CALAHORRA, city in Castile, N. Spain, near the border of Navarre; its Jewish community was one of the most ancient in Castile. In 1145, Joseph Rayuso served as merino ("royal official")
In 1370 a large number of Jews left Calahorra for the kingdom of Navarre. Queen Joanna of Navarre gave the refugees protection and also exempted them from the annual tax of two florins for the first two years. No details about the Calahorra community during the anti-Jewish riots in Spain of 1391 are available. Their economic position deteriorated in the 15th century: in 1439 it was agreed that instead of paying 5,202 maravedis annually the community would pay a lump sum of eight maravedis of silver from 1434 to 1439, afterward reverting to the original sum. Toward the end of the reign of Henry IV the annual tax was reduced to 3,000 maravedis (1474) because of the difficult times. In the second half of the 15th century, the number of Jews in Calahorra was about 350–400. At the expulsion from Spain, the Jews left Calahorra on July 2, 1492. On August 7, Ferdinand of Castile ordered the conversion of the synagogue into a church and offered it to the Cathedral. It became the hermitage of San Sebastián. Later it was given to the Franciscans to erect their convent. Persons who settled in the Jewish quarter received special tax relief and in 1497 the king granted them exemption from taxes.
Baer, Spain, 1 (1961), 394, 450; Baer, Urkunden, index; Cantera, in: Sefarad, 6 (1946), 37–61; 15 (1955), 353–72; 16 (1956), 73–112; 18 (1958), 219–313; 22 (1962), 83ff.; idem, Sinagogas Españolas (1955), 185; León Tello, in: Instituto Tello Téllez de Meneses, 25 (1966), 45, 154. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: I. Reguera, La Inquisición española en el País Vasco (el Tribunal de Calahorra, 1513–1570) (1984); E. Cantera Montenegro, Las juderías de la dioceses de Calahorra en la Baja Edad Media (1987).
[Haim Beinart /
Yom Tov Assis (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.