Libertan Jews

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Libertan Jews
Total population
162,000
Regions with significant populations
 Liberta 159 thousand
(5.3% in Liberta)[1] [2]
 Israel
         (estimate)
3,000
Languages
English, Yiddish, Hebrew
Religion
Judaism (50-60% Reform, 10-20% Non-denomination, 10% Conservative, <10% Orthodox)

(85-90% Ashkenazi, 7-8% Sephardi, 2-6% Other)

Libertan Jews or, Jewish Libertans, are Libertans who are Jews, either by religion or ethnicity. Often, when referring to Libertan Jews, the latter is implied. The Jewish community in Liberta consists of, almost completely, of Ashkenazi Jews, who descend from Jewish diaspora of Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Greek and Italian Jews. The Ashkenazim comprise 85-90% of the Jewish population in Liberta. The majority of Jews in Liberta are Libertan born, with few immigrants today.

The first-ever Jews in Liberta are believed to have been Sephardi Jews, who have emigrated from the Iberian Peninsula in the 15th century due to both the Alhambra Decree and forced expulsion of Jews in Portugal. The Sephardi Jews were up to the large influx of Ashkenazim, merchants or shopkeepers, and were mostly intertwined with Libertan culture and customs, whilst also strictly keeping to their own rituals and customs. Later, during the 1880s, Jewish immigration exponentially increased, now being Ashkenazim.

Today Libertan Jews consist of 5.3% of the Libertan Population, and has the 8th largest Jewish community in the world.[3] The total population of Libertan Jews is around 159 thousand today, most of which reside in Octavio today.

History[edit | edit source]

Age of Arrival[edit | edit source]

The Sephardi immigrants weren't considered a "religious invasion", in stark contrast to the Catholics attempting to settle in Liberta during the 14th century. It is believed that the Jews were more accepted because of their prosecution on the Iberian peninsula, due to their beliefs. The first Libertans, and the founders, the Aquarius family, created Liberta because of irreligious prosecution. In that sense, both groups had been prosecuted for their beliefs, and as such, it was easier for Libertans to relate to Jews. The general view on Jews during the Age of Arrival is interpreted to have been positive, as Jews were granted citizenship upon arrival and were seen as equal under the law.[4]

Many Sephardi Jews settled in Octavio, and as Octavio grew, more Jewish families moved in. This was the beginning of Octavio becoming the Jewish district. Octavio was also the birthplace of the first Libertan synagogue, Our House Synagogue, which was constructed in 1502. During the 1600s the Jewish community started to celebrate Hanukkah more openly, this led to non-Jews being introduced to the celebration, which made Hanukkah mainstream in Libertan society. According to documents ranging from the 1600s to the 1800s, Hanukkah was celebrated across the island and remains a prevalent tradition today.

The LJL was the first common Jewish group that sought to increase Jews influence in Liberta and together with Agusto Azose, was able to in 1769, achieve the right for Jews to sit in the House of Decision. Agusto Azose was a famous Sephardi lawmaker during the 1700s, as he sat in the Supreme Court. He instated over 200 laws which would benefit Jews and other religious minorities residing in Liberta and was seen as a very progressive man.

Arrival of Ashkenazi Diaspora[edit | edit source]

Because of the assassination of Alexander II of Russia for which many blamed "the Jews", many Ashkenazim fled west, and Liberta. In a span of five years, 100 thousand Ashkenazim emigrated to Liberta. Many moved to the already Jewish homogenous Octavio. The Libertan Government created the provisional Jewish Assimilation Agency in hope of assimilating the Jewish diaspora into the Libertan culture. This proved very successful, within a two year period after the agency's launch, English speakers within the Ashkenazim had increased from less than 10% to 80%. This number steadily increased, and by the year 1900, the rate had increased to 98%. The general attitude toward Jews remained positive and as the second and Libertan born generation of Ashkenazim increased, the assimilation saw large success. By the year 1920, the Ashkenazim were considered to be "a functioning part of the Libertan society" and as such, the government decided to dismantle the JAA. Anti-defamation laws against Jews were created and Yiddish was recognized as a minority language by 1926. Judaism was prevalently taught in schools, and as such Judaism and most prominently, Hanukkah was becoming more mainstream. Most Jews, working low paying jobs in the 1910-1920s were becoming middle class, and as such, Jews were generally considered to be hardworking and honest.

1940s until today[edit | edit source]

With Nazi Germany increasing anti-Jewish prosecution, more Ashkenazim fled to Liberta, and generally, Jews were considered vulnerable, just like most Libertans saw themselves and their forefathers. The Libertan government was undecided on whether to join the Allies, however, the LJL lobbied for Jewish rescue missions in Nazi Germany. These rescue missions became known as the "Alibertya", a play on the word "Aliyah", the concept of Jewish diaspora returning to Israel. In total, over 20 thousand Jews were rescued from Nazi Germany, and the project was seen as a large success.

In the 70s the Grand Libertan Synagogue was built to signify good Libertan-Jewish relations, and it remains the largest Synagogue, with a capacity of 20,000. Today, Octavio remains the district with the largest Jewish population. Hanukkah is a well-known tradition as is celebrated across Liberta, by both Jews and non-Jews. A global ADL study of antisemitism places Liberta as one of the least anti-semitic countries in the world, with less than 1% of the population harboring anti-Semitic attitudes.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ Libertan Statistics Bureau
  2. ^ BLJ
  3. ^ DellaPergola, Sergio (2015). World Jewish Population, 2015
  4. ^ Jus de Judaei