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This museum is dedicated to religion, culture and history of the Jews in the Netherlands and in its former colonies.
The museum possesses over 13,000 works of art, ceremonial items and historical objects. Only 5% of these are on permanent display.
The Jewish Historical Museum Foundation was set up on 23 May 1930 for 'the collection and presentation of everything that illustrates Jewish life in general and Dutch Jewish life in particular, in the widest sense, the discussion in meetings of everything related to this and the useful employment of every means to encourage Jewish art and studies'.
Eight months after its official opening at the Weigh House in Amsterdam's Nieuwmarkt district on 24 February 1932, the museum already owned 335 objects. By late 1937 this had risen to around 630.
Second World War In the Second World War the museum was forced to close and much of the collection was confiscated. Only a small percentage was recovered after the war. Read more.
New collection While the restored objects were largely religious items, after the war the museum began to focus on the history and culture of Dutch Jews. Part of this new collection was a large body of wartime documents. On 14 July 1955 the museum was reopened by Dutch prime minister Willem Drees. In 1974 the museum moved from the top floor of the Weigh House to encompass the entire building.