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1919 January 7, SEMANA TRAGICA / WEEK OF TRAGEDY ( Argentina)

After a general strike, the police and army were called in. The wealthy class, many of whom belonged to the white guard (Guardia Blanca) , blamed Jews, especially recent Jewish Russian immigrants, for the unrest. A pogrom ensued leaving many dead and wounded.

1945 July 1, SHE'ERIT HA-PELETAH (surviving remnant) (Germany)

A conference was organized with 94 representatives of Jewish DPs from all the zones at the St. - Ottilien Camp in Germany. Among their demands was the establishment of a Jewish state and Jewish participation in the peace negotiations. The group, which also called itself the Central Committee of Liberated Jews, had first met in Feldafing a month earlier. Although at first they succeeded in putting political issues aside, by October many including the Zionist formed their own groups within the central committee.


Was published. Written in Yiddish by Menahem Mann ben Solomon ha-Levi Amelander, it was the most important and original Jewish historical work of the 18th century. It began with the destruction of the Second Temple in 72 CE and ended in 1740. Another chapter was added after his death. It incorporated valuable information regarding Jewish life in Holland, Poland and Germany. He also included the story of the discovery of America, and details about the Jews of India and Cochin.

1863 - 1920 S. ANSKY (Solomon Rapoport) (Russia)

Yiddish short story writer, playwright, and folklorist. His fame stems from his play "The Dybbuk". During World War I he helped set up self-defense forces in Kiev.


The chief representative in Eastern Europe for the Joint, held a press conference. He estimated that the Nazis had already killed 250,000 Jews in the Ukraine and that the Jews of Slovakia would probably begin to be deported very soon. Their deportations actually began within a few weeks.

882 - 942 (26 Iyar 4702) SA'ADIA (Sa'adia Gaon) BEN JOSEPH (Babylon)

Born in Egypt, he moved to Babylon in 928 to head the academy at Sura. He revived the waning influence of the academy and wrote on many subjects, including grammar, halacha and philosophy. As one of the foremost opponents of Karaism, he wrote the exposition Emunot Vedeot, which became very popular. A grave conflict arose between Sa'adia and the Exilarch David ben Zaccai when he refused to endorse a judgment of the Exilarch's court in which Ben Zaccai was an interested party. The issue was not settled for many years and demonstrated Sa'adia's unyielding defense of his principles. He was subsequently expelled and moved to Baghdad. On Purim 937, the opponents were reconciled, and a few years later Sa'adia adopted Ben Zaccai's orphan grandchildren.

1291 March, SAAD AD-DAULA ( Mongol Empire-Persia)

Physician to the Mongolian khan Argun (1284-91. Appointed viser and minister of finance in 1288, he soon uncovered corruption which he duly reported. This earned him the enmity of many Muslims and some of the Mongol generals. In March 1291 while the sultan was gravely ill, they used the opportunity to confiscate all of his property, execute him together with many of his family, selling women and children as slaves. Moslems also attacked local Jewish populations.

1823 - 1897 SABATO MORAIS (Italy-USA)

Hazzan, rabbi and reformist. He broke with the Pittsburgh Platform (see 1885) and formed his own more traditional branch of Judaism. He was a professor of Bible at Maimonides College in Philadelphia and one of the founders of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.


King Jezdegerd II (Yazdegerd II) (r. 438-457), under the influence of the Zoroastrian priests decided to ban Sabbath observance. After strong protests the proclamation was rescinded.


Linked the Amoraic and Geonic periods. Sabara means opinion, hence the opinion makers. The exact dates of this period are in dispute. It probably started with Mar Jose and ended with Mar Isaac. During this time the Talmud was edited and Midrashic literature and liturgical poetry developed. Although the text itself wasn't changed, topics were edited and some, such as sacrifices which were currently not relevant, were de-emphasized. The Saboraim were skillful stylists who produced smoothly flowing presentations.

1502 - 1736 SAFAVID DYNASTIES (Persia)

Under its first Shah Ismail I brought Shia (Shiite) Muslim rule to Persia. All non Muslims are now considered unclean. Jews are forbidden to coming into any physical contact with Muslims.

1948 May 10, SAFED (Eretz Israel) E

After a difficult battle with house to house fighting, and the use of the Davidka, the Palmach succeeded in taking the city and the Metzudah ("fortress"). The Arab population fled. This enabled the Jewish Forces to take control of a continuous area in eastern and Upper Galilee.

1759 October 31, SAFED (Eretz Israel)

A massive earthquake destroys much of the city killing 2000 people with 190 Jews among the dead.


The Jewish community was attacked by Druze rebels. Ostensibly fighting against Ibrahim Pasha (see 1831), they attacked and defeated the Egyptian garrison outside Safed. The Jewish community was then singled out for 3 days of pillage.

1517 January 24, SAFED ATTACKED

During the conflict between the Mamluks and the Ottoman Turks over control of the area, the Jewish community was attacked by retreating Mameluke forces and local Arabs. Many Jews were killed and their homes plundered. The Jews of Egypt under Rabbi Nissan Bibas helped the victims and the rehabilitation of the town. The Jews in Hebron were attacked as well. Most fled to Beirut, not returning for the next 16 years.

C. 786 - C. 845 SAHL IBN BISHR AL-ISRAILI (Rabban al-Tabari), ( Tabaristan, Northern Iran)

Early Jewish astrologer, astronomer and mathematician Sahl is believed to be the first to translate Ptolemy's Almagest , on motions of the stars and planetary paths, into Arabic.


A well known and still respected Syriac Christian poet and theologian .Over 400 of his hymns are still in existence. He wrote a quite a few of anti-Jewish hymns ( e.g. Hymns of the Unleavened Bread, Carmina Nisibena) which were incorporated into the Syriac and Orthodox church. Recognized as a " Doctor of the Church", he called on his fellow Christians to;" Avoid the Jew… Your death and blood is nothing much to him!... he tramps around the ocean and the land to find companions for the road to Hell." The Prayer of Saint Ephrem, is still recited at every service during Lent and other fasting periods in Eastern Christianity. He is also honored with a feast day by the Episcopal Church (USA) on June 10.There was also a pseudo-Ephram fifty years later who continued fulminations against the Jews including ; " He who eats with a Jew, shall not inherit life in the afterworld."


Conquered Egypt and began the Ayyubid dynasty which lasted until 1250. Although once again non-Moslems were discriminated against, Jewish intellectual life flourished with more than 7000 Jewish families, among them Maimonides.

1187 October 2, SALADIN (Eretz Israel)

Recaptured Jerusalem after 88 years and granted Jews permission to re-enter it.

1186 SALADIN TAX (England)

A tithe for the Third Crusade. Jews were taxed 10,000 marks or 25% of their income and personal property worth, while Christian (non-Crusaders) were taxed 10% of their property alone.

1587 - 1643 SALAMONE DE ROSSI (Italy)

The leading Jewish composer of the late Italian Renaissance and the musical director to the Ducal court of Mantua. He was an innovator of polyphonic music and the most noted Italian-Jewish musician of his time. He had his own orchestra which was invited by Alessandro, Duke of Mirandola, as "the Jew Salamone and his company". His most famous compositions are Ha-Shirim Asher li-Shelomo, 33 pieces of traditional Hebrew texts, and other religious poems for the synagogue service.

1896 - 1989 SALO BARON (Austria-USA)

Historian and Scholar. Baron received doctorates in law, philosophy, and political science as well as rabbinical ordination. Although a prolific author, he is chiefly famed for his 17 volume A Social and Religious History of the Jews which relates to social history rather then concentrating on personalities.

1896 - 1989 SALO BARON (Galicia-USA)

Known as probably the greatest Jewish historian of the 20th century. He collaborated with his wife Jeannette on many of his books including his magnum opus, A Social and Religious History of the Jews . He was ordained by the Jewish Theological seminary in Vienna and held three doctorates.

1804 - 1890 SALOMON SULZER (Austria)

"Father of Modern Hazzanut and Synagogue Music". The first to call himself cantor instead of Hazzan, he was a friend of Franz Shubert and one of the first to interpret Shubert's music.

1943 March 15, SALONIKA (Greece)

The first transport 2,800 Jews left for Auschwitz under the direction of Eichmann's deputy, Dieter Wisliceny. By August 7, the last of the 19 transports left Salonika. Of the 46,091 Jews deported, only only 2,469 survived. Wisliceny, who also served in Greece and Hungary, later surrendered to the Allies, presenting them with invaluable evidence. He was hanged in Bratislava in 1948. By the end of the war, out of 77,000 Greek Jews, 60,000 were murdered during the Holocaust.

1940 July 28, SALZBURG CONFERENCE (Austria)

Was held to reach an agreement on establishing a National Socialist regime in Slovakia. The conference included Hitler, the Slovak leaders, Father Josef Tiso, Vojtech Tuka (later prime minister and minister of foreign affairs), Alexander (Sano) Mach (head of the Hilnka guards and later Minister of the Interior) and the leader of the local German minority (Karpaten-Deutsche), Franz Karmasin. Two State Agencies, the Center Office of the Economy and Department 14 of the Ministry of the Interior were set up do deal with "Jewish affairs" including deportation. Tuka was executed in 1946, Mach, who was responsible for many of the deportations, was sentenced to 30 years but later released.

1947 October 21, SAMIR RIFAI

The Prime Minister of Jordan state in an interview, “the Jews … were responsible for starting the two world wars” .


Published his Nineteen letters of Ben Uziel. This short work was written as an exchange of letters answering basic questions about Judaism. The Letters became very popular and was translated into many languages.

1808 - 1888 (27 Tevet 5658) SAMSON RAPHAEL HIRSCH (Germany)

Father of traditional Jewish orthodoxy in the " modern" world. As rabbi of Frankfurt, he formulated his philosophy which stressed that tradition could satisfy modern society without losing orthodoxy. His vast works include his philosophical Horeb and Nineteen Letters of Ben Uziel, and his commentaries on the Bible, the Psalms and the Siddur. He was a staunch opponent of the Reform movement in Germany.

1658 - 1724 SAMSON WERTHEIMER ( Germany - Austria)

Rabbi, philanthropist and court Jew. Wertheimer , a friend of Samuel Oppenheimer (see 1630), served both Leopold I and his son Joseph I. As a Jewish scholar he held the title as chief Rabbi of Moravia and Hungary, presided over the Rabbinical court, and answered many halachic question posed to him by various communities. He was renowned for his generosity, scrupulously giving 10% of his money to charity and setting up foundations in both Vienna and Jerusalem . Wertheimer intervened whenever possible in defending his co-religionists ( see Entdecktes Judenthum 1700).

247 SAMUEL (Babylon)

Samuel became the acknowledged leader of the Jewish community in Babylon. A friend and colleague of Rav, he lived and taught in Nahardea where he was head of the academy. He was also an astronomer who composed a fixed calendar. He did not publish it, however, out of respect for the Patriarchate in Eretz Israel. In monetary and civil matters his rulings were accepted as binding. He also instructed Jews to adopt the laws of whichever land they dwelt in (Dina d'malchuta Dina), thus preparing them for survival in foreign environments. He served for only seven years.

1775 - 1816 SAMUEL (Dutch Sam) ELIAS

Boxing champion and originator of the "uppercut". Though famous throughout his career, he died a pauper plagued with boxing-derived illnesses.

1943 May 12, SAMUEL (SHMUEL) (ARTHUR) ZYGELEBOYM (London, England)

A member of the Bund, who committed suicide after reading the reports of the Bermuda Conference. Zygelboym had been trying to get official recognition of Nazi atrocities, especially after meeting Jan Karski, the Polish underground courier. He left a note explaining that his suicide was a protest against the inaction of the Western Allies.

1805 - 1889 SAMUEL ALATRI (Rome, Italy)

Led the battle for Jewish freedom in Italy during the Risorgimento (Resurrection) Period (of Mazzini, 1834). Even Gregory XVI was forced to call him "Our Cicero".

1859 - 1938 SAMUEL ALEXANDER (Australia-England)

Born in Australia, he proved himself a brilliant student and became the first Jew to be awarded a fellowship to Oxford, England. His was considered one of the greatest philosophical minds of the twentieth century. Alexander's most important work is entitled Space, Time and Deity.


Talmudist and philosopher and mystic. he is also known as Ha-Kadosh ( the Holy one). He is considered the forerunner of the German "Hasidic pietist movement", later expanded and led by his son Judah ( see 1150).

1085 - 1174 SAMUEL BEN MEIR (The Rashbam) (France)

Grandson of Rashi. He wrote a commentary of the Bible and Talmud, adhering more closely to the literal translation than did Rashi. In certain sections of the Talmud where Rashi's commentary is unavailable, the Rashbam's is substituted.


The Spanish financier, diplomat and Jewish leader was arrested by King Pedro without any reason being given. He was tortured to death and all his great wealth was confiscated by the king. His house still stands today as the El Greco museum.

1506 - 1589 SAMUEL BEN MOSES DE MEDINA (Thessaloniki)

Known as the RaShDaM. One of the great halachic authorities whose decisions are still quoted today. He published more than 1000 responsa.

1197 February 3, SAMUEL BEN NATRONAI (Nuess, Germany)

Rabbi, scholar and the son-in-law of R. Eliezer b. Natan (RABaN) was tortured and killed along with six other Jews after a Christian girl was killed. Five days later the mother of the man, who was known to be unstable, and her brother were also seized. The mother was buried alive, and her brother tortured to death. A large amount of silver was paid to Archbishop Adolf of Altenau and others to allow the dead to be buried.

1634 July 29, SAMUEL COHEN (Curacao)

Landed together with the Dutch fleet captain Johannes van Walbeeck who captured the island from Spain. Cohen served as the interpreter, and was the first Jew to reach Curacao.

1506 - 1589 (2 Cheshvan 5350) SAMUEL Di MEDINA (The Maharashdam) (Salonika, Greece)

Rabbi, leader and one of the outstanding Halachic authorities of his time. Although Medina suffered from both financial difficulties and health problems, he established a Yeshiva in Salonika which was supported by Donna Gracia Mendes. His fame was such that many of his Halachic decisions (over 1000 were published) were also accepted in Eastern Europe.

1555 - 1631 (5 Kislev 5392) SAMUEL ELIEZER AIDLES (Edels) (The Maharsha) (Cracow, Poland)

Born 1555 in Cracow. Also known as the Maharsha, he is one of the best known talmudic commentators. His Chidushei Halachot is included in almost every publication of the Talmud. He believed that many of the Aggadot (talmudic legends) could be explained rationally and as parables. Aidles also served as the chief rabbi in Lublin and Ostrog. He was known by his mother-in-law's name, Aidel, who supported him and other scholars for many years.

1879 August 17, - 1974 SAMUEL GOLDWYN (Goldfish) (Poland-USA)

Film producer began by working in a glove factory. Forming a filmmaking partnership in 1913 with brother-in-law Jesse L. Lasky and Cecil B. de Mille, their first venture was The Squaw Man. He eventually formed Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and produced films which included Porgy and Bess, Guys and Dolls, and The Best Years Of Our Lives. He was also famous for his fractured use of the English language which became known as Goldwynisms with such gems as "Include me out", "We are dealing with facts and not realities", and I'll give you a definite maybe."

1881 SAMUEL GOMPERS (1850-1924) (London-USA)

A Sephardic Jew, he founded the Federation of Unions, the forerunner of the American Federation of Labor. During the first four years he refused a salary and sold cigars to support his family. He later accepted one hundred dollars a month as a stipend.

1913 - 2006 SAMUEL GRUBER ( Poland)

Partisan leader. Gruber had served in the Polish army and was captured by the Germans at the outbreak of the war. He was sent to Majdanek and there while working in a supply center succeeded in stealing weapons. On October 28, 1942, he convinced a number of people to join him in fleeing the area, changed his name to Mietek and founded one of the more successful a partisan units . After the war he emigrated to the United States He wrote the book ''I Chose Life''.

1806 - 1860 SAMUEL HOLDHEIM (Poland-Germany)

Radical Reform leader. Holdheim totally divorced Judaism from nationalism and changed the Sabbath to Sunday. In his book Ueber die Autonomie der Rabbinen und das Prinzip der juedischen Ehe he laid down his ideology, which included a separation of religious or ethical Judaism from nationalism. He was thus not against mixed marriages which he considered nationalist in content. He was helped by Abraham Geiger and vigorously opposed by Samson Rafael Hirsch.

990 - 1055 SAMUEL IBN NAGHRELA (Granada, Spain)

Known as Samuel ( HaLevi) Hanagid, he was a great diplomat, military adviser, scholar and poet as well as vizier to King Habus al-Muzaffar of Granada ( r.1019-1038). Ibn Naghrelas poetic works include "Ben Tehillim" (Son of Psalms), "Ben Kohelet" (Son of Ecclesiastes), and "Ben Mishlei" (Son of Proverbs), He is also the author of a Biblical Hebrew dictionary written in Arabic. Samuel Hanagid did everything in his power to encourage Jewish learning including establishing a Yeshiva ( where Maimonides father would study) , and making copies of the Talmud available to students who couldnt afford them.His son, Joseph, succeeded him for eleven years, until he was deposed during an attack on the Jews (see 1066).


Jurist and presidential advisor. Rosenman began his liberal politics helping Roosevelt when he was governor of New York. He continued in this role throughout Roosevelt's presidential terms in office. Rosenman is credited with coining the slogan, the New Deal and the term "the Brain Trust" He was especially helpful to Weizmann bringing him the information that Truman would recognize the Jewish state as long as partition was still accepted by the UN.

1888 July 17, - 1970 SAMUEL JOSEPH AGNON (Galicia-Eretz Israel)

Famous Hebrew novelist, Nobel Prize winner and writer of short stories. He portrayed Jewish life in Galicia and the yearning for a life in Eretz Israel. In addition to his novels he wrote two works of non-fiction: Yamim Noraim, an anthology on Yom Kippur, and Sefer, Sofer V'sippur, about books and authors.

1824 - 1898 (19 Sivan 5658) SAMUEL MOHILEVER (Russia)

talmudic scholar and one of the leading Orthodox rabbis of Eastern Europe. A graduate from the famous Volozhin Yeshiva, he was conversant in math, engineering, and a number of languages. Mohilever encouraged Baron Edmond de Rothschild to support the resettling of Russian families in Eretz Israel and was a mediator between the settlers and Rothschild in various disagreements which arose. He was the founder of Mizrachi, a religious Zionist organization, and one of the founders of the Hovevei Zion (Lovers of Zion, 1881).


Banker, and philanthropist. Actually born Montagu Samuel, his name was switched when he attended grade school. In addition to being a successful banker, he served in Parliament from 1885 for 15 years and was responsible for the adoption of the metric system (Weights and Measures Act). Montagu was actively involved in many projects helping the poor and founded the Jewish Workingmen's Club. He was a practicing Orthodox Jew and founded the Federation of Synagogues (1887) which united most of the smaller congregations.

1630 - 1703 SAMUEL OPPENHEIMER (Austria)

A financier, he supplied the Austrian army during their various campaigns. In 1692 he was falsely arrested by Bishop Kolbnitsch and had to buy his freedom with 500,000 florins. He was the founder of the Viennese Jewish community, receiving permission to settle there after the expulsion of 1670. He supported Jewish communities, even ransoming Jews from the Turks.

1550 - 1616 SAMUEL PALLACHE (Morocco -Netherlands)

Spy, diplomat, and pirate. Together with his brother Josef they served Muley Zaydan of Morocco(1610) and were close to the Dutch crown prince Maurice. Both had an extensive Jewish education and Samuel even studied for the Rabbinate. Pallache acted as a double agent between the Dutch / Moroccans and Spain. When the Dutch appointed him as a privateer, his crew consisted mostly of Conversos. His is said to have kept kosher on board, didnt fight on the Sabbath, and gave a 10th of his booty to charity. In 1614 he was forced to dock in England where the Spanish ambassador had him arrested but he was released and sent back to the Hague where he died of illness and in semi poverty.

1837 - 1888 SAMUEL POLIAKOFF (Russia)

Railroad Baron. He built over 2500 Km of railroads as well as founding several banks. Though he refused to hire any Jews, he did, at the end of his life, play an active role in founding ORT and helped build the synagogue in St. Petersburg.

1816 - 1909 (29 Av 5669) SAMUEL SALANT (Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem) (Eretz Israel)

The son-in-law of Joseph Salant. He arrived in Jerusalem in 1841 and proceeded to become one of the most influential figures in Eretz Israel. During his time as chief rabbi, the population of Jerusalem grew from 5000 to 30,000 Jews. Salant was behind the establishing of educational facilities which would include instruction of Arabic and Hebrew. He was one of the founders of Bikur Holim (Cholim) hospital and encouraged people to move into the "new" neighborhoods outside the old city walls.

1926 May 26, SAMUEL SCHWARZBARD (Ukraine)

Traveled to Paris to avenge his parents' death at the hands of Petlura. After days of stalking, he confronted him, shot him and surrendered to the police. He was acquitted by the court of Assizes on all charges.

1553 SAMUEL USQUE (Portugal)

Wrote ConsolaLam as TribulaLoens de Israel (Consolation for the Tribulations of Israel) in Portuguese, which he dedicated to Dona Gracia Nasi. The work is a history of the Jews based on the Bible and biblical traditions. Set as a dialogue between three shepherds, he covers the first and second Temple periods as well as the persecution of the Middle Ages.

1871 SAN DIEGO (California, USA)

Adath Jeshurun, the first synagogue in San Diego, was founded by Louis Rose. It is now called Beth Israel.

1851 October 6, (10 Tishrei 5612 Yom Kippur) SAN DIEGO (USA)

The first recorded Jewish religious observance in Southern California was held at the home of Lewis Abraham Franklin.

1710 SANDOMIERZ (Poland)

A second blood libel (see 1698), was incited by Father Stefan Żuchowski (1666-1716). The local Rabbi Jacob Herc and eight others were accused. The Rabbi died while being questioned, his son converted, and 3 others were executed It also led to the expulsion of the Jews from the city by King Augustus II. A large painting depicting a blood libel was commissioned by the church which hung the cathedral until 2006, when after many protests (mostly by recent catholic visitors) it was covered up with plywood . Żuchowski was praised for his efforts and rewarded by being appointed commissioner for Jewish affairs by the Cracow diocese. He published two influential books on ritual accusations.


Baseball player - Koufax was the youngest player ever elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He won three Cy Young Awards and pitched four no-hitters. Like Hank Greenberg, Koufax was proud of his Jewish heritage and refused to play on Yom Kippur.

1630 January 15, SANTA ENGRACIA (Lisbon, Portugal)

Simon dias Solis, a young New Christian seen near the local church (on his way to a rendezvous with a young woman) was arrested for allegedly stealing a silver vessel from the church. After his hands were cut off, he was dragged through the streets and then burned. The real culprit, a common (Christian) criminal, admitted to the crime one year later. As a result, Solis' brother, a friar, fled to Amsterdam and reconverted to Judaism.

1300 - 1350 SANTOB DE CARRION (Spain)

Famous troubadour and poet to Don Pedro and his predecessor, Alfonso X.

1592 - 1641 SARA COPIA SULLAM (Italy)

Poet and writer. She spoke Hebrew, Italian, Greek, and Latin. Copia Sullam became friendly with Ansaldo Ceb a famed monk and author of LEster. He eventually professed his love for her and urged her leave her husband and covert. Despite her admiration for him, she refused him on both counts. In 1621, she was accused of not believing in the immortality of the soul, which is considered heresy. She defended herself in "The Manifesto of Sara Copia Sulam". None of her Christian admirers or friends spoke out for her.

1326 August 28, SARA DE SANCTO AEGIDIO (St. Gilles France)

A physician, signed a teacher-student contract with, Salvetus de Burgonoro. She was to teach him for seven months and provide room and board. In return all income during his apprenticeship was to go to her. Her late husband Abraham, had also been a physician. This was unusual not only in the fact that she was a physician, but that she was recognized as a teacher of medicine.

1946 March 6, SARAFAND ARMY CAMP ARMORY (Eretz Israel)

Was raided. Irgun fighters were disguised as British soldiers and two of them, Yosef Simchon and Michael Ashbel, were captured. Both were sentenced to be hanged. On June 18, 1946, the Irgun captured five British officers and warned that they would be hanged in return. The death sentence was commuted.

1890 - 1917 SARAH AARONSOHN (Eretz Israel)

Jewish patriot and heroine. In 1915 she witnessed the Turkish massacre of Armenians, an experience which may have triggered her joining her brother Aaron in NILI's (see 1915) spy operations against the Turks. In 1917 on a visit to Egypt she was warned by the British not to return to Eretz Israel, but she refused to comply. Upon her arrival, she warned the members of NILI to disband but remained at home in Zichron Yaakov so as to allay any suspicion. She was arrested by the Turkish military authorities on October l of the same year. After three days of torture, and fearing that she may reveal information, she managed to shoot and kill herself.


A celebrated actress, she was the leading lady of the "Comedie Francaise". She was noted for her roles in plays by Racine and Sardou. Though her parents baptized her when she was a child, she remained proud of her Jewish heritage.

1838 - 1937 SARAH FRANKEL STERNBERG (Chenciny, Poland)

Religious leader who took over for her husband Hayyim Samuel Sternberg a his death. Hayyim Samuel Sternberg was Hasidic leader and student of the "Seer of Lublin".

1346 SARAH OF TURNOVO (Bulgaria)

Was taken by Czar Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria (r.1331-1371) as his wife, after forcing his first wife into a nunnery. Sarah converted and took the name Theodora. She was evidently beautiful and intelligent. There is a controversy as to whether she had any part in instigating the 1360 anti heresy ( and anti-Jewish) synod in Veliko Turnovo.

1419 SARAH OF WUERZBURG (Bavaria, Germany)

Received a license from Archbishop Johann II von Nassau (1396-1419) to practice medicine, making her one of the few women allowed to do so. Other Jewish women physicians during this age included Sarah La Migresse, Sara de Saint Gilles and Rebekah Zerlin of Frankfort. For the most part, women were limited to helping other women.

1941 April 17, SARAJEVO (Bosnia,Yugoslavia)

The Germans destroyed the Sephardic synagogue, considered one of the most beautiful synagogues in the Balkans.

1848 March 29, SARDINIA

Carlo Alberto granted full rights to the Jews.


Founded by Ardusher I (Artaxerxes)(r.224-241). Despite occasional outbursts of Zoroaster fanaticism and persecution, Jews were welcomed by Ardusher and Jewish schools of learning were encouraged. This open atmosphere helped create the great centers of Torah study.

1672 September 23, SATANOW (Poland)

One of the few Polish towns to have escaped harm was captured by the Cossacks.

1915 June 10, - 1992 SAUL BELLOW (Canada-USA)

Novelist and Nobel laureate. In 1965, Mr. Bellow was awarded the International Literary Prize for Herzog, becoming the first American to receive the prize. His book, Humbolts Gift won the Pulitzer Prize in 1975 and Bellow was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1976. Many of Bellows novels have Jewish themes to them, among them, The Victim, Adventures of Augie March, and To Jerusalem and Back. He also edited Great Jewish Short Stories.

1875 - 1943 SAUL TCHERNICHOWSKY (Russia-Eretz Israel)

Hebrew Zionist poet and considered one of the fathers of modern Hebrew poetry. He was noted for his secular humanistic tendencies in modern Jewish nationalism. Tchernichowsky, who studied medicine, served as an army surgeon during World War I and later as a medical inspector of schools in Eretz Israel. He added much to the Hebrew terminology in botany and anatomy. He also edited a dictionary of Hebrew medical terms (1931) Sefer ha-Munnahim L'Refu'ah U'Le-Madda'ei ha-Teva (The Book of Medical and Scientific Terms) and settled in Erez Israel. He was fluent in many languages including Latin and Greek and he translated into Hebrew Homer's Iliad and the Odyssey as well as Sophocles' Oedipus Rex and Shakespeare's Twelfth night and Macbeth.

1495 December 26, SAVONAROLA (Italy)

Expelled the Medici and the Jews from Florence. The Jews, who had previously served as the Medici's bankers, were replaced by the Monte di Pieta, a public loan bank.

1868 December 3, SAXONY (Germany)

One of the last German states to give Jews full legal equality. Jews had been living in Saxony since the 10th century in towns like Magdeburg, Halle, and Erfurt. It was only one year before the inauguration of the North German confederation that they were given equality.

1906 - 1966 SAYYID QUTB

Author, radical Islamist ideologue, and a leading advocate of the Moslem Brotherhood. In his book “Our Struggle with the Jews”, he based his anti-Semitism on the foundations of the religious traditions of Islam. After plotting to assassinate Nasser, he was arrested and executed. One of his students was Ayman Zawahiri, a mentor of Osama bin Laden and a leading member of al-Qaeda.

1872 May 6, SCHOOL FOR JEWISH LEARNING (Berlin, Germany)

A center for the scientific study of Judaism and a liberal rabbinical seminary was established. Also known as the Juedische Hochschule, it was formed by Ludwig Philipsson. He engaged such personalities as Abraham Geiger, David Cassel (history), and Israel Lewy (Talmud critic) as teachers.

1830 October 18, SEARCHING FOR THE TEN TRIBES (Safed)

Israel of Shklov officially delegates Baruch ben Samuel of Pinsk to search for the lost ten tribes. He seems to have received support from leading Rabbis in Europe, including the Gaon of Pinsk and Rabbi Akiva Eger. He was financed by among others, Zvi Hersh Lehren (1784-1853 head of the clerks organization of the holy land ( pekidim v'amarkalim ) in Amsterdam. Baruch was murdered by Yemini Iman Yahya on January 12 1834.


Granted Jews freedom to emigrate in return for a fee of 250,000 ducats. Many decided to leave.


Under the guidance of Inquisitor John De Mello, In all 32 people were penanced, 9 strangled and burned, and 21 sentenced to death in absentia. By the following year it had become routine at Lisbon, Evora , Tomar, Lamego and Oporto.

1904 - 1914 SECOND ALIYAH (Eretz Isreal)

With the fresh outbreak of mass pogroms in Eastern Europe, a second wave of immigration to Eretz Israel began. Unlike the First Aliyah, which believed in private agricultural enterprise, these formed the basis for the communal life and the foundation of the Kibbutz and Moshav movements. Approximately 35,000 new immigrants arrived bringing the population to about 90,000 before the outbreak of WWI. At the same time (between 1881 and 1914) 2.5 million Jews emigrated from Eastern Europe.


The Russian government arrested 70 participants. Many were exiled.

1146 SECOND CRUSADE (Germany)

Started led by Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany. Rudolph the Monk incited massacres along the Rhine, including demolishing the town of Wurzberg. (Rationale - it didn't make sense to go all the way to the Holy Land to kill the infidel while leaving them safe and snug at home. This also insured that they had the virtue of fighting an "infidel" without having to face the expense and danger of a long journey, or an armed enemy who could fight back.) An additional factor was the new group of Christian merchants eager to rid themselves of Jewish competition. Since they were forbidden to own land, Jews were forced into money lending - formerly a Church business. The effects of this were felt for centuries and became part of anti-Semitic tradition.

1944 August 1, SECOND WARSAW UPRISING (Poland)

As the Russians approached the Vistula river, the National Armed Force (NSZ) called for a revolt against the Germans. Thousands of Jews who had been hiding in the Aryan section tried to join but were rejected outright and in many cases attacked. Yitzhak Zuckerman did succeed in leading a Jewish Fighters Unit. Others joined Polish resistance groups such as Armia Krajowa (Home Army) and the Armia Ludowa (People's Army).


The Jewish population of the United States rose from 10,000 to 250,000. (From 1830-1870 mostly German Jews arrived.)


An aggadic midrash (written between the 4th and 6th century) appeared predicting that the Messiah would soon appear to free the Jews from their misery.It is extant in two versions a Hebrew one and a Christian (Coptic) one. It also known and the "Apocalypse of Elijah".

C. 150 SEFER OLAM RABBAH (Eretz Israel)

Was written by Jose b. Halafta. R' Jose, who was one of Rabbi Akiva's gifted students, lived in Sepphoris where he became the head of the Beit Din. His Sefer Olam Rabbah (The Great book of the World) was written in three parts: Part one - from creation to Moses; Part two - from Joshua to Zechariah; and Part three - from the murder of Zechariah until the Bar Kochba revolt. Although there are historical discrepancies (especially in the Persian period), it was of vast importance as a chronological framework of biblical history

1474 May 16, SEGOVIA (Spain)

Minister Pacheco used an attack he organized against "New Christians" as a diversion in an attempt to capture the citadel of Segovia (and perhaps the King). Although the plot was discovered in time, the Conversos were attacked anyway by an organized mob. Men, woman and children were murdered.

1937 December 15, SEGREGATION ( Poland)

Fifteen Roman Catholic bishops called for the legal segregation of Jewish children in Polish schools.


By Umar ibn Hafsun (c.850-917) who led the anti-Umayyad revolt in Spain . He succeeded in conquering most of the cities in Andalusia except Lucena which was almost exclusively Jewish . Its original name was Eliossana, from the Hebrew Eli Hoshanna " God Save us". Lucena succeed in withstanding the attacks and eventually the rebels gave up. The city was known for its scholars was soon to include Isaac Alfasi who founded a major yeshiva there as well as Isaac ibn Ghiyyat, Isaac (ben Baruch) ibn Albalia, and Joseph ibn Migash.


New constitution prohibited Jews from being tax collectors. They could also no longer deal in trade without a special license, from the king or the city council.

1891 SELAH MERRILL (Jerusalem)

The American consul to Jerusalem wrote "Jews and Jewish Colonies in Palestine”. This in response to a request by the state department regarding the Blackstone memorial. In it he suggested that " The Jews need to learn their place". What the Jews wanted, he believed, wasn’t land to colonize, but cities “where they can live on the fortunes or the misfortunes of other people.” He blamed Russian anti-Semitism on the behavior of the Jews. Merrill served as the consul to Jerusalem on and off between 1882 and 1907.

1944 July 19, SELAHETTIN ULKUMEN (Rhodes)

The Moslem Turkish council, demanded that the Germans release all Turkish (including former Turkish) citizens, and their families. Forty two Jews were given the protection of the Turkish consulate. In retaliation, the Germans bombed the consulate resulting in the death of his wife. Ulkumen (1914-2003) was deported to Piraeus until the end of the war. In 1990 he was awarded the title of Righteous among the Nations by Yad Vashem which changed the avenue of Righteous Christians, to Righteous Gentiles because of him.

1574 SELIM II DIED (Ottoman Empire)

The Ottoman Empire began to decay and the situation of its Jews deteriorated.


The Seljuk's (a Turkish tribe) made a pact with the Abbasid rulers, whereby they would maintain much of the control of the East. The Seljuk's were strictly orthodox Moslems who believed in strengthening Islamic rule and law, while at the same time humiliating non-Moslems. They often destroyed churches and synagogues. The Crusades were partly a result of their harassment of pilgrims. Soon after the occupation of Jerusalem the talmudic Academy moved to Tyre.

1942 January 16, SENITSA VERSHOVSKY (Ukraine)

The mayor of the city of Kremenchug was shot for protecting Jews. Kremenchug had over 30,000 Jews before the war, who made up over 40% of the population.

203 SEPPHORIS (TZIPORI) (Eretz Israel)

Judah HaNasi moved the seat of learning from Beth Shearim to Seppohris, mainly for health reasons.

1941 September 8, SERBIA (Yugoslavia)

Felix Benzler and Edmund Veesenmayer, high ranking German officials, demanded that the Foreign Office help them get rid of the 8000 Jews in the Belgrade ghetto, proposing that they be sent down the Danube to Romania. Foreign Minister Ribbentrop replied that it was unacceptable to unload Jews on Romanian territory without their permission. Martin Luther, the head of Special Department DIII also responded, telling them to handle it themselves as "the Military commander is responsible for the elimination of those 8000 Jews." In reality, over 2000 had already been killed. Each day groups of 100-300 Jews, were taken out to "work in the fields" near Jajinci and shot. In less then a year Serbia was "Jew Free."

720 SERENE (aka Serenus) (Babylon)

A recent convert was discovered to having seduced a local Jewish girl. Offended by the reaction, he decided to take revenge by pretending to be the messiah. He requested that people give him their wealth so that he could prepare a march to the holy land. He also urged that the Talmud be abolished. Caliph Yezid, Omar's successor, arrested this "Messiah" and handed him over to the Jews in Pumbedita for punishment. Natronai ben Nehemia (Gaon) urged the Jewish community to readmit their brethren into the fold. They eventually did so, though they were initially reluctant.

1874 - 1951 SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY (Russia)

Eminent composer and conductor. He organized his own symphony orchestra in Moscow. He left for Paris and finally Boston where he was appointed director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

1942 April 13, SERGEANT ANTON SCHMID (Lithuania)

Serving in the Wermacht was executed by the Nazis. Schmid was accused of disobeying orders after saving over 250 Jews near Vilna. In 1964 he was awarded the title "Righteous Among the Nations" by the Israeli government. In May 2000, the German government renamed a military base, Feldwebel Anton Schmid Kaserne, in his honor.

1898 - 1948 SERGEI EISENSTEIN (Russia)

Russian film director. An architect by training, he joined the Russian Revolution. His first film was in 1924 Strike but it was his next film which propelled him into film history with The Battleship Potemkin. He was constantly having to fight Soviet politics, often having parts of his films re-edited (October), or even withheld (Ivan the Terrible) if it did not meet Stalin's approval. His classic films included The General Line, Alexander Nevsky and Ivan the Terrible.


Published the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in his book Velikoe e Malom (The Great in the Small). The protocols deal with an alleged "secret" plot by the wise Jews to enslave the Christian world. In reality (as revealed by the London Times in 1921), the book was a plagiarized version of a lampoon on Napoleon by Maurice Jely published in 1864. Despite this, the book has been reprinted in almost every language. In Germany it was treated as the Gospel and British troops carried it into Eretz Israel in 1947. It was circulated in Poland (1966) and an Arab version appeared in 1967.

746 January 18, - 749 SERIES OF MAJOR EARTHQUAKES (Eretz Israel)

Were reported over these three years .The focus was the in Judean desert, the rift valley, Jordan valley and Jerusalem. Another major earthquake hit the region two years later (see 749).


Was attacked by partisans led by Haim Vito Volterra. Several hundred Jews were able to escape. This was the only time in Western Europe that Jewish and non-Jewish partisans joined in attacking a Jewish concentration camp.


King Egica believed rumors that the Jews in North Africa had conspired to ally themselves with the Moslem invaders. He therefore declared that all Jewish children over the age of seven should be taken from their homes and raised as Christians. In towns where Jews were deemed indispensable to the economy, this law was not applied.

1480 September 17, SEVILLE (Spain)

Two Dominican friars were commissioned by Pope Sixtus to begin "investigations" into heresy charges against the conversos in Spain. The first order was for all noblemen to denounce lapsed conversos to the Inquisition. Between 1481 and 1488, approximately 700 men and women were burned at the stake, and approximately 5000 were forced to "repent."


Sephardic boys school, opened in London. It originally only taught Hebrew subjects, but added English and math in 1736.

913 - 982 SHABBETAI (Abraham) DONNOLO (Italy)

Earliest Jewish author on medicine. His manuscript, Sepher Hamirkachot (or Sefer Hayakar) (Book of Remedies), is based on vegetarian preparations in the Greek tradition. Despite his reputation, his friend St. Nilus refused to use his medicine lest it be said that a Jew cured him. Donnolo was also a noted astrologer and composed a commentary on the mystical Sepher Yetzirah (Book of Creation) called Tachkemoni in which he discussed the mystical significance of the Hebrew letters as well his reasons against discussing the "image of God".

1621 - 1663 (1 Adar I 5422) SHABBETAI BEN MEIR HACOHEN (Vilna, Lithuania)

One of the most well known and important commentators on the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah) in which he explained and clarified rather than criticized Joseph Caro. His work is called Siftei Hacohen (Lips of the Priest) or the Shach for short. A lively competition developed between him and David ben Shmuel Halevy (1586), author of the commentary Turei Zahav (Taz). Each wrote replies and rebuttals to the other's works. Most of the Polish/Lithuanian rabbis ruled according to the Shach while those of Germany went according to David Halevy. He and Yom Tov Heller wrote litanies for those killed by Chmielniki (1648), which he described in his Megillat Eichah (1651). He fled Vilna in 1655 and became a rabbi in Moravia.

1626 - 1676 SHABBETAI ZEVI (Ottoman Empire)

Born in Smyrna of Spanish immigrants, he started learning Kabbalah at a young age and became ascetic. Nathan of Gaza helped him convince himself that he was the Messiah, a fact which he proclaimed in 1648. He soon built up a large following. When forced by the Sultan to choose between conversion or death, he became a Moslem. Some still believed in him and founded a sect called the Donmah in Salonica. So ended a period of tragic hope, whose repercussions were felt for many years to come.

1665 May 31, SHABBETAI ZEVI (Ottoman Empire)

Under the coaching of Nathan of Gaza, he proclaimed himself the Messiah.

1666 September 14, SHABBETAI ZEVI (Ottoman Empire)

The Sultan, aware that by killing Shabbetai Zevi would turn him into a martyr, "convinced" Zevi that converting to Islam was in his best interest. On this day, he was brought before the Sultan where be took off his Jewish head dress and replaced it with Turkish turban. The repercussions of his conversion sent shock waves throughout the Jewish world and were to be felt for many years. Some of his followers claimed that it wasn't really him who converted. Others professed that, by going to Islam to redeem them as well, he had proved that he was the Messiah.

1641 (22 Tamuz 5478) - 1718 SHABBTAI BEN JOSEPH (BASS) (Kalish - Prague, Bohemia)

Scholar, publisher and printer, he was also fluent on Latin. Known as the father of the Hebrew bibliography, he was the author of Siftei Yeshainim (Lips of the Sleepers) containing over 2000 categorized titles. A biblical commentator and scholar of repute, his Siftei Chachamim ( Lips of the Sages) a concise analysis of Rashi is printed today in most Bibles with commentaries. Shabbtai fought to set up a printing house and finally succeeded in doing so near Breslau. He was jailed numerous times when accused by local Church leaders of printing anti-Christian material. His printing house, founded in 1689, lasted for over 150 years. One of the reasons for his name was the beauty of his voice. He was also known as "The Singer ( Meshorer ), for his part in the choir of the Altneuschul in Prague .

1920 March 26, SHABELSKY-BORK (Germany)

A supporter of the "Protocols", he tried to assassinate Pavel Milyukov (former leader of the Cadets, who fled Russia in 1918) at a meeting of Russian refugees. Instead, he killed Vladimir Nabokov and was sentenced to fourteen years in prison. After serving for a short time, he was released and befriended by Alfred Rosenberg, the "Nazi philosopher".

1661 SHAH ABBAS II (Persia)

Five years after he forcibly converted or expelled the Jews, he reversed his decision. This was mainly due to the loss of revenues previously collected from Jews ( Jizya). He allowed them to return to openly practice Judaism in return for them resuming the payment of the poll tax and wear a distinctive mark on their clothing.

1619 November 21, SHAH ABBASI (Sufi Dynasty, Persia)

Intensified persecution against the Jews. Many were forced to live "Marrano-like" lives, outwardly practicing Islam. This policy was continued by his son, Abbas II.


Convened the first Persian Parliament promising more rights (although not equality) for minorities. Unfortunately, the Shah died soon after and most of the reforms were never enacted.

1720 - 1777 (10 Shvat 5537) SHALOM SHARABI (Ha-Reshash or Ha-Shemesh) (Yemen-Eretz Israel)

Jerusalem Rabbi and Kabbalist. Sharabi became head of the famous Bet El Kabbalist Yeshiva ( see 1737), succeeding Gedaliah Hayon (its founder) in 1751. His prayer book, Nehar Shalom, includes the mystical meditations on prayers and on mitzvoth (commandments). He also wrote Rehovot ha-Nahar, a commentary on Lurian Kabbalah and Emet ve-Shalom, on Hayyim Vital's Etz Hayim.


Chamber of Commerce urged land owners not to sell to Jews.

1930 March 31, SHAW COMMISSION (Eretz Israel)

Issued its report. Although it laid the blame for the riots on the Arabs it called for a more restricted policy with regard to Jewish immigration and land purchase.

1283 - C. 1330 SHEM TOV BEN ABRAHAM IBN GAON (Spain -Eretz Israel)

Scholar, and Kabbalist. Author of Migdal 'Oz, a commentary on Maimonides' and Keter Shem-Tov on the Pentateuch, he immigrated to Eretz Israel in 1312.

906 - 1006 SHERIRA GAON (Pumbedita, Babylon)

Served as Gaon from 968-1004 when he appointed his son Hai Gaon to serve in his stead. Sherira wrote a Biblical commentary as well as one on several tractates of the Talmud. He is famed for his "letters" Igeret Rav Sherira, a history from talmudic times until his own time in which he explains the development of the Talmud.

C. 1131 - 1209 SHESHET BEN ISAAC BENVENISTE, aka "Perfect de Pratis " (France -Spain)

Physician, adviser and poet; grandson of Sheshet ha-Nasi of Barcelona. He served the kings of Aragon Alfonso II as well as the count of Barcelona Pedro II as physician, translator into Arabic, political adviser, and diplomatic envoy. He also wrote texts on medical subjects.

1806 SHKLOV (Lithuania)

The first meeting of the students of the Vilna Gaon was headed by Benjamin Rivlin and his son Hillel with the objective of immigration to Eretz Israel . The idea and importance of this aspiration had been encouraged by the Vilna Gaon in his later years, and by Hayyim of Volozhin as early as 1800.

1938 June 29, SHLOMO BEN YOSEF (Shalom Tabachnik) (Eretz Israel)

Was hung for alleged terrorist activities. Ben Yosef a member of Betar, along with Abraham Shein, and Sholom Djuravinand attacked an Arab bus in retaliation for the murder of 6 Jews. Although no one was killed in the attack, he was tried, convicted and despite world wide protests, hung by the British. His last words were reportedly "Restraint (Havlaga) is fatal".

1926 - 1995 (16 Cheshvan 5755) SHLOMO CARLEBACH (Germany-USA)

Singer and composer. Reb Shlomo, as he was known, is considered "The Father of Modern Jewish Music". He successfully synthesized the American folk idiom with traditional and Hasidic music, creating a following in both the observant and non-observant Jewish communities around the world. During the 1960's he established the "House of Love and Prayer" in San Francisco, which served as a magnet for many non-committed Jews. It was the only Jewish presence in Haight-Ashbury, a gathering point for young seekers in the 1960's and 1970's. Reb Shlomo's activities in Israel and the USA helped spur the Baal Teshuvah movement which brought many Jews back to Jewish observance.

1745 - 1813 (24 Tevet 5573) SHNEUR ZALMAN (Lyady/Liadi, Russia)

Founded an intellectualized form of Hasidism called Habad (Chabad). The name is derived from the initials Chachma (wisdom), Binah (understanding) and Daat (knowledge). His intention was to bridge the gap between the Mitnagdim and the Hasidim, combining intellectualism and mysticism. His Lekutei Amarim (Collected Sayings) became known as the Tanya and is one of the important study texts of the Habad (Chabad) Hasidim.

1859 March 2, - 1916 SHOLEM (ALEICHEM) RABINOWITZ (Kiev, Russia)

Famed Yiddish novelist, he wrote in Russian, Yiddish and Hebrew. The characters he created, such as Tevye the Milkman for example, are vivid and memorable. Stempeyu, his first Yiddish novel, helped establish his credentials as the "Yiddish Mark Twain". Sholem Aleichem wrote happy children's tales as well as romances. His pseudonym was originally used to disguise his writings so that his father would not know who wrote them. His father, one of the Maskilim, praised Hebrew and condemned Yiddish.

1880 - 1957 SHOLOM ASCH (Poland-Israel)

Renowned Hebrew and Yiddish novelist. Most of his books, including Motke Ganef (Motke the Thief), reflect social realism rather than romanticism.

1861 - 1893 SHUKR BEN SALIM KUHAYL I (Sana'a, Yemen)

Was also known as Mari (Master) Shukr Kuhayl I. During a particularly difficult period for Jews in Yemen, this poor preacher, announced himself as the messenger of the Messiah. He soon upgraded his claim to that of the Messiah himself, and won many adherents in Yemen. Shukr was killed and decapitated in 1865 by local Arabs. Prior to his death he promised to reappear and a few years late was succeeded by Judah ben shalom ( see 1867)

1466 January, SICILY

King John of Sicily gave formal permission to establish a Jewish University in medicine and law. The idea was not acted upon, and in 1492 the Jews were expelled by order of the Spanish crown.

1511 June 6, SICILY

The first Auto da Fe was held. Eight former Spanish converts were accused of practicing Judaism and were executed.


The famous robe of silk and gold was created for Roger II by Jewish craftsmen from Palermo. This robe was used in the coronation ceremonies of the Hapsburg Emperors.


A former rabbinical student, he formed and became the first president of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America.

1887 - 1946 SIDNEY HILLMAN (Lithuania - USA)

Although originally trained for the rabbinate, Hillman became active at a very early-stage in the trade union movement (the Bund) in Lithuania. After spending time in jail for illegal activities, he immigrated first to England and then to the United States. There he helped establish the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (ACWA). As its president, he was responsible for a 44 hour work week and unemployment insurance. In 1935, he helped establish the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). Hillman was a strong Zionist and joined the Jewish Agency in 1929. During WWII he was Roosevelt's chief labor advisor.

1915 - 2014 SIDNEY SHAPIRO aka Sha Boli (Brooklyn, New York- Beijing)

Author and translator. He arrived in china under the auspices of the U.S. military during WWII . He was one of the few Westerners to gain Chinese citizenship and become a member of the PCC a political advisory body. Among his works is a translation of a the 16th century Chinese classic Outlaws of the Marsh as well author of Jews in Old China, and his autobiography I Chose China.


Invented the first benzene driven vehicle.

1541 SIGISMUND I (Poland)

Appointed two chief rabbis over Little Poland: Moses Fishel of Cracow (martyred the following year at the stake); and Shalom Shakna of Lublin.

1551 August 13, SIGISMUND II AGUSTUS (Poland)

The last Jagello monarch of Poland issued a proclamation which permitted Jews to elect their own chief rabbi and judges, answerable only to the King. It is appropriately called the "Magna Carta of Jewish Self-Government". He also permitted Jews to settle in Vilna without restrictions other then being limited to certain streets.

1856 May 6, - 1939 SIGMUND FREUD, 'Father of Psychoanalysis' (Vienna, Austria)

Developed revolutionary techniques of psychoanalysis, including the idea that dreams represented the disguised fulfillment of subconscious desires. Freud formulated new theories of childhood development (such as the Oedipus complex). Though not a practicing Jew (he considered formal religion a neurosis), he encountered anti-Semitism many times and defended his Jewishness with dignity. His many works include The Ego and the Id, The Interpretation of Dreams, The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, and Moses and Monotheism (on the foundation and characteristics of Judaism). His students included Jung, Adler, and Frenezi.

1072 SILK MANUFACTURING (Calabria, southern Italy)

Was introduced by Jews in the town of Catanzaro, which became the silk producing capital of Italy. The Jews first arrived in the Calabria region in the first century and were expelled in 1510 after Spain took over the province.


The first group of Yemenite Jews moved into small huts and caves in a small village on the slopes facing the city of David. Due to their dark complexion, different pronunciation of Hebrew and dissimilar customs, the Jewish community initially treated them with suspicion, As such; the first people to help them were Christian missionaries. Later, they were aided by Rabbi Israel Dov Fromkin, who established the Ezrat Nidachim (Help for the Remote), society. By 1891, there were 45 permanent stone houses, and a synagogue (Beit Knesset Ohel Shlomo). After the riots of 36-38 the residents war evacuated (see August 1938).


Community leader, rabbi and paytan (liturgical composer). Simeon was a colleague of Rabbenu Gershom and an expert on customs and prayers. Of his many compositions, his Hashem Melech (The Lord is King) is still recited in the morning prayers of Rosh Hashanah. Some of his prayers contain the name Elhanan (his son), who according to tradition was forcibly baptized, became a priest and eventually (according to one version) the Pope. Years later, upon meeting his father who had come to plead against a harsh decree, he returned to Judaism.

200 - 275 SIMEON BEN LAKISH (Resh Lakish) (Eretz Israel)

Studied under Judah HaNasi and was known for his mental and physical prowess. According to the Talmud, he had once been a gladiator and was brought back to Judaism by Johanan bar Nappaha. He was outspoken and very independent. He viewed the story of Job as a moral creation or parable, and the names of the angels as being of Persian rather than Jewish origin.

1361 - 1444 (30 Adar 5204) SIMEON BEN ZEMAH DURAN (The Rashbaz) (Majorca-Algiers)

Talmudist poet, physician, and community leader. After the death of Isaac bar Sheshet's (1408) Simeon was appointed chief rabbi. Throughout his rulings he believed that that one should be stringent with oneself but lenient with others. He was a prolific author who wrote Novella on many of the tractates of the Talmud, poetry (piyutim), and responsa. His most well known work is Magen Avot a philosophical commentary on the tractate Avot andhis Responsa Tashbez (Teshuvot Shimon ben Zemach) .

C. 825 SIMEON KAYYARA (Babylon)

One of the great scholars of the 9th century, wrote Sefer Halachot Gedolot. He is often referred to as the Bahag, an abbreviation of Ba'al Halakhot Gedolot" ("author of the Halachot Gedolot". The work systematically sums up the all codes of law in the Talmud and is the first Rabbinic work to have an introduction. It is known in two editions, one which was popular in Germany and France, and a Spanish edition known as Halachot Gedolot Shel Aspamia.

1647 SIMON DE CACRES ( Barbados)

Arrived with his brother Benjamin, from Amsterdam. They received permission from Oliver Cromwell to trade in October 1653. De Cacres was one of the signers of Menasseh ben Israel's petition to allow Jews into England. Together with Carvajal they purchased the first Jewish burial ground at mile end. Cromwell used Cacres for updates on political intelligence. In one of his more daring plans, he proposed to Cromwell that he organize a Jewish army to conquer Chile from the Spanish. It was not acted upon.

1886 - 1937 SIMON DIMANSTEIN (Russia)

Communist leader. Dimanstein received rabbinical ordination by Haim Ozer Grodzenski but became active in the revolutionary movement. After the revolution, he became minister of Labor in Lithuania. He edited Der Emess, an anti-religious, anti-Zionist, and anti-Bundist periodical. He became head of the Institute for National Minorities and was a strong proponent of Jewish settlement in Birobidzhan. His early closeness to Joseph Stalin didn't prevent his execution during the purges of 1937.

1860 - 1941 SIMON DUBNOW (Russia)

The most prominent Jewish historian of recent times. He wrote two separate histories: "History of the Jews" and "History of the Jews of Russia and Poland". He believed that the Jews had a cultural autonomy within other nations, and therefore should all speak Yiddish as a common language. Dubnow also encouraged Sholem Aleichem in his writing. Dubnov was killed in Riga in December 1941, allegedly by a Gestapo officer who had at one time been a student of his.

1475 March 23, SIMON OF TRENT (Italy)

One of the more notorious blood libels. A Franciscan monk, Bernardinus of Feltre, came to Trent and began preaching Lent sermons against the Jews. A week before Easter a boy by the name of Simon drowned in the river Adige. The monk charged the Jews with using the body for its blood. The body washed up a few days later near the house of a Jew who brought it to the Bishop Honderbach. 17 Jews were tortured for over two weeks. Some confessed while being tortured and 6 Jews were burned. Two more were strangled. A temporary hiatus was called by Pope Sixtus IV, but after five years the trial was reopened and 5 more Jews were executed. The papal inquest agreed with the trial, Simon was beatified, and all Jews were expelled for 300 years. The trial served as the basis for anti-Semitic writings for hundreds of years. Only in 1965 was Simon debeatified.

1919 January 3, SIMON PETLURA (Ukraine)

Ukrainian nationalist and commander (Ataman) of the Zaporog Cossacks and Haidamaks armies, began his retreat from the Red Army. At the same time he accused the Jews of being supporters of the communist regime and encouraged a series of pogroms. Attacks began on a number of cities and towns including Berdichev, Uma, and Zhitomir. Although he denied responsibility for the "excesses" of his troops, three hundred seventy-two cities and towns were attacked in 998 major and 349 minor pogroms resulting in about seventy thousand killed and an equal number wounded. He was later assassinated in revenge (see 1926).

1538 SINAN REIS (Ciphut Sinan) (Greece)

A Jewish pirate and second in command to Barbarossa. He destroyed much of the Spanish fleet off the port in Pleveza, Greece. A short while afterwards his son was captured by Charles V and send to Elba. In 1544 Barbarossa sailed to Elba and demanded his release. Upon being refused, he attacked the fort and returned the boy to his father. Sinan flew a flag sporting a six pointed star which he called the Seal of Solomon

1942 February 24, SINKING OF THE STRUMA (Turkey)

One of the "illegal" immigrant ships on which 768 of the 769 passengers perished. The Sturma was a former coal barge-turned-rescue ship, and although not seaworthy, loaded 769 passengers at Constanza, Romania on December 12, 1941. The ship reached Istanbul, Turkey, but the passengers were not permitted to land until the British would issue assurances that they would be allowed to proceed to Palestine. The British refused to allow them to land under the White Paper agreement of 1939. After two months of pressure, the British relented and agreed to allow children to leave the ship. Although they promised to notify the Turks, they delayed for 10 days. Giving up, the Turks had the boat towed out to the Black Sea where it was sunk, presumably by a Soviet submarine.

1940 November 25, SINKING OF THE PATRIA (Haifa, Eretz Israel)

In Haifa harbor. The French refugee ship, the Patria carried 1,771 "illegal" immigrants. The British decided to add other "illegals" and deport them all to Mauritius, a British colony east of Madagascar. To prevent this move, members of the Haganah decided to disable the ship. Unfortunately, the explosive charge was too large or the hull was too weak, and the ship sunk, drowning 257 people. The survivors were allowed to remain in Eretz Israel and were interned for a while at the Athlit detention camp near Haifa.

1264 December 2, SINSIG (Germany)

A convert to Judaism was arrested for preaching Judaism. Although tortured, he refused to recant his belief in Judaism and was burned at the stake.

1824 - 1883 SIR GEORGE JESSEL (England)

First Jew to become a judge in England. His greatest contribution was in English equity law.

1621 April, SIR HENRY FINCH (England)

Called to restore the Jews to their homeland. Finch (1558-1625), the legal advisor to King James I was arrested after publication of his treatise "The World's Great Restoration", Sir Henry predicted that Jews will once again soon have their own land and a worldwide empire with it. Needless to say, King James was less than enthralled, especially as it implied that the present rulers would have to pay homage to the Jewish king, and forced him to recant any parts which could be construed to not supporting the monarch.

1920 July 1, SIR HERBERT SAMUEL (England-Eretz Israel)

A British statesman, he was appointed High Commissioner of Eretz Israel. His first official act was to grant amnesty to political prisoners, including Jabotinsky. He governed the British Mandate for five years - not without confrontation with Zionist ideology. He was knighted in 1937 and took the title Viscount Samuel of Mt. Carmel and Toxteth. During the 1930's he fought to allow more German Jews to immigrate to England and became a supporter of the State of Israel after its formation.

1909 June 6, - 1997 SIR ISAIAH BERLIN (Latvia-England)

Liberal philosopher and political scientist. Berlin was the first Jewish Fellow of All Souls College and the first to be appointed president of the British Academy. Among his well known works are Karl Marx, The Hedgehog and the Fox, Two Concepts of Liberty, and The Life and Opinions of Moses Hess. Berlin was a strong supporter of Zionism and a friend of Chaim Weizmann. He received the Jerusalem Prize in 1978.


For eleven years after his election to the House of Commons, Baron Rothschild had been unable to take his seat owing to the disagreements between the houses regarding the Oath's law. A compromise motion was finally reached whereby each house of Parliament was permitted to determine its own type of oath, thus allowing him to take his seat for the City of London.

1784 - 1885 (16 Av 5645) SIR MOSES MONTEFIORE (Italy-England)

Sheriff of London and leading Jewish figure. Wealthy in his own right, he married into the Rothschild family and was extremely successful in his financial ventures. He retired at an early age (1824) and devoted his life to serving Jewish causes. He is noted for his numerous visits to Eretz Israel, contributions to many philanthropies, and intercessions into Jewish affairs. One of his greatest successes was his interference in the Damascus Affair (see 1840). He is credited with founding numerous agricultural settlements in Eretz Israel and the first Jewish quarter outside the old city walls (Mishkenot Shaananim). He added the top levels to the Kotel (Western Wall) to prevent Arabs from throwing garbage and stones on Jews praying at the Wall, and he rebuilt Rachel's tomb.


Became the first Jewish peer in England as Lord Rothschild. After a long and bitter fight, he took his seat in the House of Lords. The Christian oath was amended so that non-Christians could also serve in the House of Lords.


King Erwig's successor Egica ,(r.687- 703) forced Jews to return to his treasury all land, slaves and buildings bought from Christians.rnrn

638 January 9, SIXTH COUNCIL OF TOLEDO (Spain)

King Chintilla decreed that only Catholics were permitted to live in Visigothic Spain. Despite this ban, many Jews continued to live there. In addition, it was enacted that each King had to swear to continue a policy of not permitting the Jews of infringing this holy faith. Only two of the rulers, Chindaswinth (r. 642-653) and Witiza (c.687-710) were more lenient toward their Jewish subjects. rnrn

1903 August 23 - 28, SIXTH ZIONIST CONGRESS (Basle, Switzerland)

Herzl proposed using territory offered by Britain, specifically Uganda, as a temporary shelter for Jews fleeing Eastern Europe and Russia. The Russian delegates, after a riotous debate, walked out and refused to return for the next congress unless the plan was dropped.

1882 SLOBODKA YESHIVAH (Lithuania-Eretz Israel)

Was founded by one of the leaders of the Mussar movement, R. Nathan Zevi Finkel. Though important in its own right, it expanded greatly after the Yeshiva of Volozhin was closed by the Czar in 1892. The Yeshiva grew to 300 students before the end of the century and to over 500 by 1920. After difficulties with the Lithuanian government in 1924, it opened a branch in Hebron. The Arab massacre in 1929 forced it to move again, this time to Jerusalem where it took the name the Hebron yeshiva. The original yeshiva reopened in Bnei Brak after World War II.

1944 August 29, SLOVAK UPRISING

Began with the participation of over 1500 Jewish partisans. The revolt was viciously repressed by the Germans who occupied the whole country and deported more than 18,000 Jews.

1942 May 15, SLOVAKIA

Passed legislation exempting any Jew who converted prior to March 14, 1939 (the date of the establishment of the Slovakian state) from being deported. During the previous year, thousands of Jews had tried to convert, hoping that despite the Nuremberg Laws, their conversion would save them.

1941 September 9, SLOVAKIA

Over 270 anti-Jewish regulations were passed, including wearing the yellow star, forced labor and evictions. Deportation began six months later. Of more than 90,000 Jews in Slovakia before the war, only 15,000 survived.

1939 March 14, SLOVAKIA

Declared its independence from Czecho-slovakia. Josef Tiso a catholic priest, had become its Prime Minister ,with the Hlinka pro German ( Slovak Peoples Party), which was the only legal party. Tiso soon switched, becoming President,with Voytech Tuka, taking over for him as Prime Minster. Anti-Jewish legislation was enacted over the following months, although it was based on religious rather than racial lines.


Reported to the Slovakian government that "the deportations mean physical extermination."


A Jew hunt was organized (one of many) to find Jews living outside the Pale. Ten were found in the city and 74 more in the neighboring woods. All were forced back into the Pale.

1943 October 14, SOBIBOR REVOLT (Poland)

Led by Alexander Pechersky, a former Red Army officer, and a few other Jewish members of the Red Army, a revolt broke out in the Sobibor death camp. Prevented from fleeing through the gates, approximately 80 Jews died trying to escape through the mine fields Prisoners, remaining in the camp, were rounded up and shot. Twelve SS guards were killed, and another 38 guards were killed or wounded. The number of prisoners to initially escape Sobibor was 320 but 170 of them were soon captured and executed. . Of the remaining 150 escapees, 50 joined up with partisan units and the Red Army, of whom 5 were killed, while 92 were killed in hiding, mostly by hostile native elements, Only 53, survived until the liberation. Told of the revolt, Himmler was furious and ordered the camp closed immediately and plowed under by Jewish laborers who were in turn shot when the job was finished. Semyon Rozenfeld, one of the revolt leaders, survived, and was the soldier who carved on the Reichstag wall "Baranovichi-Sobibor-Berlin."

1903 July, - August, SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS (London)

Rise of Lenin's group known as the Iskra (The Spark), named after their newspaper published in Switzerland. Vladimir Lenin headed the Bolsheviks (majority) while George Plekhanov headed the Mensheviks (Minority). Although Lenin was not to have a majority until 1917, he refused to relinquish the name. The Mensheviks included many Jews including Julius Martov, Raphael Abramowitz(Rein), and Fyodor Ilyich Dan (Gurvich). The two groups argued over organization and tactics with the Menshevicks believing it best to cooperate with liberals and wished to have a more "open" party. In general there were more Jews in the Mensheviks which better reflected Jewish liberalism and intellectuality. The congress refused to allow the Jewish delegates to participate in the revolutionary work while remaining an independent ethnic group which lead to the Bund seceding from the Social Democratic Party.

1540 SOCIETY OF JESUS (Jesuits)

Was founded. In Poland they were the most anti-Jewish segment of the Clergy.

1556 SOKHACHEV (Poland)

The Bishop of Chelm accused local Jews of host desecration. Three Jews were condemned and executed. This happened despite a lack of evidence and the order of a retrial by King Sigismund II Augustus.

1923 January 30, SOL BLOOM (1870-1949) (USA)

Was elected to Congress, and would serve until his death in 1949. Bloom was born into a poor Orthodox family yet succeeded in amassing a small fortune enabling him to retire early and enter politics. Bloom was a strong supporter of Roosevelt and was appointed as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the beginning of the war. Although he made an effort to increase the number of Jews allowed into the United States, he did little to antagonize the administration and supported the State Department's positions. After the war, he became a supporter of Israel.

641 SOLIN (near Split, present day Croatia)

After an attack by the Mongolian Avars, the Jewish community which had existed for 300 years was destroyed.

C. 1520 - 1603 SOLOMON ABENAES (Even Yaish) (Portugal-Ottoman Empire-Turkey)

Born into a converso family under the name Alvaro Mendes, he acquired his wealth though diamond mining. He reverted to Judaism upon reaching Turkey in 1580. He served the Turkish court in many functions, including finance and foreign affairs. Abenaes was a strong proponent of a Anglo-Turkish alliance against Spain and used his spy network to bring the news of the defeat of the Spanish Armada. He received renewal of the grants of Don Joseph Nasi in Eretz Israel and was a strong supporter of Jewish life there.

1415 SOLOMON ALAMI (ibn-Lachmish) (Spain)

Wrote his Iggert Musar (" Letter of Ethical Rebuke"). Alami brought up the question of " why bad things happen". Though not the first to address the issue, he believed it was the result of the flaws within the Spanish Jewish community . He placed the blame on social inequities, lack of care for the poor, and both moral and religious failings. He also criticized the leadership as cut off from the common people , and the court Jews with what he perceived as their misuse of wealth.

1505 - 1584 SOLOMON B. MOSES HALEVI AL KABETZ (Turkey-Safed, Eretz Israel)

Kabbalist and author of Lecha Dodi (Come My Beloved), a mystical song still chanted Friday evenings in most synagogues as a greeting to the Sabbath. He is credited by some as establishing the custom of staying awake all night on Shevuot reciting Tikkun Leil Shavu'ot. In addition to many Kabbalistic works (e.g. Amarot Tehorot), he wrote Biblical commentaries (e.g. Ayyelet Ahavim, Divrei Shelomo) and an explanation of the prayers Beit Tefillah.

1339 SOLOMON B. SAMUEL (Urgench, Transoxania present day Uzbekistan)

Published the first Judeo-Persian dictionary Sefer ha-Melizah, with over a thousand words from the Bible, Talmud, and the Midrash. It was written in the literary language common to the Jews of Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia in this period.

1235 - 1311 SOLOMON BEN ABRAHAM ADERET (The Rashba) (Barcelona, Spain)

Rabbinical scholar and community leader. Ibn Aderet knew Latin as well as both Roman and Spanish law. While opposed to Maimonides' rationalist philosophy, he defended him and his publications. He wrote a refutation to the anti Jewish polemics of Ibn Hazm (994-1064) which were often quoted by Christian theologians and another to Raymond Martini(1270) . His most famous work was Hiddushei HaRashba on the Talmud , which is still in wide use today .He also replied to over three thousands of question (mostly of a practical nature) put to him by communities in Germany, Eretz Israel, Sicily, Morocco, Portugal and Spain itself. His students included Yomtov ben Abraham (1250), Rabbeinu Bahya (1255) and ShemTov ibn Gaon ( 1283).

1040 - 1105 (29 Tamuz 4865) SOLOMON BEN ISAAC (Troyes, France)

Better known as Rashi. He had studied under the students of Rabbenu Gershom and at the age of 25 became the rabbi in Troyes. Rashi is renowned for his illuminating and succinct commentaries on the Bible and the Talmud, which are still considered indispensable by both Jewish and Christian scholars. Rashi did not hesitate to comment "I don't understand" on Biblical passages which he found perplexing and often paraphrased the words in his native French. His sons-in-law (known as the Tosafists - see 1100) continued with his commentaries, further helping to explain difficult portions of the Talmud. During the First Crusade in 1095-1099, many of Rashi's relatives and friends perished, and some of his manuscripts were destroyed or lost.

1783 - 1869 (1 Tamuz 5529) SOLOMON BEN JUDAH KLUGER (MARSHAK) (Brody)

Talmudist and halachist. He studied under the Dubno Maggid and was known for his responsa. It is said that he wrote 375 books, although "only" 174 are known.

C. 1375 - C. 1450 SOLOMON BEN REUBEN BONAFED ( Spain)

Poet, philosopher and community Rabbi . Considered the last important Spanish (Hebrew) poet . He attended the dispute at Tortosa, and wrote many poems describing the events and his pain following the mass conversions which took place soon after. His anguish was especially evident in a poem he wrote regarding Vidal Joseph de la Cavalleria. Cavalleria a descendent of Judah de la Cavalleria (see 1257) had represented Saragossa under pressure he converted, which caused great consternation in the entire Spanish Jewish community.

1700 June 23, SOLOMON DE MEDINA (c. 1650-1730) (England)

Was knighted by William III of England. Medina was the first professing Jew to receive a knighthood. Medina had helped finance what became known as the "glorious revolution" which installed William of Orange and Mary (the daughter of James II) on the throne. Their rule ended any hope for a restoration of catholic rule in England.

1021 - 1069 SOLOMON IBN GABIROL (Avicebron) (Malaga)

Messianic poet and philosopher whose "Naale" and other works are included in the Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) liturgy. His book of philosophy, Fountain of Life (Arabic), conceived of the universe as the embodiment of divine will. The famous medieval theological philosophers John Duns Scotus (1265-1308) and Albertus Magnus (1206-1280), not knowing he was Jewish, used his texts. Most Jewish scholars rejected his theories of neo-Platonism and some, including Maimonides, considered them almost Pantheic. His personal life was harsh: orphaned at an early age, he suffered bitter poverty and deprivation.

1160 SOLOMON IBN PARHON ( Spain- Italy)

Published Machberet He'Arukh a lexicon to the Bible. He included numerous explanations, often reflecting scientific ideas as well as customs and regulations, in relation to rabbinical law. Ibn Parhon was the first to transmit the ideas of Ibn Janah and Ibn Hayyuj to the communities outside Spain.

C. 1460 - 1554 SOLOMON IBN VERGA (Spain-Turkey)

Physician and scholar. His is famed for his Shevet Judah (Staff/ tribe of Judah) a historical chronicle . He relates various persecutions (64 in number), beginning with the destruction of the second temple. Ibn Verga tried to analyze the source of these persecutions, proposing that it is flamed by jealousy, and religious fanaticism both stemming from a lack of education. This said he readily admitted that he was pessimistic as to whether they would do any good. It was first printed in 1550, and translated into Yiddish in 1591, then into Latin, Spanish and German. Although there are questions as to the accuracy of his work, it is considered one of the greatest accomplishments of Hebrew literature during the renaissance rn

1510 - 1573 (12 Kislev 5334) SOLOMON LURIA (The Maharshal) (Brest-Litovsk)

A contemporary of Solomon Shakna, he represented an opposing view in talmudic study, as he believed in plain but lucid methods. He was also the author of the Yam Shel Shlomo (Sea of Solomon) on several volumes of the Talmud, and Chokmat Shlomo (Wisdom of Solomon) in which he corrected many faulty readings in the Talmud, Rashi and the Tosafot.

1754 - 1800 SOLOMON MAIMON (Silesia-Lithuania)

Inspired by Maimonides' Moreh Nevuchim (Guide to the Perplexed), he adopted the name Maimon, abandoned religion, embraced philosophy, and embarked on the life of a wanderer. During his lifetime, he met with some of the greatest minds of his day, including Moses Mendelssohn. Among his works are a critique on Kant and a commentary on Maimonides entitled Givat Hamoreh (Hill of the Teacher). He correctly predicted that "the Christians won't say Mass and the Jews won't say Kaddish at my grave." His autobiography (Lebensgeschichte) provided important insights into 18th Century Polish Jewry, particularly the Hasidic Movement.

1890 - 1948 SOLOMON MIKHOELS (Russia)

Leading Russian and Yiddish actor famed for his roles as Tevye and King Lear.

1500 - 1532 SOLOMON MOLCHO (Diego Peres)

Converso and pseudo messiah. He became so impressed with Reuveni (1524) that he reconverted to Judaism. He predicted correctly an earthquake in Portugal and a flood in Rome. At first Pope Clement VII befriended him, after his predictions came true. He traveled with David Reuveni to Charles V to convince him to let the Jews fight against the Turks (see 1532). Charles V had him killed.

1802 - 1867 SOLOMON MUNK (Germany-France)

Historian and orientalist. He was a friend of Zunz and wrote a translation and criticism of Maimonides' Guide for the Perplexed, tracing his sources back to the original sources of Maimonides. His works also included his famous History of Eretz Israel in which he traced events from the Crusaders until the present time.

1790 - 1867 (19 Tishrei 5628) SOLOMON RAPOPORT (Lemburg, Germany - Prague, Bohemia)

Rabbi, historical researcher, and biographer of talmudic and post-talmudic personages. Among his other works, he edited the notes of Benjamin of Tudela and wrote about the independent Jewish tribes of Arabia and the Karaites. His works on Sa'adia Gaon, Hai Gaon, and Rabbi Natan (the Aruch) established a precedent in accurate chronology of Jewish history. He was one of the founders of the new The Society for Culture and Science of Judaism (see 1819).rnRapoport also began work on an encyclopedia Erech Milim but didn’t finish it.

1847 - 1915 (12 Kislev 5676) SOLOMON SCHECHTER (Romania-USA)

Author, scholar and leader of the American Conservative movement. Born into a Habad-Hassidic family, he studied in Berlin and lectured on Talmud at Cambridge University in England. Schechter won fame for his work in editing and publishing documents recovered from the Cairo Genezah (the synagogue repository for sacred books and articles that are old or torn). He later headed the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, and in 1913 established the United Synagogue of America. Schechter is considered to have developed much of the theory and ideology of Conservative Judaism, which was founded as a compromise between the Orthodox and Reform movements (see 1913). His works include "Studies in Judaism", "Midreshet Hagadol to Genesis" and "Some Aspects of Rabbinic Theology".

1500 - 1559 (1 Kislev 5319) SOLOMON SHAKNA (Shachne) BEN JOSEPH (Lublin, Poland)

Student of Jacob Pollack. He was called to serve as the Chief Rabbi of Little Poland (1541). He was known as a great talmudist and pilpulist, and helped adapt Caro's Shulchan Aruch to Northern Jewry. He refused to write any halachic work out of fear that it would be taken as a final word.

1483 December 19, SONCINO (Italy)

The first tractate of the Talmud (Brachot) was printed by Joshua Soncino. It included Rashi, Tosafot, Piskei Tosafot, and the commentaries of Maimonides and Mordecai b. Hillel.


In an attempt to erase evidence of the mass slaughter, units of Sonderkommando 1005 under Commander Paul Blobel undertook the exhumation and cremation of the tens of thousands killed at Babi Yar. The prisoners began their work on August 18 and finished six weeks later on September 29. Later on after midnight, the Babi Yar revolt began after the prisoners discovered they were going to be put to death. Blobel, who was director of exhumation activities, was executed in 1951.

1943 September 30, SONDERKOMMANDO BABI YAR REVOLT (Ukraine)

Led by Vladimir Davidov and Fyodor Yershov (a Russian soldier). Over 50 of the 275 men in the Sonderkommando unit succeeded in picking the locks. They then overpowered the guards using their bare hands, hammers and screw drivers. Fourteen of them (11 of whom were Jews) succeeded in surviving until the Red Army arrived on November 6, 1943. Davidov was an important witness at the Nuremberg trials and helped bring their story to the world.


Was secretly established by David ben Gurion in the apartment of industrialist Rudolph Sonneborn (1898–1986). Members included Al Schwimmer Hank Greenspun and others. Its goal was to provide funds and materials including military, to help the Haganah and ship it to Eretz Israel. This included transport aircraft, which were then piloted by American air force veterans.


King Ohu Nuwas adopted Judaism, perhaps as a bulwark against encroaching Christianity. He was eventually defeated by King Eleboas of Abyssinia, with the help of Justin I.


After re-conquering most of prewar Romanian territory, Romanian soldiers received orders to arrange pogroms with the appearance of "spontaneity".

1947 October 13, SOVIET UNION

Switched its position and decided to support the United States on the "partition of Palestine."

1946 August, SOVIET UNION

With a speech in the Central Committee by Andrei Zhdanov, Stalin once again tried to destroy Jewish nationalism and identity. The campaign called for the banning of Yiddish literature and theater. Jewish participation in both the Red Army and the partisan units in the war against the Nazis was obscured.

1037 SPAIN

Ferdinand I of Castile seized the province of Leon. This marked the beginning of the reconquest of Spain.

1476 SPAIN

The first Jewish book printed in Spain is the Pentateuch with Rashi's commentaries (showing the importance of Rashi's work).

1820 March 9, SPAIN

A royal decree officially abolished the Spanish Inquisition, though in reality it was actually only brought to an end on July 15, 1834.

1936 July 30, SPAIN

General Franco declared his Fascist government and the Spanish Civil War broke out. Out of the 35,000 volunteers of the International Brigades, approximately 7000 were Jewish. During the Second World War Spain officially remained neutral, yet Franco sent troops to fight against the Russians, and Spain later served as a refuge for fleeing Nazis.


King Erwig began his reign by enacting 28 anti-Jewish laws. He decreed that all converts must be registered by a parish priest, through whom all travel permits must be obtained. He also ruled that all holidays, Christian and Jewish, must be spent in the presence of a priest to ensure piety and to prevent "backsliding".

1492 (9 Av 5252) SPAIN

The expulsion of the Jews from Spain.

1657 SPALATO (Split, Croatia)

Jews had lived in this city since the third century. During the Turkish attacks against Venetian rule, the Jews so distinguished themselves that one of the city's towers became known as the "post of the Jews".


Fifteen Jews serving on the battleship the USS Maine were killed when it sank. Five thousand Jews served in the American Army, a ratio of 20% more than the general population including 30 army and 20 naval officers. The first person of Colonel Roosevelt's Rough Riders to reach the top of San Juan Hill was also a Jew - Irving Peixotto and the first to be killed was Jacob Wilbusky.


Was defeated by England. Spain's position was significantly weakened. As a by-product, the Inquisition was less powerful, especially in the Netherlands.


Following an attack by the Spaniards, 400 Jews were killed in the city of Tetuan in anti-Jewish riots. During the war many Jews took refuge in Gibraltar.

985 SPARTA (Greece)

Upon being approached to try to stop a plague of pestilence, St. Nicon Metanoites refused until the Jews were expelled so he "would not be contaminated by their customs...or religion."


By Sultan Abdulmecid I. Non Muslims were also permitted to serve in the Ottoman army.

1084 September 13, SPEYER (Germany)

In an effort to convince Jews to settle in his town the local Bishop Rudiger offered them a legal status superior to what would be offered them elsewhere in Germany. It read, in part: "Desiring to make a city out of our village of Speyer, I have admitted the Jews.....I have thought to multiply one thousand times the honor of our city by gathering the Jews within its walls." He provided them with their own protected area and their own cemetery. In return they paid 3 1/2 pounds silver to the Church and agreed to defend the city. Local rulers were entitled to offer legal "privileges" although for the most part it was in the hands of the emperor. Twelve years later Speyer became one of the first cities ravaged by the Crusades.

1090 February 19, SPEYER (Germany)

Emperor Henry IV renewed to Rabbi Judah b. Kalonymus, the poet, David b. Meshullam, and Rabbi Moses b. Yekuthiel the pledges granted six years earlier by Bishop Ruediger. In addition, the Emperor guaranteed the Jews freedom of trade in his empire as well as his protection. John, bishop of Speyer, also encouraged Jews to move to the city. In return the community paid 3 1/2 pounds silver to the Church and agreed to defend the city in case of attack. Within six years Speyer became one of the first communities on the Rhine to be attacked. After the attacks, R' Moses took upon himself the care and protection of the orphans.

1349 January 22, SPEYER (Germany)

The Jewish community was destroyed. The Jewish inhabitants were either killed, converted or fled to Heidelberg. All their property - including the Jewish cemetery - was confiscated.

1435 May 5, SPEYER (Germany)

Jews were expelled. One of the refugees was Moses Mentzlav who moved to Italy. His son, Israel Nathan, founded the printing house of Soncino.

1195 February 13, SPEYER RITUAL MURDER LIBEL (Germany)

Although there was no proof of any wrongdoing, the rabbi's daughter was dismembered and her body was hung in the market place for a few days. The rabbi and many others were killed and their houses burned.

1656 July 27, SPINOZA (Holland)

Was excommunicated in Amsterdam. Spinoza had been accused - together with Juan de Prado - of denying the being of Angels, the immortality of the soul and that the Torah was given by God. De Prado apologized but Spinoza refused to do so. The council forbade anyone to communicate with him in any fashion or to read any of his books.

1096 Spring, CRUSADERS (France-Germany)

Over one quarter of the Jewish population of Germany and northern France were killed during the First Crusade (1095-1099), mostly during the months of April-June. It was estimated that in Germany, prior to the First Crusade, there were approximately 20,000 Jews. The period of time between Pessach and Shavuot (Passover and Pentecost) is also known as Sefirat Haomer which commemorates the death of Rabbi Akiva's pupils (2nd Century) and was considered a period of mourning. Since most of the massacres took place between these dates, new regulations of national mourning were added. This was also the period of time when the Unetaneh Tokef prayer for Yom Kippur was written by Amnon of Mainz.When warned by messengers about the upcoming riots from France, the Jewish leaders in Mainz replied, "As for ourselves there is no cause for fear. we have not heard a word that our lives are threatened.

1945 May 3, SS CAP ARCONA

A converted passenger ship is sunk by the British the day before the unconditional cease fire. The ship which was also used in the past as a German troop ship and as a model for the German movie Titanic was harbored in the Bay of Lbeck in the Baltic sea and was carrying approximately 5000 concentration camp survivors. After the initial British attack those who tried to jump ship were shot by the SS aboard. S.S., cadets from a submarine school, and the Home Guard from Neustadt were on the beach to make sure that none would reach safety. Although British intelligence knew that the ship held prisoners they failed to pass on the information. The British government ordered the records to be sealed for 100 years. Nearly 490 of the 600 Germans onboard survived including 400 SS men and 20 SS women.There were only 350 Jewish survivors. rnrn


Sent in his report, "A Jewish Quarter in Warsaw no longer exists." His final action was the destruction of the Great Synagogue on Tlomacka Street. Stroop reported 56,065 Jews captured, 13,929 killed and 631 bunkers destroyed. Though it is impossible to know the exact amounts, Polish estimates place the numbers of German dead to well over 1,000, with many more wounded. Some fighters escaped to the Aryan side of the city through sewage tunnels and others fled and tried to join Polish underground forces. Despite the official end to the uprising, small groups knows as "rubblemen" continued to attack German troops until mid-September.

1940 December 12, SS SALVADOR

Carrying three hundred and fifty two Bulgarian Jewish refugees, sank off the Turkish coastal town of Silivri on the sea of Marmara. Two hundred and thirteen people including sixty six children lost their lives. It had arrived in Istanbul six days earlier, but was forced to put to sea despite stormy weather. The boat which was in very poor condition, was a private initiative of Baruch Confino, a Bulgarian ophthalmologist.

1737 St Eustatius ( Statia, West Indies)

Permission was given by the Dutch colonial government to build a synagogue . It was named Honen Dalim " generous to the needy" The community comprised of around 17 mostly Sephardic families.

354 - 430 ST. AUGUSTINE

Bishop of Hippo (North Africa), called Jewry a corruption and proclaimed eternal Jewish guilt for the death of Jesus.


Branded Judaism a corruption and called for the enslavement and severe persecution of Jews until they agreed to convert.


Incited the Greeks to kill or expel the Jews. Cyril (376-44) who was appointed patriarch of Alexandria in 412 forced his way into the synagogue at the head of a mob, expelled the Jews and gave their property to the crowd. The Prefect Orestes, who refused to condone this behavior, was set upon and almost stoned to death. Only one Jew, Adamanlius, agreed to be baptized. Within a few years Jews were allowed to return, but a majority of them returned only after the Mohammedans conquered Egypt.

331 - 396 ST. GREGORY OF NYSSA (Asia Minor/Central Turkey)

Is considered together with John Chrysostom, to be one the formulators of the anti-Jewish doctrine in the Byzantine Church. He called Jews "…murderers of the Lord, assassins of the prophets, rebels and detesters of God,... companions of the devil". He also claimed, "The Jews are a brood of vipers, (and) haters of goodness." Gregory is recognized as a saint by all catholic and many protestant churches.


Referred to in Catholic literature as "the man with the golden tongue". A virulent hater of Judaism, he disseminated his views through violent writings and preachings. He considered it meritorious to kill Jews.

1738 July 15, ST. PETERSBURG (Russia)

Baruch Laibov and Alexander Voznitzin were burned alive with the consent of Empress Anna Johanova. Voznitzin, a naval captain, was guilty of the crime of converting to Judaism. Laibov was guilty of helping him.

1796 ST. THOMAS (West Indies)

The Synagogue Kahal Kodesh Berakha Ve'Shalom was founded. It was later joined by the Gemeilut Hasadim burial society. In 1833 a new edifice was built on its site in 1833 known as Kahal kadosh Berakha Ve'Shalom U'Gemeilut Hasadim . It is still in existence today making it one of the oldest synagogues in the Americas

1349 February 14, ST. VALENTINES DAY (Strasbourg)

Earlier that month, a riot ensued in the town after corn prices fell. The Jews were accused of a conspiracy. The mayor and some members of the city council had voted against the action and were removed from office by the tradesmen. The entire Jewish population (2000) was dragged to the cemetery and burned to death. Only those who accepted Christianity were allowed to live. The new council voted that Jews could not return for 100 years and their property and possessions were divided amongst the burghers. Within six months Emperor Charles IV pardoned the town council for the murders. Twenty years later, Jews were re-admitted.


Echoing official Communist policy, he denounced Zionism as counter-revolutionary.

1943 February 2, STALINGRAD (Russia)

The German 6th army was defeated, marking the turning point in the war. This eventually had an effect on countries such as Romania regarding a newly found reluctance in cooperating with the Germans on Jewish deportations to concentration camps.


The last King of Poland, with the backing of the Polish Sejm, abolished the Council of the Four Lands and imposed a poll tax (see 1520).

1943 February, STATUS REPORT (Europe)

Out of the approximately 2,700,000 Jews in areas occupied by the Germans since June 1941, less then 10% were still alive.

1858 - 1948 STELLA CORCOS (USA- Morocco)

Educator philanthropist. In 1885 she founded an English speaking girl's school Kavod ve-Omets (Respect and courage) in Mogador (present day Essaouira). Born in New York she married a wealthy Moroccan merchant (Moses Corcos) in England settling in Morocco. She was influential in improving the living conditions of the poorer Jews of Morocco. Corcos encouraged the study of English and even established what is considered Morocco's first Jewish theater group.

1522 Stephen IV Stefanita" (Moldavia)

Prince of Moldavia ruled between 1517 to 1527 . He withdrew all previous rights previously given to Jewish merchants.


Rabbi, Zionist leader, and champion of liberal causes. Wise, who was ordained at age 19, became a leading advocate for the Zionist cause. Wise served as president of the American Zionist Organization and chairman of the United Palestine Appeal. As one of the founders of the World Jewish Congress he was among the first to warn about the dangers of Nazism. Wise promoted the freedom of Rabbis to deliver sermons of their choice - "free pulpit" - and not be dependent on the approval of the board of trustees. In 1907 he founded the Free Synagogue in New York and later the Jewish Institute of Religion (see 1922).

1775 September 28, STOCKHOLM (Sweden)

Aaron Isaac, a gem carver, became the first Jew to be granted the right of residence in Sweden. Within 3 years he was joined by 40 families.

1907 STOLYPIN (Russia)

The new Minister of Interior, he convinced the Czar to establish a second Duma which had far less power. Soon afterwards Stolypin strengthened the anti-Semitic Union of the Russian People and the Black Hundreds.

1386 STRASBOURG (Germany)

After an inter-community dispute, the Jewish community was expelled on orders from Wenceslaus. Their property was confiscated.

1600 May, SUBATOL DEUL (Caribbean)

A Jewish converso pirate, founded together with Henry Drake the anti-Spanish league called the Hermandad de la Banda Negra or Black Flag Fraternity.It is rumored that they buried a treasure on an island near Coquimbo (Chile) in 1645.

1869 SUEZ CANAL (Egypt)

Was completed and with that completion the Jewish population in Egypt began to grow, especially in Alexandria and Port Said. Most of the new immigrants came from the Near East and the Balkans.

1260 SULTAN AL-MALIK AL-THAHIR (AKA Baibars), (Egypt)

One of the Mameluke commanders became sultan of Egypt. He banned Jews and Christians from ascending above the 7th step on the cave of the patriarchs in Hebron - a ban which lasted 700 years. Baibars (1223- 1277), doubled the tribute paid by all non Muslims. He evidently decided to burn all the Jews of Egypt in a ditch but accepted a heavy payment in its stead.

1839 November 8, SULTAN ABD Al-MAJID 1823-1861 (Turkey)

Issued his declaration of rights known as the Hatt-i-Sherif. These new regulations were part of what was known as the Tanzimat ("reforms") which guaranteed equality of rights, security, and military service for all non-Muslim citizens.

1876 - 1909 SULTAN ABDUL HAMID II (Ottoman Empire)

Considered to be a benefactor to Turkish Jews, including Jewish refugees from Romanian persecutions. On the other hand, he disregarded his own constitution and was considered a tyrant when it came to anything which he felt would weaken his authority and rule, which also included Zionism.

1840 August 28, SULTAN ABDUL MAJID/ABDULMECID I (Ottoman Empire)

Under pressure from the Montefiore delegation and world opinion, released the survivors of the Damascus blood libel after almost 6 months of imprisonment and torture.

1840 October 27, SULTAN ABDULMECID I (Ottoman empire)

Issued his Firman (royal decree) against blood libels. This was a consequence of both the notoriety of the Damascus blood libel, and his desire for acceptance into the European community. It stated in part " We cannot permit the Jewish nation, whose innocence for the crime.is evident, to be worried as a consequence of accusations which have not the least foundation in truth...". Some historians claim than the mother of Sultan Abdulmecid I (1823-1861), Besma Allem, was of Georgian Jewish origin.


A few months after his ascension to the Sultanate (1468-95), he forced the Jews to pay a fee of 75,000 gold pieces or be expelled. This severely impoverished the community.


Was declared a day of rest as well as a holy day, thus further separating Christianity from any contact with Judaism.


COMMISSIONER OF IMMIGRATION OF NEW YORK v.GOTTLIEB ET AL. decided that the exemption to clergy in the Foreign Quota Act would only apply to the clergy themselves and not to their spouses or children. The Supreme Court referred it back to congress, which changed it to include spouses and minor children or clergy and professors. This ironically gave a push to the entering of a high percentage of rabbis into the USA. Over the next few decades over 60 well known rabbis were able to immigrate including Moshe Feinstein Aharon Kotler Yaakov Ruderman Yitzchak Hutner Joseph Breuer, Yaakov Kaminetsky, Yosef Henkin, Emil Schorsch, Joseph B.Soloveitchik, and Joseph Yitzhak Schneersohn. Others also included Franz Rosenthal, and Abraham Joshua Heschel.


Was established in Eretz Israel under the jurisdiction of the British government. Theoretically, it was created to centralize religious affairs and institutions. In reality, it became an almost omnipotent power in the Arab world. The Husseini family was given control and Haj Amin al Husseini became the Mufti or ruler. As Mufti, he tried his best to engender strong anti-Zionist feeling in his fellow Arabs.

1712 October 8, SURINAME

The French privateer Jauques Cassard attacked Suriname. The Jews in the settlement of Jodensavana fought valiantly against the French, but were eventually overrun, and forced to pay a very heavy tribute. The community never fully recovered

1639 SURINAME (South America)

The first Jews settled the area, mainly on sugar plantations. They were Spanish-Portuguese Jews, who were mainly from Holland and Italy in 1651. Another group of about 20 people led by David Nassy arrived in 1664 after having to flee French occupied Cayenne. Under the Treaty of Brenda (1667), the area was given by the British to the Dutch in return for New York. The Jews petitioned to receive the same rights they had under the British. Some left, but others were prevented to do so by the Dutch for economic reasons. Suriname is also known as Dutch Guiana.


A minnesinger to the German court. Six of his poems are preserved. In about 1215, he grew tired of entertaining and returned to live with his brethren.

964 - 973 SVYATSLAV I (Russia)

Russian prince of Kiev who conquered Itil (Atel), the capital city of the Khazars in 965.

1838 June 30, SWEDEN

The Swedish government passed a law abolishing discrimination against Jews. Unfortunately, this law was repealed due to public objections. Another 30 years were to pass before Jews were given the right to vote.


Removed anti-Jewish disabilities.


Jews and Catholics were allowed to run for public office, although in order to become a minister one had to be a member of the Swedish state church. This regulation remained in effect until 1951.

1798 July 1, SWITZERLAND

Special taxes on Jews were finally abolished.

1848 September, SWITZERLAND

Under the new constitution of Switzerland, democratic rights were guaranteed - but only for those of Christian faith. It took another 18 years until full equality was granted to all (See January 14,1866).

1866 January 14, SWITZERLAND

Jewish rights were ratified. Switzerland was the scene of some of the worst massacres during the Black Plague and a hotbed of anti-Jewish edicts. This legislation was only passed after the United States, Britain, and France refused to sign treaties until their anti-Jewish cantons were repealed.

1866 January 15, SWITZERLAND

Jews were finally granted equal rights. It took another seven years for the Constitution to be changed.

1938 August 18, - December, SWITZERLAND

Closed its borders to Jewish refugees who could not produce valid entry visas. Despite this, Paul Gruninger, the local police chief of St. Gallen (near Austria) permitted 3,600 Jews to enter Switzerland. In December 1938, he was suspended and charges were later brought against him. Found guilty of insubordination, he was sentenced a stiff fine and lost his position and pension. In 1971, he received recognition from Yad Vashem as one of the "Righteous Among the Nations".

1942 August 13, SWITZERLAND

For the first time, Swiss police hand over to the Germans Jewish refugees who had entered Switzerland "illegally."

1903 - 1976 SYDNEY FRANKLIN (Frumkin) (USA-Mexico-Spain)

Bullfighter, born in Brooklyn, New York. He studied in Mexico and retired after over five thousand bullfights in Mexico and Spain. Franklin was a close friend of Ernest Hemingway and served as a foreign correspondent during the Spanish Civil War. He later became a sports writer and bullfight commentator and wrote his biography Bullfighter from Brooklyn.


France and Britain (with the agreement of Russia) divided up the Ottoman Empire. France was assured of Lebanon, Syria and Northern Iraq, and Britain was given control of Northern Arabia, Central Mesopotamia (Iraq), and much of the Western Persian Gulf. Russia also received some Armenian and Kurdish territory. Eretz Israel was divided, with France controlling the Galilee, Britain the Haifa area, and the rest of the country under international control.


During this time attacks on synagogues increased originally at the instigations of the church but eventually found sanction within legislations as well. The legislation of Honorius and Valentinian III were relatively mild compared to that of Arcadius and Theodosius II. During this time restriction on Jewish life became more widespread and not just limited to marriage , owning slaves, etc. Furthermore, rights once lost were almost never recovered.


Was dedicated in the port of Maiuma ( later known as Gaza), by the brothers Menachem and Yeshua , both wood traders The mosaic contained of a picture of king David with a harp. When discovered in excellent condition in 1965, the Egyptians declared it was a church with a picture of Orpheus despite the fact that there was Hebrew lettering. By the time Israeli forces captured Gaza in 1967,the face of David, one on his hands and other parts of the mosaic had been destroyed.

1078 SYNOD OF GERONA (Spain)

Jews were forced to pay the same taxes as Christians to support the Church.

1279 SYNOD OF OFEN (Hungary)

Held during the reign of King Ladislaus IV (1272-90), it decreed that every Jew must wear a red cloth on his left side. In addition, any Christian living in a house together with a Jew would be prohibited from participating in Church services.

1266 - 1267 SYNOD OF VIENNA (Austria)

Christians were prohibited from attending Jewish ceremonies.

1455 SYRACUSE (Sicily)

Twenty four Jews from all over Sicily chartered a Spanish boat to take them to Eretz Israel without prior permission from the King, Alfonso V. They were arrested by the kings representative, the archbishop of Palermo. After making a large payment, they were released and permitted to leave. Among them was the poet and astronomer Isaac ben Solomon Alhadib (1396- c.1429). Syracuse was considered a city second in importance only to Palermo.

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