OBERNAI (Ger. Oberehnheim), town in the department of Bas-Rhin, E. France. The first evidence for the presence of Jews in Obernai dates from 1215. In 1349 a Jewish woman who had been sentenced to death for coin clipping accused the Jews of propagating the *Black Death, whereupon all the Jews of Obernai were burned at the stake. Jews were recorded as living in Obernai again between 1437 and 1477 and from 1498 to 1507. Subsequently Jews were rarely even allowed to travel through Obernai or permitted to visit the local market. Only in 1647, when the town passed under French rule, were Jews again permitted to settle there. In 1784 the number of Jews in Obernai was 196. Many more were recorded as living there on the eve of World War II. About 60 lived there in 1970.
J. Gyss, Histoire… d'Obernai (1866); Germ Jud, 1 (1937), 93f.; 2 pt. 2 (1968), 614f.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.