RAPPOLTSWEILER (French, Ribeauvillé):
Town of Upper Alsace. The earliest known official document concerning its Jews dates from 1321. In that year Louis IV., Emperor of Germany, transferred the Jews of Rappoltsweiler to the Sieur de Ribeaupierre as surety for a loan of 400 silver marks. Ten years later they were pledged by the same monarch to John of Rappoltstein. In consequence of the Armleder riots of 1337 the Jews of Rappoltsweiler were partly massacred and partly banished by the Lord of Rappoltstein. The emperor at first threatened the perpetrators of these cruel acts with severe punishment for the encroachment upon his property; but later he granted indemnity to the brothers John and Anselme of Rappoltstein.
In 1349 the community of Rappoltsweiler was completely annihilated in consequence of the persecution caused by the Black Death. Soon, however, Jews again settled in the town and maintained themselves there until the end of the sixteenth century, when the municipality issued a decree of banishment. Toward the middle of the seventeenth century they were again allowed to settle in Rappoltsweiler, under the condition that each of the first ten settlers should pay a yearly protection tax of 20 florins, while those that came later should pay,besides the yearly tax, 200 livres for admission. Rappoltsweiler at the end of the seventeenth century contained about 20 Jewish families; in 1784 these had increased to 58 families, comprising 286 persons. Upon the establishment of consistories (1808) Rappoltsweiler became part of the consistorial diocese of Colmar. The rabbis who have held office at Rappoltsweiler during the last fifty years have been Elijah Lang and Weil (the present incumbent).
The Jews of Rappoltsweiler number (1905) about 210 in a total population of 6,100.
- Depping, Les Juifs au Moyen Age, p. 91;
- Scheid, Histoire des Juifs d' Alsace, pp. 11, 14;
- Reuss, L' Alsace au XVIIe Siècle, ii. 580;
- Salfeld, Martyrologium, pp. 239, 283.