Adam Rokah Modern Jewish History Timeline

  • First Jews Settle in New Amsterdam

    First Jews Settle in New Amsterdam
    23 Dutch Jews fleeing Portugeuse troops in Brazil come to New Amsterdam, America. They are the first Jews to settle in what is now the United States.
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    Early Modern Period

    As the Enlightenment sweeps Europe, the traditional system of European Jewry begins to break up. Meanwhile, the Rabbis turn to more drastic measures as a last hope to preserve their power and tradition.
  • Excommunication of Spinoza

    Excommunication of Spinoza
    Traditionaly during Spinoza's time, when one was put in cherem he or she could either repent or convert to another religion. When Spinoza was excommunicated however, he opened up a third path. He did not convert, but he lived a happy and meaningful life with other misfits. This largely undermined rabbinic authority by taking away their only weapon to contain the Jewish community.
  • Jewish Leadership Factions

    Jewish Leadership Factions
    Rabbinic Authority gradually loses its power, and Jewish leadership factions into three sects. Hassidism, the first sect, was created by the Baal Shem Tov in 1738 so that the non-educated could feel a spiritual connection. The Haskalah, another sect, advocated adopting enlightenment values and secularizing. The Misnagdish movement, established by the Vilna Gaon in 1751, opposed Hassidism by focusing on strict law. The Vilna Gaon actually exiled the entire Hassidic community in 1772.
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    Political Emancipation and Secularization

    The second major era of Modern Jewish History where Jews begin gaining more rights and becoming less insular by somewhat assimilating.
  • American Emancipation

    American Emancipation
    Shortly after its formation, America grants its Jewish citizens equal rights, becoming the first modern nation to do so.
  • Moses Mendelshon

    Moses Mendelshon
    Moses Mendelshon was a German philosopher who believed religious truths could be reached through reason. He is concidered the father of the Haskalah, and is trying to securalize Jews. He is the first Jew to bring secular culture to the Orthodox world.
  • Pale of Settlement

    Pale of Settlement
    The region of Czarist Russia in which permanent residency by Jews was allowed and beyond which Jewish permanent residency was generally prohibited.
  • French Emancipation

    French Emancipation
    The government reformation that follows the French Revolution results in the Emancipation of all Jews under Napoleon.
  • Napoleon's Sanhedrin

    Napoleon's Sanhedrin
    Napoleon convenes the first meeting of a Jewish Sanhedrin in a millenia, posing questions to test Jewish loyalty to his state. Most answers are to his satisfaction.
  • Hamburg Temple

    Hamburg Temple
    An effect of Emancipation, was German Jews wanting to become more like their Lutheran Christian neighbors found the Hamburg Temple, one of the first Reform Temples in the world. The Temple's christianized customs, including mixed seating, musical accompaniment to prayer, and Sabbath services on Sunday appeal across Europe and America to those who want to become more like society without totally forsaking tradition.
  • Rav Hirsch Revives Orthadoxy

    Rav Hirsch Revives Orthadoxy
    With traditional observance becoming less popular because of assimilation and movements like Reform Judaism, Orthodox Jews begin to realize that fully isolating themselves is impractical. In order to fix this problem and appeal to the community again, Rabbi Samson Hirsch promotes Neo-Orthodoxy, an ideology that believes in a healthy balance between secular and religious life.
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    3rd major period in Modern Jewish History in which Jews decide it is time to form a Jewish state. Certain events galvanize them out of their flight mentality and they begin to stand their ground.
  • Birth of Rav Kook

    Birth of Rav Kook
    Abraham Isaac Kook was born in Griva, Russia to a Misnagdic family. He grows up to become the founder of Religious Zionism, ending up the Chief Rabbi of the British Mandate of Palestine.
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    American Experience

    4th major era of Modern Jewish History, in which certain conditions push Jews towards America where they are on a mission to become successful and establish reasonable Jewish communities.
  • Bilu Manifesto

    Bilu Manifesto
    A group of young European Jews drop out of traditional college education in order to carry out the first attempt to settle the land of Israel for Jews. Although they themselves were not successful, they inspired many others to follow in their footsteps.
  • Ahad HaAm Criticizes Political Zionism

    Ahad HaAm Criticizes Political Zionism
    Ahad Haam, publishes his first article criticizing Herzl's political Zionism for not caring about the cultural aspect of Jewish identity. His own cultural Zionism placed Jewish culture foremost.
  • Eastern European Jews Move to the US

    Eastern European Jews Move to the US
    Fleeing violent pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe, around 3.1 million Jews emigrate to America, seeking better living conditions.
  • Hertzel Galvanized by the Dreyfus Affair

    Hertzel Galvanized by the Dreyfus Affair
    Theodore Herzl, a young Hungarian Jewish journalist, comes to France to record the Dreyfus Affair, the trial of a French Jewish general accused of treason. Herzl was appaled by the crowd's lucid antisemitism, realizing that the trial was more about antisemitism than an actual crime, despite supposed "Emancipation." This revelation motivated Herzl to dedicate the rest of his life to solving the problem of Jewish persecution, leading him to the forefront of the Political Zionist movement.
  • First Zionist Congress

    First Zionist Congress
    Famous Zionist leaders from across Europe meet in Basil, Switzerland to discuss the future of Jewish self-determination. One featured speaker is Theodore Herzl, who advocates for the creation of a Jewish state in the ancient homeland of Israel.
  • Kishinev Pogrom

    Kishinev Pogrom
    Probably the most devastating pogrom in the 20th Century, the Kishinev Pogrom in Kishinev, Russia created worldwide outrage. Seeing the ruins inspired Jewish Poet Chaim Bialik to write a piece describing how defenseless Jews are in the exiled world, calling subtly for Jewish self-determination.
  • AD Gordon Moves to The Holy Land

    AD Gordon Moves to The Holy Land
    Aaron David Gordon, the founder of Labor Zionism, moves to the Israel, where he professes a form of Zionism focused on Tolstoy-inspired labor equality.
  • Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

    Triangle Shirtwaist Fire
    A result of poor working conditions and a paucity of building codes, the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire erupts in a New York City factory, killing 146 woman garment workers, at least 22 of whom are Jewish immigrants. This outrage followed by this event leads to better working conditions and unionization, a Jewish headed movement.
  • Evian Conference

    Evian Conference
    The Evian Conference was convened at the initiative of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt in July 1938 to discuss the issue of increasing numbers of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution. The World Conference was ultimately a failure, because of the many countries that attended the meeting, none of them agreed to take Jews in. The Jews needed their own state, Israel, because no country would take them in.
  • World War II

    World War II
    Hitler invades Poland, starting arguably the worst war in history. This war results in concentration camps such as Auschwitz where 1.1 million Jews were killed, and by the end of the war 6 million Jews are dead. The Allies take over Germany May 8th, 1945, ultimately ending World War II and the Holocaust.
  • Israel is Founded

    Israel is Founded
    The ultimate goal of Zionists for so many years has finally been achieved. Jews have recaptured the holy land, and can now live without fear of a tradgedy like a pogrom or another holocaust.
  • Conservative Judaism Gains Momentum

    Conservative Judaism Gains Momentum
    Conservative Judaism becomes the most popular denomination among American Jews, preaching a traditional but leniant idealogy.
  • Jerusalem Under Jewish Control

    Jerusalem Under Jewish Control
    After Israel unpredictably wins the 6-day war against Jordan, Syria, and Egypt, she manages to take back the Jerusalem, which then becomes Israel's capital.
  • Israel Surpasses America

    Israel Surpasses America
    Both America and Israel each have around 6 million Jews living within their countries. Israel however finally surpassed America by a small margin, and trends show that the gap will only continue to widen.