General information: First Jewish presence: 17th century; peak Jewish population: 126 in 1880 (13% of the total population); Jewish population in 1933: 47
Summary: Records from 1629 refer to the famous scholar Rabbi Juda Mehler Reutlinger, who was born in Wenings in 1609 and, later, left for Bingen. Inaugurated in 1878 as a replacement for an older synagogue (built at some point during the first half of the 1800s), the synagogue on Amtshofstrasse in Wenings accommodated approximately 100 worshipers. The Jewish community, which belonged to the Orthodox rabbinate in Giessen, maintained a Jewish school—the building housed a mikveh and was attached to the synagogue—and a cemetery. Located to the northeast of town, the Jewish cemetery was consecrated in the second half of the 19th century; prior to that, burials took place in Birstein. The community leaders in 1932 were Salamon Rosenthal III and Josef Goldschmidt. That year, Adolf Bauer of Gedern instructed six of Wenings’ Jewish schoolchildren in religion. Bernhard Prager was the chazzan/shochet. Forty-seven Jews lived in Wenings in 1933. After Pogrom Night (November 1938), however, when the interior of the synagogue was burned, all Wenings’ Jews left, with 11 apparently ending up in concentration camps. At least 19 locals Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue was converted into a Catholic church in 1958. A memorial stumbling stone was later unveiled in memory of Sara Stein (born Rosenberg) of Wenings.
Author / Sources: Esther Sarah Evans
Sources: AJ, EJL, LJG
Located in: hesse