Rabbi Hans S. Bodenheimer

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Hans Siegfried Bodenheimer, Rabbi

Birthplace: Bad Nauheim, Darmstadt, Hessen, Germany
Death: August 13, 1999 (86)
West Hartford, Hartford County, Connecticut, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Ludwig Bodenheimer and Frieda Bodenheimer
Husband of Alma Bodenheimer
Brother of Senta Brown

Occupation: Rabbi
Managed by: Gadi Glogowski
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Rabbi Hans S. Bodenheimer



Fourth cousin to the "other" Hans Bodenheimer

Rabbi Hans S. Bodenheimer, 86, of High Wood Rd., West Hartford, Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Tikvoh Chadoshoh of Bloomfield, died Friday, (August 13, 1999). Born in Bad Nauheim, Germany, January 3, 1913, he was the son of the late Ludwig and Frieda (Gutkind) Bodenheimer. He attended local schools and graduated from the Gymnasium. He graduated from the Arbitur College in Bad Nauheim in 1931, and he then attended the Jewish Seminary in Cologne, graduating as Teacher and Preacher in 1933. He became head of a Congregation in Felsberg, serving not only as religious teacher, but also assuming some rabbinic functions, such as conducting funerals and religious services. Rabbi Bodenheimer also did post-graduate work at the Breuer Yeshiva in Frankfurt-am-Main. He then occupied a pulpit in Felsberg, near Kassel, and in 1936, he moved on to Oehringen, near Stuttgart, where he held a pulpit until Kristallnacht, November 9, 1938. His future wife, Alma Rosenfeld, a native of Oehringen, was a member of the Congregation. He was able to rescue a Torah from the burning Synagogue before being arrested by the Nazis and sent to the Buchenwald Concentration Camp. Upon his release, he fled Germany and came to the United States in 1939. Rabbi Bodenheimer organized religious services, especially on the High Holidays, and a Hebrew School which ultimately led to the founding of Congregation Tikvoh Chadoshoh, which originated with a Minyan of eighteen, composed of German and Austrian newcomers. On December 7, 1941, they solidified their plans to form a Synagogue, as Japanese planes bombed Pearl Harbor. According to Rabbi Bodenheimer, war had just broken out and it didn't look good if you founded a German Congregation, so their plans were tabled. They waited and formed the Congregation in February 1942, first meeting privately and then in rented halls throughout Hartford. For 15 years Congregation Tikvoh Chadoshoh had its first Synagogue on Cornwall Street in Hartford before moving to 180 Still Road in Bloomfield in 1970, where the Sanctuary is named after Rabbi Bodenheimer. In 1941, months before he helped found the Congregation, Rabbi Bodenheimer and Alma were married at The Old Garden Street Synagogue by the late Rabbi Solomon I. Rosenberg, who later became an Israeli Cabinet Minister. Mrs. Bodenheimer served on the Tikvoh Chadoshoh Religious School faculty until her death in 1979. In recognition of his work, a grateful Congregation gave him Life Tenure in 1966. Rabbi Bodenheimer received an additional ordination at the Marbeatze Torah Institute in Brooklyn, NY in 1968. He remained spiritual leader of the Congregation until he retired in 1996, when he assumed the title of Rabbi Emeritus. In addition to his Rabbinic responsibilities, he was a Sofer, which meant that he was skilled in handwriting Torahs on parchment. The Congregation honored him February 1999 with the dedication of the Rabbi Hans Bodenheimer Gallery, which displays physical reminders of his legacy throughout his unparalleled career. Besides his duties at Congregation Tikvoh Chadoshoh, he was for many years on the faculty of the Emanuel Synagogue, in charge of Bar/Bat Mitzvah instruction. Rabbi Bodenheimer was past president of the Jewish Educators Assembly, Connecticut Valley Region. He was also past president and former treasurer of the Jewish Educators Council of Greater Hartford. He was also Fire Department Chaplain of the City of Hartford since 1996, and a Chaplain of the Connecticut State Senate. He was a Vice President of the Jewish Historical Society and served as a Trustee. Rabbi Bodenheimer received both the Humanitarian of the Year Award in 1981 from B'nai Brith, and the Shofar Award from the Boy Scouts of America in 1981. He is survived by his sister, Senta Brown of West Hartford; by a nephew and his wife, Dr. Louis Brown and Gertrude Yazmer Brown of West Hartford; by a great niece, Dr. Sharon F. Brown of Bethesda, MD; by two great nephews, Michael J. Brown of Livingston, NJ, and Dr. Steven H. Brown of West Hartford; and by seven great-great nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be held Sunday, August 15, 1999 at 1 p.m. in Congregation Tikvoh Chadoshoh, 180 Still Rd., Bloomfield with interment in Congregation Tikvoh Chadoshoh Cemetery, Tower Ave., Hartford. Shiva will be observed at the home of Dr. & Mrs. Louis Brown, 164 Orchard Rd., West Hartford. Memorial contributions may be made to the Hans and Alma Bodenheimer Fund, c/o Congregation Tikvoh Chadoshoh, 180 Still Rd. Bloomfield 06002. Arrangements are entrusted to Weinstein Mortuary, Hartford.

Rabbi Hans Bodenheimer in the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR)

  • Name: Rabbi Hans Bodenheimer
  • Birth Date: 1913
  • Death Date: 1999 / 01-Elul
  • Age at Death: 86
  • Burial Plot: B 29
  • Burial Place: Hartford, Connecticut, United States
  • Spouse Name: Alma
  • Father Name: Aryeh
  • Cemetery: Tikvah Chadosha
  • Cemetery Address: Tower Avenue
  • Cemetery Burials: 220


Rabbi Hans S. Bodenheimer was born in Bad Nauheim Germany and emigrated to the United States in 1939. In 1942, he and a group of German immigrants founded Congregation Tikvoh Chadoshoh ("New Hope") in Hartford, where he served as Rabbi until his retirement.

Rabbi Bodenheimer and his future wife, Alma, barely survived Kristallnacht in 1938. He was arrested and imprisoned in Buchenwald where he was held for five weeks and then released. Prior to the Wansee Convention of 1942 that led to the "Final Solution," Jewish detainees were often held in custody for a period of time and then released. Although Bodenheimer's captivity predated the advent of the extermination camps, his experiences at Buchenwald were both horrific and traumatic. In 1939 he was granted a visa and came to the United States.

Besides his rabbinical duties, Rabbi Bodenheimer had many other interests and talents. He served as chaplain to the Bloomfield Fire Department, and was qualified to repair Torah scrolls. Rabbi Bodenheimer received both the Humanitarian of the Year Award in 1981 from B'nai Brith, and the Shofar Award from the Boy Scouts of America in 1981.

  • Residence: 3, High Wood RD, West Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut, USA
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Rabbi Hans S. Bodenheimer's Timeline

January 3, 1913
Bad Nauheim, Darmstadt, Hessen, Germany
August 13, 1999
Age 86
West Hartford, Hartford County, Connecticut, United States