General information: First Jewish presence: 1650; peak Jewish population: 90 in 1895 (8% of the total population); Jewish population in 1933: 34
Summary: The Jewish community of Laufenselden, established in or around the year 1712, was comprised largely of cattle traders, butchers, peddlers and, later, craftsmen. Jews from Grebenroth and Reckenrod were affiliated with the community. Laufenselden’s Jewish cemetery, consecrated in 1760 near Schmiedweg, also served the neighboring Jewish communities. Jews conducted services in a prayer room until 1861, when a synagogue was inaugurated on 8 Kastellstrasse (with 65 seats for men, 32 for women and 20 for children). The community maintained a mikveh, and employed a teacher of religion who also performed the duties of shochet and chazzan; during the 1920s, religious instruction was provided by a teacher from Bad Schwalbach. Eight schoolchildren studied religion with the Bad Schwalbach teacher in 1933; a charity association was active in the community that year. On Pogrom Night, SA men burned down the synagogue building. Four Jewish homes were vandalized and plundered that night, with the damage estimated at 6,370 Reichsmarks. Most of the gravestones in the cemetery were stolen during the Nazi period. By 1939, no Jews lived in Laufenselden. At least 31 local Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue ruins were demolished in 1954, after which a residential building was built on the site.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH, AJ, EJL, PK-HNF
Located in: hesse