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History of Jewish The Hague

Jewish life in The Hague, past and present

Jewish presence in The Hague dates back to the 17th century.

The first Jewish settlers were Sephardic Jews in search of a place to openly practice their Judaism following the Jewish expulsion from Spain and Portugal. They were later joined by their Ashkenazic brothers originating from Germany and Poland, seeking a safe haven from the pogroms of Eastern Europe. Peacefully, they formed two flourishing communities alongside one another.

In the early 1900’s, Jewish life in the city was at its peak, boasting upwards of 17,000 Jews, with tens of Shuls, and community centers.

The calamities that befell European Jewry during the Holocaust did not spare the Jewish community in The Hague. A mere 2,000 Jews survived the atrocities of that era.

In the aftermath of the Holocaust and the subsequent emigration of many Jews to Israel and other countries, the Jewish community (Nederlands Israëlitische Gemeente - the Jewish community of The Hague) sought to rebuild. The remaining members worked tirelessly to reestablish their once flourishing community.

This beautiful community includes among others: two shuls, the CHAJ Community Center, a preschool, a Hebrew school, Teen Club, student activities, JLI courses, holiday activities for young and old, a newly renovated Mikvah, and an old-age home. (Some of these programs are part of the NIG, others are independent organizations that work alongside the NIG community). 

Over the years, the spectrum of the Jewish community has changed and evolved. The Hague is the seat of many international courts, institutions, schools and other organizations. As such, the community has grown to include Jews from a variety of countries and backgrounds in addition to its local members.

Jewish Quarter Tours:

Upon request, you may book a history walking tour of the former Jewish Quarter, please send an email for more information.

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