General information: First Jewish presence: 1664; peak Jewish population: 147 in 1861; Jewish population in 1933: 63
Summary: In 1807, the Jewish community of Niedenstein built a small, unimposing synagogue, on one side of which were a school and a mikveh, and on the other a cemetery. The school was in operation until 1928. A wealthy community member, Calmann Michaels, donated a new building in 1816—at the urging of the Baalshem (a renowned rabbi) of Michelstadt—to show his thanks and appreciation to G-d for his miraculous recovery from a serious illness. Although Michaels’ donation covered the raw building costs, the community had to come up with the funds to furnish the synagogue’s interior, a challenge it met by pre-selling seats. In 1828, the large, one-story synagogue was enlarged to include a women’s gallery. On Pogrom Night, the interior of the synagogue was vandalized and destroyed. Converted into an apartment building in 1945, the building has, since 1988, displayed a memorial plaque.
Author / Sources: Moshe Finkel
Sources: AJ, DJGH, LJG
Located in: hesse