General information: First Jewish presence: 1717; peak Jewish population: 41 in 1871; Jewish population in 1933: 22
Summary: Records reveal little about this tiny Jewish community, but we do know that the village was home to a synagogue, a mikveh and a school for religious studies. The synagogue was a half-timbered construction with two entrances: the one on the right side led to the main sanctuary and was used by the men, and the one on the left side led to the women’s gallery and the mikveh. It is not known until what date services were held in the Oberasphe synagogue, but it is clear that, even in the best of times, the congregation relied on neighboring villagers to complete the necessary minyan. In Oberasphe, the Jewish population began to dwindle in 1933. Later, on Pogrom Night, the interior of the synagogue was ransacked and destroyed. Sold in 1953 and used by a leather saddle factory, the building was torn down in 1958. As of this writing, no memorial has been erected in Oberasphe.
Photo: View of the Torah Ark in the Oberasphe synagogue, probably in the 1930s. Courtesy of: the Historical Society of Oberasphe.
Author / Sources: Moshe Finkel
Sources: AJ, DJGH
Located in: hesse