Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Heritage Civilization and the Jews
About the Series Historical Timeline Resources Lesson Plans Episodes
Timeline 3100 586 72 732 1492 1789 1925
Search for Deliverance
Search for Deliverance Jewish communities develop in the Ottoman Empire and Europe. Though faced with restrictions, communities of Europe and Eastern Europe maintain a thriving Jewish culture. New religious and social movements include Messianism, Hasidism, and the Enlightenment. Jews settle in the New World.
1492 Christian Spain Unified; Columbus Reaches America
1497 Forced Baptism of Jews in Portugal
c. 1500 Rise of Ottoman Empire

Ottoman Muslim Empire spreads across Anatolia, the Middle East, the Near East, North Africa, and into Europe. Jewish communities, including those in Israel, develop due to religious toleration and economic opportunity.
1516 First Jewish Ghetto Established in Venice

Jews are forced to live in a separate quarter of the city, "the ghetto," enclosed by walls and gates.
1517 Martin Luther Begins Reformation
c. 1530 Safed as Center of Jewish Mysticism
1555 End of Religious Wars in Germany; Establishment of Ghetto in Rome
1563 Height of Counter Reformation that Establishes Protestantism
1567 Joseph Caro and the Shulhan Arukh

Joseph Caro (1488-1575) writes the legal text the Shulhan Arukh, eventually accepted as the authorative Jewish legal code.
c. 1580 Dutch War of Independence; Council of the Four Lands in Poland

The Council of the Four Lands are the central institutions of Jewish self-government in Poland and Luthuania.
1590 Conversos Settle in the Netherlands

Conversos from Spain and Portugal settle in Amsterdam where they enjoy religious freedom and are free to practice professions.
1618 Start of 30 Years War
1642 Start of English Civil Wars
1648 Massacres of Jews in Poland

Chmielnicki (1595-1657) leads Cossack and peasant uprising against Polish rule in Ukraine. Hundreds of Jewish communities are destroyed.
1654 Jews Arrive in New Amsterdam

Jews from Recife, Brazil seek refuge from the Inquisition and settle in New Amsterdam (later New York).
1655 Jews Readmitted to England by Oliver Cromwell
1656 Spinoza excommunicated

Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677), Dutch philosopher, is excommunicated from the Jewish community for heretical opinions.
1665 - 1667 Shabbetai Zevi, False Messiah

Shabbetai Zevi (1626-1676) proclaims himself the Messiah. Messianic movement spreads internationally.
1690 John Locke’s Two Treatises on Civil Government
1715 Death of Louis XIV, "Sun King" of France (1638-1715)
1730 First Synagogue in North America Dedicated by Congregation Shearith Israel, New York
1760 The Baal Shem Tov, Founder of Hasidism

Israel Baal Shem Tov (1700-1760) founds Hasidism, known for its ecstatic worship, group cohesion, and charismatic leadership.
1770 Start of Haskalah, the Jewish Enlightenment Movement

The Haskalah, the Jewish Enlightenment, emphasizes participation in modern European society and leads to social and educational reforms.
1772 First Partition of Poland
1776 American Revolution, Religious Freedom Guaranteed
1778 Deaths of Voltaire (1694-1778), Rousseau (1712-1778)
1786 Moses Mendelssohn

Death of Moses Mendelssohn (1729-1786), philosopher of Jewish Enlightenment and spiritual leader of German Jewry.

About the Series    |   Historical Timeline   |   Resources   |    Lesson Plans   |   Episodes