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Baltimore: 6 Jewish Facts

July 31, 2019 | by Dr. Yvette Alt Miller

Baltimore is home to one of the country’s most vibrant Jewish communities.

For centuries, Baltimore has boasted one of the United States’ most vibrant Jewish communities. Numbering nearly 100,000, Baltimore’s Jewish population is one of the country’s largest. The city is also unusual in having the most religiously observant Jewish population in the US. Here are six facts about this amazing city and it’s vibrant, distinctive Jewish community.

Nearly Killed for Being a Jew

The first Jew to openly profess his faith in the area was nearly killed for doing so – and escaped only after Britain’s Prime Minister personally intervened.

Jacob Lumbrozo was born in Portugal and made his way to what was then the Palatinate of Maryland in 1657, settling in the small town that would eventually become Baltimore. A physician by trade, Dr. Lumbrozo quickly made his mark: he worked as a doctor, held a trading commission allowing him to do business with Native Americans, bought property and even served on a jury. After about a decade living in his new home, Dr. Lumbrozo was reported to authorities and arrested under the Toleration Act: a law passed in 1649 that made it a crime for anyone living in Maryland not to profess allegiance to the Christian faith.

Dr. Lumbrozo was thrown into prison and faced execution. Luckily, ten days later the Governor of Maryland, celebrating 

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