Jewish History This Week


[May 7]

1,200 Jews of Toledo, Spain were killed, 1355.
Empress Catherine I of Russia expelled all Jews from the Ukraine, 1727.
A letter from Empress Catherine II of Russia opened the way for limited settlement of Jews in Riga, 1764.
The Judenordnung provided for the abolition of discriminatory laws enacted against the Jews of Galicia, Austria, 1789.
Construction began on the first 100 houses to be built in Ahuzat Bayit (to be known later as Tel Aviv), 1909.
Three Jews were killed and many wounded in Arab attacks on Petah Tikva, 1921.
The Jewish autonomous region in Birobidzhan was founded by Russia, 1934.
The Nazis decreed the execution of all pregnant Jewish women in the ghetto of Kovno, 1942.
The Mauthausen concentration camp was liberated, 1945. The camp had housed 225,000 inmates in the course of its existence (200,000 were exterminated).

[May 8]

Crusaders dragged Rabbenu Jacob b. Meir Tam from his home in Ramerupt, France, and left him critically wounded in a field, 1147.
The first printed edition of Mishnayot with Maimonides’ commentary was published in Naples, 1492.

[May 9]

Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Shpola and Ananyev, Russia, 1881.
The Rothschild-Hadassah University Hospital and Medical Center was opened on Mt. Scopus, 1939.

[May 10]

Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Craiova, Rumania, 1883.
Napoleon retreated from Acco, giving up his dream of conquering the Near East, 1799.
Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Wasilkow and Konotop, Russia, 1881.
A Church synod, meeting in Vienna, ordered distinctive garb for Jews, 1267.
All Jews were ordered expelled from Berne, Switzerland, 1427. Expulsions of Jewish communities continued unabated throughout the 15th century: Treves, 1419; duchy of Austria, 1421; Cologne, 1424; Zurich, 1436; archbishopric of Hildesheim, 1457; Schaffhausen, 1472; Mayence, 1473; Warsaw, 1483; Geneva, 1490; Thurgau, 1491; Spain, Sicily, Sardinia, Lithuania, 1492; Mecklenburg and Arles, 1493; Portugal, 1497; Nuremberg 1499; Provence, 1500.
Jews of England were thrown into prison on charges of coining, 1278.
The Jewish agricultural settlement, Alliance, was founded in New Jersey, 1882.
German forces marched into Holland, 1940. The diary of Anne Frank, the young Dutch Jewish girl, attracted universal attention to the suffering of Jews in Nazi-occupied territories. Anne Frank died in the Belsen concentration camp. The British liberated Belsen on the fifth anniversary of the Nazi invasion of Holland.
Theresienstadt was liberated, 1945.
Tzfat was taken by the Hagana, 1948.

[May 11]

The Pope condemned the Talmud, 1415.
A great number of Jews of Styria, Austria, were burned and the balance were expelled from the country, 1421.
Tel Aviv became the first all-Jewish municipality, 1921.
Israel admitted as the 59th member of the U.N., 1949, this, on the anniversary of Turkey’s declaration, 1917, of its intention to free Eretz Yisrael of the entire Jewish population.
Adolf Eichmann, charged with the implementation of the “final solution”, was captured in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1960. Eichmann was in charge of all transportation required for the shipment of Jews to the extermination camps. The height of his career was reached in Hungary in 1944, when he managed to transport 400,000 Jews to the gas chambers in less than five weeks.

[May 12]

Jews of Sicily were forbidden to display any funeral decorations in public, 1393.
The brothers Hayyim and Joshua Reizes of Lemberg, famous for their piety and scholarship, were tortured and executed on charges of influencing the apostate Jan Filipowicz to return to Judaism, 1728.
The Pope issued a bull against blood-ritual accusations, 1540.
The first Aliya to the Negev began with the establishment of Kibbutz Gevulot, 1943. The first three settlements, Gevulot, Revivim, and Bet Eshel, were experimentally established in 1943 to determine the feasibility of permanent settlements in the Negev. As a result of the information gathered in the experimental stage, eleven new settlements were established in the Negev in 1946, and an additional seven in 1947. These settlements served also as strongpoints to defend the Yishuv from attack by an enemy advancing from the south. The Egyptian army suffered its first defeat at Nirim, one of the settlements established in 1946, on the anniversary of the first Aliya to the Negev.
Bet-Shean was captured by the Hagana, 1948.