400 CE

Ancient Jewish synagogue exists in Tunisia. Jews increase in size and prosper to such a degree that the African Church councils enact strict restrictions against the Jews.


Edict of persecution classifies Jews as Arians and heathens.


Influx of Spanish Jewish immigrants who are fleeing persecution. Later Tunisia comes under Arab dominion and an increased number of Arab Jews move to Tunis.


Tunisian Jews join Imam Idris’ army to ensure independence, but shortly after, the Jews decide to withdraw due to conflicting beliefs about the purpose of defense. Idris retaliates via violence and requires that the Jews pay a special tax.


Aghlabite dynasty rules in Tunisia and the Jews are treated favorably.


Accession of Almohade dynasty. Situation becomes disastrous for the Jews. Jews are told to either embrace Islam or leave the country. Yellow garments are a requirement for Jews to wear.


Improvement in the conditions for the Jews. A humane Muslim, Sidi Mahrez obtains for the Jews the right to settle in a special quarter of the city proper which comes to be known as “Hira,” rather than be pushed to the outskirts.


Following the defeat of Saint Louis of France, Kairwan and Hammat are declared holy cities. Jews are forbidden to pass through the cities at night without prior permission.


Few Jews immigrate to Tunisia during the Spanish Inquisition because of the harsh treatment of Jews there.


Spanish occupation of the Tunisian coasts causes some Jewish communities to suffer greatly at the hands of the conquerors.


Improvements in the treatment of the Jews due to European influences in Tunisia.


Mohammed Bey executes a Jew named Batto Sfoz. Two years of diplomatic negotiations with the French government ensue, ultimately new laws granting Jews equal rights are created and the Tunisian government becomes weary of dealing with the Jews for fear of interference with foreign countries.


First Zionist club, Agudat Tzion founded in Tunis in 1910.


New French law makes it easier for Tunisian Jews to obtain French citizenship. By Tunisian Independence in 1956 1/3 of the Tunisian Jewish Community held French citizenship.


Tunisia comes under the rule of Vichy France and anti-Semitic laws are implemented, inspired by Nazi ideology.


The German Nazi’s occupy Tunisia for six months between November 1942 and May 1943. 100,000 Jews live in Tunisia at this time. More than 5,000 Jews sent to labor camps, and 46 die there. The Nazi’s require the Jews to wear a yellow Star of David, pay fines and confiscate their property.


Tunisian independence. Jewish Community Council is abolished and many Jewish areas are destroyed for “urban renewal.” Many Jews leave Tunisia.


Bizerte crisis ignites anti-Semitism in Tunisia. Israeli emissaries, local Zionists and others are subjected to arrest and interrogation. Jews are accused of being unpatriotic and many leave Tunisia for Israel or France.


20,000 Jews living in Tunisia. Six Day War leads to riots against the Jews and 7,000 Jews immigrate to France.


Israel attacks PLO headquarters in Tunis leading Tunisian government to take measurable steps to protect Tunisia’s remaining Jewish population.


Al Qaeda attacks the El Ghriba Synagogue in Djerba, killing 17.


Less than 1,000 Jews remain