Although the description of the forum of this thread is “Timeline shifts and parallel universes. Looking at the past and asking 'What if?'”, indicating that the material here is not how it actually happened, it will be made so. In other words, the fiction written in the following paragraphs will eventually become nonfiction. Here’s the first of my many revised histories, in a nutshell. The modern history of Judaism begins in the 6th century A.D. with the reforms of Simon of Rome. Simon was born in 500 A.D. into a close-knit Jewish community in Rome. He grew up a normal Jew living at that time, but was orphaned by the time he was 15. He then opened to contemporary Roman Italian culture and mastered medieval Italian. He also identified his nationality as being Roman and his religion Jewish following his studies. Simon became ordained as a rabbi at age 20 and rose to a prominent one by age 22. Outside his temple three years later, Simon announced to his congregation his four-fold reforms, which in many ways radically transformed Judaism. Jews living there began to seek converts, and successfully converted around 2% of Roman gentiles. When the Pope banned further Jewish missionary activity, Simon and some of his fellow Jews moved east to what is now western Russia. After settling, they resumed proselytizing, and 30% of all Eastern Slavs converted from their native pagan religion to Judaism. Simon settled near what is now Smolensk and died in that area of a blood infection in 551. The massive number of Eastern Slavic converts to Judaism contributed to Eastern Slavic nations’ religious tolerance and a rich Jewish heritage. Eastern Slavs were reduced to being 25% Jewish following the coming of Christianity to Eastern Slavic lands, but after Vladimir’s death, many Eastern Slavic Jews became missionaries and gained many more converts to Judaism. By the Mongols conquered Kievan Rus’ in the early 13th century, about 35% of all ethnic Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians were practicing Judaism, but the process of seeking converts came to a virtual halt. The Mongol Invasion cut off contact with the West until 1395, with the coming of the Renaissance. By 1400, the Renaissance was in full swing throughout Europe and the Mongols were ousted from Russia. The discovery of the 1290 Jewish expulsion from England and the spirit of the Renaissance prompted many of Russia’s Jewish missionaries to seek converts to Judaism throughout Europe. As a result, approximately 18% of gentiles in each European region or nation outside Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus converted to Judaism. As a result of all this, Jews in exile were welcomed back to England. A policy of religious tolerance (particularly for Jews) swept throughout Europe, despite the Holy Inquisition in Italy, which didn’t affect Jews. From the time of the death of Simon of Rome to the early Renaissance, Jews throughout Europe, especially Russia, were granted titles of nobility. To this day, most Jews have been of ethnic European descent. Virtually all European Jews have adopted names familiar to their respective regions or nations. However, two-thirds of Russian-American Jews belong to a group called Ashkenazim, while one-third do not and are of ethnic Russian descent. In the late 1800s and early 1900s in Russia, non-Slavs, especially Ashkenazic Jews, were subject to “Russification.” This policy was especially enforced upon Ashkenazic Jews, and those who refused to follow the policies were persecuted. The ancestors of American Jews of Ashkenazic-Russian descent fled Russia to the U.S. to escape these persecutions, while American Jews of ethnic Russian descent fled because they considered Ashkenazic-Russian Jews who fled there to be linked to them like a spiritual family. Ethnic-Russian Jews have maintained virtually all Russian cuisine (with the exception of foods related to Christian holidays such as Christmas and Easter) of their gentile ancestors, but since the early Renaissance have absorbed the cuisine of Ashkenazic Jews migrating to Russia at that time. Before long Russia’s Orthodox Christians absorbed Ashkenazic cuisine as well. I was unable to upload the original Word document on which this revision of history is based on. The document contains more thorough details of the revision. But if any of you have any questions or comments about the revision or its additional details, feel free to post them in this thread.