BENFELD, town south of Strasbourg, eastern France. In 1349, a regional assembly of feudal lords was held in Benfeld to finalize measures to be taken against the Jews who were accused of spreading the *Black Death. Shortly afterward the Jews living in Benfeld were murdered or expelled. A new community was established in 1830, numbering 236 in 1836. A synagogue was built in 1845. It was one of the few in Alsace not desecrated during World War II under the German occupation, when 31 Jews were deported from Benfeld. In 1968, the community numbered 75 persons.
E. Scheid, Histoire des Juifs d'Alsace (1887), 36–37, 286–7; R. Berg, La persécution raciale (1947), 181.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.