General information: First Jewish presence: 1664; peak Jewish population: 89 in 1905 (11% of total population); Jewish population in 1933: 58
Summary: Records indicate that the Jews of Jesberg conducted services in a prayer room until 1832, when the community built a synagogue at 38 Densberger Strasse; the building (renovated in 1932) accommodated 44 seats for men, 41 for women, a schoolroom and an apartment for the teacher. The community, with which the Jews of Densberg were affiliated, maintained a mikveh and a cemetery, the latter of which was consecrated near Jesberg in or around 1900. Jesberg was home to a Jewish elementary school from 1838 until 1922, when the school limited its curriculum to religious studies only; Jakob Hoexter served as teacher from 1899 until 1924. In 1933, six schoolchildren studied religion with a teacher who also served as chazzan and shochet. Two Jewish welfare associations—one for men, the other for women—were active in the community. In Jesberg, the anti-Jewish boycott began on March 11, 1933. Between 1933 and 1938, 27 local Jews emigrated from Germany; two families moved to Frankfurt. Jesberg’s synagogue was attacked on Pogrom Night. Several Jews left Jesberg after 1939, and we also know that at least 25 Jesberg Jews and five from Densberg were murdered in the Shoah. The synagogue changed ownership several times after the war. At some point after 1965, it was converted into an apartment building. As of this writing, a memorial has not been erected there.
Photo: The wife of the Jewish community’s teacher is standing at the entrance of the synagogue of Jesberg with her child. Taken ca. 1900. Courtesy of: Unknown.
Author / Sources: Heidemarie Wawrzyn
Sources: AJ, DJGH, EJL, FJG, SIA
Located in: hesse