1000 BCE

It is alleged, that King David’s general, Joab, occupied the site of Aram Zoba, or Aleppo.

64 BCE

Syria is annexed by the Roman Empire and Jews in the region begin to suffer.

66-73 CE

Syrian forces are directly engaged in the Great Jewish Revolt and were ordered to quell the uprisings in Judea.


Syria is conquered by the Persians, ending the oppression Jews experienced under the Roman and Byzantine Empire.


Damascus fell into the hands of the Umayyad Muslims during the Arab Conquest and life began to improve.

8th – 10th Century

During the Abbasid Dynasty, the Central Synagogue of Aleppo is built and the city becomes a center of Jewish scholarship and spirituality.


Damascus resists the Second Crusade and in the following years many Jewish refugees from Jerusalem find refuge in Damascus.


A descendent of Maimonides brings the Aleppo Codex from Egypt to Aleppo, where it would remain protected for 600 years.


Jewish refugees from Spain are welcomed by Syria’s indigenous, flourishing Jewish community.


Damascus falls to the Turks, becoming part of the Ottoman Empire. Jews are considered dhimmis.


Eight members of the Jewish community were falsely accused of ritual murder of a Christian monk during the Damascus Affair. The men were tortured, killed, and forced to convert to Islam. The Jewish synagogue of Jobar is destroyed.


As blood libels against Jews increase and Aleppo begins to experience economic decline, Jewish waves of emigration to North American, North Africa, and Europe begin.


After the Partition Plan rioters took to the streets of Aleppo leaving 75 dead and destroying Jewish community sites, Jewish homes and businesses, and sacred artifacts and manuscripts including the Aleppo Codex.


The 30,000 Jews left in Syria experience extreme economic strangulation, with Jewish bank accounts frozen and Jewish members of government discharged. Jews are subjected to severe restriction of freedom of movement and are not allowed to acquire a drivers license or leave the country freely. Jews were under constant surveillance by the secret police. Syrian Jews who want to leave are forced to escape and those who were caught faced execution or forced labor.


The Menarsha synagogue in Damascus suffered a grenade attack, killing 12 people and injuring dozens.


Four Jewish girls were raped, murdered, and mutilated after attempting to flee to Israel. Their bodies were discovered with the remains of two Jewish boys who had previously tried to escape.


The Syrian government agreed to facilitate the emigration of 500 single Jewish women.


Following heavy lobbying from Jewish Syrian Americans, during the Madrid Peace Conference, the USA pressured Syria to ease restriction on its Jewish population.


4,000 Jews in Damascus, Aleppo, and Qamishli were granted exit permits. Some 300, mostly elderly Jews remained after the rest fled.


Only twenty elderly Jews remain in Syria.