KAISERSLAUTERN, city in Germany. The first documentary evidence for the existence of a Jewish community dates from 1242, but it is probably somewhat older. The community suffered during the *Black Death persecution of 1348–49. The Jews lived on a Judengasse and the community possessed both a cemetery and a synagogue, built by those who returned after the Black Death persecutions. Between 1383 and 1388 the Jews were expelled "forever," but during the 17th and 18th centuries a few Schutzjuden ("protected Jews") were tolerated. The community was reestablished after emancipation was granted during French rule (1797–1814). From 1828 it had a rabbi. A synagogue, built in 1823, was rebuilt in 1848, and a Reform synagogue was dedicated in 1886 (the massive neo-Gothic structure was sold and dismantled before November 1938). A cemetery was consecrated in 1858. In 1840 the community totaled 118 persons, and 716 (2.72% of the total) in 1880. The number remained stable until Nazi persecution reduced it to 395 in 1937 and 85 in 1939. Of the 74 remaining, 48 were deported to *Gurs on Oct. 22, 1940. In 1951 a synagogue was consecrated and in 1965 a community center serving about 150 Jews in the town and neighborhood was opened.
Germ Jud, 1 (1963), 139–40; 2 (1968), 384–5; M. Weinberg, Geschichte der Oberpfalz, 3 (1909); H. Friedel, in: Pfaelzer Heimat (1965), 16, 41ff.; S. Baron, in: Bayerischeisraelitische Gemeindezeitung, 12 (1936), 310–2.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.