General information: First Jewish presence: 1770; peak Jewish population: 82 in 1881; Jewish population in 1933: 22 (five in affiliated Ginsheim)
Summary: Bischofsheim’s local Jews were members of the Jewish community of Ruesselsheim until 1826, when they founded their own community. In 1848, Bischofsheim Jews replaced their prayer hall with a synagogue at 46 Frankfurter Strasse; thoroughly renovated in 1873, the synagogue housed a mikveh. Until the 20th century, the community employed a teacher of religion who also served as chazzan and shochet. Burials took place in Gross-Gerau. In 1933, a teacher from Gross-Gerau instructed local Jewish children in religion. Later, in April 1938, the community turned down a neighbor’s offer to purchase the synagogue. On Pogrom Night, just as SA men were breaking into the synagogue, the neighbor’s wife once again offered to buy it, and this time she received an affirmative answer. Although she managed to prevent the SA from destroying the building, it was nonetheless damaged. Torah scrolls, ritual objects and the contents of a Jewish-owned textile business were burned. On the afternoon of Pogrom Night, the SA and local schoolchildren broke the windows and doors of Jewish homes; in Ginsheim, a workshop belonging to a Jewish tailor was wrecked. During the Nazi period, several Jews moved to Bischofsheim, which was then a suburb of Mainz, and two Jewish babies were born there. Twenty-three local Jews emigrated, eight relocated within Germany and one died in Bischofsheim. The remaining 18 Jews were forcibly moved into two houses, from which they were deported to Poland and to Theresienstadt in March and September of 1942. At least 36 Bischofsheim Jews and three from Ginsheim perished in the Shoah. The synagogue was later converted into a residential building and inn. In 1988, a commemorative plaque was affixed to the building; a memorial was also unveiled at Marienplatz.
Author / Sources: Esther Sarah Evans
Sources: AJ, EJL, PK-HNF
Located in: hesse