Ashkenazi Jews are descended from a 350 person “bottleneck” that occurred 800 – 600 years ago. This was the conclusion of a recent Columbia University DNA study published in the journal, Nature Communications.

The idea seems incredible, that the origins of such a large and successful segment of the Jewish people could be so recent. But the science corresponds perfectly with the history. In 1264 the “Charter of Boleslav” was signed. The Jews of Western Europe were invited to run the business of the Polish princes. The charter guaranteed certain rights and protections for the Jews and resulted in a long period of prosperity and growth in Eastern Europe.

The audio clip below tells the history of this significant agreement.

You can also listen to an audio version of this blog. Context the Podcast: A DNA match with history is available on itunes.

CONTEXT is a blog devoted to providing historical background to the situation in the Middle East. The history has been provided through video and audio recordings of my late father, Dr. David Neiman –an expert on the history of the ancient near east and the relationship between the Church and the Jews. He based his theses on historical records, linguistics and a deep understanding of the Bible and its origins.