Go Dutch... and uncover a wealth of Jewish tradition

THE Netherlands has something of a motley past when it comes to the history of the Jews there over the centuries.

There were pogroms, executions, lootings, forced conversions and expulsion. But, in that regard, Holland is no different from much of the rest of Europe.

Then again, as of January last year, there were close to 6,000 Righteous Among the Nations awards made to the Dutch by Yad Vashem, second only to Poland, which had a much larger Jewish community.

There is also the not inconsiderable matter of the mass migration of Jews from the Iberian Peninsula, who fled the Inquisition and religious coercion, or death, and eventually found a safe haven in the Netherlands, predominantly in Amsterdam.

That began in the late 16th and early 17th century, following the Spanish conquest of Antwerp in Belgium, where many émigré Jews had originally resettled.

The newcomers wasted little time in setting up house — actually prayer house — with three Sephardi congregations formed in double-quick time. Beit Jacob was established in 1602 or 1610, Neveh Salom between 1608 and 1612, and Beit Israel in 1618.

In 1639 the triad merged into the Kahal Kados Talmud Torah Spanish and Portuguese community, aka Esnoga or Snoge.

To read more on this story, subscribe to our new e-edition. Go to

If you have a story or an issue you want us to cover, let us know - in complete confidence - by contacting, 0161-741 2631 or via Facebook / Twitter

Site developed & maintained by
© 2022 Jewish Telegraph