Medina del Campo

views updated


MEDINA DEL CAMPO , town in N. Castile, between *Olmedo and Rueda. The Jewish community was particularly prosperous during the 13th century: in 1290 its annual tax amounted to 44,000 maravedis. By the 14th century the community consisted of between 50 and 100 householders. In 1313 the regulations on Jewish affairs of the regional council of *Zamora were applied to Medina del Campo. They covered the employment of Christians in Jewish homes, the distinctive badge to be worn by the Jews, the prohibition on practicing medicine, interest rates, and the dismissal of Jews from public functions. Nothing is known of how the community fared during the persecutions of 1391, but afterward a *Converso community existed there. In 1459 Medina del Campo was the center of the activities of the monk *Alonso de Espina against Conversos suspected of practicing Judaism. During that year he found 30 Conversos who had undergone circumcision. Some of the Conversos prepared to depart for North Africa. One of them, the physician Magister Franciscus, circumcised himself and immigrated to Ereẓ Israel. Therefore, like *Huesca and Ciudad Real, in the 1450s and 1460s Medina del Campo was a center for the return to Judaism. After the edict of expulsion (1492), those who left the town presumably crossed the borders of the kingdoms of Navarre and Portugal. The last rabbi of the community was Isaac Uzziel, who probably settled in Salonika after the expulsion.


Baer, Spain, index; Baer, Urkunden, 2 (1936), index; B. Llorca, in: Sefarad, 2 (1942), 119; A. Marx, Expulsion of the Jews from Spain (1944), 85, 100; Suárez Fernández, Documentos, index.

[Haim Beinart]