The third and largest group of tax-exempt community employees were the Hebrew schoolteachers. Before 1660 there was no evidence that the community ran its own primary (heder) or secondary school (talmud torah), but instead individual families hired migrant religious teachers. This custom continued in the outlying villages until the end of the seventeenth century [R3668]. A communal schoolmaster was first mentioned in 1667 [R3574]: Yochanan (Hönlin, Y1), a poor Jew who had originally come to Stühlingen in 1632 [R2765] with his family as refugee from Hemmendorf near Rottenburg, where the Thirty Years’ War had taken a particularly heavy toll. At first, Hönlin was given protection on a temporary basis, and Naftali (Hürtzle, B1.2.1) paid the tax on his behalf [R2791]. In 1662 he was finally given permanent protection in Horheim [R3977] and by 1668 in Stühlingen proper, on condition that he only acted as schoolmaster and would not engage in any commerce [R4186].

Later on, several schoolmasters were mentioned: an unnamed schoolmaster in 1681 had launched a lawsuit against the community [R1254]. Mordechai (Model) called Mendel the schoolmaster an apostate (shumet) in 1688 [R870]. In that same year, there was a court case between several Stühlingen Jews and a schoolmaster, Jacob Simon. The latter was to teach the five books of Moses, reading, and writing [R874], a load that seems particularly light. In 1737 schoolmaster Moises Gottfrid was a victim of theft [R2464]. A year later, schoolmaster Jacob Salamon sued Salamon Weil [R2501] for unkown cause.

The internal structure and function of a Jewish community administration in the early modern period34 usually followed a standard set of takhanot (bylaws) and minhagim (customs).35 Such an administration commonly required two foremen (parnassim) who were ostensibly elected, but in reality often represented a quasi-hereditary meritocracy. It was also customary for communities to elect, hire, and fire their rabbis. Many letters of protection elsewhere required authorities to sanction, or at least be informed of, such appointments;36 in some jurisdictions the foremen were even elected in the presence of the secular authorities.37 The Stühlingen letters of protection make no mention of this practice; consequently, the appointment of rabbis and foremen is rarely reported in official protocols.

The community leaders were expected to record accounts, deliberations, decisions, and relevant events in protocols (pinkasim). Neither pinkasim nor written bylaws have survived from Stühlingen. Parnassim were mentioned only twice in the Stühlingen protocols: at the end of the seventeenth century Sandel (S1.2) and Model (T1) Weil acted as parnassim, the former as chairman, the latter as secretary, and a treasurer is mentioned as well [R962]. In 1736 the wealthy Marum the Fat (W1.3) Weil and Marum Weil, Sandel’s son, served as parnassim [R2436].38


34Rohrbacher, “Organisationsformen der süddeutschen Juden”

35Baer, “Das Protokollbuch.”; Weldler-Steinberg and Guggenheim-Grünberg, “Geschichte der Juden in der Schweiz,” 132; Bell, “Jewish Identity,” 41–4; Guggenheim, “Aus der Vergangenheit.”

36Mordstein, Selbstbewusste Untertänigkeit, 305.

37Ullmann, “Nachbarschaft und Konkurrenz,” 187.

38Rosenthal, “Heimatgeschichte der badischen Juden,” 176.

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Source: https://www.stuehlingen.online/Book/?page_id=1766