Some like Isaac Touro (father of Judah) decided to find refuge in Jamaica and other parts of the British Empire.


Was discovered by Sir William Frederick Hershel.

1781 - 1869 REBECCA GRATZ (USA)

Educator and philanthropist. Born to religious parents she remained an observant Jew all of her life. She became active in philanthropic affairs at an early age. Gratz founded or help found such institutions as the Female Association for the Relief of Women and Children of Reduced Circumstances in Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Orphan Asylum, The Female Hebrew Benevolent Society and a Hebrew Sunday school for which she didn’t charge a fee. She is purported to be the prototype of Sir Walter Scott's Rebecca in Ivanhoe.

1781 March 6, GEORGIA (USA)

Governor James Wright ordered the Jews of the Georgia to leave, accusing them of being disloyal to his majesty by supporting the revolution. The order was never carried out.

1781 October 21, AUSTRIA

Joseph II rescinded the law forcing Jews to wear a distinctive badge. The regulation had been in effect since 1267, more than 600 years.

C. 1782 - 1854 MOSES ELIAS LEVY (USA)

Pioneer in Florida. Levy was a plantation developer who was rumored to have been the first to introduce the growing of sugar cane there. Levy fought against the idea of slavery and proposed that a Jewish agricultural school be developed to replace slavery. He also tried to encourage Jewish settlement of the area. Levy was not successful in either managing his farms or giving over his Jewish ideals to his children, both of whom converted. One of them, David Levy-Yulee, became the first senator of Florida.

1782 - 1853 ISAAC BEN SOLOMON FARHI, (Safed)

Scholar and kabbalist, also known as “the rabbi who leads the masses to the right path” for his piety and ethics. Farhi was a member of the Bet El Yeshiva in Jerusalem, and was renowned for his effort in helping the poor. He was a prolific writer, whose works included Matok mi-Devash, Marpe la-Ezem and Matok la-Nefesh on ethics,Tuv Yerushalayim which extolled the virtues of Eretz Israel, and , and Minei Metikah sermons for the Sabbath.

1782 JUDITH ROSANES (Zolkiev)

Moved to Lemberg and opened a printing shop. Before she died in 1805 she had printed at least 50 books. She was one of the most successful women pioneers in the Hebrew printing business. She employed 24 people.

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

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

1782 May 2, THE FIRST JEWISH SCHOOL (Prague)

was opened in Prague under the guidance of Rabbi Ezekiel Landau (see 1713). Despite his arguments with many of the Maskilim he supported the study of general education including history, grammar, and natural sciences.


The Sultan expelled the Jews after they failed to pay an exorbitant ransom. This was the third time they were expelled within a number of years.

1783 - 1869 (1 Tamuz 5529) SOLOMON BEN JUDAH KLUGER (MARSHAK) (Brody)

Talmudist and halachist. He studied under the Dubno Maggid and was known for his responsa. It is said that he wrote 375 books, although "only" 174 are known.


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.

1783 March 31, HUNGARY

Joseph II allowed Jews to live in the "Royal cities", including Pest. By 1787, 81,000 Jews lived in Hungary.

1783 April 13, HA-ME'ASSEF ( "THE COLLECTOR")

A Hebrew periodical, was launched by Isaac Abraham Euchel (1758-1804) and Mendel Bresslau ( d. 1829). This was the first journal of the Haskalah Movement, and it ran until 1811. Though ostensibly haskalah oriented, they also published some articles from an orthodox standpoint. Moses Mendelssohn, Naphtali Wessely, David Friedrichsfeld, and Aaron Halle-Wolfssohn were among the contributors. Many of them became to be known as " The Me'assefim".rn

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.

1784 - 1885 (16 Av 5645) SIR MOSES MONTEFIORE (Italy-England)

Sheriff of London and leading Jewish figure. Wealthy in his own right, he married into the Rothschild family and was extremely successful in his financial ventures. He retired at an early age (1824) and devoted his life to serving Jewish causes. He is noted for his numerous visits to Eretz Israel, contributions to many philanthropies, and intercessions into Jewish affairs. One of his greatest successes was his interference in the Damascus Affair (see 1840). He is credited with founding numerous agricultural settlements in Eretz Israel and the first Jewish quarter outside the old city walls (Mishkenot Shaananim). He added the top levels to the Kotel (Western Wall) to prevent Arabs from throwing garbage and stones on Jews praying at the Wall, and he rebuilt Rachel's tomb.

1784 January 10, LOUIS XVI (France)

Abolished the poll-tax on Jews in Alsace-Lorraine. This tariff was the same tax paid for market animals. It was paid by Jews who wished to enter certain cities. The poll tax had been instituted in many countries in Europe and dated back as far as the Roman Emperor Domitian (93 C.E.), though it was only adopted in Europe in the 14th century.


French politician and economist. He posed the question of Jewish emancipation at the Metz Royal Academy, which he fully supported.

1785 - 1851 July 19, MORDECHAI MANUEL NOAH (Philadelphia, USA)

Author, journalist, and diplomat, he became the United State's consul to Tunis. Noah dwelled upon the problem of a haven for Jewish refugees. He wrote about the importance of a revived Jewish homeland. In 1825, he decided to acquire Grand Island as a Jewish city of refuge. The plan and the city faded. After he failed to keep his position in the elections for Sheriff of New York, he was appointed Grand Sachem of Tammany Hall by Martin Van Buren. In 1837 he came to the conclusion that the best solution was for the Jews to have their own homeland in Eretz Israel.

1785 - 1840 NACHMAN KROCHMAL (Galicia)

Tried to formulate a philosophy of Jewish history. He wrote the Guide for the Perplexed in Our Times. He endeavored to explain a Jewish philosophy of history using the mission theory. Together with Leopold Zunz he was part of the Wissenschaft des Judentums(The scientific investigation of Judaism/Hohmat Israel) movement which endeavored to study Judaism through modern methods of research.

1785 September 14, JOSEPH ABRAHAM STEBLICKI (Upper Silesia)

Entered the synagogue in his town of Nikolai (then part of Germany) on Yom Kippur to pray with the rest of the congregation. Steblicki (c. 1726-1807) born catholic, was the town's treasure and a respected member of the city council. He had begun studying Judaism five years earlier mostly in Cracow. Since no one was willing to do the circumcision, he did it on himself under the guidance of a Rabbi who arrived from Cracow. Steblicki told no one till that date about his conversion. He was investigated by authorities since conversion to Judaism was against the law. Due to his reputation, the support of his family, and the determination that the Jewish community had no part in his conversion he was not prosecuted. Instead he was declared mentally imbalanced, and therefore not even required to pay the mandatory Jewish tax.

1786 - 1837 LUDWIG BOERNE (Germany)

Political essayist. He believed that freedom for mankind and freedom of the Jews were bound together. Though he was later baptized, he still fought for Jewish rights. His famous Letters from Paris called for an end to injustice in Germany. Boerne, along with Heine, are considered major influences in German literature.

1786 JEDDA (Arabia)

The small mostly Yemenite Jewish community in Jedda was expelled and not allowed to return.

1786 - 1866 JOSEPH ZUNDEL SALANT (Lithuania-Eretz Israel)

"Spiritual Father" of the Mussar (ethical) Movement established by Israel Lipkin Salanter (see 1810). Although an exemplary student of Hayim Volozhiner and Akiva Eger, he refused to accept a rabbinical position, preferring to work for a few hours a day earning his living as a shopkeeper and spending the rest of his day studying. He moved to Jerusalem in 1837 and there again in his humility he refused any official position, opening a vinegar factory instead.

1786 October 4, AARON LEVY (1742-1815) (USA)

A land speculator who had made many loans to the Continental Congress, he announced plans for a new town, Aaronsburg, to be built in the Penn Valley. This was the first town to be founded and named after a Jew. Unfortunately, it did not succeed and left him in difficult financial straits.


Called the “Treaty of Peace and Friendship”, was signed. The treaty was negotiated in part by Isaac Cordoza Nuńes, on behalf of the sultan in Marrakesh, and Isaac Pinto (1720–1791), a U.S. citizen of Moroccan origin, It remains the longest unbroken treaty relationship in United States history.

1787 November 12, JOSEPH II (Austria-Hungary)

As part of his "Aufklarung" (Enlightenment)policy, he forced the Jews to adopt family names. This was part of the European movement (including the Age of Reason in France) which encouraged rationality and science over religion.

1788 - 1860 ISAAC BAER LEVINSOHN (Russia)

Called "the Russian Mendelssohn". He became a notable Yiddish satirist and Haskalah leader. In his Bet Yehudah (1837), he formulated a philosophy and described Jewish contributions to civilization in an effort to promote Judeo-Christian understanding.


On order of King Louis XVI, Chretien Guillaume De Malesherbes began to prepare a memorandum including recommendations regarding the situation of the Jews . His conclusions helped pave the way to their eventual freedom. Malesherbes believed that their emancipation and the weakening of the Jewish community, would lead to their conversion.


The number of Jews residing in Poland and Lithuania was estimated at well over 900,000.

1788 PRUSSIA (Germany)

The poll-tax was lifted from the Jews.

1788 January 18, Botany Bay Australia

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


Approximately four hundred thousand Jews lived in Western Europe, three quarters of them in Germany.


Known as Abbe' Gregoire a catholic priest and revolutionary leader, published , Essai sur la régénération physique et morale des Juifs calling for equal rights for Jews. At the French National assembly he called for a motion on Jewish emancipation. The Jews numbered less than 40,000 out of a population of 26 million.

1789 - 1866 (25 Adar 5626) ISAAC MEIR ROTHENBERG ALTER (Poland)

Scholar and Hassidic leader. Isaac Meir was recognized as an outstanding scholar from an early age. His Novellae on the Talmud and the Shulchan Aruch are known as Chidushei Ha-rim and are still classical texts today. He was a follower of the Kutzk branch of Hasidim and became their leader. Isaac Meir founded the dynasty of Gur Hasidim which was one of the leading Hasidic groups in Europe. He believed strongly in not separating himself, but working directly, on daily problems with ordinary people.

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.


Over 1000 Jews were forced to flee after being attacked and their houses burnt during an uprising known as the agrarian revolt. The Jews in Alsace numbered around 22,000 more than half the total of French Jewry . In neighboring Lorraine there were a further 7500 Jews totaling almost 70% of French Jewry.

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