benjamin tudelaThis list of Jewish travelers to the Holy Land is based on Elkan Nathan Adler, Jewish Travellers in the Middle Ages, Dover Publications, Inc., NY 1987.

  • Ninth century
    1. Isaac, interpreter to ambassadors sent by Charlemagne to Harun-ar-Rashid
    2. Jacob ibn Tarik (Aben Scheara), carried astronomical books from Ceylon to Baghdad
    3. Joseph of Spain, introduced the Western world to Arabic numerals from India
    4. Eldad the Danite, claimed to be from the lost tribe of Dan
  • Tenth century
    1. Rabbi Chisdai ibn Shaprut, sent by Jews to inquire about the Khozars in Crimea
    2. Rabbi Judah HaLevi, moved to Palestine
    3. Saadya Gaon, visited Palestine
    4. Rabbi Jacob ben Nethaniel ha Cohen, traveled in Egypt and Palestine during the Crusades
  1. Twelfth century
    1. Abraham ibn Ezra, alluded to his travels in his works
    2. Benjamin of Tudela, described in detail the Jewish communities he visited
    3. Petachia of Ratisbon, gives us important information about Russia and the Karaite Jews
    4. Judah al-Harizi, satirical poet
  2. Thirteenth century
    1. Rabbi Samuel ben Samson of Sens, wrote a guide to the graves of Jewish saints and Rabbis
    2. Pilgrimage of three hundred French and English Rabbis to Palestine
    3. Rabbi Jacob, sent to Palestine and Iraq to collect funds for a Paris Rabbinic college
    4. Nachmanides, visited Jerusalem and found only one Jewish resident
  3. Fourteenth century
    1. Estori Farchi, settled in Beth Shean and wrote the first scientific description of Palestine
    2. Isaac ben Joseph ibn Chelo, Kabbalist who settled in Jerusalem
    3. Jafuda Crescas, mapped sea and land routes
  4. Fifteenth century
    1. Abraham Zacuto, wrote a nautical almanac which was used by Columbus
    2. Rabbi Isaac ibn Alfara of Malaga, describes the chief Jewish tombs in Palestine
    3. Rabbi Elijah of Ferrara, describes life in Egypt and Palestine
    4. Rabbi Meshullam of Volterra
    5. Rabbi Obadiah of Bertinoro
  5. Sixteenth century
    1. Moses ben Joseph Hamon, a physician on the staff of Sultan Suleiman recorded information about Syria
    2. Anonymous Venetian Rabbi, traveled to Palestine and back
    3. David Reubeni, offered the Christians help in overthrowing the Turks and hoped to regain Palestine for the Jews
    4. German settler in Hebron, compiled a list of the tombs of the Patriarchs
    5. Gershon of Scarmela, went on a pilgrimage to Palestine and wrote “Tombs of the Righteous”
    6. Elijah of Pesaro, intended to settle in Palestine but was delayed in Cyprus by a plague in the East
    7. Joseph del Medigo, doctor from Crete who traveled to Egypt, Constantinople, Poland, Russia and Lithuania
    8. Pedro Texeira, a Marrano who was probably the first Jew to travel all around the world
  6. Seventeenth century
    1. Samuel Jemsel, Karaite who traveled to Palestine with a group of a hundred Jewish pilgrims
  7. Eighteenth century
    1. Haim David Azulai, Jerusalem-born Kabbalist who traveled to Europe to raise funds for the Hebron Rabbinical Seminary