GIBRALTAR


GIBRALTAR, British crown colony, south of *Spain. Jews lived in Gibraltar in the 14th century, and in 1356 the community issued an appeal for assistance in the ransoming of Jews captured by pirates. In 1473, a number of Marranos fleeing from Andalusia applied for permission to settle in Gibraltar. The Treaty of Utrecht (1713), which ceded the fortress to England, excluded the Jews from Gibraltar in perpetuity. However, by an agreement in 1729 between England and the sultan of Morocco, his Jewish subjects were empowered to come there temporarily for the purpose of trade, and the establishment of a permanent community was not long delayed. The majority of the Jewish settlers were from adjacent parts of North Africa. By 1749, when the legal right of Jewish settlement was recognized, the community numbered about 600, being about one-third of the total number of civilian residents, and there were two synagogues. During the siege of 1779–83, many took refuge in London, reinforcing the Sephardi community there. Subsequently, the community in Gibraltar resumed its development. During the period of the Napoleonic wars, Aaron Nuñez *Cardozo was one of the foremost citizens of Gibraltar; his house on the Almeida subsequently became the city hall. In the middle of the 19th century, when the Rock was at the height of its importance as a British naval and military base, the Jewish community numbered about 2,000 and most of the retail trade was in their hands, but thereafter the number declined. During World War II, almost all the civilian population, including the Jews, was evacuated to British territories, and not all returned. In 1968, the community numbered 670 (out of a total population of 25,000); it still maintained four synagogues and many communal organizations. Sir Joshua A. *Hassan was the first mayor and chief minister of Gibraltar from 1964 to 1969. In 2004, about 600 Jews lived in Gibraltar, with the same four synagogues and a communal rabbi. Almost all Jewish children attended the community's primary schools and girls went to the Jewish secondary school. The community published a weekly newsletter.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

A.B.M. Serfaty, Jews of Gibraltar under British Rule (19582); H.W. Howes, The Gibraltari an: Origin and Development of the Population of Gibraltar from 1704 (1950); Beinart, in: Sefunot, 5 (1961), 87–88; Cano de Gardoqui and Bethencourt, in: Hispania, 103 (1966), 325–81; Hirschberg, in: Essays Presented … I. Brodie (1968), 153–81; JYB (1968), 140. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: M. Benady, "The Settlement of Jews in Gibraltar, 1704–1783," in: JHSET, 26 (1974–78), 87–110.

[Cecil Roth]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.