Greece mandates a national day of rest, in disregard to any religion.
Thus the Jews are forced to work on the Sabbath, and those who did
not, lost profits. The Jews saw this a move on the government's
part to get rid of them.
1481: An edict was handed down in Spain calling for all persons
to aid in apprehending and accusing suspects who are guilty of heresy.
This was said to be issued because persons of nobility in Andalusia
1920: Rabbis of Jerusalem arrange special prayers at the Western Wall
for the Jews in Damascus who are threatened with violence.
1598: In a letter from the Sultan to the Ottoman leaders in
Jerusalem, he approves of the fact that the local Muslims locked the
doors of the Nahmanides (Ramban) Synagogue, due to the fact, "the
noisy ceremonies of the Jews in accordance with their false rites
hinder our pious devotion and divine worship." Because of this the
door was locked and sealed. The Sultan approved of the closing of
the building, and he then ordered the synagogue to be annexed to the
1361: The aljama of Barcelona was pardoned by the king after
it had "persuaded" a Muslim to convert to Judaism.
1942: Jacob Moshe Toledano who was born in Tiberias was installed
as Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv and Jaffa. In 1926 Toledano served
as the head of the religious court at Tangiers, and later similar
posts in Cairo and Alexandria. Toledano was escorted from Tiberias
to Tel Aviv by a grand delegation.
1921: Commission in Jerusalem reports that at present there
is no way to secure an appointment of a Hahambashi for Palestine that
would satisfy all sections of the community. They recommend the formation
of a supreme religious council who will represent both Sephardic and
1942: A major Arctic blast hit the Levant. The thermometer in Alexandria
was six degrees below zero, five people were killed because of the
snow in Lebanon, Jerusalem suffered damage when buildings in the Old
City were cracked from ice build up, and in Istanbul the city suffered
deaths and was stifled with three feet of snow, twelve degrees below
zero temperatures and "hungry wolves" in the neighborhood.
1974: The National Council of Jewish Women pledged to work to
help Syrian Jewry, calling Syria's acts against the Jews as "…degradation
and inhuman restrictions."
1924: Died, former Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, Elyachar Haim Moshe
at age 80.
1940: The Tel Aviv committee to elect a new Chief Sephardic Rabbi
had among its candidates, Rabbi Koretz of Salonika, the man who succeeded
Rabbi Uziel as chief rabbi of Salonika. Just three years
later Salonikan Jewry would be wiped out, and Koretz would be found
communally guilty of holding back knowledge of the Germans plan to
murder the Jews.
1313: The Council of Zamora (Spain) made a ruling which was
allegedly based on a "constitution" of Pope Clement V, where he allowed
the Christians to legally deny accruing any interest on loans from
In a shocking memo to United States Secretary of Treasury, Henry
Morgenthau (former Ambassador to Turkey during the Ottoman period),
his staff reported the following about U.S. State Department officials. That
"Have not only failed to use the governmental machinery at their
disposal to rescue Jews from Hitler, but have even gone so far as
to use this governmental machinery to prevent rescue of the Jews.
1915: Hahambashi of Turkey protests schools for the conversion
of Jews to Christianity in the Haskoy quarter of Constantinople. He
is assured the school will be closed, and not reopen. At request of
the Hahambashi, the Ministry of Public Instruction cedes the building
of the missionary school over to the Jewish community.
1606: The Governor of Puerto Rico reported one-fifth of the
white population of the island was Portuguese. It was said these "white"
Portuguese persons were most likely conversos.
1942: At the German Wannasee Conference, the Final Solution
was presented. This plan to annihilate the Jews included not only
11 million Jews of Central Europe, but 700,000 Jews in unoccupied
France which included the Jews of North Africa. Listed on documents
at the Conference were 10,000 Jews of the neutral country of Spain.
1921: King Constantine donates 10,000 Drachmae for
the relief of Jewish sufferers of the fire in Salonica.
1495: Abravanel along with King Alfonso sailed from Naples to Mazzara
near Sicily. The city of Mazzazra was given as a gift from Ferdiand
of Spain to Alfanso. While there, news reached both Abravanel and
Alfanso that Charles VIII had taken Naples. The French rioted against
and looted the Jewish community almost wiping it out. Many Jews were
sold as slaves, and many were forced to convert to Christianity. Abravanel
later wrote, "My entire enormous wealth was stolen."
1944, Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9417, establishing the
War Refugee Board. The Board is committed to enforcing the policies
of the U.S. government regarding the rescue and relief of victims
of persecution. Some of the names of families who were brought to
America were, Altarac, Arditti, Baruch, Franco, Gaon, Kalderon, Kamhi,
Ovadia, and Pinto. Even so, this effort of the United States is looked
at by historians as just a token gesture.
1634 Trial of the men implicated in the 'Complicidad Grande'
(Great Complicity). Seventeen arrests were made by the Inquisition
after a man turned another man in for being "unwilling to make
a sale on Saturday," and for not wanting to eat bacon. The man’s
possessions were confiscated, more people were implicated, and eventually
a total of 81 persons would be locked up and their possessions sequestered.
These men were prominent businessmen of the Lima community, and their
arrests and led to a "widespread commercial crisis" and
failure of the community bank.
1918: Chief Rabbi L. Fridmon of Algeria plans a community building
which will contain a yeshiva, an assembly hall, a library, shelter
for strangers, a mikvah and a bakery for matzah.
1919: General Lyautey, the resident General of Morocco visits the
Mellah (Jewish Quarter) and urges the Jews to contribute towards it
sanitation and enlargement.
1925: Former Hahambashi of Turkey, Rabbi Haim Nahoum is elected
Chief Rabbi of Cairo, Egypt.
1917: Italian government sends twelve thousand Lire ($2,400)
to Governor of Tripoli for the Jewish poor.
1917: Not one home in the Jewish quarter of Belgrade remains.
Large numbers of Jews emigrated to Greece. The Americans
sent $55,000 to help with relief in Serbia and Greece, after receiving
a cablegram for help from the Chief Rabbi of Salonica, Jacob Meir.
1945: In the weekly internal report of the War Refugee Board,
it reported that the United States would permanently close its War
Refugee office in Turkey. The outgoing representative stated, "Inadequate
sources of information and communication channels render impossible
the orderly organization or direction from Turkey of any rescue activities...."
The Palestine Post reported "Anxiety in Yugoslavia" as anti-Jewish
feelings and vandalism was on the rise. It was reported "local Nazis"
smashed the windows out of the Sephardic synagogue of Belgrade.
1960: World Sephardi Federation meets in Madrid, Spain. Some members
complain they did not want Spain to be the site of the meeting,
as they did not want to return to Spain for any reason.