General information: First Jewish presence: Middle Ages; peak Jewish population: 96 in 1837; Jewish population in 1933: 19
Summary: The earliest record of Jewish Rieneck refers to the anti- Jewish Rindfleisch massacres of 1298. Although Jews were expelled from the town in 1618, a new Jewish presence was re-established there in 1669. We know that a synagogue had been established in Rieneck by the end of the 17th century, because its Torah Ark bore an inscription dated 1748. In 1790, a Talmud Torah school for boys was active in the town. The synagogue was renovated in 1872, and a separate school building—it housed the mikveh—was built in 1873. The community buried its dead in Altengronau (in the region of Hesse). In 1933, a teacher from Adelsberg instructed several Jewish schoolchildren. As a prelude to Pogrom Night, the synagogue was broken into and desecrated on June 30, 1937, when six Torah scrolls were removed from the Torah Ark and thrown on the floor. On Pogrom Night, the synagogue was destroyed along with its furniture, ritual items and other contents; Jewish homes were heavily damaged that night. Four Rieneck Jews emigrated and two relocated within Germany. The 13 who remained after the pogrom were forced to sell their homes in February 1939; by March 10, 1939, all had moved to Frankfurt am Main. At least seven Rieneck Jews perished in the Shoah. A memorial plaque was later unveiled in Rieneck.
Author / Sources: Yaakov Borut
Sources: AH, AJ, EJL, PK BAV
Located in: bavaria