JACA, city in Aragon, N.E. Spain. Jews were living in the citadel of Jaca from an early date. The community of Jaca is the oldest in Aragon. In the fuero (municipal charter), granted in 1062 shortly after the recapture of the city from the Muslims, they were obliged to grind their flour in the mill of the local ruler. The position of the community during the 13th century is shown by the taxes it paid, which amounted to 2,000 sólidos in 1271. For the collection of the annual tax, the community adopted the system of declaration. The poor and the invalids were exempted from paying taxes, after the example of the Barbastro community. The community of Jaca was annihilated during the *Pastoureaux massacres in 1320. Its recovery was slow and in 1350 it paid only 180 sólidos in Jaca coin to a special levy. A document from 1377 gives a list of all Jewish taxpayers in Jaca. On the basis of the list it is possible to trace the family relations of some of the local Jews. The list contains 115 Jews, usually heads of families. Compared to similar lists available, the community of Jaca seems to have been a large one. In Majorca, in 1391 there were 111 Jewish heads of family, in Barcelona 195 in 1383, in Valencia 93 in 1363. The total Jewish population in Jaca was about 450. The social division of the community is noteworthy: 10 belonged to the upper class, 24 to the middle class, and 81 to the lower class. Members of the upper class who constituted less than 9% of the taxpayers paid 70% of the total tax. The division is based totally on the amount of tax paid and had nothing to do with the family background. In 1382 Infanta Violante, the wife of Infante John, asked for the appointment of David Abembron to the position of corredor (financial agent) in the town. In 1383 she ordered the bailiff to uphold the laws of inheritance customary among the Jews. During the persecutions of 1391, the greater part of the Jewish quarter was burnt down and the Jews were left destitute. The impoverished condition continued until the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. On August 6, after the decree of expulsion had been issued, Infante Henry ordered the Catalonian officials to transfer to him the property of the Jews expelled from Jaca. The Jews lived in the area near the fortress, known as el Castellar. The Jewish quarter was in the streets known today as Cambras and Ferrenal, where the Sinagoga Mayor was. The location of another synagogue is unknown.
Baer, Spain, index; Baer, Urkunden, index; H.C. Lea, History of the Spanish Inquisition, 1 (1904), 548; Lacarra, in: Estudios de edad media de la Corona de Aragón, 4 (1951), 139–55; M. Molho, El Fuero de Jaca (1964); R. del Arco, in: Sefarad, 14 (1954), 79–98. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: D. Romano, in: Sefarad, 42 (1982), 3–39; J. Passini, in: Minorités et marginaux en France méridionale et dans la péninsule ibérique (VIIe–XVIIIe siécles, 1986), 143–55; idem, in: Mélanges de la Casa de Velázquez, 24 (1988), 71–97; M. Gómez de Valenzuela, in: Argensola, 101 (1988), 97–155.
[Haim Beinart /
Yom Tov Assis (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.