Timeline of the History of the Jews and the Land of Israel
Based on "A Historical Survey of the Jewish Population in Palestine Presented to the United Nations in 1947 by Vaad Leumi on Behalf of the Creation of a Jewish State."
Click Here to see full text of The Vaad Leumi Memoranda
Roman Rule, 63 B.C.E. - 313 C.E.
132-135: Dio Cassius reports 580,000 Jewish casualties perish in the
Second Roman-Jewish War, led by Simon Bar-Kokhba, confirming that a substantial
Jewish population survived from the time of the destruction of the Temple in
70 C.E. (p. 19).
136: Origines Adamantius, the Egyptian-born Christian philosopher and
scholar, states Jewish pilgrimages continue to the Holy Land (p. 25 and footnote
Late 100s: Roman Emperor Septimius Severus (146-211) prohibits Christianity
within the Holy Land and forbids conversion to Judaism (footnote, p. 22).
Byzantine Rule, 313 - 640 C.E.
Early 300s: Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea writes the
Greek Onomasticon, the first topographical dictionary of the Bible, and describes
Jews residing in the Judean highlands (p. 20 and footnote, p. 22).
Early 300s: The Vita of St. Susanna recognizes the Jewish community
of Caesarea, according to the Acta Sanctorum. (footnote, p. 22).
333: THE PILGRIM FROM BORDEAUX, THE EARLIEST RECORDED CHRISTIAN VISITOR
TO THE HOLY LAND, STATES, "JEWS ANNUALLY RETURN TO THE WESTERN WALL TO
MOURN" (FOOTNOTE, P. 26).
337: Emperor Julian permits Jews to "rebuild Jerusalem and the
Temple and to resettle" in the Holy Land (p. 26 and footnote, p. 26).
337: Gregory of Nazianzus states Jews attempt to "rebuild the Temple
with their own hands upon hearing Julians promise" (footnote, p.
340: Roman historian Ammianus MarC.E.llinus (circa 330-400) describes
mysterious balls of fire halting reconstruction of the Temple (footnote, p.
334-407: John Chrysostom (Chrysostomus), the antisemitic Patriarch of
Constantinople, describes Jews residing in the Holy Land (p. 22).
347: St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo in Africa notes Jews live eternally
in Canaan (p. 23 and footnote p. 23).
420: Church Father Jerome, Hieronymous, translator of the Bible into
Latin, documents a high Jewish birth rate (p. 23 and footnote p. 23).
351: Emperor Valens records Jews living in the Galilee (pp. 24-25).
385: Sylvia notes Jews reside in Libias (Beit Ramatah) (footnote, p.
400: The Catholic Synod of Jerusalem notes Jews of the Holy Land annoy
Christians (footnote, p. 26).
Early 400s: Monk Barsuma states "Jews dominate the region"
400s: Christian author Epiphanius documents seven synagogues on Mount
Zion (p. 19).
415-423: ROMAN LEGISLATION KNOWN AS THE "THEODIAN CODE",
ISSUED BY THEODOSIUS II, EMPEROR OF THE EAST FORBIDS DESTRUCTION OF SYNAGOGUES
IN THE HOLY LAND (XVI.8.25) AND CIRCUMCISION OF A NON-JEW BY A JEW (XVI.8.26)
(FOOTNOTE, P. 26).
486: King Julian notes Jewish return to the Holy Land, concealing an
evil plan "under the mask of goodwill" (footnote, p. 26).
560-570: Antonius Martyr documents Jewish communities in Hebron, Nazareth
and Samaria (footnote, p. 26).
570: The Piacenza pilgrim describes "beautiful Jewish women in
the Galilee" (footnote, p. 26).
Persian Rule, 614-629 C.E.
634: An anonymous Syrian records the slaughter of Christians, Jews and
Samaritans during the Arab conquest of the Holy Land (footnote, p. 26).
637: ACCORDING TO THE PACT (DECREE) OF OMAR, JEWS MUST PRAY QUIETLY
AND ARE PROHIBITED FROM ALLOWING CO-RELIGIONISTS TO CONVERT, BUILD NEW SYNAGOGUES,
RIDE HORSES AND HOLD JUDICIAL OR CIVIL POSTS.
Arab Rule, 640 1099
670: Arculf describes Jewish life in Jerusalem
(footnote, p. 30).
850: MUSLIMS FORCE JEWS TO WEAR A YELLOW PATCH.
900s: Arab writer Al-Biruni describes Jews celebrating Sukkot on the
Mount of Olives (footnote, p. 36).
985: The Arab writer Muqaddasi states that, "The mosque is empty.
The Jews constitute the majority of Jerusalems population" (footnote
1047: Nasir-i-Khusraw records Jews coming in great numbers to visit
Jerusalems synagogues (footnote, p. 36).
Crusader Rule, 1099 1291
Early 1100s: Crusaders decimate Jewish communities in Acre, Caesarea,
Haifa and Jerusalem. Inhabitants of Jaffa and Ramleh flee. Rural Jewish settlements
in the Galilee evade destruction. (pp. 37-38).
1120: A Christian manuscript states Jews assist Arabs conquering Hebron,
for which the Jews receive permission to dwell near the Cave of Machpelah, the
ancestral grave of the Jewish Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah and Joseph
(footnote, p. 38).
1120s: Crusaders ban Jews from Jerusalem, yet a few Jewish families
return (p. 39).
1218: SALADIN REPEALS THE BAN OF JEWS IN JERUSALEM,
(P. 42 AND FOOTNOTE, P. 44).
Early 1300s: Church officials, including William, Bishop of Tyre, and
Jacob, Bishop of Acre, rally against increased Jewish freedoms (p. 41).
Mamluk Rule, 1291 1516
1306: France expels the Jews. "How many are they who are rousing
themselves and voluntarily immigrating to the Land of Israel; and many are they
who think that we are coming close to the arrival of the Savior," writes
anonymous author (footnote, p. 47).
1333: Wilhelm von Boldensele of Germany records Jews regularly visiting
graves in Jerusalem (footnote, p. 50).
1335: Monk Jacob of Verona records a Jewish community in Jerusalem
(footnote, p. 49).
1336: Sir John Madenville attests to Jews traveling to visit the Cave
of Machpelah, the ancestral grave of the Jewish Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac,
Jacob, Sarah and Joseph (footnote, p. 50).
1341: Lydolph von Suchems notes a Jewish place of worship in Hebron
(footnote, p. 50).
1377: Arab historian Ibn Khaldun attests to Jewish sovereignty in the
Land of Israel extending for more than 1400 years. (footnote, p. 47).
1384: Leonardo Frescobaldi and Gorgio Gucci records Jews worshipping
in Hebron and living in Gaza, respectively (footnote, p. 50).
1391: Christian travelers record the number of Jews in Gaza as approximately
equal to that in Jerusalem (p. 50).
Early 1400s: WHITE-TURBANED MUSLIM LEADERSHIP FORCES JEWS TO WEAR YELLOW
TURBANS. (pp. 48-49).
1422: John Poloner attests to a "Jewish street" in Jerusalem (footnote,
1474: A fanatic Muslim judge, a Kadi, leads a mob to destroy
Jerusalems only synagogue.
1479: Johann Tuchers von Nuremberg records frequent Jewish pilgrimages
to the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron, the ancestral grave of the Jewish Patriarchs,
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah and Joseph (footnote, p. 50).
1484: Bernharts Von Breitnbach attests to a Hebrew-speaking community
of 500 Jews in Jerusalem (footnote, p. 50).
1489: Approximately 200 Jewish households reside in Jerusalem, according
to an anonymous letter (footnote, p. 51).
1492: The Bohemian pilgrim Martin Kabatnik records a large Jewish population
in Jerusalem(footnote, p. 51).
1499: Arnold von Harff, a knight from Cologne, records a Jewish community
in Jerusalem (footnote, p. 51).
Turkish/Ottoman Rule, 1517 1917
Early 1500s: The condition of Jews in Jerusalem is dismal, writes Fra
Fancesco Suriano (footnote, p. 60).
1533-1534: The Turkish tax register, Tahrir, documents approximately
80 Jewish households exist in the Acre area, 54 in Peqiin, 10 in Kefar Yasif
and 10 in Shafaram (footnote, p. 56).
1538-1539: The Tahrir, the Turkish tax register,
documents 1,630 Jews in Jerusalem (footnote, p. 56).
1546-1547: Voldrich Defat describes a community of "many Jews"
in Jerusalem (footnote, p. 59).
1547: The French traveler, Pierre Belon, records Jews resuming settlement
of the Galilee (p. 59).
1556: The Tahrir tax register documents 115 Jewish households in Gaza,
2,350 Jews in Jerusalem, 719 Jewish households and 63 bachelors in Safed and
38 Jewish households in Acre (footnote, p. 56).
1563: The Tahrir tax register documents 1,720 Jews in Jerusalem, 81
Jewish households in Gaza and 45 in Acre (footnote, p. 56).
1568: An Ottoman survey records 1,160 Jews live in Jerusalem and 670
Jewish households in Safed (footnote, p. 56).
1573: The Tahrir tax register documents 79 Jewish households in Acre
(footnote, p. 56).
1576: Sultan Selim II deports 1,000 Jewish families from Safed to Cyprus.
1577: Selim II deports another 500 Safed families.
1578: Selim II recalls exiled Jews because of economic decline in Safed
(footnote, p. 58).
1579: Ottomans persecute Jews of Jerusalem (p. 59).
1584: Sultan Selim II is alarmed by Safeds 32 active synagogues
due to Muslims complaints. Arab Bedouin and Druze repeatedly raid Safed, causing
an exodus of Jews (p. 58 and footnote p. 58).
1586: Governor Abu Sifyan seizes the synagogue founded by Nachmanides
in Jerusalem in 1272 (p. 59).
1593: Suleiman ben Yaish Duke of Mitylene permits Jewish settlement
in Tiberius (p. 58).
1596-1597: The Tahrir tax register documents
904 Jewish households in Safed (footnote, p. 59), 73 Jewish households in Gaza
(footnote, p. 60) and 11 in Jerusalem (footnote, p. 59).
1598: AN OTTOMAN EDICT CONFIRMS CONFISCATION OF THE NACHMANIDES SYNAGOGUE
IN JERUSALEM BECAUSE "THE NOISY CEREMONIES OF THE JEWS IN ACCORDANC.E.
WITH THEIR FALSE RITES HINDER [MUSLIM] PIOUS DEVOTION AND DIVINE
WORSHIP" (FOOTNOTE, P. 59).
1625: Jewish Jerusalem is destroyed by the Turkish District Governor,
Ibn Farukh, according to an eyewitness report in Hurvot Yerushalayim/The
Ruins of Jerusalem (pp. 63-64).
1640s: French traveler, Roger, describes 4,000 Jews in Jerusalem, 4,000
in Safed and numerous others in Caesarea and elsewhere (pp. 62-63).
1649: The Turkish traveler, Evlia Chelebi (Eveliya Tsheleby), describes
a secure housing that protects Safed Jews (pp. 56-57, p. 62 and footnote, p.
1658: Minister Henry Jessie describes Jerusalems impoverished
Jews (footnote, p. 63).
1658: French traveler, Le Blanc, describes Jews residing in Gaza and
Hebron (p. 64).
1700-1723: Approximately 2,000 Jews inhabit Jerusalem, according to
Christian travelers, Johann Aegidius Van Egmont and John Heyman (footnote, p.
1726: A Christian traveler notes 12 Jewish households in Tiberius (footnote,
1741-1743: Sheikh Daher el-Omar conquers Acre, Haifa, and Tiberius and
invites Rabbi Haim Abboulafia to found a new community in Tiberius (pp. 66-67).
1754: An anonymous Christian traveler notes 200 Safed Jews (footnote,
1767: A Christian traveler notes more than 100 Jews inhabit Tiberius
(footnote, p. 66).
1799: Napoleon Bonaparte conquers a major part of the Holy Land. To
rally Jews behind his struggle against Great Britain and the Ottoman Empire,
Napoleon issues a manifesto urging Jews to conquer the Land and re-establish
a Jewish state. The French and Turks inflict terrible hardships on Palestinian
Jews (pp. 69-70).
Early 1800s: Jewish settlements are concentrated in the Galilee,
Acre, Tiberius, Safed and villages (p. 71).
1819: Ahmad Abdallah Pasha, local Turkish potentate, persecutes Safed
Jews (p. 72).
1838-39: Jews are massacred and Safed is looted by the Arab Druze (p.
1850: Approximately 20,000 Jews live in Palestine, including 13,800
Jews in Jerusalem, 4,000 in Safed and 2,000 in Tiberius and 700 in Hebron, According
to the Anglo-Jewish Association C.E.nsus (p. 74).
1887: The Russian Consul to the Holy Land reports that 1,500 immigrate
annually from Germany, parts of North Africa, Turkey and Russia. Some 4,000
families live in the Holy Land (p. 74).
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