The nobility is a class of people who had special political and social status. Nobility is inherited or
granted by the Crown as a reward to people who perform a heroic deed, achieve greatness in some
endeavor, or hold a prominent government position.
Some Jews became part of the nobility class in several countries, including England, Germany,
Austria, Russia, and Italy. European kings found it advantageous to have a prominent Jewish banker or
trader in their service who could quickly raise money and equipment in times of war. An example
is the Rothschild family of Germany. Members of this family were granted German hereditary
nobility in 1816. Several Jewish families were also ennobled in the 1860s in the Italian state of Savoy.