312 BCE

First reliable evidence of a Jewish presence in Libya, a small Jewish community immigrated from Egypt.

73 BCE

Jews present in Libya. During the 1st Roman-Jewish War a revolt is led by the Jews of Libya.

110 CE

Ancient Historian Josephus writes that the Jewish population in Libya reached 500,000. Though the community was decimated by leading revolts against the Roman Empire.

100-500 CE

Libyan Jewish Community engages with the local Berber community, absorbing many converts to Judaism.

647 CE

Arab armies invade Libya from the East beginning almost 900 years of Arab rule of Libya. Jews living in the Arab empire from as far away as the Arabian Gulf move to Libya.


The Jewish population of Libya became significant by the 11th century. Though because of persecution and emigration the Jewish population declined by the time of the Ottoman Conquest of Libya in 1551. Libyan Jews live in relative isolation from other Jewish communities for almost 400 years.


Libya is colonized by Italy. Jews are treated pretty well.


21,000 Jews living in Libya. The Fascist Italian regime passes anti-Semitic laws that cause many Jews to lose government jobs, leave government schools and stamp passports with the words “Jewish race.”


25% of Tripoli is Jewish, 44 synagogues exist.


Benghazi’s Jewish Quarter is occupied by the Nazi’s and more than 2,000 Jews are deported and sent to labor camps, 1/5 ultimately perish.


Following WWII, more than 140 Jews are killed, and even more injured in a pogrom in Tripoli. Rioters destroy and loot the synagogues in the city as well as hundreds of homes and businesses.


Anti-Jewish rioters kill 12 and destroy 280 homes. The Jews fight back and prevent dozens of other deaths.


Majority of Jews leave Libya. 30,972 Jews immigrate to Israel.


Jewish community council is dissolved by law in Libya.


New law requires a special permit to prove Libyan citizenship. All but six Jews denied citizenship.


The Jewish population in Libya decreases to 7,000. Following the Six Day War between Israel and its Arab neighbors, anti-Jewish riots commence. King Idris I urges Jews to leave Libya, after a request is made by Jewish community leaders. The Italian navy helps to airlift 6,000 Jews and relocate them to Rome. The evacuees leave their homes, businesses and possessions behind.


Only 100 Jews remain in Libya. Muammar al-Gaddafi comes into power. Jewish property is confiscated, Jewish debts canceled and emigration for Jews becomes legally prohibited.


20 Jews remain in Libya.


No Jews left in Libya. Gaddafi states that Jews who were forced to leave country will be compensated, except for those who immigrated to Israel.