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ROSHEIM , small town in the Bas-Rhin department, E. France. The earliest explicit evidence of the presence of Jews dates from 1215, when the Jews of Rosheim are mentioned as being engaged in *moneylending (the pledges consisting of Church vessels). At the time of the *Armleder massacres of 1338 and of those which occurred in 1345 the town protected its Jewish residents On the other hand, during the Black *Death persecutions (1349) the community suffered extensively although it did not cease to exist. After 1447 there was a temporary expulsion of the Jews. During the 16th century the community enjoyed exceptional renown through Joseph b. Gershon of *Rosheim, leader and official representative of the Jews far beyond the boundaries of lower Alsace. At the close of the 17th century there were 18 Jewish families, comprising 94 persons, in Rosheim. Under French rule the town endeavored to obtain at least a partial expulsion of the Jews, but its numerous requests were refused by the royal agent. In 1784 there were 52 Jewish families (268 persons) in Rosheim. The number reached 500 (about 14% of the total population) at the close of the 19th century, but it declined sharply in the 20th century. During World War ii, 35 of Rosheim's Jews were deported by the Nazis. In 1970 only a handful of Jews were living in the town.


F. Blumstein, Rosheim et son histoire (1899), 34–45; Z. Szajkowski, Analytical Franco-Jewish Gazetteer 1939–1945 (1966), 250; Germ Jud, 1 (19632), 310f.; 2 (1968), 704.

[Bernhard Blumenkranz]