|Jewish Amsterdam offers so much you will want to see|
Amsterdam’s Jewish Quarter displays centuries of Jewish life in Amsterdam. Visiting the museums, historical sites and monuments gives you a deeper insight in Jewish history, religion and culture.
The Jewish Historical Museum (Joods Historisch Museum) is dedicated to Jewish history, culture and religion in the Netherlands and worldwide. It is the only museum in the Netherlands dedicated to Jewish history. A seven-year renovation of the museum was completed in 2007. The Joods Historisch Museum opened its doors on February 24, 1932. The Nazi occupation of the Netherlands in World War II, forced the museum to close and much of the collection was lost. The museum reopened its doors in 1955. In 1987, it moved to a new location, occupying four former synagogues on Jonas Daniël Meijerplein square, adjacent to the Snoge (Portuguese Synagogue). The museum's collection includes some 11,000 art, ceremonial and historical objects. Inspired by the former interior of the synagogue, ceremonial objects are shown in locations where they used to be placed in the synagogue. This gives visitors a sense of the surroundings in which they find themselves and enables them to taste the original synagogue atmosphere. The galleries of the Great Synagogue feature a new presentation on the history of the Jews of the Netherlands from 1600 to 1890. The central theme is what it meant to be a Jew in the Netherlands in this period. Stories about how Jews arrived in the Netherlands, the extent to which they managed to integrate, the cultural interchange with non-Jewish countrymen and the preservation of their identity resonate today in contemporary situations and debates.
The Dutch Theatre
The Anne Frank House on Prinsengracht canal honours Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank, who hid from Nazi persecution with her family and four other people in hidden rooms at the rear of the building. As well as the preservation of the hiding place — known in Dutch as the Achterhuis — and an exhibition on the life and times of Anne Frank, the museum acts as an exhibition space to highlight all forms of persecution and discrimination. The original diary is on display.
Kosher restaurants and supermarkets
Liberal Jewish Community (LJG) in Amsterdam is EUPJ host
The Liberal Jewish Community is hosting the EUPJ Biennial Conference in March, so all who attend will experience the extraordinary atmosphere of this prize winning architecture.
On 1 August 2010 the LJG Amsterdam moved to their spectacular new premises. The synagogue services and other religious meetings or events form the core activities of the LJG Amsterdam. The rabbi fulfils an important role in this together with members of the community. Rabbi Menno ten Brink leads the LJG congregation. The LJG community provides a great number of educational activities via the Study Centre, Youth Education (Talmud Torah) and the over-18 group. There are also many social activities for all kinds of groups such as Café LJG, the 50-plus group, the women’s group, youth group and meals (Oneg Shabbat) after the early service on Erev Shabbat. The LJG Amsterdam plays an active role in the inter-religious dialogue in the city and supports the anti-discrimination campaign run by the City of Amsterdam.
Synagogues in Amsterdam
The Portuguese Synagogue (Esnoga) is an awe-inspiring testimony of the vibrant and rich Jewish culture in Amsterdam in the seventeenth century. The beautiful building, modelled after the Temple of Solomon, was the biggest synagogue of its time. It is still a functioning synagogue, but it is also open to visitors. Mr. Visserplein 3.
The Jewish Community Amsterdam synagogue (Sjoel Buitenveldert) is the shul of the orthodox Ashkenazi congregation, founded in 1635.
Gerard Dou Synagogue is one of the oldest functioning Ashkenazi synagogues, built in 1892. Because of its inconspicuous arch-itecture the Nazis did not know about this synagogue and it therefore survived the war unscathed. GerardDoustraat 238 www.gerarddou.org.
Click here for a link to a interesting history of Amsterdam synagogues by historian Edward van Voolen, Curator of the Jewish Historical Museum, who will guide EUPJ con-ference members through this very fascinating museum.
Museums in Amsterdam
The Dutch Resistance Museum (Verzetsmuseum), chosen as the best historical museum of the Netherlands, tells the story of the Dutch people in World War II. From 14 May 1940 to 5 May 1945, the Netherlands were occupied by Nazi Germany.
The permanent exhibit of the museum recreates the atmosphere of the streets of Amsterdam during the German occupation of the WWII. Big photographs, old posters, objects, films and sounds from that horrible time, help to recreate the scene. The background of the Holocaust is visualized for the visitor. This is an exhibition about the everyday life during that time, but also about exceptional historical events and resistance of the population against the Nazis and heroism.
The Bijbels Museum ("Biblical Museum"), originally founded in 1852, is housed since 1975 in two imposing canalside buildings, known as the Cromhout houses, on Amsterdam's stately Herengracht canal. The buildings are famed also for the ceiling paintings by Jacob de Wit, which were restored in 1999-2000. In 2002 it celebrated its 150th anniversary in the presence of Queen Beatrix. The Bijbels Museum houses a collection of bibles, including the oldest bible printed in the Nether-lands, the 1477 Delftse Bijbel, and a first edition of the 1637 Dutch Authorised Version. There is also a facsimile copy of a Dead Sea scroll from Qumran containing the Book of Isaiah.
The museum houses some archaeological discoveries and artifacts from ancient Egypt: oil lamps, clay tablets, earthenware, shards of pottery and coins which convey an impression of the religious life of the ancient Egyptians.
The Van Gogh Museum features the works of the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh and his contemporar-ies. It has the largest collection of Van Gogh's paint-ings and drawings in the world. The main exhibition chronicles the various phases of Van Gogh's artistic life. The permanent collection includes some of his most famous works, nine of the artist's Self-Portraits, and some of his earliest paintings dating back to 1882. The museum also features nota-ble paintings by Van Gogh's con-temporaries in the Impressionist and post-Impressionist movements.
The Rembrandt House Museum is where Rembrandt lived and painted for nearly twenty years. Thanks to the detailed inven-tory and catalogue for his bankruptcy auction, and also some drawings by Rembrandt, we have an unusually good idea of its original contents. This has allowed the museum to reconstruct the house as it was laid out during this period and how Rembrandt used the different rooms. The museum hoses the most fabulous collection of drawings and prints in the world. an almost complete overview of Rembrandt’s graphic work: 260 of the 290 etchings he made are represented.