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WANDSBECK, a district of Hamburg, N.W. Germany. Jews were permitted to settle in Wandsbeck in about 1600 by Count Breido Rantzau, when he saw the usefulness of the Jews in nearby Hamburg. The Wandsbeck community was Ashkenazi; they consecrated a cemetery in 1634. When in 1649 the Ukrainian refugees from the *Chmielnicki massacres were expelled from Hamburg, some of them settled in Wandsbeck. Jews from Wandsbeck visited the Leipzig fairs between 1678 and 1748. From 1671 until 1811 the *Altona, *Hamburg, and Wandsbeck communities were united (AHW). From 1688 some Ashkenazi Jews from Hamburg belonged to the Wandsbeck community, but from 1710, when Ashkenazi Jews were allowed to live in Hamburg, the importance of the Wandsbeck community declined. In 1734 there were 123 Jewish families; they had a synagogue in Peterstrasse.

A number of Hebrew books were printed in Wandsbeck between 1688 and 1722. With the arrival in Wandsbeck in 1726 of Israel b. Abraham Halle, the proselyte printer, a serious printing venture began, which owed its inspiration to Moses *Ḥagiz, who was the official censor. Between 1726 and 1733 not fewer than 23 (Bamberger), but perhaps as many as 40, items were issued here, many of them works of Ḥagiz himself.

After the disbandment of the united communities (AHW), the Wandsbeck Jews came under the jurisdiction of the Altona rabbi until 1864, when they elected their own rabbi. In 1905 there were 60 Jewish families in Wandsbeck.


E. Taeubler, in: MGADJ, 1 (1908), 42–44; H. Kellenbenz, Sephardim an der unteren Elbe (1958), index; M. Grunwald, Hamburgs deutsche Juden… (1904), 165ff.; idem, in: MGJV, 14 (1904), 33–35; MGJV, 3 (1899), 29–33; S. Bamberger, in: Festschrift… A. Freimann (1935), 101–8; Ḥ.D. Friedberg, Toledot ha-Defus ha-Ivri… u-ve-Arim she-be-Eiropah ha-Tikhonah (1937), 104f.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.