kastel wappen

Until 1914 there existed in Kastel a small independent Jewish congregation, which most probably had its roots in the 15th century. The first record of a Jewish family dates from the year 1432. Two decades later there were three and possibly five such families, who lived from banking and pawnbroking. The families enjoyed the protection of the Archbishop of Mainz. Following the expulsion of these families (around 1470) from the territory controlled by the Archbishop, another group of Jewish families arrived in the 17th century. Together with families residing in Kostheim they formed a congregation.
 
Beginning in 1834 the congregation, which at the time had approx. 60 members, had its own synagog, on Fruehlingsstrasse. Services were regularly held in the synagog until about 1900. In addition to the synagog the facilities belonging to the congregation included a Jewish parochial school and a ceremonial bath. Beginning in 1814 the congregation employed its own teacher and cantor. Its deceased were buried in a cemetary in Mainz.

synagoge

Following the turn of the century it was hardly possible to continue holding regular religious services, as it became impossible to gather the necessary quorum of ten Jewish men. In 1914  the Jewish congregation was finally dissolved. The remaining Jewish residents of Kastel were integrated into the Jewish community in Mainz and many of the valuable ritual objects were taken to a „Museum of Jewish Antiquity“ in Mainz, which at the time was still under construction.
 
In 1941 the few Jews still living in the town were housed in three so-called „Jew Houses“ in Eleonorenstrasse, where they remained until their deportation in 1942. In 2009 so-called „tripping stones“ were placed to mark the houses of former Jewish residents. A total of twelve of these stones have been placed in six different locations.