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01 October 2010

The Jewish community of Gibraltar

The Knowles Collection is constantly receiving more and more submission of records from those with Jewish Ancestry. One of the places that records seem to be coming from at this time is Gibraltar. While there are already records of Jewish people from Gibraltar in the Jews of the British Isles database, these new records are from Gibraltar itself.

The history of Gibraltar, as far as the Jews are concerned, has been for the most part a time of prosperity and peace. The community has been there for almost 700 years. Some of the important dates in the history of the Jews of Gibraltar are;
  • The first record of Jews comes in 1356, when the community seeks help raising money to free people captured by pirates.
  • Jews fleeing Cordoba seek refuge in 1473.
  • In 1713, Gibraltar comes under British rule, as per the Treaty of Utrecht.
  • In 1729, the Sultan of Morocco and the British reach agreement where the Jewish subjects were legally allowed to reside in Gibraltar.
  • 1749, Jews were allowed to become permanent residents. At this time Isaac Nieto, arrived from London, became the first Rabbi and established congregation Sha'ar HaShamayim (also known as the Great Synagogue), the oldest synagogue in Gibraltar.
  • 1753, first census of Gibraltar, shows the Jewish population to be 575. This was almost 1/3 of the almost 1800 total inhabitants.

The records from Gibraltar of the Jewish community will be in the Jews of Europe database.

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