Year World Events American Jewish Events American Events
1800

 

Jewish population estimated at 2,500 (.04 percent of total population)

Thomas Jefferson after Gilbert Stuart, ca. 1828.

Thomas Jefferson is elected president

1802

 

First Ashkenazic synagogue in America, Rodeph Shalom (Pursuit of Peace), is established in Philadelphia

First American Jewish orphan care agency, the Hebrew Orphan Society, is incorporated in Charleston, South Carolina

 

1803

 

 

Louisiana Purchase expands U.S. territory west of the Mississippi River

1804 Napoleon Bonaparte after Jacques Louis David, ca. 1900s.

Napoleon is crowned Emperor of France

Captains Lewis and Clark, sketch 1810

Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery begin their journey of exploration

1806

Official end to the Holy Roman Empire

 

Lewis and Clark return

1807

Napoleon convenes French "Sanhedrin," a council of Jewish notables

 

 

1812

 

 

Congress declares war on England

1813

 

The Late M.M. Noah in the Boston Museum, 1851.

Mordecai Manuel Noah is appointed United States Consul at Tunis in North Africa

 

1814 Page from the first Hebrew Bible published in the U.S., 1814

First American Hebrew Bible is published in Philadelphia by Thomas Dobson, using a text prepared by Jonathan (Jonas) Horwitz

U.S. Capitol after Burning by the British by George Munger, ca. 1814.

British army attacks Washington and burns the Capitol and the Library of Congress

1815

 

 

War of 1812 ends

1817

 

A Map of Cincinnati, 1836

First Jews settle in Cincinnati

 

1818

First Jewish Reform movement temple is established in Hamburg, Germany

 

 

1819

 

Rebecca Gratz, ca. 1860s.

In Philadelphia, Rebecca Gratz establishes the first independent Jewish women's charitable society, the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society

Florida is purchased from Spain

The Savannah becomes the first steamship to cross the Atlantic

1820

 

Jews from the German lands begin to immigrate to America in substantial numbers

 

1822

 

 

 

1823

 

The first American Jewish periodical, The Jew, is published in New York

Monroe Doctrine is publicly declared, announcing that the United States will not tolerate European interference in the Western Hemisphere

1824 Ludwig von Beethoven

Beethoven completes the Ninth Symphony

Isaac Leeser, later to become a leader of the traditional wing of American Jewry, arrives in the United States

 

1825

 

Mordecai Manuel Noah founds Ararat, a Jewish city of refuge on Grand Island in the Niagara River near Buffalo, New York

Reformed Society of Israelites is established in Charleston

Erie Canal

Erie Canal is completed

1826

 

Speeches on the Jew Bill, 1829

Maryland Assembly passes the "Jew Bill," removing restrictions that prevented Jews from holding public office

 

1827

Jewish adolescents become subject to Russian conscription law, with military service beginning as early as age 12 and lasting more than 25 years

 

 

1828

 

Early B&O Railroad Locomotive

Construction of first railroad, Baltimore-Ohio, in the U.S.

Noah Webster publishes his American Dictionary of the English Language

1833

 

Fancy's Sketch Book by Penina Moise, 1833

Penina Moise's Fancy's Sketch Book, the first book by an American Jewish woman, is published in Charleston, South Carolina

 

1837

 

Service for the Two First Nights of the Passover: First American Edition, 1837

First American Passover Haggadah is published in New York by Solomon Jackson

 

1838

 

Rebecca Gratz establishes the first Hebrew Sunday School in Philadelphia

 

1840

Jews are accused of murdering a Franciscan friar in the Damascus (Syria) blood libel, an ancient slander alleging that Jews murder Christians to obtain blood for Passover or other ritual use

Jewish population reaches 15,000 (.09 percent of total population)

Abraham Rice, America's first ordained rabbi, emigrates from Bavaria.

First organized movement by American Jewry to protest Damascus blood libel

 

1843

 

B'nai B'rith certificate, 1876

B'nai B'rith, a national Jewish fraternal organization, is organized in New York

The influential monthly periodical, The Occident and Jewish Advocate, edited by Isaac Leeser, appears

1844

 

 

Samuel Morse sends first telegraph transmission from Washington to Baltimore, which reads: "What hath God wrought?"

1846 Harper's Weekly, 1880.

Potato famine in Ireland, through 1849

Isaac Mayer Wise, later a leader of the Reform wing of American Jewry, arrives in the United States

A mutual aid society for Jewish women, later known as the United Order of True Sisters, is founded in New York, with lodges in major cities. It becomes the first national Jewish women's organization

U.S.-Mexican War

1848

Political upheaval in Central Europe

Influx of Jews from German lands, spurred by political unrest in central Europe

California Gold Rush begins

First women's rights convention in U.S. is held in Seneca Falls, New York

1849

 

First High Holiday services are held in San Francisco

 

1852

 

Washington Hebrew Congregation is established, the first synagogue in the District of Columbia

Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe is published

1853 Calvary Camp Near Balaklava by Roger Fenton, 1855.

Crimean War begins between Russia and the Ottoman Empire

Isaac Leeser publishes his translation of the Bible from the Hebrew into English

 

1854

 

Isaac Mayer Wise begins publishing The Israelite

 

1857

 

The Divine Service by Isaac M. Wise, 1866

Isaac Mayer Wise introduces his "Minhag America" (American Rite) prayer book, hoping (in vain) that it would be adopted by all of America's Jews

Supreme Court denies citizenship to African Americans

1858

Edgar Mortara, an Italian Jewish child, abducted by Papal Guards, is placed in a monastery, and ultimately becomes a priest

 

 

1859

Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection is published

In response to the Mortara Affair, the Board of Delegates of American Israelites, American Jewry's first national "defense" organization, is formed

 

1860 Portrait of Rabbi Morris J. Raphall, 1850

Rabbi Morris Jacob Raphall becomes the first Jewish clergyman to deliver a prayer at the opening of a session of the House of Representatives

Jewish population: between 125,000200,000 (.40.63 percent of total population)

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln is elected president

1861

Serfs are emancipated in Russia

 

Lincoln at Antietam

Civil War begins

1862

 

Judah P. Benjamin

Judah P. Benjamin is appointed Secretary of State of the Confederacy

Jacob Frankel is appointed first Jewish chaplain in the United States Army

General Ulysses S. Grant issues General Order No. 11 expelling Jewish civilians from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi

 

1863

 

Gettysburg Address

Gettysburg Address

President Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation abolishing slavery

1864

International Red Cross is founded in Geneva, Switzerland

Louis Pasteur invents pasteurization

 

 

1865

Transatlantic cable is successfully laid

 

Abraham Lincoln is assassinated

Civil War ends

1866

 

 

Ku Klux Klan is formed in Tennessee to maintain "white supremacy"

1867

Karl Marx's Das Kapital is published

Isaac Leeser

Isaac Leeser founds Maimonides College in Philadelphia, the first rabbinical school in America

U.S. buys Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million

1869

Suez Canal opens

 

The completion of the Transcontinental Railroad

First transcontinental railroad is completed

1870

Ghetto of Rome, established in 1555, is abolished

Franco-Prussian War begins

 

 

1871

 

First Hebrew periodical in America, Ha-Zofeh ba-Eretz ha-Hadashah (The Watchman in the New World) is published in New York

 

1873

 

Union of American Hebrew Congregations is founded by 34 congregations across the United States. Although its founders hope that it would embrace all American synagogues, it soon became the Reform Jewish congregational union

 

1875 Portrait of Isaac M. Wise, 1876

Isaac Mayer Wise founds Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, which becomes, the rabbinical seminary of the Reform movement

 

1876

Abraham Goldfaden establishes the Yiddish theater in Romania

President Ulysses Grant and his cabinet attend the dedication of Washington D.C.'s Adas Israel Hebrew Congregation

Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone

1877

 

Joseph Seligman, a prominent New York banker, is barred as a Jew from registering at the Grand Union Hotel in Saratoga, New York, marking the growth of social anti-Semitism in America

New Hampshire grants Jews political equality

Thomas A. Edison invents the phonograph

Emile Berliner's invention of the microphone makes the telephone practical and radio possible

1879

 

The American Hebrew newspaper begins publishing in New York

Thomas A. Edison invents the light bulb

1880

 

Jewish population: between 230,000-300,000 (.46-.60 percent of total population)

 

1881

Pogroms (massacres often with government collusion) and anti-Jewish persecution in Russia after assassination of Czar Alexander II and the ascension of his successor, Czar Alexander III

New Year postcard depicting immigrants arriving in the U.S., 1920

Massive migration of East European (especially Russian) Jews to America begins, impelled by persecution and lack of economic opportunity

1882

Onset of "First Aliyah" (immigration of Jews to Holy Land) in which approximately 25,000 Jews emigrate from Eastern Europe to the Holy Land (through 1903)

First professional Yiddish theater production is staged in New York

 

1883

 

A banquet celebrating the first ordination class of the Hebrew Union College features non-kosher (trefa) fare, triggering an uproar, a walk-out by traditional attendees, and a call for a more religiously traditional seminary

 

1885

 

Pittsburgh Platform articulates the tenets of American Reform Judaism

The first skyscraper, The Home Insurance Building, is built in Chicago

1886

 

Etz Chaim (Tree of Life), the first yeshiva for Talmudic studies in the U.S., is established in New York

Statue of Liberty is unveiled in New York harbor

1887

 

The Jewish Theological Seminary opens in New York

 

1889 Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower is completed in Paris, France

The Hebrew Educational Aid Society, antecedent of the Educational Alliance is founded on the Lower East Side to assist Eastern European Jewish immigrants

 

1891

Beginnings of wireless telegraphy

Establishment of Baron de Hirsch Fund in New York and the Jewish Colonization Association in Paris to assist emigrants and promote Jewish agricultural settlements

 

1893

 

Hannah Solomon with her daughter and granddaughter

Hannah Greenebaum Solomon establishes the National Council of Jewish Women at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago

World's Columbian Exposition

World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago

1894

Alfred Dreyfus, a French general staff officer, falsely accused of selling secret documents to Germany, is sentenced to life on Devil's Island

 

 

1895

 

Knitting Class: Henry Street Settlement

Social worker Lillian Wald founds Henry Street Settlement on New York's Lower East Side

The American Jewess is published, the first English language periodical for American Jewish women

 

1896

First modern Olympic games (Athens)

Theodore Herzl publishes The Jewish State

 

Supreme Court, in Plessy v. Ferguson, issues ruling that "separate but equal" facilities for whites and blacks are constitutional

Henry Ford builds his first car

1897

First Zionist Congress is held in Basel, Switzerland

Yiddish Socialist Labor party (the Bund) is founded in Russia

Waiting for the Forwards, photograph by Lewis Hine, 1913

The Yiddish language Jewish Daily Forward is founded in New York

The Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary begins training Orthodox rabbis

1898

 

 

Spanish-American War

1899

Aspirin is manufactured

 

 

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