General information: First Jewish presence: 1648; peak Jewish population: 155 in 1875; Jewish population in 1933: 57
Summary: This community was fined in 1736 for establishing a prayer room without official permission. In 1815, the Jews of Rheinbischofsheim dedicated a synagogue on Oberdorfstrasse; the Jewish school was located there, as were a mikveh and an apartment for the teacher. The community buried its dead in Kuppenheim, and, after 1830, in Freistett. A small family cemetery was consecrated in the early 19th century; it is the smallest Jewish cemetery in Baden- Wuerttemberg, with one gravestone remaining. Twelve Jewish schoolchildren studied religion in Rheinbischofsheim in 1933. A Bikur Cholim society for visiting the sick and a Zionist association were active in the town. In June 1935, the Rheinbischofsheim community was merged with that of Freistett. On Pogrom Night, the synagogue’s interior and the school were destroyed; furniture from both buildings was set on fire. Half-dressed Jews were dragged from their homes, forced to put on prayer shawls and marched through the village; they were driven to Kehl, severely beaten on the way (one was blinded) and sent to Dachau. We also know that one local Jew died after his release. Thirty-nine Jews emigrated, five relocated within Germany, two died in the town and seven were sent to Gurs on October 22, 1940. At least 11 Rheinbischofsheim Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue building was pulled down in 1953.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH, AJ, EJL, HU, PK BW
Located in: baden-wuerttemberg