General information: First Jewish presence: 1770; peak Jewish population: 46 in 1830; Jewish population in 1933: 22
Summary: Eight Jewish families settled in Leihgestern in 1770, after which the community grew slowly but steadily. This small congregation of cattle dealers, butchers and shoemakers managed to not only to maintain a synagogue, a mikveh and a cemetery, but also to provide school-age children with religious instruction. Teachers, most of whom were brought in from nearby communities, frequently took on the duties of chazzan and shochet. The anti-Jewish boycott of 1933 caused many Leihgestern Jews either to emigrate from Germany or to seek refuge in larger Jewish communities (from where most were finally deported). According to records, 10 Jews lived in Leihgestern in 1939; and in 1942, the remaining six Jews were rounded up for final deportation. The synagogue was vandalized on Pogrom Night, after which it was destroyed. A memorial stone marks the site.
Author / Sources: Harold Slutzkin
Sources: AJ, DJGH
Located in: hesse