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Frau Ryke

There were a number of women among the Frankfurt Jews who were more or less successful in business. Prominent examples include Zorline, Reyle and Ms Ryke. She lived in the mid15th century when the Frankfurt ghetto, the Judengasse, was created. At the time she was regarded as the richest women in the Jewish community. Her father was the rabbi Simel von Epstein zum Buchsbaum. She herself was married to Saul, who had migrated to Frankfurt from Wertheim am Main in 1450. Following the death of her husband in 1460 she became sole heir to a large fortune and continued her husband's business. Ms Ryke was highly respected by both the Jewish community and Christians. Her reputation spread beyond Frankfurt to reach the Elector Albrecht Achilles von Brandenburg. At her death around 1475 her will was recorded in the
"MinorWährschaftsbuch" chronicle, which otherwise only included the wills of prominent Christians. According to the historian Isidor Kracauer, the provisions in her will all show her to be a clever and charitable woman.

© Jüd. Museum Frankfurt 1992-2002 /  Sources