The Jewish Museum (formerly known as the Jewish Historical Museum) is located in Amsterdam’s old Jewish quarter in the city center. Together with the Portuguese Synagogue, the Hollandsche Schouwburg, and the National Holocaust Museum, the Jewish Museum, and the children’s “Jewish Museum junior” make up the Jewish Cultural Quarter. This means that at four historic locations within less than a square mile, you will find a unique collection that brings to life Jewish history and its rich culture from 1600 to the present day. The Jewish Cultural Quarter is for people of all ages – for everyone who is interested in learning new things, in having fun, in looking at beautiful objects, and in gaining food for thought, growth, and inspiration.
The Jewish Museum’s collection consists of religious objects, art objects, photographs, historical objects, documents, and an audiovisual collection, the oldest item being a handwritten prayer book from ca. 1250 – The Amsterdam Machzor. The Jewish Museum has a permanent exhibition on religion and the history of Jews in the Netherlands from 1600 to the present day. The Portuguese Synagogue is a unique part of the Jewish Cultural Quarter. This synagogue was built in 1675, and remarkably, its interior is still completely intact. In one of the Portuguese Synagogue’s annexes you will find the Ets Haim/Livraria Montezinos Library. It is the oldest active Jewish library in the world. Founded in 1616, it contains around 600 manuscripts and 23,000 printed works.