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ESTELLA (Stella), city in northern Spain. The Jewish community there was one of the most important in the kingdom of Navarre, the third after Tudela and Pamplona. The earliest information concerning the settlement dates from the 11th century. The Jews lived in the citadel and in the adjacent unwalled area. Because of the privileges granted to the Jews there, the city attracted other Jews from many parts of Spain during the 12th century. The growth of the Jewish community in Estella was also due to the city's location on the route of the pilgrims to Santiago. There were Jews from Andalusia who fled from the Almoravid invaders and Jews from France who were attracted to the city. These included the poet Moses *Ibn Ezra, who was warned by *Judah Halevi against residing in so remote a town, which he compared to living among wolves, bears, and lions. In 1144 King García Ramirez transferred the synagogue to the bishop of Pamplona to be converted into a church. A fuero ("municipal charter") granted to Estella in 1164 contained a series of articles regulating relations between Jews and Gentiles. A responsum of Solomon b. Abraham *Adret (4:268) deals with problems of the sewage and the water conduit in the Jewish quarter. In 1265 there were 29 Jewish householders in Estella paying land tax and rent to the king. Following the death of Carlos IV in 1328 the Jews of Estella were particularly hard hit by anti-Jewish rioters. Many were killed. The Jewish quarter in Estella was destroyed and most of its inhabitants perished in 1328 during the French invasion, as recorded by *Menahem b. Aaron ibn Zeraḥ in his introduction to his code Ẓeidah la-Derekh. The community began to revive in the second half of the 14th century. There were 85 Jewish families in Estella in 1366. In 1365 Charles II appointed Judah b. Samuel ha-Levi of Estella to act as high commissioner for the crown for collecting the money in services and taxes owed by Jews and in 1390 sent him on a diplomatic mission. Jews of Estella engaged in tax farming throughout the 15th century. The city opened its doors to the exiles from Aragon and Castile but the Jews in Estella suffered the same fate, with the rest of those of Navarre, in 1498.


M. Kayserling, Geschichte Portugal, 1 (1861), index; Baer, Spain, index; Baer, Urkunden, index; Cantera-Millás, Inscripciones, 291–2. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. Carrasco Pérez, in: MEAH, 30:2 (1981), 109–20; idem, in: En la España medieval, 2–3; Estudios en memoria del Profesor D. Salvador de Moxó, vol. I (1982), 275–95; B. Leroy, in: Archives Juives, 17:1 (1981), 1–6.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.