The Lithuanian Grand Duke and Polish King Zygmunt I granted the Jews a charter of protection, which gave Jews the right to practise their religion, exemption from the jurisdiction of municipal authorities, and security measures against physical attack. To enhance the importance and antiquity of the document, the charter was backdated to 1388 and attributed to Grand Duke Vytautus/Vitold (r. 1392–1430), the first Catholic ruler of Lithuania.
The charter sheds light on the status of Jews in the hierarchical corporate structure of European medieval feudal society. It also illustrates how the tenth-century Magdeburg Law (relating to town privileges) was implemented in many Eastern and Central European municipalities.
- Omeljan Pritsak, "The Pre-Ashkenazic Jews of Eastern Europe in Relation to the Khazars, the Rus' and the Lithuanians," in Ukrainian-Jewish Relations in Historical Perspective, Peter Potichnyj & Howard Aster, eds. (Edmonton, 1988), 16–17.