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Fraga, Spain

FRAGA, city in Aragon, N.E. Spain; information concerning Jews there dates to the 13th century. The privileges which the Jews enjoyed, later confirmed by Alfonso IV of Aragon (1327–36), include the usual definition of civil rights. The maximum annual tax payable by the community was specified. The Jews were given the right to elect their representatives, who were granted a limited jurisdiction and the right to impose levies for communal purposes. They were permitted to maintain a synagogue, cemetery, and slaughterhouse, and were given the right of defending themselves against attacks. The Jews were promised that their quarter would be protected and its autonomy respected. In the 1380s there were 40 Jewish families living in Fraga. During the 1391 persecutions the synagogue was destroyed; many Jews left the town and others became converted to Christianity. In 1398 Queen Maria ordered 36 former members of the community to return to Fraga within a month, since they had undertaken not to leave without paying their share of the communal taxes. The most prominent member of the Fraga community, the physician and poet Astruc Rimoch, embraced Christianity in 1414 as Franciscus de Sant Jordi. In September 1414 Ferdinand I ordered a number of converts to pay the tax they owed before their conversion. By 1415 the Jewish community of Fraga had disappeared following the conversion of all its members. In 1436 John II permitted Jews to establish a new settlement in Fraga and Alfonso V promised privileges to Jews who would settle in Fraga. We have some information on the Jews in Fraga in 1451 and 1457 which suggests that the community apparently continued to exist until the expulsion in 1492.

The Jewish quarter was in the Collada, comprising one big street and several small byways leading to it.

Sources:Baer, Urkunden, index; Baer, Spain, index; Salarrullana, in: Revista de archivos, bibliotecas, museos, 40 (1919), 69, 183, 431; Romano, in: Sefarad, 13 (1953), 75, 78; J. Goñi Gaztambide, in: Hispania Sacra, 25 (1960), 205–6.

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