– The Portuguese Synagogue was inaugurated in 1675 by Jewish refugees who had fled from the Spanish Inquisition. As the building was not destroyed during WWII, you can admire it today in its authentic 17th century state.
– The Jewish Museum has been situated since 1987 inside of four former Ashkenazi synagogues. They were built by Jews who had arrived to Amsterdam from Germany, Russia, Poland and Lithuania. In those countries they had suffered since generations of poverty, wars and discrimination.
– The Holocaust Memorial is inside of the former WWII deportation center. From 1942 to 1945, the Jews were held captives her before the were put on the trains to the concentration camps. The names on the wall commemorate the 104.000 Jewish WWII war victims from the Netherlands.
Nowadays, the heart of Judaism in The Netherlands is in the southern part of Amsterdam and the annexed town Amstelveen. Kosher food, a Jewish kindergarten, elementary school and high school, orthodox and reform synagogues, Bnei Akivah and Habonim Dror youth movements and a Jewish sanatorium. These are all concentrated in that district. However, until World War Two, Amsterdam Jews mostly lived in the Waterlooplein and Plantage area. This guided Jewish Amsterdam heritage walking tour leads you through this former Jewish section of Amsterdam.
The Portuguese Synagogue, or ‘Snoge’, has remained in its original 17th century state. It is still used today as a place of worship. The members of Amsterdam’s Sephardic community, joined often by Jewish visitors from abroad, doven there every week.
Since 1987, the Jewish Museum of Amsterdam has been hosted inside of 4 former Ashkenazi synagogues. There is a remarkable exposition about the history of Amsterdam Judaism. Jewish tradition and faith are demonstrated in the first part. Ritual objects that served Amsterdam’s Jewish community are displayed. Jewish feasts are emphasized. Jewish tourists from different countries are taught about the customs and practices of Amsterdam Jewry. In the successive part of the museum we learn about the history of Dutch Jews. The exposition’s third part, explains the effect of the Jewish emancipation. This they obtained under Louis Napoleon’s rule in the early 19th century. Jews rapidly integrated in the different dimensions of Dutch society after that.
Another indispensable site to visit on your Jewish roots in Amsterdam tour is the Holocaust Memorial inside of the ‘Hollandse Schouwburg’ (Dutch Theatre). During World War II, the Nazis turned this into a deportation center. They held the Jews imprisoned here before transporting them to the extermination camps. Memorial services are held here every year. The Memorial Wall quotes the surnames of Holland’s 104.000 Jewish WWII victims. The perennial flame refers to the perpetuation of their spirits. On the first floor citations photo’s, letters, maps and diary citations depict the tragic lot of our people.