CLEVES (Cleve), town and historic duchy in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Jews are mentioned in the duchy in 1142 (see *Xanten), but were granted a charter of privilege only in 1361. Patents granting them freedom of movement (Geleitbriefe) were issued in 1647–51 and 1713–20. In 1750 a Generaljudenregelment tightened the regulations concerning tax collecting and controlled Jewish settlement by restricting residence to the eldest son of the family. The taxes paid by the Jews to the central government in Berlin (Schutzgelder) were regulated in conventions (Landtage) representing the Jews of the duchy (Landjudenschaft). Their minutes (Protokolbuch) comprise the period from 1690 to 1817. The Landtage, headed by a shtadlan, the chief rabbi (Landrabbiner), and tax collectors (Steuerrezeptoren), convened every three years in the town of Cleves alternating with Kalkar and Wesel.
Jews in the town of Cleves are mentioned in 1333, and in the city ordinances of the 16th century ("von der Joeden Koepmanschip"). A cemetery was opened in the town in the 17th century, and a synagogue was erected in 1671. The banker Elijah *Gomperz (d. 1689) was community leader and chief tax collector for the duchy and in his position as *Court Jew interceded on behalf of his brethren with the authorities. The Leibzoll (body tax) imposed on Jews in Cleves was abolished in 1789. The town of Cleves was the seat of the Landrabbiner, among whom the most important were Judah Mehler (1661–1751) and Israel *Lipschuetz (appointed in 1763). The community in Cleves numbered four families in 1661, 19 in 1739, 22 in 1787, 142 persons in 1812, 185 in 1880, 134 in 1900, and 158 in 1933. An elementary school was founded in 1862, and two charitable societies in 1762 and 1825. After the establishment of the Nazi regime, most of the Jews left Cleves; 50 remained in 1939 and about 30 were deported to the East in 1941–43.
F. Baer, Das Protokollbuch der Landjudenschaft des Herzogtums Kleve (1922), 161; Fuehrer durch die juedische Gemeindeverwaltung (1932/33), 227; Kayserling, in: AZJ (Jan. 22, 1884), 54; A. Kober, Cologne (1940), 141, 162–3; idem, in: JSOS, 9 (1947), 207; Loewenstein, in: MGWJ, 61 (1917), 285–92; H. Schnee, Die Hoffinanz und der moderne Staat, 1 (1953), 78–79; R. Wischnitzer, The Architecture of the European Synagogue (1964), 182; D.J. Cohen, Irgunei "Benei ha-Medinah" be-Ashkenaz (1967), passim; S. Stern, Der Preussische
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.