Heppenheim an der Wiese

General information: First Jewish presence: early 18th century; peak Jewish population: 72 in 1861; Jewish population in 1933: 30
Summary: The Jewish community of Heppenheim, of which the Jews of Offstein were members, initially attended the synagogues in nearby Horchheim and Gruenstadt; later, religious services were conducted in prayer rooms, located in private residences in Heppenheim. In 1907, the community rented a prayer hall at 24 Wormser Landstrasse. Finally, in 1910/11, a proper synagogue was built on what would later become 103 Dorfgrabenstrasse (formerly called Grabenstrasse); the new synagogue was built with materials from Horchheim’s demolished synagogue. The community maintained a mikveh and a school, the latter of which was presided over by a teacher who also served as chazzan and shochet. Heppenheim Jews conducted burials in Dalsheim, in Pfeddersheim (1833-1895) and, after 1895, in their own cemetery (located north of the village). Heppenheim’s synagogue was burned down on Pogrom Night, and the building was demolished shortly afterwards. The village’s Jewish cemetery was desecrated several times during the Nazi period. Eleven Heppenheim Jews emigrated (nine went to Paraguay) while most of the others relocated within Germany. One was deported to the East in September 1942. At least one Jew from Heppenheim died in the Shoah. The plot on which the synagogue had once stood was later sold to a family, after which a new building was erected there. In November 1990, Heppenheim’s Jewish cemetery was declared an historical monument.
Author / Sources: Heidemarie Wawrzyn