Small locality near Augsburg, where Jews were living at an early date. About 1559 they were under the protection of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, despite the request for their expulsion made by the municipal council of Augsburg, which body had driven the Jews from that city in 1440, and feared that they would return thither if allowed to settle in Pfersee. In 1617 an imperial mandate was sent to the lords of Neuburg, Krumbach, Thannhausen, Binswangen, and Pfersee not to curtail the Jews, wherever settled, in their privileges, nor to restrict in any way their right of residence. In 1789 there were in all 400 Jewish families at Pfersee, Hürben, Buttenwiesen, Fischach, and Ichenhausen, the principal community being at Pfersee, which was the seat of the district rabbi for the Swabian communities.

The "scholars of Pfersee," , are well known. In the middle of the sixteenth century Rabbi Libermann, contemporary and friend of Rabbi Josel of Rosheim, officiated at Pfersee. More famous was R. Enoch Sundel, who left Poland in 1648 or 1649, at the time of the persecution by Chmielnicki, and went to Prague, whence he was called as rabbi to Öttingen and later to Pfersee. He was the author of many rabbinical works. He was succeeded in 1680 by his son Judah Löb, who continued his father's "Reshit Bikkurim" and wrote other works. Judah Löb was followed in the beginning of the eighteenth century by R. Judah Löb b. Issachar Bär Oppenheim of Worms, a nephew of Chief Rabbi David Oppenheim of Prague, and the author of "Minḥat Yehudah." His successor was R. Isaac Seckel Ettenhausen, who wrote the collection of responsa entitled "Or Ne'elam," and was succeeded by R. Benjamin Wolf Spira of Prague, who died in 1792.

About the middle of the nineteenth century many Jews settled at Augsburg, including a number from Pfersee. This much decreased or entirely dissolved the community, and there are now (1904) no Jews in the town. The University of Munich has in its possession a valuable parchment manuscript of the Talmud, originally from Pfersee, on which Rabbinovicz based his "Diḳduḳe Soferim."

  • Israelit, 1867;
  • Fischer, Gesch. der Juden in Augsburg;
  • Geiger, Zeit. für Gesch. der Juden in Deutschland, 1889;
  • Monatsschrift, xxii. 508;
  • Löwenstein, Günzburg und die Schwäbischen Gemeinden.
D. M. L. B.
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