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The Jews of Lucena, who carried on extensive trade and industries, were, according to an Arab writer richer than those of any other city.
People from Lucena are called "Lucentinos." The city was originally known as Eliossana, from the Hebrew Elí hosanna, "God may save us". Muslims called it Al-Yussana.
They enjoyed the same freedom as their coreligionists in the large Muslim cities. Their rabbi, who was elected by the entire community, was granted special privileges and acted as judge in the civil and criminal cases arising in the community. The Jews lived peaceably until the Almoravides came into power.
At the beginning of the eleventh century, several important Jewish scholars lived in Lucena. Isaac Alfasi founded a large Talmudic academy in Lucena, and here also Isaac ibn Ghayyat, Isaac ibn Albalia, and Joseph ibn Migash were prominent.