General information: First Jewish presence: 1723; peak Jewish population: 94 in 1848; Jewish population in 1933: 15 or 30 (sources differ)
Summary: Jews may have lived in Geinsheim as early as the 17th century, but the first record of their presence there is dated 1723. The community established a prayer hall in, at the latest, 1810; after the building had fallen into a state of dilapidation, local Jews built a synagogue on Gaeustrasse. Other communal institutions included a mikveh (1874) and a Jewish school, the latter of which was presided over by a teacher who also served as shochet. Burials were conducted in Esslingen and, later, in Hassloch. Two Jewish children received religious instruction in 1931/32. Only three Jewish families lived in Geinsheim at the beginning of the Nazi period. The synagogue’s interior was demolished on Pogrom Night, but the exterior was spared. Later, in October of 1940, as part of the Wagner-Buerckel operation, Geinsheim’s remaining seven Jews were deported to the concentration camp in Gurs, France. Thirty-four local Jews were killed in the Shoah. The synagogue building, which had been sold to the Jewish community of Rheinland-Pfalz in the 1950s, was torn down in the mid-1980s as a result of its dilapidated state. The town of Geinsheim itself no longer exists, and the area is now a district of Neustadt (Neustadt/Weinstrasse).
Author / Sources: Benjamin Rosendahl
Sources: AJ, EJL, LJG, YV