ALCAÑIZ, city in Aragon, Spain, subject to the Order of *Calatrava. The jurisdiction of the order also extended to the 30 Jewish families living in Alcañiz. Several families, formerly scattered in the surrounding villages, joined the community in 1380. In 1383 Pedro IV exempted the Jews of Alcañiz from having to attend missionary disputations with apostates. During the massacres of 1391, the infant Martín ordered that the Jews in Alcañiz should be protected. At the beginning of the 15th century the Jews of Alcañiz achieved some prosperity and a certain level of Jewish leaning. *Astruc ha-Levi of Alcañiz was a protagonist in the disputation of *Tortosa, 1413–14. Alcañiz was also the home of Joshua Halorki, a learned Jew who became Jerónimo de Santa Fe and the instigator of the disputation of Tortosa, which proved disastrous to the Jewish community. Most of its members converted to Christianity. After this only 15 families in Alcañiz and its environs adhered to Judaism, and probably fewer at the time of the expulsion of 1492. In the 15th century the Jewish quarter was enclosed and its gates locked at night.
Uhagón: Boletín de la Real Academia de la historia, Madrid 35 (1899), 51ff.; J. Jacobs, Inquiry into the Sources of the History of the Jews in Spain (1894), index; Baer, Studien, 146; Baer, Spain, index; Baer, Urkunden, 1 pt. 1 (1929), index: Vendrell, in: Sefarad, 3 (1943), 128, 149; 13 (1953), 87–104; Vidiella, in: La Zuda, 12 (1924), 114–19. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: C. Laliena Corbera, in: Destierros aragoneses (1988), 115–26.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.