HOMBURG (Bad Homburg), city near Frankfurt on the Main, Germany. In 1335 permission was given by Emperor Louis IV to Gottfried von Eppstein to settle 10 Jews in each of the localities of Eppstein, Homburg, and Steinheim; it is uncertain, however, whether any Jews settled in Homburg at that time. Evidence for the existence of a permanent Jewish settlement in Homburg is found only at the beginning of the 16th century. Up to 1600 it consisted of two or three families, and by 1632 these had increased to 16. The first cemetery was purchased in the 17th century. The community continued to grow so rapidly that in 1703 the landgrave Frederick II of Hesse decided on the construction of a special Judengasse. A synagogue, built in 1731, was replaced by a new one in 1867. The Jewish community of Homburg was originally under the jurisdiction of the rabbinate of *Friedberg but began to appoint its own rabbis in the 19th century.
A Hebrew printing house was run in Homburg by Seligmann b. Hirz Reis in 1710 until 1713 when he moved to Offenbach. Among other items, he published Jacob ibn Ḥabib's Ein Ya'akov (1712). Hebrew printing was resumed there in 1724 by Samson b. Salman Hanau but lack of capital limited his output. The press was acquired in 1736 by Aaron b. Ẓevi Dessau whose publications included the Shulhan Arukh (Ḥoshen Mishpat) with commentary (1742). The press was sold in 1748 and transferred in 1749 to *Roedelheim. At the beginning of the 20th century, the spa of Homburg became a meeting place of Russian-Jewish intellectuals. The Jewish population numbered 604 (7.14% of the total population) in 1865, declining to 379 in 1910 (2.64%), and 300 in 1933. Of the 74 Jews who remained on May 17, 1939, 42 were deported in 1942/3.
FJW, 215; Germ Jud, 2 (1968), 369; PKG.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.