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Judah Abravanel (Abarbanel)

Judah Abrabanel was born in Cordoba and fled to Seville. He was the patriarch of this renowned family. Judah rose to prominence as a tax collector and treasurer for Sancho IV (1284-95) and Ferdinand IV (1295-1312). He was enormously wealthy and was said to have guaranteed the loans to the crown of Castile in order to finance the siege of Algeciras. His son Samuel was equally influential on the court at Castile. During the devastating riots of 1391, Samuel converted to Christianity. Before long, the family emigrated to Portugal where they reclaimed their Jewishness.

Sources:This material was originally published in Sparks! - an e-zine for Jewish families