1909: Russian and Romanian Jews suffering tremendous persecution
and attacks offered to come settle in Turkey, so says Ahmed Riza Bey,
President of Turkish Parliament.
1911: The newly formed Grand Council of the Jewish Community of Constantinople
expresses loyalty of all Jews of all parties to the Ottoman Empire.
1844: A newspaper report states a census was conducted at Constantinople
and there were 900,000 people, among whom there are 100,000 Jews.
1944: An internal memo of this week from the United States Government
War Refugee Board states that it did understand the "attitude" of
the Turkish government. On one hand it was "professing a desire to
cooperate with the refugee program," while on the other it would not
let the United States nor other countries use its ships to transport
refugees from Romania to Turkey without formal contracts in place.
1920: Arab orators in Palestine roused crowds into a fiery mob
which attacked and killed Jews in three days of violent rioting. Most
of the attacks were in the Old City, which was surrounded by the British
who would not let Jabotinsky's Jewish forces in to protect the distressed
1918: Premier Radoslavoff of Bulgaria praises the patriotism
of Jews, and pledges his government will be an ally of the Jewish
cause in the negotiations with Romania.
1443: In a document from King John of Castile on
economic conditions, he mentions Jews are prohibited from exercising
certain high offices among Christians, and from being employed as
judges, farmers, collectors, directors, or stewards of revenue (taxes).
1720: Manuel San Vicente, a Spanish mercenary turned himself in to
the Inquisitional Tribunal after living among the Spanish Jews in
Constantinople and Salonica as a Jew for a month. He sought pardon
for his sin, and/or to avoid being turned in by another party. While
he was in the Ottoman Empire he was circumcised, and learned Jewish
1909: Died, Abraham Bengrihan, Chief Rabbi of Marrakech, Morocco.
1720: At one of the last large auto-de-fe's in Madrid, was burned
five suspected Jews who were found to have committed the crime of
praying in a "secret synagogue" which had been found after the Spanish
war of Succession.
1730: In New York, the (first) Mill Street Synagogue of Shearith
Israel was consecrated. It was the first structure designed and built
to be a synagogue in continental North America. During the time the
congregation was at Mill Street, the Sephardic leadership worried
it might become Ashkenazic. The compromise within the Jewish community
was they agreed the president of the congregation would be Ashkenazi,
while the services would remain under the traditional Spanish and
Portuguese rite, under the guise of a Sephardic hazzan.
1819: A traveler who stopped in Joannina (Yanina), Greece acknowledged
"In going out of the village this morning, soon after the sun
rose, we passed a Turk, richly dressed, sitting upon a carpet, under
a fig tree just budding…I know of no European habit of life so picturesque,
as the Eastern one. Greek, Turk, and Hebrew enjoy nearly an equal
1910: Large Jewish owned mercantile house in Salonica announce 1%
of all cash takings will go toward the cost of new Turkish warships.
1362: The Crown of Aragon examines a court case involving the
murder of a Jew by two Muslims. The widow of the man took the matter
to the court after unsuccessfully seeking justice through the town
where the murder occurred.
1899: The First Jewish congregation was formed in Caracas, Venezuela.
1945: The Palestine Post reported medical relief units were going
to be heading to Greece. Almost one-third of the team which was first
heading to Cairo then would be off to Greece were Palestinians (Jews).
The team was made up of doctors, nurses, sanitary officers laboratory
technicians and drivers. Some of the Palestinians were fluent in Judeo-Spanish
1451: A Flemish scholar recorded his observation of the Jews
of Fez (Morocco): "Fez is divided in two parts. The Old City quite
populous with about 50,000 families…The Jewish quarter is surrounded
by its own walls. Approximately 4,000 Jews dwell there...The more
the sultan needs money, the more they have to pay."
1909: Jews take active part in uprising of the Young Turk movement,
notably Nissim Effendi Mazliah and Emmanuel Effendi Carusso, members
of the Parliament. Many Jews from Adrianople, Constantinople, Monastir
and Salonica volunteer in the Army of the Young Turks.
1484: The Cortes at Tarazona approved the formation of Inquisitional
Tribunals at Valencia and Saragossa. The Inquisitors wasted no time
investigating for Jewishness in the New Christian community.
1775 This is the traditional start date of the American Revolution
when Massachusetts Governor Gage is secretly ordered by the British
to enforce the Coercive Acts and suppress "open rebellion" among colonists
by using all necessary force. During the American Revolution there
were five synagogues in the United States, all which followed the
Spanish and Portuguese rite. They were located in, Newport, New York,
Philadelphia, Charleston, and Savannah.
1872: On the eve of Greek Easter Sunday, Greeks attacked Jews
in a bloody riot. "The Christians were set loose, and beat, massacred,
and demolished the houses of Jews…" It was reported one Jews was stabbed
to death, and others were injured. It was only after Turkish soldiers
guarded the Jews that the violence ended.
1920: A union was founded to strengthen and develop friendly
relations between Moroccan Jewry and Spain.
1941: Germans invade Sarajevo, and with the help of Muslims (of whom
they had incited) looted and destroyed the main Sephardic synagogue. All
Jews were ordered to surrender their radios.
1790: A major pogrom took place in the Jewish community
of Tetouan, Morocco. On this day the Muslim ruler Mawlay Yazid entered
the city, rounded up all of the Jews, men women and children, and
violently stripped them of their clothing. They were left with no
dignity, naked for three days in prison. Some of the Jews fearing
for their lives escaped to the graves Moorish saints where they would
pray for their lives. The Muslim leader had some Jews beheaded to
make a statement.
1941: Yugoslavia surrenders to the Nazis. In all, a total of near
60,000 Jews were murdered by the German army. Gold teeth
from the murdered victims were later found in the palace of the Catholic
Bishop of Zagreb (Croatia).
1279: Pedro III ordered his bailiffs to take control of the
property of Jahuda Cavalleria until "proper heirs can be determined."
Though in this case Jahuda's family ended up getting his estate, the
Jews essentially owned nothing, and were essentially considered, "simply
holding property for the Crown."
1865: The Sephardim in New York held a special prayer for President
Abraham Lincoln who was assassinated as he watched a play at Ford's
Theater in Washington DC just five days earlier.
1941: German newspapers in Greece come out blaming Jews for
ruining Germany after World War I. During this same period
in April, the Greek newspaper New Europe wrote in capital letters
DEATH TO THE JEWS. The paper reported that the Jews were the cause
of economic problems in Germany. Levy stated the Greek paper called
for the destruction of the "Jewish race once and for all."
1915: Seventy Jews arrive from Palestine to Alexandria. They
describe the conditions in Jerusalem as terrible, with many people
dying from starvation. An eyewitness account from the village of Mea
She’arim in Jerusalem tells of the conditions:
"My God…I never imagined that such wretched poverty really exists
and that there really are such dark and filthy corners…. [O]ld men
and women bloated with hunger. Children with an expression of horror,
the devastation of hunger written on their faces…"
1792: Born, Uriah Phillips Levy, Commodore of the United States
Navy in Philadelphia. His mother was a descendant from the Nunez family
that arrived in Charleston in 1733.
1901: The New York branch of the Alliance Israelite Universelle
was reorganized under direction of M. Nissim Behar. The meeting was
held in English, Yiddish and German. Mr. Louis Marshall was elected
President, and Henry Periera Mendes as secretary.
1846: The Voice of Jacob contained a short article respecting
the state of the two public Jewish schools at Kingston, Jamaica which
was described as languid and unsatisfactory, owing to the paucity
of duly trained and qualified teachers.
1915: The Anglo-French invasion of the Gallipoli peninsula begins. 30,000
men landed on the beach to fight the Turks for this strategic position. Fighting
with the British was a Jewish force known as the Zionist Mule Corp. They
fought with the British against the Turks, unknowing to them that
the Turkish army had Jews fighting in Gallipoli at the same time.
1655: In a letter from the Dutch West India Company to Peter
Stuyvesant, he is told to allow the Jews to stay in New Amsterdam,
"Provided the poor among them shall not become a burdthen [sic] to
the company or the community, and are supported by their own nation.
1821: Greek Patriarch Gregory, head of the Greek Orthodox Church
had been publicly executed. Turkish Grand Vizier Benderli Ali Pasha
was reportedly to have to said to the Jews present, "Here hangs your
enemy and ours."
1838: A huge fire destroyed Charleston and destroyed the synagogue.
Correspondence from that day records the emotion: "The venerable
Moses C. Levy hastened to the spot for the purpose of saving the sacred
rolls. No language can describe the deep emotion he betrayed as he
beheld the sacred edifice (in which for forty years he had poured
forth his spirit in prayer and thanksgiving) wrapt [sic] in flames,
crumbling into ruins, and mingling with the elements. "
1775: Born, Judah Touro at Newport, Rhode Island. Touro, who
never married, was a famous merchant and philanthropist who supported
many Christian and Jewish charities. He started as a merchant selling
soap, candles and codfish, and would eventually become one of the
wealthiest men in all of America. Touro's father was of Portuguese
Jewish extraction, by way of Jamaica.
1911: Council of Rabbis of Constantinople decides to establish a yeshiva
for the training of rabbis for Sephardic Jewry.
1911: Bedouins set fire to the synagogue at Tschebel (Tripoli, Barbary),
entirely destroying the building which contained old and valuable
manuscripts and books.
1910: Imperial irade published at Salonica discusses that the
Jewish bank authorized in Salonica would be for the creation of a
loan fund for relief of families of Jewish soldiers.
1975: American Sephardi Federation and United Jewish Appeal Sephardic
Leadership Council sponsored a two-week visit for Chief Sephardic
Rabbi Ovadia Yossef to visit the United States. He came and met with
both governmental and Jewish community leaders.
1556: A community of marranos at Ancona (Italy) were devastated
when Pope Paul IV retracted letters of protection issued by previous
Popes' for protection of the Jews, and ordered immediate proceedings
to be taken by the Holy Office. The result of the findings came in
the spring and early summer, when 24 men and 1 woman were burned alive
in successive proceedings. Their deaths are memorialized in that city
every Tisha B'av.
1915: Turkish authorities prevent Jews of Smyrna from leaving the