Torah Timeline

Torah Timeline


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  • c. 1000 BCE

    Tentative date of the composition of the Torah's J source.

  • c. 900 BCE

    Tentative date of the composition of the Torah's E source.

  • c. 621 BCE

    Tentative date of the composition of the Torah's D source.

  • 539 BCE - c. 330 BCE

    Tentative date of the redactional (=editorial) activity of the Torah's P source.

  • c. 250 BCE

    Torah is translated into Greek in Alexandria, Egypt.


Torah Timeline - History

There are nearly five and a half billion people on this earth, of whom only about fifteen million—less than one third of one percent—are classified as Jews. Statistically, they should hardly be heard of, like the Ainu tucked away in a comer of: Asia, bystanders of history. But the Jews are heard of totally out of proportion to their small numbers. The Jewish contribution to the world’s list of great names in religion, science, literature, music, finance, and philosophy is staggering.

During their 4,000 year existence empires such as the Greek, Roman and Ottoman have appeared and vanished. To each the Jews made substantial contributions and by each they suffered problems ranging from additional taxation, expulsion and pogroms. Concepts such as prayer, redemption, universal education and charity were understood and used hundreds of years before the rest of the world was ready to accept them.

The Jewish people have long maintained both physical and religious ties with the land of Israel. Although they had first arrived centuries earlier, and the Jewish Bible claims that a Jewish monarchy existed starting in the 10th century BCE. The first appearance of the name "Israel" is in the secular (non-Biblical) historic record is the Egyptian Merneptah Stele, circa 1200 BCE. During the Biblical period, two kingdoms occupied the highland zone, the Kingdom of Israel (Samaria) in the north, and the Kingdom of Judah in the south. The Kingdom of Israel was conquered by the Neo-Assyrian Empire (circa 722 BCE), and the runt Kingdom of Judah by the Neo-Babylonian Empire (586 BCE). The defeat of the Babylonian Empire by the Achaemenid Empire under Cyrus the Great (538 BCE), saw some returneing to Jerusalem and the Second Temple built.

In 332 BCE the Macedonian Greeks under Alexander the Great conquered Israel, starting a long religious struggle that split the Jewish population into traditional (orthodox) and Hellenized components.

In 165 BCE after the religion-driven Maccabean Revolt, the independent orthodox Hasmonean Kingdom was established. In 64 BCE the Romans conquered Israel, turning it into a Roman province. Although coming under the sway of various empires and home to a variety of ethnicities, the area of ancient Israel was predominantly Jewish until the Jewish–Roman wars of 66-136 CE, during which the Romans expelled most of the Jews from the area and replaced it with the Roman province of Palestine so adding to the Jewish Diaspora where the Jews formed minorities. The area became increasingly Christian after the 3rd century, though the percentages of Christians and Jews are unknown, the former probably predominating in urban areas and the latter in rural areas[1]. Jewish settlements declined from over 160 to 50 by the time of the Muslim conquest. Michael Avi-Yonah calculated that Jews constituted 10–15% of Palestine's population on the Persian invasion of 614,[2] while Moshe Gil claims that Jews constituted the majority of the population until the 7th century Muslim conquest (638 CE).[3]

In 1099 the Crusaders conquered Jerusalem and nearby coastal areas, losing and recapturing it for almost 200 years until their last stand in Acre in 1291. In 1517 the Ottoman Empire conquered it, ruling it until the British conquered it in 1917. The British Mandate ended in 1948, when the Jewish State of Israel was created.

JEWISH TIMELINES AND SURVIVAL

JEWISH AND CHRISTIAN DATES

(from ‘The Amazing Adventures of the Jewish People’ by Max I Dimont)

Jews began dating events not with a king or a divinity but with the creation of man.
In Judaism mankind, not a god or an individual, is the center of destiny.

For practical purposes the Jews have adopted a common calendar with Western civilization. The Christian designation of BC (‘Before Christ’) is replaced with BCE. (Before the Common Era) and AD (Anno Domini ‘the year of our Lord’) by CE. (Common Era).
So, for instance, instead of saying that the Modern state of Israel was founded in 1948 AD., or that David was crowned king of ancient Israel in 1000 BC,
the Jews say the former was in 1948 CE and the latter in 1000 BCE.

Year 1 in Jewish chronology is the creation of Adam and Eve which, according to tradition, took place 3,760 years before the birth of Jesus,
the event used by Western civilization as Year 1.

To find the Jewish date for an event occurring either before or after the birth of Jesus, just subtract or add the year in which the event took place from or to 3,760. Thus 1000 BC would be the Jewish year of 2760 (3,760 minus 1,000), and 1000 AD would be the Jewish year of 4760 (3,760 plus 1,000)
.

Dates given in Jewish history may vary slightly as scholars disagree on the exact dates they occurred. These variations in no way affect the validity of the event itself.

MANY JEWISH TIMESCALES ARE AVAILABLE.
Which is of most use depends on what you are looking for.
The list below is to help you in your search


Hebrew / Jewish History - Timeline - Chronology - Important Dates

The following Jewish history timeline details some (not all, of course) of the important events in Jewish history, specifically, historical events in Jewish history which are discussed in this website. Each of the tables below are organized as a chronology specifically, the following Jewish history timeline also lists one (or more) of the dates for these events in Jewish history based on traditional chronological sources in Judaism such as the 2nd century C.E. work by Rabbi Jose (or Yose) Ben Halafta, a student of Rabbi Akiva, entitled the "Seder Olam Rabbah" ("Great Order Of The World" in Hebrew), as well as the mathematical calculations of various secular scholars.

Note that the historical dates in Jewish history that are displayed in each table are not necessarily meant to be derived from each other. I am simply comparing the given dates in the Seder Olam Rabbah for each event in Hebrew/Jewish history with the corresponding modern Hebrew/Jewish calendar dates for each event in Hebrew/Jewish history as well as the secular dates for each event in Hebrew/Jewish history derived from various calculations made by secular scholars. Regarding the modern Hebrew/Jewish calendar tables below, there is an assumption that the Seder Olam Rabbah dates can be applied to the modern Hebrew/Jewish calendar, and that the Seder Olam Rabbah dates as well as the modern Hebrew/Jewish calendar dates can be applied to the traditional/historic and modern Gregorian calendars.

The Orthodox Jewish Timeline : Chronological Dates Based On The Seder Olam Rabbah Dates
(1) With A Year 0
Seder Olam Rabbah DateModern Proleptic Gregorian Calendar DateEvent In Jewish History
2892868 B.C.E.David becomes King of Israel.
2924836 B.C.E.Solomon becomes King of Israel.
2928832 B.C.E.Jerusalem: First Temple started.
2935825 B.C.E.First Temple completed. It takes 7 1/2 years to build the Temple and was completed in the autumn of the 11th year of Solomon's reign.
2964796 B.C.E.In the region of Judea: Division of the Kingdom of Israel into two kingdoms: the Kingdom of Israel in northern Judea and the Kingdom of Judah in southern Judea.
3338422 B.C.E.Babylonians destroy First Temple on the 9th of Av and exile the Jews to Babylon.
3389371 B.C.E.Babylon falls to Medes and Persians under Darius the Mede and Cyrus the Great of Persia Cyrus reigns Proclamation of Cyrus, he permits Jews to return to Eretz Yisrael. Return to Israel. Minority returns in Nissan - same month as Exodus from Egypt. Persian Empire.
3391369 B.C.E.Darius the Persian permits Jews to rebuild Temple in Jerusalem. Second Temple started. Medean Empire.
3408352 B.C.E.Second Temple completed.
382868 C.E.Romans destroy Second Temple - 9th of Av. About 2,000,000 killed. Cruelty, Exile, Slavery. Destruction of Second Temple by Romans (according to some, the year was 3829 = 69 C.E.).


The Orthodox Jewish Timeline : Chronological Dates Based On The Seder Olam Rabbah Dates
(1) Without A Year 0
Seder Olam Rabbah DateTraditional or Historic Proleptic Gregorian Calendar DateEvent In Jewish History
2892869 B.C.E.David becomes King of Israel.
2924837 B.C.E.Solomon becomes King of Israel.
2928833 B.C.E.Jerusalem: First Temple started.
2935826 B.C.E.First Temple completed. It takes 7 1/2 years to build the Temple and was completed in the autumn of the 11th year of Solomon's reign.
2964797 B.C.E.In the region of Judea: Division of the Kingdom of Israel into two kingdoms: the Kingdom of Israel in northern Judea and the Kingdom of Judah in southern Judea.
3338423 B.C.E.Babylonians destroy First Temple on the 9th of Av and exile the Jews to Babylon.
3389372 B.C.E.Babylon falls to Medes and Persians under Darius the Mede and Cyrus the Great of Persia Cyrus reigns Proclamation of Cyrus, he permits Jews to return to Eretz Yisrael. Return to Israel. Minority returns in Nissan - same month as Exodus from Egypt. Persian Empire.
3391370 B.C.E.Darius the Persian permits Jews to rebuild Temple in Jerusalem. Second Temple started. Medean Empire.
3408353 B.C.E.Second Temple completed.
382867 C.E.Romans destroy Second Temple - 9th of Av. About 2,000,000 killed. Cruelty, Exile, Slavery. Destruction of Second Temple by Romans (according to some, the year was 3829 = 68 C.E.).


The Modern Hebrew/Jewish Calendar Timeline : Chronological Dates Based On The Seder Olam Rabbah Dates
(1) With A Year 0
Seder Olam Rabbah DateModern Hebrew/Jewish CalendarModern Proleptic Gregorian Calendar DateEvent In Jewish History
28922894866 B.C.E.David becomes King of Israel.
29242926834 B.C.E.Solomon becomes King of Israel.
29282930830 B.C.E.Jerusalem: First Temple started.
29352937823 B.C.E.First Temple completed. It takes 7 1/2 years to build the Temple and was completed in the autumn of the 11th year of Solomon's reign.
29642966794 B.C.E.In the region of Judea: Division of the Kingdom of Israel into two kingdoms: the Kingdom of Israel in northern Judea and the Kingdom of Judah in southern Judea.
33383340420 B.C.E.Babylonians destroy First Temple on the 9th of Av and exile the Jews to Babylon.
33893391369 B.C.E.Babylon falls to Medes and Persians under Darius the Mede and Cyrus the Great of Persia Cyrus reigns Proclamation of Cyrus, he permits Jews to return to Eretz Yisrael. Return to Israel. Minority returns in Nissan - same month as Exodus from Egypt. Persian Empire.
33913393367 B.C.E.Darius the Persian permits Jews to rebuild Temple in Jerusalem. Second Temple started. Medean Empire.
34083410350 B.C.E.Second Temple completed.
3828383070 C.E.Romans destroy Second Temple - 9th of Av. About 2,000,000 killed. Cruelty, Exile, Slavery. Destruction of Second Temple by Romans (according to some, the year was 3829 = 71 C.E.).


The Modern Hebrew/Jewish Calendar Timeline : Chronological Dates Based On The Seder Olam Rabbah Dates
(1) Without A Year 0
Seder Olam Rabbah DateModern Hebrew/Jewish CalendarTraditional or Historic Proleptic Gregorian Calendar DateEvent In Jewish History
28922894867 B.C.E.David becomes King of Israel.
29242926835 B.C.E.Solomon becomes King of Israel.
29282930831 B.C.E.Jerusalem: First Temple started.
29352937824 B.C.E.First Temple completed. It takes 7 1/2 years to build the Temple and was completed in the autumn of the 11th year of Solomon's reign.
29642966795 B.C.E.In the region of Judea: Division of the Kingdom of Israel into two kingdoms: the Kingdom of Israel in northern Judea and the Kingdom of Judah in southern Judea.
33383340421 B.C.E.Babylonians destroy First Temple on the 9th of Av and exile the Jews to Babylon.
33893391370 B.C.E.Babylon falls to Medes and Persians under Darius the Mede and Cyrus the Great of Persia Cyrus reigns Proclamation of Cyrus, he permits Jews to return to Eretz Yisrael. Return to Israel. Minority returns in Nissan - same month as Exodus from Egypt. Persian Empire.
33913393368 B.C.E.Darius the Persian permits Jews to rebuild Temple in Jerusalem. Second Temple started. Medean Empire.
34083410351 B.C.E.Second Temple completed.
3828383069 C.E.Romans destroy Second Temple - 9th of Av. About 2,000,000 killed. Cruelty, Exile, Slavery. Destruction of Second Temple by Romans (according to some, the year was 3829 = 70 C.E.).


The Secular Historical Timeline : Chronological Date Calculations Of Various Secular Historians
Seder Olam Rabbah DateProleptic Gregorian Calendar Date (Traditional/Historic and Modern)Event In Jewish History
2892David ruled from either 1011 B.C.E. or 1010 B.C.E. or 1005 B.C.E. or 1004 B.C.E. or 1001 B.C.E. or 1000 B.C.E. or 990 B.C.E. until either 971 B.C.E. or 970 B.C.E. or 968 B.C.E. or 967 B.C.E. or 965 B.C.E.David becomes King of Israel.
2924Solomon ruled from either 970 B.C.E. or 968 B.C.E. or 967 B.C.E. or 965 B.C.E. or 960 B.C.E. until 931 B.C.E. or 930 B.C.E. or 928 B.C.E. or 927 B.C.E. or 922 B.C.E.Solomon becomes King of Israel.
2928(1014 B.C.E. or 1013 B.C.E.) or (971 B.C.E. or 970 B.C.E.) or (968 B.C.E. or 967 B.C.E.) or (958 B.C.E. or 957 B.C.E.)Jerusalem: First Temple started.
29351006 B.C.E. or 963 B.C.E. 960 B.C.E. or 950 B.C.E.First Temple completed. It takes 7 1/2 years to build the Temple and was completed in the autumn of the 11th year of Solomon's reign.
2964930 B.C.E. or 929 B.C.E. or 927 B.C.E. or 926 B.C.E. or 922 B.C.E.In the region of Judea: Division of the Kingdom of Israel into two kingdoms: the Kingdom of Israel in northern Judea and the Kingdom of Judah in southern Judea.
3338587 B.C.E. or 586 B.C.E.Babylonians destroy First Temple on the 9th of Av and exile the Jews to Babylon.
3389539 B.C.E. or 538 B.C.E. or 537 B.C.E. or 536 B.C.E.Babylon falls to Medes and Persians under Darius the Mede and Cyrus the Great of Persia Cyrus reigns Proclamation of Cyrus, he permits Jews to return to Eretz Yisrael. Return to Israel. Minority returns in Nissan - same month as Exodus from Egypt. Persian Empire.
3391520 BCE - 515 B.C.E. or 521 B.C.E. - 516 B.C.E.Darius the Persian permits Jews to rebuild Temple in Jerusalem. Second Temple started. Medean Empire.
3408536 B.C.E. or 535 B.C.E. (foundations laid for Second Temple, but work suspended thereafter) building of Second Temple resumes from either 520 B.C.E. to 515 B.C.E. or from 521 B.C.E. to 516 B.C.E. (521 B.C.E. or 520 B.C.E. : work resumes on Second Temple Second Temple completed in either 516 B.C.E. or 515 B.C.E.)Second Temple completed.
382870 C.E.Romans destroy Second Temple - 9th of Av. About 2,000,000 killed. Cruelty, Exile, Slavery. Destruction of Second Temple by Romans (according to some, the year was 3829 = 71 C.E.).


Additional notes about the Kingdom of Israel in northern Judea (consisting of 10 of the 12 Hebrew tribes: Asher, Dan, Ephraim, Gad, Issachar, Manasseh, Naphtali, Reuben, Simeon, and Zebulon) and the Kingdom of Judah in southern Judea (consisting of the remaining two Hebrew tribes: Judah and Benjamin), both of whom were created by the splitting of the united Kingdom of Israel (united in the sense that it included the lands of all twelve Hebrew tribes) into two kingdoms following the death of King Solomon:

  • Kingdom of Israel in northern Judea: Nablus (Shechem) was the first capital of this kingdom (1 Kings 12:25), afterwards Tirza (1 Kings 14:17). Samaria was subsequently chosen as the capital (1 Kings 16:24), and continued as such until the destruction of the kingdom by the Assyrians (2 Kings 17:5).
  • Kingdom of Judah in southern Judea: Jerusalem remained the sole capital of the southern kingdom of Judah, continuing its status as a capital city after the division of the united Kingdom of Israel into two kingdoms.

Additional significant events in Jewish history:

  • 725 B.C.E. - 722 B.C.E. (according to secular historical dates alternate scholarly date claims are: 724 B.C.E. - 721 B.C.E. or 723 B.C.E. - 720 B.C.E.): Siege of the northern Kingdom of Israel (also known as Samaria which was taken from the city of the same name in Judea) by Assyria, led by King Shalmanezer V (also spelled: Shalmanassar V, Shalmaneser V, or Shalmanezzer V he changed his original name of Ulula to that of Shalmaneser when he became king.), who ruled Assyria from 727 B.C.E. until 722 B.C.E. (according to secular historical dates alternate scholarly date claims are: 726 B.C.E. until 721 B.C.E. or 725 B.C.E. until 720 B.C.E.).
  • 722 B.C.E. (alternate scholarly date claims are: 721 B.C.E. or 720 B.C.E.) : King Shalmanezer V of Assyria dies during the siege of the northern Kingdom of Israel and was succeeded by King Sargon II of Assyria who ruled Assyria from 722 B.C.E. until 705 B.C.E. (according to secular historical dates alternate scholarly date claims are: 721 B.C.E. until 704 B.C.E. or 720 B.C.E. until 703 B.C.E.). King Sargon II himself records the capture of the city of Samaria in 722 B.C.E. (alternate scholarly date claims are: 721 B.C.E. or 720 B.C.E.). End of the northern Kingdom of Israel. Its inhabitants - the 10 Hebrew tribes and some members of the priestly Levites - are exiled to Assyria and assimilated. Some inhabitants escape to the southern Kingdom of Judah where they are incorporated into the Hebrew tribes of Judah and Benjamin. In addition, some members of the priestly Levites also escape the Assyrians and join their bretheren in the Kingdom of Judah.
  • 587 B.C.E. or 586 B.C.E. (according to secular historical dates): King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylonia, who reigned from 605 B.C.E. until 562 B.C.E. (according to secular historical dates), defeats the southern Kingdom of Judah and destroys Jerusalem and the Temple (specifically, the First Temple). Most of the Kingdom of Judah's inhabitants are exiled to Babylonia. Some are allowed to remain in Judah.

Copyright © 1999-2018 Elimelech David Ha-Levi Web, All Rights Reserved


History Crash Course #68: Timeline: From Abraham to the State of Israel

We have now reached the conclusion of this series and before we wrap up it is fitting for us to put into perspective the ground that we have covered.

Note that we are following the Jewish calendar for these events (and not the Gregorian calendar which is at times 150 years at odds with Jewish computations). For more on this issue see Part 21.

Crash Course in Jewish History -- The Book

See below for info on the Crash Course in Jewish History book - fully sourced and annotated with timelines, maps, charts and bibliography. If you enjoyed the course online, you'll love the book!

Article 68 of 68 in the series Jewish History

History Crash Course #36: Timeline: From Abraham to Destruction of the Temple

History Crash Course #4: Abraham's Journey

History Crash Course #65: The State of Israel

History Crash Course #1: Why Study History

The Tulsa Race Massacre and Oklahoma’s Jews

I Moved to Israel, Alone, When I was 15

Louis Armstrong and the Jewish Family

Mazel Tov. It's a Boy!

Rabbi Ken Spiro, originally from New Rochelle, NY, graduated from Vassar College with a BA in Russian Language and Literature and did graduate studies at the Pushkin Institute in Moscow. He has rabbinic ordination from Aish Jerusalem and a Master&rsquos Degree in History from The Vermont College of Norwich University. Rabbi Spiro is also a licensed tour guide by the Israel Ministry of Tourism. He has appeared on numerous radio and TV programs such as BBC, National Geographic Channel and The History Channel. A father of five children, he currently lives in Jerusalem, where he works as a senior lecturer for Aish Jerusalem, a tour guide and an author.

Comments (57)

(55) Moses Musinguzi, September 13, 2018 7:35 AM

I had read, online, the entire crash course. I have learnt a lot about the beloved Jews, and their God-given land, Israel. I therefore thank you for availing this knowledge. I am a born again Christian in Uganda. However, I will always be a blessing to the Jews when opportunity arises, because, for the truth YOU are a chosen people. Shalom

(54) Danny Fuentebella, June 9, 2018 12:01 PM

God is truly amazing!

I am very interested in learning Jewish History

(53) Anonymous, December 27, 2017 4:57 AM

Excellent work, so interesting and enlightening!

Your work is filling large gaps in my awareness of the history of my people. It is so much appreciated!

(52) Rodney, April 24, 2017 12:38 AM

(51) Hanna, May 26, 2015 2:53 AM

A Must Read!

I just finished reading the last Crush Histoty Course no. 68. I loved every one of the courses and I highly recommend it to everyone. Thank Aish and Rabbi Spiro. By the way --- I was sorry that the courses ended.

(50) Werner Feyt, March 23, 2015 8:19 AM

Keep up the GOOD WORK. May G-d bless you.

(49) Lynda Crawford, May 26, 2014 11:02 AM

Awesome information. Makes everything that has happened throughout Israel's history very clear. Thankyou Looking for the day when The whole House of Israel is reunited again .

(48) Alain, July 3, 2012 4:54 PM

Thank you for this important teaching of the Bible and true history of Israel.Shalom

(47) Peter Bayliss, May 1, 2012 9:01 PM

allow me to be on your mailing list.

As a Christian I have always felt that we owe so much to your nation, for it was through you that God spoke and still speaks today. We love His own people and the nation. I hope that my stance as a Christian who weeps at the history of the many so-called christians who treated the Jewish nation so badly and so seeks your forgiveness, that you will allow me to be on your mailing list.

Leonard Gorsky, May 30, 2012 8:50 PM

in your opinion, why have the jews been so persecuted over the years, and why are we still today? there are only 16[?] million of us and 1 billion of both christians and moslems. i have been jewish since birth and i never hated anyone, christian, moslem, black or white.

aj C, July 26, 2014 2:13 AM

hate wears many hats

Its a pride thing. you got them better last time but don't ask me to define who "you" and "them" are because just like politics, the lines are blurred and messy.

(46) Kai Kona Miller, April 21, 2012 6:36 PM

Born in Kona Hawaii and moved to Jonstown Colorado.

Very good timeline it shows a lot.

(45) Anonymous, November 6, 2011 5:22 PM

(44) Nydia Grube, May 15, 2011 12:53 AM

I loved your timeline I can study the bible form it.

Thank you for your wisdom!

(43) Jorge Amaro, March 30, 2011 1:59 PM

Muchas gracias excelentísimo!

WOW! A miracle indeed. Jorge

(42) sari, July 20, 2010 9:52 AM

hebrew dates

Is it possible to fine hone the time line by adding in the equivalent hebrew year? I think it wd be greaty appreciated by many. thanks.

(41) Anonymous, September 28, 2009 1:53 PM

A most useful and inspiring history, wonderfully clear and easy to follow.

(40) Magdalena, March 11, 2009 1:47 PM

Needed information on judaism history

This is a good web site on the Judaism information. i have look at many web site and not enough information on this subject and i will let others know about this web site. the reason for the information i am in a religion class at the University of Phoenix and writing about a time line for Abraham to the present. thanks, mags

(39) Anonymous, February 1, 2009 12:37 AM

Thank you muchly!

I spent two hours trying to find information about what happened in Egypt before Moses and i finally found this website. And in half an hour i had everything i needed, and more. THANK YOU SO MUCH for the info. it was comprehensive and easy to understand even for me. plus it was really interesting so i read more than i actually had to. so thank you :D

(38) Anonymous, October 24, 2008 12:00 PM

thanks for the great timeline kk ^_^

(37) Niki, October 7, 2008 7:18 PM

This timeline just helped me so much with my Judaism test. Thank you so much!!

(36) tazeen, August 11, 2008 9:46 PM

Appreciation

I am a Muslim and reading jewish history since last year as an ameteur but let me admit this is the most informative history written with open minds. especially i have seen that u have mentioned jews condition in Muslim world with honesty. None such article i found written by a jew. Bravo for such detailed information.

(35) Grace Fishenfeld, April 8, 2008 5:02 PM

No ending for me

You mentioned that we have come to the end of this series. Please continue to write about Jewish History. I have not come close to learning enough. I hope we can return to many of the chapters. I depend upon the information you have so generously provided. I thank you Rabbi Spiro, for your excellent work. It is such a pleasure to read and think about the Jewish past which has a great effect on our future.I love reading the comments from the many different people and I thank them also.
Grace

(34) Joey, April 4, 2008 11:30 AM

Thanks to the Rabbi for all the great lessons, and God bless!

(33) Mike, April 3, 2008 6:14 AM

Great course!

Really enjoyed thecourse and found it easy to read and very instructive.

(32) Anonymous, April 1, 2008 2:26 PM

I agree with Edward Prato!

(31) Menashe Kaltmann, April 1, 2008 1:01 AM

Fantastic diagram

Great diagram showing the timeline of Jewish history an aid to all educators. Thank you aish.com and R. Spiro yet again for this series!

(30) Ori, November 9, 2007 10:26 AM

I work at a Jewish day school and have begun using this timeline as part of a lesson. Please tell me the sourses used to compile the information given.
Thank you!

(29) Jeanne Whisenant, July 18, 2007 5:46 PM

wonderfully detailed history!

For a Gentile with little Jewish history knowledge, this site is a wonderful place to see the entire Jewish history in a neatly done timeline. Thank you for the work.

(28) Anonymous, June 5, 2007 1:46 AM

What a pity that the histories have come to an end with number 68! It has been such a pleasure receiving them and
reading them. I have downloaded them and now intend to begin again and read
them more carefully.

I congratulate you on writing so well and informatively. The series
of 68 give an excellent insight into Jewish history and I am sure that
other readers are also inspired to go further.

Many, many thanks from a very contended and grateful recipient in
Melbourne, Australia.

(27) Anonymous, February 1, 2007 12:36 PM

I have never read or seen any piece so brilliantly summarized in such distinct
detail.This was before my time but left me in tears!

(26) Anonymous, February 11, 2006 12:00 AM

After my trip to Greece, I wanted to understand what was happening in Jewish hstory at the time of the ancient Greeks. You've broadened my experience of the ancient world.

(25) milena-anna, July 11, 2004 12:00 AM

the title of this article looks just like the topis of my studies and work to get the masters degree, thanks for the summary:)If there is anyone who has materials on the subject, I'd be grateful. I am jewish but I live in Poland. It is hard to get anything about our history.

(24) Johnny A., March 27, 2004 12:00 AM

Thanks for the historical clarification!

This timeline is an excellent tool to understand the history of the Jewish people! I always had many misconceptions about the events surrounding the establishment of the State of Israel, and was very pleased to have the historical facts presented to me in such a clear and concise manner. I'm very impressed, and plan to pass on this website to others who may be interested. Thanks!

(23) Erica, February 15, 2004 12:00 AM

Thank you so much for having this wonderful reasearch. It helped me so much on my Religion project. I'm glad I learned more about my religion!

(22) Rex S. Rambo, December 1, 2003 12:00 AM

Greatest historial writings I have ever read.

I have a profound insight into Jewish history and the great Jewish religion that is awesome to me. Thank you

(21) noelle stills, December 1, 2003 12:00 AM

The information is excellent . Thank you for your insight, I have enjoyed all the articles.

Thank you for the information.

(20) Kaustav Chakrabarti, December 1, 2003 12:00 AM

Many thanks for a wonderful journey through Jewish history. I have enjoyed it thoroughly.May I use your articles for research?

(19) joey, August 15, 2003 12:00 AM

made me read it a second time!

(18) Justin Amler, April 18, 2002 12:00 AM

What a truly amazing piece of writing. I have read heaps of history before but the way its displayed is so refreshing and informative its forced me to think so much about my heritage and my place in the world.

Is there anyway we can email you Rabbi directly?

(17) Hyman Novak, April 17, 2002 12:00 AM

Your web sites are very informativ. Mazeltov

I enjoy receiving mail from you, beause even at my ripe old age of 75, I am never to old to learn, and your page, I do learn something new.
Keep them coming and above all keep well

(16) L Martin, April 10, 2002 12:00 AM

Thank you Thank you Thank you

(15) Ed Prato, April 4, 2002 12:00 AM

Thankyou for making available this informative description of Jewish history. I am a non-Jew and, I must say, an "areligeous" person. However I think that it is essential that, before once can make an informed opinion about the current Arab-Israeli conflict, one must be exposed to all sides of the dispute. I have swallowed as much Palestinian and Arab rhetoric as I can and I have concluded that most of their opinions are mindless and uninspiring. Unfortunately, much of the world is coming down on the side of Palestinian terrorists citing that Israel must stop occupying Palestinian lands. An informed opinion (from whom was the land taken to begin with?) makes the argument stronger for the inverse relationship. Israel is, has been, and should be the homeland of the Jews. I believe that and I support Israel's right to defend their sovereignty. It is clear that Arabs are in general mislead and completely misinformed by their media. It is also my firm belief that opinions should only be considered when they are based on accurate information. Towards this end, the distribution of information, I appreciate your efforts. Please continue , I will visit again.
Sincerely,
Edward A. Prato

(14) Kay Smith, April 4, 2002 12:00 AM

In an effort to better understand the on-going struggle in the Holy Land, I have been searching for an understandable history of Israel. What a gold-mine of information you have provided in this series. Once people learn about the struggle of the Jewish people for their homeland, they must realize that we must step up our efforts to support Israel.

(13) TRISH WELLS, April 2, 2002 12:00 AM

FOR YEARS, I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO FIND MY WAY HOME. YOU HAVE OFFERED ME A WEALTH OF INFORMATION AND RECOGNITION THAT WE WILL ENDURE. I HAVE OFTEN WONDERED HOW I MADE IT THIS FAR. NOW I UNDERSTAND COMPLETELY THE RESPONSIBILITY THAT I HAVE. IT IS A WONDERFUL ENLIGHTENMENT.

(12) robert griese, March 30, 2002 12:00 AM

This is a wonderful short history.

Everyone,in the US and the world, would have a much better understanding and I would hope positive feeling for the Jewish people, and themselves if they read this history.

(11) Linda Schaeffer, March 28, 2002 12:00 AM

Absolutely Superb

Thank you so much for the absolutely superb Jewish History series. I learned much about our Jewish Heritage and have enjoyed reading each series. It was so well written that I am going to read it and study it more in depth. Again, thank you and please continue to write more about Jewish History.

(10) Irving Tessel, March 27, 2002 12:00 AM

Fantastic Overview of Jewish History

Thank you for writing this series. I have downloaded the series and have had them bound in a book format.

(9) Paul Kaplan, March 26, 2002 12:00 AM

Thank you for doing The Jewish History Series

It is wonderful to be reminded of where we came from and what we have been through, and to be reminded that we will continue, in spite of constant challenges to our existence.

(8) Ida Whitstein, March 20, 2002 12:00 AM

WONDERFUL!! ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL!

I have learned so very much from your articles. Thank you for what you are doing to educate people!
Shalom

(7) Norma Wollard, March 19, 2002 12:00 AM

An Enlightening course, which every Jew and non-Jew alike should read, digest, and take to heart. I, a Roman Catholic and a teacher, fully enjoyed learning your history,and even more about my own. It has cleared away some of the shadows, cob-webs and fallices of my churches teachings, (mostly by the omissions) .Certainly,I have gained more understanding.

I am going to take this course again. It is far from boring, I appreciate the humor too. Thank you.

(6) Kenneth Handschuh, March 18, 2002 12:00 AM

I have saved each chapter and read them as time permits. I have found the series to be very informative and will serve as a valuable reference.

(5) Stella Carabajal, March 18, 2002 12:00 AM

I have found this Jewish crash course in helping me to understand my Jewish Roots It was awesome. I did not start from the beginning of this courses. I started at the middle of the courses. I would like to receive from the first to number 29., If at all possible. I have made copies for myself to have on hand and have forward them to other friends. I thank you for being able to present them to whomsoever would want to know the history of our fathers.

(4) Chayka B, March 18, 2002 12:00 AM

Thank you for your series. While I consider myself fairly knowledgable in Jewish history - the way you presented and explaned it taught me a lot. I look forward to reading more from you.

(3) Jerry Bell, March 18, 2002 12:00 AM

Thank you very much for the Jewish History series. Although, some of this history I knew there was much I didn't know or remember. I enjoyed each and every chapter.

(2) Michal Meyer, March 18, 2002 12:00 AM

interesting!

it was very interesting, Thanks!

(1) Jeffrey Stevenson, March 17, 2002 12:00 AM

Thank's for the Jewish History Series

Thank you so much for the Jewish History series I have not missed one series. The series has helped me greatly to understand much about the history and difficult times in a very skillful presentation.
Much Thanks


Years: 3761 BCE - c. 1947 Subject: Religion
Publisher: HistoryWorld Online Publication Date: 2012
Current online version: 2012 eISBN: 9780191737282

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History Crash Course #36: Timeline: From Abraham to Destruction of the Temple

This is the 36th installment of this series and it is fitting for us to put into perspective the ground that we have covered, before we begin the story of the next exile of the Jewish people that will last the next 2,000 years.

Note that we are following the Jewish calendar for these events (and not the Gregorian calendar which is at times 150 years at odds with Jewish computations). For more on this issue, see Part 21.

Article 36 of 68 in the series Jewish History

History Crash Course #35: Destruction of the Temple

History Crash Course #25: The Second Temple

History Crash Course #68: Timeline: From Abraham to the State of Israel

History Crash Course #4: Abraham's Journey

The Tulsa Race Massacre and Oklahoma’s Jews

I Moved to Israel, Alone, When I was 15

Louis Armstrong and the Jewish Family

Mazel Tov. It's a Boy!

Rabbi Ken Spiro, originally from New Rochelle, NY, graduated from Vassar College with a BA in Russian Language and Literature and did graduate studies at the Pushkin Institute in Moscow. He has rabbinic ordination from Aish Jerusalem and a Master&rsquos Degree in History from The Vermont College of Norwich University. Rabbi Spiro is also a licensed tour guide by the Israel Ministry of Tourism. He has appeared on numerous radio and TV programs such as BBC, National Geographic Channel and The History Channel. A father of five children, he currently lives in Jerusalem, where he works as a senior lecturer for Aish Jerusalem, a tour guide and an author.

Comments (11)

(11) Menashe Kaltmann, August 8, 2007 6:25 PM

A very worthwhile series

So far so good! Thank you again R. Spiro and aish.com for making Jewish history come alive with these informative and well-written articles.
It seems throughout these articles that G-d's guiding hand is involved with our history.

(10) Rob M, August 7, 2007 7:18 AM

Outstanding

Thank you for putting events into perspective that makes it easy for "not so learned" Jews like myself to understand.

(9) Joseph, February 26, 2003 12:00 AM

Thank you very much,dear Aish!
All the best.

(8) Anonymous, February 24, 2003 12:00 AM

I am thoroughly enjoying the Jewish History series. Thank you for adding to my knowledge.

(7) David Merrill, February 24, 2003 12:00 AM

choosing traditions


At my first glance the 150 year discrepancy in the timeline around Israel's civil division surprised me but then I saw the note about Lecture 21. The short quote from Peter James about the timeline adjustment is not convincing especially when the 'traditional' timeline explains so much about modern history. I find the 586 BCE Temple destruction date difficult to adjust. I will have to read Centuries in Darkness and get the full argument.

(6) Francine VanWoudenberg, February 7, 2003 12:00 AM

This is so fascinating!

I am so impressed by the engaging, historical lessons given here. I am planning to go to a synagogue for the first time in my life this evening, God-willing. So, I am trying to gain some perspective on the history leading up to the current, world-wide worship of the LORD of Israel (so diverse and yet so unchanged, in some respects), since he is also my God. There is a possibility that I have Jewish ancestors, and so I find this information very relevant and whether that proves to be the case or not, I will always see it as a part of my own history. I can't stop reading, it is so fascinating. thanks so much for compiling and sharing this!

(5) Jim Griffin, May 21, 2002 12:00 AM

Informative, clear, concise, well done site.

Thanks for the diligence in presenting this information here. I will be back often to "take the course".

(4) sam socher, July 19, 2001 12:00 AM

what about yushke?

This is a wonderful and informative series, and i am enjoying it immensly. I realize that this is Jewish history, but I would like to see the significant dates in early Chrixianity, and how they effected the jews at the time.
thanks,
sam socher

(3) Giacomo Ruffoni, July 18, 2001 12:00 AM

Just amazing

Very inspiring indeed. By reading Israel History, I came to understand the world history better. Every thing that falls to the Jewish nation is bound to affect the world at large. Thank you for all the effort to mantain this web-site. It has changed my life perspective. Well done. G-d bless you as people. The bottom truth is that the world now is not fighting Israel it is fighting G-d. Thanks again from the depths of my soul.

(2) Harvey Weiner, July 17, 2001 12:00 AM

Aish should be on the next timeline

Returned today from a visit to Jerusalem. Saw the beatiful new facilties Aish is constructing opposite The Kotel. For all the good that Aish HaTorah does, the timeline for this millenium should include the emergence of Aish HaTorah as a force for honesty, literacy, mutual understanding and tolerance.

(1) Phillip Kruse, July 16, 2001 12:00 AM

Hanging out for more!

At this point, with the Temple destroyed and the bulk - not all - of the Jewish people about to go into exile, it is appropriate to offer congratulations to Rabbi Spiro for providing a "potted history" which never descends into triteness or oversimplification. Now that we have left the "Biblical" phase of Jewish history (not forgetting, though, Biblical prophecies of the return of The People to The Land), I'm looking forward to the rabbi's use of "secular" and, no doubt, rabbinical sources to deal with the 2,000 years still to come. Thanks a lot I don't know what I'm going to do when the series ends and there is no weekly edition of Rabbi Ken's History. Great work.
Phil Kruse, Australia.


Terah

Terah or Térach, a Hebrew term meaning “Ibex, wild goat”, or “Wanderer loiterer”, refers to the father of the Patriarch Abraham, offspring of Shem. He is mentioned in the Hebrew (Old Testament) Bible and the New Testament. According to the Bible, Timeline Terah was born in 2126 BC.

These Articles are Written by the Publishers of The Amazing Bible Timeline
Quickly See 6000 Years of Bible and World History Together

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Genealogy and Highlights:

The majority of information regarding Terah is recorded in the book of Genesis. Terah’s father was Nahor, son of Serug, offspring of Shem. The family and several of their antecedents were polytheistic and believed in multiple gods. Terah had three sons: Abram, Haran, and Nahor. The entire family, including grandchildren, resided in Ur of the Chaldees. One of his grandchildren was Lot, whose father Haran, Terah’s son, passed away while residing in Ur.

Terah’s son, Abram, had an encounter with God who told him to take the whole family and leave Ur to go the land of Canaan. Terah coordinated the trip and planned to accompany Abram to his destination . However, he ended up living in Haran a city that was en route to Canaan. Terah passed away in Haran at the age of 205 years.

Points of View

Christian. The time of Terah is established from a Bible verse in the New Testament in the book of Acts. God appeared to Abraham in Mesopotamia and commanded him to leave the Chaldeans.

Rabbinical critics. Terah is the one who told the people to leave Ur Kasdim in the book of Genesis, not Abram.

Life Span. In the year 1921 B.C. Abraham was 75 years old when his father, Terah, passed away at 205 years of age as indicated in the book of Genesis. Consequently, Terah was 130 years old when Abraham was born (205 -75 =130). The detail in Genesis 11:26 that says, “Terah lived seventy years and begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran” (NKJV), cannot signify that Abraham (Abram) was born when Terah was just 70 years old. Rather, Abraham is listed first since it was through his seed that God would create a promised land a people and that the Messiah would arrive. Accordingly, Genesis 11:26 is highlighting his significance rather than his chronology.

Biblical references to Terah:

Genesis 11:24-32. An account of Terah’s family line.

Joshua 24:2. Terah as dweller beyond the Euphrates River and an idolater.

Genesis 11:28. For some unknown reason, Terah undertook a Southwesterly migration to go to the land of Canaan. They came unto Haran, and dwelt there in his old age. He went with his son Abram, his daughter-in-law Sarai, and his grandson Lot.


What is the basic timeline of the Old Testament?

The following timeline of the Old Testament has been compiled with the assumption that the genealogies are literal and complete. If so, God created the world about 6000 years ago. All years are approximate.

Creation to the Flood
Creation: 4000 BC (we don't know how long Adam and Eve lived in the Garden before their exile.)
Adam: 4000 BC &mdash 3070 BC (Genesis 2:7 5:5)
Methuselah: 3350 BC &mdash 2350 BC (Genesis 5:21 5:27)
Noah: 2950 BC &mdash 2000 BC (Genesis 5:29 9:29)
Flood: 2350 BC (Genesis 6&mdash9)

Note that Methuselah died a very short time before the Flood. It is possible that his name, literally "death/spear/violence &mdash bring," was the prophecy "his death shall bring." His death certainly did herald a significant event.

The Flood to Abraham
Flood: 2350 BC (Genesis 6&mdash9)
Tower of Babel: 2250 BC (Genesis 11:1&ndash9)
Egypt founded: 2170 BC
Abraham: 2165 BC &mdash 1990 BC (Genesis 11:26 25:8)

The genealogies in the Old Testament show that Noah died while Abraham's father was living. Noah's father, Lamech, was born about eighty years before Adam died. It's very possible that the story of creation could have been passed on through very few steps.

Abraham to the Exile
Abraham: 2165 BC &mdash 1990 BC (Genesis 11:26 25:8)
Abraham goes to Canaan: 2090 BC (Genesis 11:31)
Ishmael: 2080 BC &mdash ? (Genesis 16:11)
Sodom and Gomorrah Destroyed: 2065 BC (Genesis 19:1&ndash29)
Isaac: 2065 BC &mdash 1885 BC (Genesis 21:1 25:29)
Jacob: 2005 BC &mdash 1855 BC (Genesis 25:26 49:33)
Joseph: 1910 BC &mdash 1800 BC (Genesis 30:23&ndash24 50:26)
Joseph sold into slavery: 1895 BC (Genesis 37:18&ndash36)
Jacob and family move to Egypt: 1870 BC (Genesis 46&mdash47)
Exile to Egypt: 1870 BC &mdash 1450 BC (Genesis 46&mdashExodus 12:33-41)

After the Flood, lifespans drastically decreased. Noah lived to be 950 years old. Abraham, who was born shortly after Noah died, lived to be only 175.

The Exile to the Monarchy
Exile to Egypt: 1870 BC &mdash 1450 BC (Genesis 46&mdashExodus 12:33-41)
Moses: 1530 BC - 1410 BC (Exodus 2:2 Deuteronomy 34:5)
Moses flees to Midian: 1490 BC(Exodus 2:15&ndash25)
Exodus from Egypt: 1450 BC (Exodus 12:33&mdash14:31)
Forty years in the Wilderness: 1450 BC &mdash 1410 BC (Exodus 16&mdashJoshua 1)
Joshua's rule: 1410 BC &mdash 1390 BC (Deuteronomy 34:9&mdashJudges 2:8)
Conquest of Canaan Completed: 1400 BC (Judges 1)
Deborah serves as Judge: 1245 BC &mdash 1200 BC (Judges 4&mdash5)
Gideon serves as Judge: 1195 BC &mdash 1155 BC (Judges 6)
Samuel serves as Judge: 1090 BC &mdash 1045 BC (1 Samuel 1:1&mdash25:1)

The Timeline of the Old Testament shows the Israelites were in Egypt for about 400 years and then were ruled by judges for about 400 years. They then demanded a king.

The Unified Monarchy
Saul Reigns: 1095 BC &mdash 1015 BC (1 Samuel 10:17&mdash2:13)
David Reigns: 1015 BC &mdash 970 BC (2 Samuel 1:1&mdash1 Chronicles 19:1)
Solomon Reigns: 970 BC &mdash 930 BC (1 Chronicles 19:1&mdash2 Chronicles 9:31)
The Kingdom Splits: 930 BC (2 Chronicles 10)

Israel
Israel, the Northern Kingdom: 930 BC &mdash 725 BC
Elijah serves as Prophet: circa 870 BC
Obadiah serves as Prophet: circa 845 BC
Elisha serves as Prophet: circa 840 BC
Jonah serves as Prophet: circa 780 BC
Hosea serves as Prophet: circa 760 BC
Assyria destroys Israel: 725 BC (2 Kings 17)

Judah
Judah, the Southern Kingdom: 930 BC &mdash 590 BC
Joel serves as Prophet: circa 825 BC
Amos serves as Prophet: circa 750 BC
Micah serves as Prophet: circa 725 BC
Isaiah serves as Prophet: circa 690 BC
Zephaniah serves as Prophet: circa 640 BC
Nahum serves as Prophet: circa 625 BC
Habakkuk serves as Prophet: circa 620 BC
Ninevah destroyed: 612 BC
Jeremiah serves as Prophet: circa 600 BC
Babylonian exile: 590 BC (2 Kings 25)

After being ruled by judges for 400 years, the nation of Israel only lasted about 165 more years united under one king. The Northern Kingdom of Israel so rebelled against God that it was only another 200 years before the Assyrians destroyed them. The Southern Kingdom of Judah managed to last about 340 years before the Babylonian captivity.

Exile in Babylon
Babylonian Empire: 1984 BC &mdash 539 BC
Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon: 605 BC &mdash 562 BC
Daniel taken to Babylon: 605 BC (Daniel 1)
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego survive the fiery furnace: 595 BC (Daniel 3)
Ezekiel serves as Prophet: circa 593 BC
Daniel's confrontation with Belshazzar: 539 BC (Daniel 5)
Persian Empire: 539 BC &mdash 330 BC
Cyrus King of Great Persian Empire: 576 BC &mdash 530 BC
Jews start returning to Jerusalem: 536 BC
Temple Rebuilt: 530 BC &mdash 515 BC (Ezra)
Haggai serves as Prophet: circa 525 BC
Zechariah serves as Prophet: circa 525 BC
Xerxes (Ahasuerus) King of Persia: 485 BC &mdash 465 BC (Esther)
Esther becomes Queen: 475 BC
Esther saves the Jews: 470 BC
Ezra serves as Priest: 460 BC &mdash 430 BC
Nehemiah Governor of Jerusalem: 460 BC &mdash 430 BC
Malachi serves as Prophet: circa 440 BC

Jeremiah was right—from the fall of Judah to the first refugees returning to Jerusalem was about seventy years (Jeremiah 25:11). But the Old Testament timeline doesn't tell the whole story. Not all the Jews left, and there are still small pockets of Jews in such places as Iran and India.

The Intertestamental Period
Alexander the Great reigns in Greece: 336 BC &mdash 323 BC
Judea ruled by the Greek Empire: 330 BC &mdash 308 BC
Judea ruled by Egypt: 308 BC &mdash 195 BC
Judea ruled by Syria: 195 BC &mdash 130 BC
Maccabean Revolt: 164 BC &mdash 63 BC
Judea ruled by the Roman Empire: 65 BC &mdash AD 70
Julius Caesar rules Roman Empire: 46 BC &mdash 44 BC
Herod the Great reigns as King of the Jews: 37 BC &mdash 4 BC
Jesus born: 6&mdash4 BC

Neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament have much to say about the timeline between Malachi and the birth of John the Baptist. Most of what we can gather from this period comes from the Apocryphal books of 1 and 2 Maccabees as well as secular historical records.


Torah Timeline - History

  • 1700s - Abraham settles in the land of Israel (Canaan).
  • 1500 - Joseph is sold into slavery. His family join him in Egypt.
  • 1400s - The Hebrews are enslaved by the Egyptians.



  • 30 - Jesus Christ is crucified.
  • 70 - The Romans destroy the Second Temple and much of Jerusalem.
  • 73 - The last of the Jewish rebels are defeated at Masada.
  • 132 - The Jewish people revolt against Roman rule. Hundreds of thousands of Jews are killed.




Brief Overview of the History of Israel

The land which is today the country of Israel has been sacred to the Jewish people for thousands of years. Today the land is also sacred to other religions such as Christianity. In 2000 BC, the Jewish Patriarch Abraham was promised the land of Israel by God. Abraham's descendents became the Jewish people. The Kingdom of Israel emerged around 1000 BC and was ruled by great kings such as King David and Solomon.

Over the next 1000 plus years various empires would take control of the land. These included the Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Empires.

In the 7th century the land was taken over by the Muslims. Later, the land would change hands a few times until the Ottoman Empire took control in 1517. The Ottoman Empire ruled until the 1900s.

During the rule of the Arabs and the Ottoman Empire, the Jewish nation had dispersed throughout the world. Many millions lived in European countries. During World War II, Nazi Germany had hoped to exterminate the Jewish people through the Holocaust. Millions of Jewish people were executed and killed in concentration camps.

After the end of World War II the United Nations divided up Israel between Arab and Jewish states. The Arabs rejected this division. On May 14, 1948 the Jewish people in the area proclaimed independence, naming their country Israel. Egypt, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon immediately attacked and the 1948 Arab-Israeli War began. After a year of fighting a ceasefire was declared and temporary borders were established.

Hostilities continued between the Arabs and the Israelis in a series of wars including the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Today the tensions and hostility still exists between the two.


RAC Timeline

Here are a few snapshots from the history of the RAC.

Our Historic Building

Rabbi Eugene Lipman, Director, Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism (CSA), announces that Kivie Kaplan – President of the NAACP, an active member of the CSA, and Honorary Vice-Chair of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations – and his wife Emily have offered funds to the UAHC for the purchase of a building to house a center for social action in Washington, DC.

White House Tribute

The RAC is saluted in a special tribute at the White House Rose Garden. President John F. Kennedy is presented with historic Torah by the Isaac Mayer Wise Temple in Cincinnati, Ohio, symbolizing the lasting contribution of Jews to the moral fabric of American society. President Kennedy notes at the ceremony, "I think this symbolizes the happy relations which exist between all religious groups and must continue to exist in this country if we are to be worthy of our heritage."

Building Dedication

The RAC’s building is officially dedicated at 2027 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, in Washington,DC. Among the guests at the dedication are Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, UAHC President Rabbi Maurice Eisendrath, NAACP Board of Directors Chairman Bishop Stephen Spottswood, (soon-to-be Senator) Howard Metzenbaum, and Kivie and Emily Kaplan. A number of civil rights and public interest organizations were housed at the Center.

1963-1965 Leadership

The landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act are drafted in the RAC's conference room by Jewish, African-American, and other civil rights leaders.

Washington Seminar for Theological Students

The RAC sponsors the Washington Seminar for Theological Students with the Divinity School at Harvard University. The month-long summer program includes sessions on “Implementation of Civil Rights Legislation,” “Interreligious Relations and Their Impact on Public Policy,” and “Radical Groups and their Impact on American Life.”

Opposing the Vietnam War

The UAHC and CCAR become the first national Jewish organizations to oppose the war in Vietnam. The RAC becomes a hub for Vietnam War protesters and the RAC staff leads strategy sessions to strengthen Jewish involvement in the anti-war efforts, discussions on the war and Jewish tradition, and even serves as an emergency first-aid station when protesters are tear-gassed.

Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Program

The Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Program is established, bringing college graduates to the Center for periods of 3-12 months to monitor and analyze federal legislation, perform grassroots and coalition advocacy work, and more. To date, more than 225 people have participated in this program, and many have gone on to become rabbis, professionals in the Jewish community, lawyers, public interest lobbyists, and staff members on Capitol Hill.

Kivie Kaplan Seminar

The Kivie Kaplan Seminar (now called Machon Kaplan) is created as a summer work/study program in social action for college students.

1976 Presidential Seminar

The RAC holds a presidential seminar, inviting leaders of major Jewish organizations to enter a closed-door conversation with all the U.S.presidential candidates. (It is then-presidential candidate Governor Jimmy Carter’s first meeting with national Jewish leadership.) Governor George Wallace, the symbol of resistance to integration, unexpectedly chooses this opportunity to apologize for some of his positions and to compliment the Jewish community, especially for the creation of Israel, which he saw as a bastion against Soviet expansion.

Consultation on Conscience

The first Consultation on Conscience takes place. The Consultation on Conscience has become the flagship public policy conference for the Reform Jewish Movement it is held every two years in Washington shortly after the new Congress takes office and presents high-level briefings on current issues and critical legislation. Speakers at the Consultation have included President Bill Clinton, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Former Vice President Hubert Humphrey, the Dalai Lama, future Vice-President Al Gore, and scores of Senators and Representatives.

Building Renovations

The RAC building is renovated to improve working conditions.

March on Washington for Soviet Jewry

For the two months prior to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s first trip to Washington, the RAC, led by its tenant the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, becomes the operational headquarters for the national March on Washington for Soviet Jewry, which – with more than 200,000 supporters – becomes one of the largest demonstrations in American history. The RAC’s conference room is packed with desks, computers, phone lines, and scores of volunteers as the RAC’s staff helps mobilize congregations throughout the country and helps coordinate the efforts of other Jewish organizations to make the march a huge success.

Helping to End Apartheid

Nobel Peace Prize winner Bishop Desmond Tutu addresses the RAC’s Consultation on Conscience and thanks the Reform Jewish Movement for its role in the battle to end apartheid.

RAC's First Website

The RAC expands beyond its building – entering the cyber-world with the launch of its Internet site, now found at www.rac.org

Passover Seder in honor of the Dalai Lama

A long-time supporter of freedom for the Tibetan people, the RAC hosts a Passover Seder in honor of the Dalai Lama. Surrounded by prominent Jewish leaders and public officials, the Dalai Lama thanks the RAC for the invitation. Now, he said, he understands even more deeply the sources of Jewish survival – and he loves the matzah.

Clinton Tribute to Rabbi David Saperstein

In honor of Rabbi David Saperstein's 25th anniversary with the RAC, President Bill Clinton gives the keynote address at a tribute to Saperstein during the RAC's Consultation on Conscience.

Building & Street Renaming

The RAC is completely renovated. The RAC building is renamed The Arthur and Sara Jo Kobacker Building. At the same time, the section of 21st Street next to the RAC is formally named “Kivie Kaplan Way,” and the new Conference Center is named for Emily and Kivie Kaplan.

Rabbi Balfour Brickner Clergy Seminar and Fellowship

The Rabbi Balfour Brickner Clergy Seminar and Fellowship is established to help rabbis with their social action and social justice work. This seminar offers intensive opportunities for text study and exposure to both the range of substantive issues that require our attention and to the skills that are required for dealing effectively with those issues.

50th Anniversary

The RAC celebrates its 50 th anniversary with festivities at the May 2011 Consultation on Conscience and the December 2011 URJ Biennial featuring a keynote address from President Barack Obama.

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner becomes the director of the Religious Action Center, succeeding Rabbi David Saperstein upon his conformation as U.S. Ambassador for International Religious Freedom. Upon concluding his public service in 2017, Rabbi Saperstein returns to the RAC as director emeritus.

Brit Olam

The RAC launches the Brit Olam to articulate our long-term vision of a strong, networked Reform Movement acting powerfully and together to bring upon a world filled with justice, compassion and wholeness. More than 200 congregations sign the Brit within 18 months of its launch. The related Urgency of Now campaigns spotlight three vulnerable populations and focuses specifically on the importance of Criminal Justice Reform, Immigrant Justice, and Transgender Justice.

Civic Engagement Campaign

The inaugural Reform Movement non-partisan Civic Engagement Campaign spearheaded by the RAC supports congregations as they register and turn out voters, engage with candidates for office, and support or oppose local ballot initiatives to ensure that Jewish voices and values are present in the public square. Nearly 160,000 Americans participate.


Watch the video: The Torah: a Quick Overview. Whiteboard Bible Study