ALTENSTADT (now Illereichen-Altenstadt), village in Bavaria, Germany. A few Jewish families lived there from the late 17th century. A community was founded in 1719 when five Jewish families from the neighborhood were granted rights of residence and permission to open a cemetery and build a synagogue. This was erected in the Jews' street in 1722. In 1834 the 56 Jewish families (403 persons), living in 35 houses, constituted almost the entire village. Subsequently many Jews left for cities in Germany or emigrated to the United States. The rabbinate of Altenstadt, which served the neighboring Jewish community of Osterberg as well, ceased to exist in 1869. There were 250 Jews living in Altenstadt in 1859 and 28 in 1933. The impressive synagogue built in 1803 was desecrated in 1938. About half the Jews left by 1939 and 13 were deported to Izbica in Poland in April 1942. The synagogue was torn down in 1955.
Sources:H. Boehm, in: Illereichen-Altenstadt (1965), 52–62; H. Rose, Geschichtliches der israelitischen Kultusgemeinde Altenstadt (1931).
K. Sommer, in: P. Fassl (ed.), Geschichte und Kultur der Juden in Schwaben (1994), 93–104.
[Ze'ev Wilhem Falk / Stefan Rohrbacher (2nd ed.)]
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.