The Pre-History (until the 1880s)



c. 2000 B 1750 B.C.E.: Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekkah, Jacob, Leah and Rachel: the first Jews   

c. 1750-1400 B.C.E.: First Exile -- Slavery in Egypt  

c. 1400-1250 BCE : Exodus-- Heading Home! Moses receives the Torah at Sinai

c. 1250-1030: Conquest of Canaan; Joshua leads, followed by the Judges.

c. 1030-930: Israel Ruled by Samuel the Prophet, and the Kings: Saul, David, and Solomon, who builds the First Temple

c. 925: Division of the United Kingdom, into North (Israel) and South (Judea)

721: The northern kingdom falls to Assyria: Tribes of Israel Lost

586:   First Temple Destroyed: many exiled to Babylonia

538:  Cyrus allows Jews to return to Israel to rebuild Temple, many stay in Babylonia

c. 332: Alexander the Great establishes Greek Rule throughout the Near East

c. 200: Hebrew Bible Canonized.

168-165: Maccabean Revolt against Antiochus, (the story of Hanukkah)

63: Roman Rule begins

19: Herod renovates the Second Temple




29: Romans crucify Jesus in Jerusalem

70: Romans destroy Jerusalem, burning  the Temple. Yohanan ben Zakkai establishes a “yeshiva” at Yavneh

73: Masada Falls.

132-135: Second revolt against Rome, led by Simon Bar Kochba: The Emperor Hadrian imposes the name “Palestine” to strip the Judeans of their identity as “Israel”  

c. 500:  Babylonian Talmud compiled.

570-635: Mohammed founds Islam

638: Arabs conquer Jerusalem: Build Mosque of Omar/Dome of the Rock

1096-1099: First Crusade

1492: The Inquisition: Spain expels the Jews

1517: Ottoman Empire conquers Palestine

1648: Khmelnitski Revolt in the Ukraine: Cossacks massacre the Jews

1791: Emancipation: After the French Revolution, Jews declared full citizens

1840:  Damascus Blood Libel—anti-Semitism in Syria outrages the Western World

1843: First Zionist writings of Rabbi Alkalai and Rabbi Kalischer.

1860: Mishkenot Sha’aninim becomes Jerusalem’s first Jewish settlement outside the Old City.

1862: Moses Hess writes Rome and Jerusalem

1870’s: Chovevei Tziyon, the Loves of Zion, forms in Russia.

1878: Naphtali Herz Imber writes what becomes HaTikvah, the Hope, the Jewish national anthem

The Pioneers: Founding the Jewish State  (1881-1948)

1881: New wave of violent Pogroms in Russia

1882: BILU begins the pioneering movement to settle the Land of Israel

         Eliezer Ben-Yehuda arrives in Palestine.

         Leon Pinsker writes Auto-Emancipation

1883-1903: First Aliyah, also known as Agricultural Aliyah, arrives largely from Eastern Europe

1890: Nathan Birnbaum coins the term Sionismus - Zionism.

1891: Ahad Ha’am makes his first trip to Palestine

1894: Dreyfus Affair, French Jewish army captain Alfred Dreyfus framed

1896: Theodor Herzl writes Der Judenstaat, the Jewish State

1897: First Zionist Congress held at Basel

1901: Fifth Zionist Congress establishes the Jewish National Fund

1902: Herzl publishes his utopian novel Altneuland

         Mizrachi, the Religious Zionist organization founded

1903: Kishinev Pogrom erupts, Hayyim Nahman Bialik writes The City of Slaughter

         Sixth Zionist Congress debates the “Uganda” proposal: the Land of Israel affirmed as           

         Essential to Zionism.

1904-1914: Second Aliyah, mainly from Russian Empire. Start of Kibbutz movement

1904:  A.D. Gordon and HaRav Abraham Isaac Kook each arrive in Palestine

1906:  Solomon Schechter writes Zionism: A Statement

1909: Tel Aviv (first called Ahuzat Bayit) founded, north of Jaffa;

          Young Judaea founded in the the US

          The poetess Rachel arrives in Palestine.

1910: First Kibbutz - Degania - founded

1912: Henrietta Szold founds Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America

1914-1918: World War I

1914: Louis Brandeis becomes President of the Provisional Executive Committee for Zionist Affairs

1917:  Lord Balfour promises to establish a Jewish National Home

1919-1923: Third Aliyah, pioneers, chalutzim, from Eastern Europe.

1920: Joseph Trumpeldor killed in battle at Tel Hai

         Following Arab riots, Ze’ev Jabotinsky and others organize Haganah, Jewish Self


         Chaim Weizmann becomes president of the Zionist Organization

         Histadrut, the General Federation of Hebrew Workers in the Land of Israel, established

         Hebrew becomes the official language of Jewish Palestine

1921: British partition of Jordan and Palestine, British Mandate begins

         Haj Amin El Husseini appointed Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

         Yosef Hayim Brenner killed in Arab riots in Jaffa

1924-1928: Fourth Aliyah causes rapid expansion and urbanisation.

1925: Founding of Hebrew University Jabotinsky founds the Union of Zionists-Revisionists

1929: Arab riots. Ancient Jewish Settlement of Hebron destroyed.

1929-1939: Fifth Aliyah. Huge wave of Jews fleeing Nazi-controlled Europe.

1931: Jabotinsky leaves Haganah and forms Irgun or Etzel - The Irgun Tzvai Leumi

1934: Sieff Institute - today the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot - founded

1934: Aliyah Bet -- smuggling in Jews from Holocaust-stricken countries -- begins

1935:  David Ben-Gurion becomes chairman of the Jewish Agency

1937: The Reform Movement starts becoming Zionist with the Columbus Platform

          The Peel Commissin proposes a Partition of Palestine

1939: Grand Mufti leads Arab Revolt;

         British issue White Paper limiting Jewish immigration into Palestine.

1940: Yair Stern breaks off from the Irgun and forms Lehi (Lochami Heruth Yisrael -     

         Freedom fighters of Israel).

1941: Elite fighting force of the Haganah, the “Palmach”, established

1942:  Biltmore Program: American Jewry endorses Zionism

           Haim Hazaz writes The Sermon

1939-1945: World War II and the Holocaust

1947: The dramatic struggle over the ship filled with Holocaust refugees: The Exodus

Natan Alterman writes Magash HaKesef, The Silver Platter

November 29, 1947: UN partitions Palestine. Arab guerillas reject the compromise and attack

The Builders: Actualizing and Modernizing The Zionist Blueprints (1848-2000)

May 15, 1948: State of Israel proclaimed, 7 Arab armies attack, War of Independence

          Ben-Gurion orders the sinking of the Altalena, Menachem Begin avoids Civil War

          By end of year,  Israel has 716, 000 Jews and 156,000 non-Jews,

          Ben-Zion Meir Chai Uziel and Isaac HaLevi Herzog write the Prayer for the State of Israel

1949: First Elections held in Israel; David Ben-Gurion elected Prime Minister.

         The Government of Israel decrees Jerusalem to be its capital.

         United Nations formally recognizes the State of Israel.

         239,954 immigrants arrive as the Aliyah from Arab and Muslim lands starts surging --
         including Operation Magic Carpet from Yemen

1950: Israeli Knesset passes the Law of Return, guaranteeing asylum for Jews from across the world

1951: first Jerusalem Program adopted; Germany offers Israel controversial war reparations


1956: Suez Campaign, Israel forced to withdraw after capturing the Sinai

          Joseph Soloveitchik delivers his classic sermon, Listen! My Beloved Knocks

1957: Chalutziut, pioneering continues: Hula swamp drained; Dimona nuclear reactor built

1958: Leon  Uris publishes Exodus

         Mashav works with developing countries, fulfilling Herzl’s vision Golda Meir soon called “the Mother of Africa”

1959: Arthur Hertzberg publishes his Zionist anthology, The Zionist Idea

1960: Nazi Officer Adolf Eichmann is captured and brought to Israel to stand trial.

1964: National Water Carrier inaugurated; Beatles banned to preserve Zionism’s culture purity

1965: Teddy Kollek becomes mayor of Jerusalem; Israel Museum established


1966: Elie Wiesel’s The Jews of Silence focuses the public of Soviet Jewry

          Albert Memmi writes The Liberation of the Jews

          S.Y. Agnon shares the Nobel Prize for Literature

1967: Six Day War, Israel conquers the West Bank, Gaza, Golan Heights, the Sinai, and reunites “Jerusalem of Gold,”            as Naomi Shemer sings about it

1969: Golda Meir elected as Israel’s first Female Prime Minister.

1971: Black Panthers formed in Jerusalem to protest discrimination against Mizrahim

1973: Yom Kippur War, Surprise Attack.  

1974: Gush Emunim founded

1975: UN declares Zionism is racism in resolution.

1976: Operation Entebbe rescues Israeli hostages from Uganda; Yoni Netanyahu killed.

May, 1977: Menachem Begin wins election, the right-wing gains power for the first time.

November, 1977: Anwar Sadat visits Jerusalem

1977: Hillel Halkin’s Letters to an American Jewish Friend challenges American Jewry

1978-1979: Camp David accords between Egypt and Israel negotiated and signed.

1978: Peace Now Founded

1980: New Israeli Shekel becomes the currency of Israel.

1981: Operation Opera: Israel destroys Iraq’s nuclear reactor.

1982: First Lebanon War

1984: Operation Moses: The first of some eight thousand Ethiopian Jews are covertly   

        evacuated to Israel from refugee camps in Sudan.

1985: Free Trade Agreement with US

1986: Anatoly Scharansky freed from the Gulag; makes Aliyah and becomes Natan Sharansky

1987-89: The first Palestinian uprising - or Intifada

1987: Massive Russian Aliyah of 1.2 million begins surging

1991: Gulf war. Scud missiles fired at Israel from Iraq.

         Operation Solomon: An airlift began which would transport some fourteen thousand

         Ethiopian Jews from Ethiopia to Israel over a thirty-six-hour period.

1993: Israel and the Palestinians sign the Oslo Accords in Washington DC.

1994: Israel signs peace treaty with Jordan

         Asa Kasher and others write the IDF Code of Ethics

1995: Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin assassinated

Torchbearers: Reassessing, Redirecting, Reinvigorating in The Twenty-First Century (2000 until today)

2000: Bill Clinton hosts Ehud Barak and Yasir Arafat at Camp David: Arafat never responds to Barak’s peace plan

        Israel withdraws the last of its forces from Southern Lebanon

2000: Arafat leads the Palestinians back to Terror in the “Second Intifada.”

2004: Jerusalem Program updated

2005: Israel unilaterally withdraws from Gaza; Hamas soon controls Gaza

2006: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffers a severe stroke and falls into a coma. Replaced by Ehud Olmert.

         Second Lebanon War

2008-2009: Operation Cast Lead - First Gaza War

2010: The Shas Party with Ovadia Yosef’s approval joins the World Zionist Organization

2011: Israeli Social Justice protests in Tel Aviv over affordable housing.

2012: Operation Pillar of Defense - Second Gaza War

2014: Operation Defensive Edge - Second Gaza War

2015: Benjamin Netanyahu wins fourth term in Government

         President Reuven Rivlin presents his vision of the Four Tribes of Israel

         Erez Biton first Mizrahi Poet to win the Israel Prize

2016: Israeli Private Equity Investment Peaks at a record $3.5 billion for Start-Up Nation

2017: United States formally recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city.