ESCALONA , town in Castile, central Spain. A Jewish community existed in Escalona during the Muslim period and remained in the town after the Christian conquest in 1083. The rights of the Jews in Escalona were established by the fuero ("municipal charter") of 1130. This gave them equal status with Christians and Moors, although a Jew was not permitted to act as judge in Christian lawsuits. Jews in Escalona owned vineyards and real estate throughout the existence of the settlement there. In the 1290 tax distribution among the Jewish communities, the Jews of Escalona were not included specifically, probably due to their small number. The community was destroyed during the persecutions of 1391, but was renewed in the 15th century, when it was fairly small. In 1453 real estate in the city was given to R. Salamon, the physician of Countess Juana Pimentel, in appreciation of his services. The list of the taxes levied on the community is an important source of information, showing that it paid 1,000 maravedis in 1474, and 2,000 maravedis in 1482. The levy for the war against Granada amounted to 38 gold castellanos in 1485. The community paid 5,040 maravedis in 1489, 6,570 maravedis in 1490, and 4,000 maravedis in 1491. From a source preserved in the municipal archives we know that a Jewish quarter existed between 1477 and 1489. There is a reference to a Jewish slaughterhouse. Following the segregation of the Jews in 1483 the mosque of the Muslims was included within the Jewish quarter. Thus the community apparently continued to exist until the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. Don Isaac *Abrabanel had business interests in the town. There was a group of *Conversos living in Escalona, and those suspected of secretly practicing Judaism were tried by the Inquisition of Toledo.
Baer, Urkunden, index; Suárez Fernández, Documentos, 67, 80, 405; Beinart, in: Tarbiz, 26 (1956/57), 77, 82; Ashtor, Korot, 2 (1966), 143. add. bibliography: P. León Tello, Judíos de Toledo, 1 (1979), 291–4; A. Malalana Ureña, Escalona medieval (1083 – 1400) (1987), 195–7; J.L. Lacave, Juderías y sinagogas, (1992), 314.
[Haim Beinart /
Yom Tov Assis (2nd ed.)]