1916: Founded, the Ottoman Jewish Union to foster friendly relations
between Jews of different countries and the Ottomans, as well as closer
association of the Ottoman Jews with the other nationalities in Turkey.
1937: Palestine Post reports death of Reverend Henry Pereire Mendes
of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue of New York City. Mendes was
rabbi emeritus of Shearith Israel since retiring after 43 years in
1920. He was one of the two founders in 1886 of the Jewish Theological
1856: Reported in The News of the World, in Italy the Pope "commands"
for people to turn in known heretics-including Jews. He desires them
to denounce family, fiends, and associates if appropriate to the "Holy
Inquisition." The Pope requests the "names of every one of whom they
1914: A protest was held in Sophia, Bulgaria by the Jewish community,
against ritual murder accusations in a case associated with memorial
services for soldiers who fell in war.
1916: Turkish military leader Djemal Pasha orders barricades erected
to prevent Jews from praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
1911: Hundreds of Jews made destitute by flood at Serres, Salonica.
1912: Jewish teacher in a government school for girls in Volo, Greece,
was dismissed as not qualified to instruct Christian children.
1482: In Spain by this date, near 298 persons had been burned
at the hand of the Inquisition, while 98 had been imprisoned in Inquisitional
1910: Attack made on the Jewish bank in Sophia, Bulgaria.
1913: Benjamin Cardozo was elected Justice of State Supreme Court
of New York. In February of the following year he was made a judge
on the Court of Appeals.
1655: Not favoring a mandated discriminatory tax leveled against
the Jews, in place of them not being allowed to stand guard in the
town, Jacob Barsimon and Asser Levy petitioned to stand guard. At
first they were met with resistance, but Asser Levy performed the
guard duties anyway just like any other burgher of the town. He would
later be granted full citizenship rights in New Amsterdam, the first
for a Jew in North America.
1909: Turkish Ministry of Interior asks Council of State to accelerate
new law on immigration to Turkey. On the same day several hundred
Jewish recruits present themselves for enrollment in the Turkish Army.
1940: Haham Raphael Joseph Antzelou was killed in the battle of Kalpaki
on the Albanian front. Many Jews of Ioannina fought on the Albanian
front. The chief of staff of the Greek forces said of them, "The Greek
Jews fulfilled their duty full measure."
1840: A firman by Sultan Abd Al-Majid given at Constantinople
declared that Jews did not use blood in their ceremonies, and for
any of the Sultan's people to say the Jews did was not truth. This
was to protect the Jews in Rhodes and in Damascus, both under the
Ottoman Empire who were being persecuted by this old anti-Semitic
remark. Moses Montefiore met with the Sultan and helped
to secure this Decree.
1904: Elections in Italy result in the return of 13 Jewish candidates,
among them 3 new members for the Chamber of Deputies.
1912: M. Benveniste who was the president of the Alliance school
in Ioannina wrote on the conditions in his locale, "becomes more and
more serious and had taken a disquieting turn. We are absolutely isolate…Greece
is about to blockade the only road which remains open….Everything
has quadruples and even quintupled in price. Flour is lacking…."
1876: David Mathew Levy (Davitchon Effendi) was elected to the
1905: In a letter from U.S. Ambassador White of Morocco to the Algeciras
Conference, he stated, "Concurrent testimony positively affirms the
intolerance of the Mohammedan rule in that country toward non-Musselmans….Jews,
especially, appear to suffer from painful and injurious restrictions."
694 CE: At the Seventeenth Council of Toledo, King Egica made
public the following statement, the Jews plan to, "exterminate
the Christian people and [destroy] their homeland." This was
a false charge, but one which the king thought could help him rid
his community of Jews.
1621: A 16 year old New Christian, Moses Simonson (or Symonson) arrived
in Plymouth, Massachusetts on the ship Fortune. He came from Leyden,
1942: Germans deport Jews from Paris to Birkenau death camp. These
Jews were Greeks from Salonica who went to France thinking it would
be a safe haven.
1290: The community of Huesca, Spain prohibited Christians from
buying meat or poultry from Jews under a penalty of 70 days in jail.
1911: Rabbi Moses Franco of Rhodes was made Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem.
1911: Press department of Zionist Central Bureau in Berlin denies
report that Chief Rabbi of Tripoli had telegraphed to Rome welcoming
Italians. The Hahambashi in Turkey declared there is no, and has not
been any, chief rabbi in Tripoli for a long time.
1897: Died, Reverend Sabato Morais, the spiritual leader of
Philadelphia's Spanish and Portuguese Congregation Mikveh Israel from
1851 until his death in 1897. To many in his community, the Italian-born
Morais epitomized the idealized traits of a sage: piety, humility,
1910: A Jew, Zeki Effendi Hayon, was appointed Inspector of Finance
for the Ottoman Empire.
1911: Jewish colony of Petach-Tikvah in Palestine passes a resolution
to contribute 1,000 Francs to the Ottoman military towards defense
of the [Turkish] country.
1938: The New York Times reported: Kemal Ataturk, president and creator
of modern Turkey, died at the age of 58.
1913: Rodosto, Turkey is taken, and 60 families sought safety
1806: Jewish merchants of Gibraltar sought exemption from the
Moroccan dress code for dhimmis. The Jews wrote to Aaron Nunez Cardozo
who was a prominent merchant and liason between the British government
and the Barbary States.
1911: Vaad of the Jewish community of Safed votes 20,000 Francs toward
the [Turkish] war fund.
1942: In a AJDC report on the situation of Jews in North Africa, it
was reported that on June 14, 1940: The occupation by Spanish military
forces at Tangiers led to the introduction of anti-Jewish laws being
put into effect.
565 CE Roman Emperor Justinian dies at 82. As Christianity grew
in power in the Roman Empire it influenced the emperors to limit further
the civil and political rights of the Jews. Justian's Law said Jews
may not offer testimony against Christians who are engaged in litigation.
1771: Orders were given to ban auto-de-fe's from taking place
in public, and to ban the production of lists of persons who would
1909: Turkey bans all non-Muslims from holding political meetings
in houses of worship.
1909: Died, Rabbi Nissim Moche Amon, President of the Constantinople
Bet Din (religious court) at age 72.
1959: Opening of the Sephardic Bibliographical Exhibition in
Madrid, Spain. The Exhibition was in conjunction with the
World Sephardi Federation, Arias Montano Institute, the faculty of
Philosophy of the Madrid University as well as the Royal Academy of
Spanish Language. The Exhibition demonstrated rare Sephardic
documents, books, maps and material showing the life of Jews in Spain
up to 1492.
1909: Grand Vizier of Turkey at the request of the Hahambashi
directs the Minister of War to appoint Jewish chaplains to battalions
where Jews serve, to grand soldiers the ability to observe high holidays,
and to facilitate they be provided with kosher food. He
also requested that all teachers in Jewish school as well as rabbinical
students be exempt from military service.
1913: Serbian troops enter and loot Monastir. Jewish shops were burned
1908: Grand Vizir of Morocco sends a letter to President of
the Alliance Israelite Universelle approving educational work and
stating that the new Sultan is resolved to protect Jews.
1909: One-hundredth anniversary of the death of Moses Mendes Seixas
observed at the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in New York.
1919: Hahambashi in an interview with the Sultan, assures him
that Jews will never forget that when they were persecuted in other
countries, Turkey welcomed them and that, if they had reason for complaint
in recent years, it was directed rather against the regime which had
been disastrous for all elements of the population, than against the
1965: The Central Council of the Sephardic Jewish Brotherhood of America
had created a Golden Jubilee Committee to celebrate the Brotherhood's
fiftieth anniversary. At the time there were over 2,500 members of
1967: U.N. Secretary General Thant raises issue of restrictions
placed on Syrian Jews at the U.N. Security Council during Resolution
242 on the Israeli-Arab conflict. Intervention on behalf of the Jews
1584: The Sultan ordered an investigation to the number of synagogues
in Safed. In his letter to the local administration, he wrote, "in
the town of Safed there are only seven sacred mosques. But the Jews
who in olden times had three synagogues have now thirty-two synagogues,
and they have built their buildings very high."
1911: The Damascus newspaper Muktebis attacked Jews, and in
response readers wrote letters to the Grand Vizier to condemn the
attitude of the paper. On the same day the editor of another
newspaper, the Turkish Hikmet, insulted Jews in an 'open letter to
the Sultan.' As a result of the letter the editor was banished from
1913: A mass meeting held in New York under the auspices of the Federation
of Oriental Jews was held to consider relief for Balkan Jewry. A total
of $58,000 was raised.
1916: Greek government considers calling on Jews to serve in military,
prior to this date they were exempt from service.
1909: Turks resolve to grant all requested privileges to Jewish
soldiers, except kasher food.
1913: In a letter from the Chief Rabbi of Salonica to Prince
Nicholas of Greece, the rabbi denies truth of charges of excesses
committed by Greek soldiers, and declares he has not sought protection
of powers for Jews of Salonica. Three months later the Greek Prime
Minister, Venizelos, assured the Chief Rabbi that the rights of the
Jews would be continued.
1944: In the weekly internal report of the War Refugee Board,
it reported that the United States embassy had received from the Spanish
Foreign Office: "Official confirmation that appropriate instructions
have been sent to the Spanish Legation in Bern to seek the collaboration
of the Swiss government in the efforts of the Spanish Embassy in Berlin
to obtain the release and transfer to Swiss territory of the group
of 155 Sephardic Jews at Camp Bergen Belson."
1905: In a letter from U.S. Ambassador White of Morocco
to the Algeciras Conference, he stated, "Concurrent testimony positively
affirms the intolerance of the Mohammedan rule in that country toward
non-Musselmans….Jews, especially, appear to suffer from painful and
1655: The Brazilian/Dutch Jews of New Amsterdam make an application
for a license to enter the fur trade. It was later denied.
1856: A pro-Zionist meeting was held in Great Britain at the Great
Assembly Hall of Miles End. There was a "great rush into the building"
with most seats taken quickly. The meeting was presided over by Dr.
M. Gaster, Chief Rabbi of the Spanish and Portuguese congregation,
and among those present were Sir Francis Montifiore.
1856: Manchester Guardian reported a "Great Fire" had taken
place in Constantinople where 600 homes were destroyed, and another
devastated Adrianople. A lighting strike on Rhodes completely destroyed
the Turkish quarter, with only three children saved.
1940: Anti-Jewish laws are established in Tunisia.