World Jewish History

1492 Jews are expelled from Spain. Columbus, with conversos Jews aboard, reaches the New World.
1500s Rise of Kabbalah in Safed, Palestine.
1628 First Jews settle in Barbados, an English colony. By 1710 there are two synagogues on the island.
1648-49 Chmielnicki cossack massacres in Poland.
1650 Twelve Jewish families granted permission to settle in Curacao. Jews settle in Jamaica, permitted to own land and practice their religion.
1654 Jews expelled from Brazil; twenty-three land in New Amsterdam.
1655 Jews allowed to resettle in England from which they had been barred since 1290.
1700s Rise of Hasidism in Russia and Poland.
1732 Congregation Mickve Israel, oldest synagogue in Western Hemisphere, built in Curacao.
1760 Jewish merchants and their families settle in New Orleans.
1791 Jews granted citizenship in France. Beginning of Jewish Emancipation in Europe.
1820s Rise of Reform Judaism in Germany.
1840 Jews in Damascus, Syria, are accused of blood libel, arousing world reaction.
1858 Edgardo Mortara, a little boy, is abducted in Italy after forced conversion, creating world-wide protests.
1868 Benjamin Disraeli becomes English prime minister. Queen Victoria makes him Earl of Beaconsfield.
1881 Czar Alexander II assassinated in St. Petersburg, Russia. Pogroms and persecution of Jews follows, and immigration to America is accelerated. Two million Eastern European Jews will emigrate to America through 1914.
1894 French staff officer Alfred Dreyfus is convicted of treason and imprisoned on Devil's Island in the Caribbean. He is later exonerated.
1896 Theodore Herzl founds political Zionism; First World Zionist Congress is held.
1917 Balfour Declaration pledges British support for Jewish national homeland. United States enters world War I against Germany. Russian Revolution.
1919 Jewish delegations to the Paris Peace Conference after World War I seek minority rights for European Jews.
1922 British Mandate on Palestine (Land of Israel) approved by League of Nations.
1929 Arab rioters kill sixty-seven Jewish settlers in Hebron, British Mandate Palestine.
1931 Three million Jews live in Poland, making it the largest Jewish population outside the U.S.
1933 Rise of Adolph Hitler. German Nazis proclaim general boycott of all Jewish businesses.
1935 Germans pass Nuremberg Laws restricting legal and civil rights of German Jews.
1939 Germany invades Poland, starting World War II. Steamship St. Louis, carrying 907 Jewish German refugees, is turned back by U.S. and Cuba. U.S. Jewish population estimated at 4,770,000.
1940 Nazis establish ghettos in Poland.
1941 Einsatzgruppen (special units) follow German troops into Soviet Union, perpetuating systematic murder.
1942 Nazi leaders refine the "Final Solution"—the genocide of the Jewish people—at Wannsee Conference.
1945 Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal estimates that 6,000,000 Jews have been murdered by the Nazis.
1947 Ancient scrolls, some dating from 22 B.C.E., are discovered at Qumram near the Dead Sea. UN approves partition of British Mandate Palestine into Jewish and Arab states.
1948 Israel is founded as a nation and is recognized by the United States.
1950s Hundreds of thousands of Jews from Europe and Arab lands come to Israel.
1956 Sinai campaign by Israel, France, and England.
1960 Adolph Eichmann stands trial in Israel for crimes against the Jews and humanity during WorId War II.
1967 Israel is victorious over Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq in Six Day War.
1969 Golda Meir elected Prime Minister of Israel.
1970 Soviet Jews agitate for right to emigrate.
1973 Egypt and Syria attack Israel on the Day of Atonement, starting the Yom Kippur War, which Israel wins.
1978 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty.
1985 Operation Moses, airlift of Ethiopian Jews to Israel.
1987 Uprising of Palestinian Arabs, known as the Intifada, begins on Judea, Samaria (West Bank) and Gaza.
1989 Soviet Union permits Jews to emigrate on their first application for visa.
1991 Breakup of Soviet Union leads to rise of nationalism and outbreaks of anti-Semitism.
1992 Operation Solomon brings almost all Ethiopian Jews to Israel.
1993 Israel signs Agreement with the PLO.
1994 Israel-Jordanian Peace Treaty.