Town in Vorarlberg, Austria, between Tyrol and Lake Constance. In 1890 it had a total population of 3,988, of whom 118 were Jews. In the period of its greatest prosperity (1862) the community numbered 564 souls. The town belonged originally to the sovereign ("reichsunmittelbare") counts of Hohenems, and was ceded to Austria in 1765. In 1617 the Jews who were driven from Burgau found shelter in Hohenems, and each family was obliged to pay for protection an annual sum of ten florins together with two fattened geese. Later the protection-fee was increased. In 1676 the Jews were expelled from Hohenems, but were readmitted in 1688. Some of the exiles settled in the neighboring Austrian village of Sulz, where they formed a small community until 1744, when they were driven out. Thereupon they also returned to Hohenems. A descendant of one of the families which came back from Sulz 'was the celebrated cantor, Prof. Solomon Sulzer of Vienna; the house at Hohenems in which he was born is marked by a slab bearing an appropriate inscription. In 1765 Hohenems fell as a fief to the house of Austria, which issued a writ of protection for the Jews in 1769. This contained regulations restricting their trade and acquisition of real estate, and fixed the annual fee for protection at fifteen florins for each family. During the period of Bavarian control in Vorarlberg (1806-14) the Jews of Hohenems adopted German family names in accordance with the edict of 1813.
From 1849 to 1878 the Jews of Hohenems formed a politically independent community; since that time they have formed a religious community, with a constitution confirmed by the authorities. Theirs is the only congregation in Tyrol and Vorarlberg, and it comprises all the Jews living in both provinces. The Jewish congregation of Hohenems has a large synagogue (founded 1772), a German school (founded 1785), a poorhouse (Rosenthal Foundation: 1871), a cemetery (1617), and several charitable societies.
The religious tendencies of the community are liberal. It has had several prominent rabbis, among them being Löb and Samuel Ullmann, Abraham Kohn, and Daniel Ehrmann.
- Tänzer, Gesch. der Juden in Tirol und Vorarlberg, 1903, vol. i.;
- idem, Der Israelitische Friedhof in Hohenems, 1901;
- idem, Hohenems und Seine Umgebung, 1903.