1013-1073 Rabbi Yitchaki Alfassi (from Morocco, later Spain) writes the Rif, an important work of Jewish law. 1040-1105 Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki (Rashi) writes important commentaries on almost the entire Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and Talmud. 1095-1291 Christian Crusades begin, sparking warfare with Islam in Palestine. Crusaders temporarily capture Jerusalem in 1099. Tens of thousands of Jews are killed by European crusaders throughout Europe and in the Middle East. 1100-1275 Time of the tosafot, Talmudic commentators who carried on Rashi's work. They include some of his descendants. 1107 Moroccan Almoravid ruler Yoseph Ibn Tashfin expels Moroccan Jews who do not convert to Islam. 1135-1204 Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, aka Maimonides or the Rambam is the leading rabbi of Sephardic Jewry. Among his many accomplishments, he writes an influential code of law (The Mishneh Torah) as well as, in Arabic, the most influential philosophical work (Guide for the Perplexed) in Jewish history. 1141 Yehuda Halevi issues a call to the Jews to emigrate to Palestine and eventually dies in Jerusalem. 1187 Upon the capture of Jerusalem, Saladin summons the Jews and permits them to resettle in the city. In particular, the residents of Ashkelon, a large Jewish settlement, respond to his request. 1250-1300 The life of Moses de Leon, of Spain. He publishes to the public the Zohar the 2nd century C.E. esoteric interpretations of the Torah by Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and his disciples. This begins the modern form of Kabbalah (esoteric Jewish mysticism). 1250-1550 Period of the Rishonim, the medieval rabbinic sages. Most Jews at this time lived in lands bordering the Mediterranean Sea or in Western Europe under feudal systems. With the decline of Muslim and Jewish centers of power in Iraq, there was no single place in the world which was a recognized authority for deciding matters of Jewish law and practice. Consequently, the rabbis recognized the need for writing commentaries on the Torah and Talmud and for writing law codes that would allow Jews anywhere in the world to be able to continue living in the Jewish tradition. 1267 Nahmanides (Ramban) settles in Jerusalem and builds the Ramban Synagogue. 1270-1343 Rabbi Jacob ben Asher of Spain writes the Arba'ah Turim (Four Rows of Jewish Law). 1290 Jews are expelled from England by Edward I after the banning of usury in the 1275 Statute of Jewry. 1300 Rabbi Levi ben Gershom, aka Gersonides. A 14th century French Jewish philosopher best known for his Sefer Milhamot Adonai ("The Book of the Wars of the Lord") as well as for his philosophical commentaries. 1306-1394 Jews are repeatedly expelled from France and readmitted, for a price. 1343 Jews persecuted in Western Europe are invited to Poland by Casimir the Great. 1478 King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain institute the Spanish Inquisition. 1486 First Jewish prayer book published in Italy. 1488-1575 Rabbi Yosef Karo spends 20 years compiling the Beit Yosef, an enormous guide to Jewish law. He then writes a more concise guide, the Shulkhan Arukh, that becomes the standard law guide for the next 400 years. Born in Spain, Yosef Karo lives and dies in Safed. 1488 Obadiah ben Abraham, commentator on the Mishnah, arrives in Jerusalem and marks a new epoch for the Jewish community. 1492 The Alhambra Decree: Approximately 200,000 Jews are expelled from Spain, The expelled Jews relocate to the Netherlands, Turkey, Arab lands, and Judea; some eventually go to South and Central America. However, most emigrate to Poland. In later centuries, more than 50% of Jewish world population lived in Poland. Many Jews remain in Spain after publicly converting to Christianity, becoming Crypto-Jews. 1492 Bayezid II of the Ottoman Empire issued a formal invitation to the Jews expelled from Spain and Portugal and sent out ships to safely bring Jews to his empire. 1493 Jews expelled from Sicily. As many as 137,000 exiled. 1496 Jews expelled from Portugal and from many German cities. 1501 King Alexander of Poland readmits Jews to Grand Duchy of Lithuania. 1516 Ghetto of Venice established, the first Jewish ghetto in Europe. Many others follow. 1525-1572 Rabbi Moshe Isserles (The Rema) of KrakÃ³w writes an extensive gloss to the Shulkhan Arukh called the Mappah, extending its application to Ashkenazi Jewry. 1534 King Sigismund I of Poland abolishes the law that required Jews to wear special clothes. 1534 First Yiddish book published, in Poland. 1534-1572 Isaac Luria ("the Arizal") teaches Kabbalah in Jerusalem and (mainly) Safed to select disciples. Some of those, such as Ibn Tebul, Israel Sarug and mostly Chaim Vital, put his teachings into writing. While the Sarugian versions are published shortly afterwards in Italy and Holland, the Vitalian texts remain in manuscripti for as long as three centuries. 1547 First Hebrew Jewish printing house in Lublin. 1550 Moses ben Jacob Cordovero founds a Kabbalah academy in Safed. 1567 First Jewish university Jeshiva was founded in Poland. 1577 A Hebrew printing press is established in Safed, the first press in Palestine and the first in Asia. 1580-1764 First session of the Council of Four Lands (Va'ad Arba' Aratzot) in Lublin, Poland. 70 delegates from local Jewish kehillot meet to discuss taxation and other issues important to the Jewish community. 1621-1630 Shelah HaKadosh writes his most famous work after emigrating to the Land of Israel. 1623 First time separate (Va'ad) Jewish Sejm for Grand Duchy of Lithuania. 1626-1676 False Messiah Sabbatai Zevi. 1633 Jews of PoznaÅ granted a privilege of forbidding Christians to enter into their city. 1648 Jewish population of Poland reached 450,000 (i.e. 4% of the 11000000 population of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is Jewish), Bohemia 40,000 and Moravia 25,000. Worldwide population of Jewry is estimated at 750,000. 1648-1655 The Ukrainian Cossack Bohdan Chmielnicki leads a massacre of Polish gentry and Jewry that leaves an estimated 65,000 Jews dead and a similar number of gentry. The total decrease in the number of Jews is estimated at 100,000. 1655 Jews readmitted to England by Oliver Cromwell. 1660 Massacre of Jews in Hebron. 1700-1760 Israel ben Eliezer, known as the Ba'al Shem Tov, founds Hasidic Judaism, a way to approach God through meditation and fervent joy. He and his disciples attract many followers, and establish numerous Hasidic sects. The European Jewish opponents of Hasidim (known as Mitnagdim) argue that one should follow a more scholarly approach to Judaism. Some of the more well-known Hasidic sects today include Bobover, Breslover, Gerer, Lubavitch (Chabad) and Satmar Hasidim. 1700 Rabbi Yehuda HeHasid makes aliyah to Palestine accompanied by hundreds of his followers. A few days after his arrival, Rabbi Yehuda dies suddenly. 1720 Unpaid Arab creditors burn the synagogue unfinished by immigrants of Rabbi Yehuda and expel all Ashkenazi Jews from Jerusalem. See also Hurba Synagogue 1720-1797 Rabbi Elijah of Vilna, the Vilna Gaon. 1729-1786 Moses Mendelssohn and the Haskalah (Enlightenment) movement. He strove to bring an end to the isolation of the Jews so that they would be able to embrace the culture of the Western world, and in turn be embraced by gentiles as equals. The Haskalah opened the door for the development of all the modern Jewish denominations and the revival of Hebrew as a spoken language, but it also paved the way for many who, wishing to be fully accepted into Christian society, converted to Christianity or chose to assimilate to emulate it. 1740 Parliament of Great Britain passes a general act permitting Jews to be naturalized in the American colonies. Previously, several colonies had also permitted Jews to be naturalized without taking the standard oath "upon the true faith of a Christian." 1740 Ottoman authorities invite Rabbi Haim Abulafia (1660â1744), renowned Kabbalist and Rabbi of Izmir, to come to the Holy Land. Rabbi Abulafia is to rebuild the city of Tiberias, which has lain desolate for some 70 years. The cityâs revival is seen by many as a sign of the coming of the Messiah. 1740-1750 Thousands immigrate to Palestine under the influence of Messianic predictions. The large immigration greatly increases the size and strength of the Jewish Settlement in Palestine. 1747 Rabbi Abraham Gershon of Kitov (d. 1761) is the first immigrant of the Hasidic Aliyah. He is a respected Talmudic scholar, mystic, and brother-in-law of Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (founder of the Hasidic movement). Rabbi Abraham first settles in Hebron. Later, he relocates to Jerusalem at the behest of its residents. 1759 Followers of Jacob Frank joined ranks of Polish szlachta (gentry) of Jewish origins. 1772-1795 Partitions of Poland between Russia, Kingdom of Prussia and Austria. Main bulk of World Jewry lives now in those 3 countries. Old privileges of Jewish communities are denounced. 1775-1781 American Revolution; guaranteed the freedom of religion. 1775 Mob violence against the Jews of Hebron. 1789 The French revolution. In 1791 France grants full right to Jews and allows them to become citizens, under certain conditions. 1790 In the USA, President George Washington sends a letter to the Jewish community in Rhode Island. He writes that he envisions a country "which gives bigotry no sanction...persecution no assistance". Despite the fact that the US was a predominantly Protestant country, theoretically Jews are given full rights. In addition, the mentality of Jewish immigrants shaped by their role as merchants in Eastern Europe meant they were well-prepared to compete in American society. So far, their number is limited. 1791 Russia creates the Pale of Settlement that includes land acquired from Poland with a huge Jewish population and in the same year Crimea. The Jewish population of the Pale was 750,000. 450,000 Jews lived in the Prussian and Austrian parts of Poland. 1798 Rabbi Nachman of Breslov travels to Palestine. 1799 While French troops were in Palestine besieging the city of Acre, Napoleon prepared a Proclamation making Palestine an independent Jewish state, but his unsuccessful attempt to capture Acre prevented it from being issued. 1799 Mob violence on Jews in Safed. 1800-1900 The Golden Age of Yiddish literature, the revival of Hebrew as a spoken language, and the revival of Hebrew literature. 1808-1840 Large-scale aliyah in hope of Hastening Redemption in anticipation of the arrival of the Messiah in 1840. 1820-1860 The development of Orthodox Judaism, a set of traditionalist movements that resisted the influences of modernization that arose in response to the European emancipation and Enlightenment movements; characterized by continued strict adherence to Halakha. 1830 Greece grants citizenship to Jews. 1831 Jewish militias take part in the defense of Warsaw against Russians. 1834-1835 Muslims, Druze attack Jews in Safed, Hebron & in Jerusalem. 1837 Moses Haim Montefiore is knighted by Queen Victoria, the first Jew to receive an English Knighthood. 1837 Galilee earthquake of 1837 devastates Jewish communities of Safed and Tiberias. 1838-1933 Rabbi Yisroel Meir ha-Kohen (Chofetz Chaim) opens an important yeshiva. He writes an authoritative Halakhic work, Mishnah Berurah. 1850 Beginning of the rise of classical Reform Judaism. 1850 Rabbi Israel Salanter develops the Mussar Movement. While teaching that Jewish law is binding, he dismisses current philosophical debate and advocates the ethical teachings as the essence of Judaism. 1850 Positive-Historical Judaism, later known as Conservative Judaism, is developed. 1841 David Levy Yulee of Florida is elected to the United States Senate, becoming the first Jew elected to Congress. 1851 Norway allows Jews to enter the country. They are not emancipated until 1891. 1858 Jews emancipated in England. 1860 Alliance Israelite Universelle, an international Jewish organization is founded in Paris with the goal to protect Jewish rights as citizens. 1860-1875 Moshe Montefiori builds Jewish neighbourhoods outside the Old City of Jerusalem starting with Mishkenot Shaâananim. 1860-1864 Jews are taking part in Polish national movement, that was followed by January rising. 1860-1943 Henrietta Szold: educator, author, social worker and founder of Hadassah. 1861 The Zion Society is formed in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. 1862 Jews are given equal rights in Russian-controlled Congress Poland. The privileges of some towns regarding prohibition of Jewish settlement are revoked. 1867 Jews emancipated in Hungary. 1868 Benjamin Disraeli becomes Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Though converted to Christianity as a child, he is the first person of Jewish descent to become a leader of government in Europe. 1870-1890 Russian Zionist group Hovevei Zion (Lovers of Zion) and Bilu (est. 1882) set up a series of Jewish settlements in the Land of Israel, financially aided by Baron Edmond James de Rothschild. In Rishon LeZion Eliezer ben Yehuda revives Hebrew as spoken modern language. 1870 Jews emancipated in Italy. 1871 Jews emancipated in Germany. 1875 Reform Judaism's Hebrew Union College is founded in Cincinnati. Its founder was Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, the architect of American Reform Judaism. 1877 New Hampshire becomes the last state to give Jews equal political rights. 1878 Petah Tikva is founded by religious pioneers from Jerusalem, led by Yehoshua Stampfer. 1880 World Jewish population around 7.7 million, 90% in Europe, mostly Eastern Europe; around 3.5 million in the former Polish provinces. 1881-1920 In three major waves of progroms (1884, 1903â1906, 1918â1920) tens of thousands of Jews in Russia and Ukraine are killed. More than two million Russian Jews emigrate in the period 1881â1920. 1881 On December 30â31, the First Congress of all Zionist Unions for the colonization of Palestine was held at FocÅani, Romania. 1882-1903 The First Aliyah, a major wave of Jewish immigrants to build a homeland in Palestine. 1886 Rabbi Sabato Morais and Alexander Kohut begin to champion the Conservative Jewish reaction to American Reform, and establish The Jewish Theological Seminary of America as a school of 'enlightened Orthodoxy'. 1890 The term "Zionism" is coined by an Austrian Jewish publicist Nathan Birnbaum in his journal Self Emancipation and was defined as the national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel. 1895 First published book by Sigmund Freud. 1897 In response to the Dreyfus affair, Theodore Herzl writes Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State), advocating the creation of a free and independent Jewish state in Israel. 1897 The Bund (General Jewish Labour Bund) is formed in Russia. 1897 First Russian Empire Census: 5,200,000 of Jews, 4,900,000 in the Pale. The lands of former Poland have 1,300,000 Jews or 14% of population. 1897 The First Zionist Congress was held at Basel, which brought the World Zionist Organization (WZO) into being. 1902 Rabbi Dr. Solomon Schechter reorganizes the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and makes it into the flagship institution of Conservative Judaism. 1903 St. Petersburg's Znamya newspaper publishes a literary hoax The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Kishinev Pogrom caused by accusations that Jews practice cannibalism. 1905 1905 Russian Revolution accompanied by pogroms. 1915 Yeshiva College (later University) and its Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Rabbinical Seminary is established in New York for training in a Modern Orthodox milieu. 1916 Louis Brandeis, on the first of June, is confirmed as the United States' first Jewish Supreme Court justice. Brandeis was nominated by American President Woodrow Wilson. 1916 The Balfour Declaration of 1917 which supported the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine and protected the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities. 1917 The British defeat the Turks and gain control of Palestine. The British issue the Balfour Declaration 1917 which gives official British support for "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people...it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine". Many Jews interpret this to mean that all of Palestine was to become a Jewish state. 1917 The Pale of Settlement is abolished, and Jews get equal rights. The Russian civil war leads to over 2000 pogroms with tens of thousands murdered and hundreds of thousand made homeless. 1918-1939 The period between the two World Wars is often referred to as the "golden age" of hazzanut (cantors). Some of the great Jewish cantors of this era include Abraham Davis, Moshe Koussevitzky, Zavel Kwartin (1874â1953), Jan Peerce, Josef "Yossele" Rosenblatt (1882â1933), Gershon Sirota (1874â1943), and Laibale Waldman. 1920 At the San Remo conference Britain receives the League of Nations' British Mandate of Palestine. 1920-2010 A variety of Jewish authors, including Gertrude Stein, Allen Ginsberg, Saul Bellow, Adrienne Rich and Philip Roth, sometimes drawing on Jewish culture and history, flourish and become highly influential on the Anglophone literary scene. 1921 British military administration of the Mandate is replaced by civilian rule. 1921 Britain proclaims that all of Palestine east of the Jordan River is forever closed to Jewish settlement, but not to Arab settlement. 1921 Polish-Soviet peace treaty in Riga. Citizens of both sides are given rights to choose the country. Hundred thousands of Jews, especially small businesses forbidden in the Soviets, move to Poland. 1922 Reform Rabbi Stephen S. Wise established the Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. (It merged with Hebrew Union College in 1950.) 1923 Britain gives the Golan Heights to the French Mandate of Syria. Arab immigration is allowed; Jewish immigration is not. 1924 2,989,000 Jews according to religion poll in Poland (10.5% of total). Jewish youth consisted 23% of students of high schools and 26% of students of universities. 1926 Generally, prior to World War I, there were no chassidic yeshivot in Europe, but on Lag Ba'Omer 1926, the Rabbi Shlomo Chanoch Hacohen Rabinowicz, the fourth Radomsker Rebbe said, "The time has come to found yeshivos where the younger generation will be able to learn and toil in Torah.", leading to the founding of the "Kesser Torah" yeshivot throughout Poland. 1930 World Jewry: 15,000,000. Main countries USA(4,000,000), Poland (3,500,000 11% of total), Soviet Union (2,700,000 2% of total), Romania (1,000,000 6% of total). Palestine 175,000 or 17% of total 1,036,000. 1933 Hitler takes over Germany; his anti-Semitic sentiments are well-known, prompting numerous Jews to emigrate. 1937 Adin Steinsaltz born, author of the first comprehensive Babylonian Talmud commentary since Rashi in the 11th century. 1939 The British government issues the 'White Paper'. The paper proposed a limit of 10,000 Jewish immigrants for each year between 1940â1944, plus 25,000 refugees for any emergency arising during that period. 1938-1945 The Holocaust (Ha Shoah), resulting in the methodical extermination of nearly 6 million Jews across Europe. 1942-1945 The "Final Solution" (the Nazi term for the extermination of the Jews) reaches its peak with full operation of the main death camps such as Auschwitz, Sobibor, Treblinka and many more. 1945-1948 Post-Holocaust refugee crisis. British attempts to detain Jews attempting to enter Palestine illegally. 1946-1948 The violent struggle for the creation of a Jewish state in the British mandate of Palestine is intensified by Jewish defense groups: Haganah, Irgun, and Lehi (group). 1946-2010 Various Jewish filmmakers, including Billy Wilder, Woody Allen, Mel Brooks and the Coen Brothers, frequently draw on Jewish philosophy and humor, and become some of the most artistically and popularly successful in the history of the medium. 1947 November 29, 1947 The United Nations approves the creation of a Jewish State and an Arab State in the British mandate of Palestine. David Ben-Gurion proclaiming Israeli independence on May 14, 1948, below a portrait of Theodor Herzl 1948 May 14, 1948 The State of Israel declares itself as an independent nation. Andrei Gromyko, the Soviet Union's UN ambassador, calls for the UN to accept Israel as a member state. The UN approves. 1948 May 15, 1948 1948 Arab-Israeli War: Syria, Iraq, Transjordan, Lebanon and Egypt invade Israel. The attack fails. 1948-1949 Almost 250,000 Holocaust survivors make their way to Israel. "Operation Magic Carpet" brings thousands of Yemenite Jews to Israel. 1956 The 1956 Suez War Egypt blockades the Gulf of Aqaba, and closes the Suez canal to Israeli shipping. Egypt's President Nasser calls for the destruction of Israel. Israel, England, and France go to war and force Egypt to end the blockade of Aqaba, and open the canal to all nations. 1964 Jewish-Christian relations are revolutionized by the Roman Catholic Church's Vatican II. 1966 Shmuel Yosef Agnon (1888â1970) becomes the first Hebrew writer to win the Nobel Prize in literature. 1967 May 16, 1967 Egyptian President Nasser demands that the UN dismantle the UN Emergency Force I (UNEF I) between Israel and Egypt. The UN complies and the last UN peacekeeper is out of Sinai and Gaza by May 19. 1967 Egyptian PresidentGamal Abdel Nasser closes the strategic Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping and states that Egypt is in a state of war with Israel. Egyptian troops group in the Sinai. 1967 June 5â10, 1967: The Six-Day War. 1967 September 1, 1967 The Arab Leaders meet in Khartoum, Sudan. The Three No's of Khartoum: No recognition of Israel. No negotiations with Israel. No peace with Israel. 1968 Rabbi Mordechai Kaplan formally creates a separate Reconstructionist Judaism movement by setting up the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia. 1975-2010 Growing revival of Klezmer music (The folk music of European Jews). 1972 Mark Spitz sets the record for most gold medals won in a single Olympic Games (seven) in the 1972 Summer Olympics the site of the Munich massacre. 1973 October 6â24, 1973: The Yom Kippur War. Syria, Egypt and Morocco launch a surprise attack against Israel. Subsequently, OPEC reduces oil production, driving up oil prices and triggering a global economic crisis. 1975 President Gerald Ford signs legislation including the Jackson-Vanik amendment, which ties U.S. trade benefits to the Soviet Union to freedom of emigration for Jews. 1975 United Nations adopts resolution equating Zionism with racism. Rescinded in 1991. 1976 Israel rescues hostages taken to Entebbe, Uganda. 1978 September 18, 1978: At Camp David, near Washington D.C., Israel and Egypt sign a comprehensive peace treaty, The Camp David Accord, which included the withdrawal of Israel from the Sinai. 1978 Yiddish writer Isaac Bashevis Singer receives Nobel Prize 1979 Prime Minister Menachem Begin and President Anwar Sadat are awarded Nobel Peace Prize. 1979-1983 Operation Elijah: Rescue of Ethiopian Jewry. 1982 JuneâDecember: The Lebanon War. Israel invades Southern Lebanon to drive out the PLO. 1983 American Reform Jews formally accept patrilineal descent, creating a new definition of who is a Jew. 1984-1985 Operations Moses, Joshua: Rescue of Ethiopian Jewry by Israel. 1986 Elie Wiesel wins the Nobel Peace Prize 1986 Nathan Sharansky, Soviet Jewish dissident, is freed from prison. 1987 Beginning of the First Intifada against Israel. 1989 Fall of the Berlin Wall between East and West Germany, collapse of the communist East German government, and the beginning of Germany's reunification (which formally began in October 1990). 1990 The Soviet Union opens its borders for the three million Soviet Jews who had been held as virtual prisoners within their own country. Hundreds of thousands of Soviet Jews choose to leave the Soviet Union and move to Israel. 1990-1991 Iraq invades Kuwait, triggering a war between Iraq and Allied United Nations forces. Israel is hit by 39 Scud missiles from Iraq. 1991 Operation Solomon: Rescue of the remainder of Ethiopian Jewry in a twenty four hour airlift. October 30, 1991 the Madrid Peace Conference opens in Spain, sponsored by the United States and the Soviet Union. Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat shake hands at the signing of the Oslo Accords, with Bill Clinton behind them, 1993 1993 September 13 Israel and PLO sign the Oslo Accords. 1994 The Lubavitcher (Chabad) Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, dies. 1994 October 26, Israel and Jordan sign an official peace treaty. Israel cedes a small amount of contested land to Jordan, and the countries open official diplomatic relations, with open borders and free trade. 1994 December 10 Arafat, Rabin and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres share the Nobel Peace Prize. 1995 November 4, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is assassinated. 1996 Peres loses election to Benyamin (Bibi) Netanyahu (Likud party). 1999 Ehud Barak elected Prime Minister of Israel. 2000 May 24, Israel unilaterally withdraws its remaining forces from its security zone in southern Lebanon to the international border, fully complying with the UN Security Council Res. 425. 2000 July - Camp David Summit. 2000, Summer: Senator Joseph Lieberman becomes the first Jewish-American to be nominated for a national office (Vice President of the United States) by a major political party (the Democratic Party). 2000 September 29, The al-Aqsa Intifada begins. 2001 Election of Ariel Sharon as Israel's Prime Minister. 2001 Jewish Museum of Turkey is founded by Turkish Jewry 2004 Avram Hershko and Aaron Ciechanover of the Technion win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The Jewish Autonomous Oblast builds its first synagogue, Birobidzhan Synagogue, in accordance with halakha. 2005 March 31, The Government of Israel officially recognizes the Bnei Menashe people of North-East India as one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, opening the door for thousands of people to immigrate to Israel. 2005 August: The Government of Israel withdraws its military forces and Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip. 2005 December: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon falls into a coma; Deputy Premier Ehud Olmert takes over as Acting Prime Minister 2006 March: Ehud Olmert leads the Kadima party to victory in Israeli elections, becomes Prime Minister of Israel. 2006 JulyâAugust - a 34-day military conflict in Lebanon and northern Israel started on July 12. 2008 December - Israeli armed forces (IDF) launch Operation Cast Lead.