1a.Jewish Amsterdam Tour with Naomi Koopmans
2a.Jewish Amsterdam Tour with Naomi Koopmans
3a.Jewish Amsterdam Tour with Naomi Koopmans
4a.Jewish Amsterdam Tour with Naomi Koopmans

Jewish Amsterdam Tour

Itinerary

  • The Portuguese Synagogue
  • The Jewish Museum
  • The Holocaust Memorial
  • Landmarks in Amsterdam’s old Jewish quarter

Details

  • Small group tour with max 10 participants
  • Daily 3 hour tour 10am-1pm
  • Professional Jewish guide Naomi Koopmans
  • The tour is operated in English
  • Price €45 p.p. excl. entrance fees €20 p.p.

Portuguese Synagogue Amsterdam

Portuguese Synagogue Amsterdam – Olive tree in foreground.

Glorious landmark

The Portuguese Synagogue of Amsterdam

is a glorious landmark of the city’s Jewish past and present, located in an area that once was bustling with Jewish life and culture.

The synagogue was opened in 1675

by a community of Portuguese Jews 

who had escaped the Inquisition and found safety and freedom of Jewish religious worship in 17th century Amsterdam. Built over 3.5 centuries ago, it has stood the test of time and even remained intact throughout 5 years of Nazi occupation. 

Portuguese Synagogue Amsterdam's facade with Hebrew inscription - tourguide historian Naomi Koopmans in the foreground

Portuguese Synagogue Amsterdam’s facade

with Hebrew inscription – 

tourguide historian Naomi Koopmans in the foreground.

View of Portuguese Synagogue Amsterdam on the right and kosher meat hall on the left.

View of

Portuguese Synagogue Amsterdam

on the right and

kosher meat hall on the left

in 17th century.

Extraordinary details

On her Jewish Amsterdam Tour, tourguide historian Naomi Koopmans will illustrate extensively many of the Amsterdam Portuguese Synagogue’s extraordinary details.

Hebrew inscription

The Synagogue’s monumental facade bears, against a beautiful celestial blue backdrop,

a Hebrew inscription, which includes 

Psalm 5 verse 8:

ואני ברב חסדך אבוא ביתך

Which means:

But as for me, in the abundance of Thy loving kindness will I come into Thy house.

Portuguese Synagogue Amsterdam - monumental facade with Hebrew inscription against celestial blue backdrop.

Portuguese Synagogue Amsterdam – monumental facade

with Hebrew inscription against celestial blue backdrop.

17th century interior

Also, the synagogue’s 17th century interior has been preserved in its entirety to this very day.

Interior of Portuguese Synagogue Amsterdam in its authentic 17th state with tourguide historian Naomi Koopmans in foreground.

Interior of Portuguese Synagogue Amsterdam 

in its authentic 17th state 

with tourguide historian Naomi Koopmans 

in the foreground.

Plan

A well kept plan of the synagogue’s interior, seen from above, dates to the Hebrew year 5435, which corresponds to 1675. The plan features the synagogue’s major and minor pillars, the ark, the bima, the pews for the congregants and even the elevated seats for the members of the board, the ma’amad.

17th plan (on the right) of the Amsterdam Portuguese Synagogue which features its interior in the exact same state as today.

17th century plan (on the right) of the

Amsterdam Portuguese Synagogue

which features its interior

in the exact same state as today.

Scale model Portuguese Synagogue of Amsterdam that gives unique view of its roof.

Scale model 

Portuguese Synagogue of Amsterdam 

with unique view of its roof.

Amsterdam’s oldest functioning synagogue

Of all the synagogues that operate 

in Amsterdam, the Portuguese Synagogue 

is the oldest.

Continuity in practice

An 1896 cantorial manual, written by cantor Brandon, as part of a century long sequence of similar cantorial notes, is studied by the synagogue’s cantor in preparation of an upcoming Jewish holiday.

“By using this manual, the cantor ensures no ritual detail is omitted and the tradition as a whole is passed down to the next generation. The continuity in practice is vital for the longevity of this unique Amsterdam Portuguese Jewish tradition”,

 says Naomi Koopmans.

1896 cantorial manual used to this day by cantor Portuguese Synagogue Amsterdam in preparation of an upcoming holiday.

1896 cantorial manual 

used to this day by cantor 

Portuguese Synagogue Amsterdam 

in preparation of an upcoming Jewish holiday.

Portuguese Synagogue Amsterdam – 

Anterior buttresses that complete the shrine’s resemblance 

to the destroyed Jerusalem Temple.

Mezuzah on the gatepost of the Portuguese Synagogue Amsterdam. Inside this small cylindrical case is a piece of parchment

inscribed with the Biblical proclamation of monotheism 

and the commandment to use the Mezuzah.