This Day in Jewish History Hundreds of Jews Choose Baptism Over Exile From French Town

Those unwilling to convert to Christianity apparently left the southern town for Marseille, on the Mediterranean coast.

On May 18, 576, more than 500 Jews in the city of Clermont, France, requested to be baptized. The request was a response to an ultimatum given to the town’s Jews by Avitus, the bishop of Clermont: either convert or be expelled.