KREUZNACH (Bad Kreuznach), city in Germany. Some Jews lived in the city from the second half of the 13th century. Under unknown circumstances a Jew was martyred on March 31, 1283. Individual Jewish moneylenders are mentioned at the beginning of the 14th century; an organized community is known only from 1336. The Jews were victims of the *Black Death persecutions of 1348–49, but Jewish life revived not long after. In 1414 a local Jew, named Gottschalk of Kreuznach, was taken under the protection of Elector Rupert III of the Palatinate. In 1464 and 1466 two other Jews were granted privileges for a ten-year period of residence in Kreuznach. A special decree of 1525 regulated Jewish business activities, and permitted the consecration of a cemetery. In 1548 these regulations were renewed with additional provision for a schoolmaster. A Rabbi Liebman of Creutzonach is mentioned in 1554–55. Until 1739, when a synagogue was erected, services were held in a private home. The number of Jewish families in Kreuznach increased from 17 in 1715 to 22 in 1722. From the first decade of the 19th century the community developed steadily, from 286 persons in 1808 to 461 in 1840 and 601 in 1880. At the turn of the century there were 657 Jews in Kreuznach. In 1920 a sanatorium for children was established which had 600 beds in 1928. In 1933, Kreuznach's Jewish community of 713 persons had a synagogue, cemetery, four charitable and benevolent institutions, and three sociocultural societies. For over 40 years Rabbi Tawrogi (1857–1929) was spiritual head of the community and chief rabbi of the entire district. Two hundred Jews left almost immediately, and by May 1939 the number of Jews in Kreuznach had dwindled to 199 under the impact of Nazi persecution and the resulting organized emigration. Those remaining in 1942 were deported to the East. There is no record of Jews returning to Kreuznach after World War II; the cemetery was cared for by the city council.
AZDJ, 74 (Oct. 7, 1910), 2–3; FJW (1932/33), 221–2; JC (July 21, 1933; Sept. 6, 1935); JSOS, 9 (1947), 207; L. Loewenstein, Geschichte der Juden in der Kurpfalz (1895), index; idem, in: JJLG, 6 (1908), 189; K.A. Schaab, Diplomatische Geschichte der Juden zu Mainz und dessen Umgebung (1855), 83–4; Salfeld, Martyrol, index; Germ Jud, 2 (19682), 456.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.