Traditional and actual

15 December 2017 | 27 Kislev 5778

History

History

The Liberal Jewish Community Amsterdam was founded on October, 31st 1931. In the beginning years the community was mainly composed of immigrant German Jews. Many of the LJG’s minhagim, traditions have their roots in this period. During our services, you can still experience the unique northern European tradition that is found in few other places in the world. Examples include our regular use of Jewish liturgical music from composers such as Ludwig Lewandowski and Salomon Sultzer. Until the 1960s, the community was served by rabbis from Germany and used a German siddur, prayer book.

In 1940, the LJG numbered more than 900 families. Services were held during the war until 1943. However, only few community members survived the Holocaust. Nevertheless in 1946, in addition to the necessity of rebuilding their normal everyday lives a small group of our extraordinary members found the strength to reconstitute the LJG. That original group of about 50 families remained small up until 1954 when Rabbi Jacob Soetendorp was appointed. Under his leadership a steady growth took place and the first dedicated shul was set up in a reconstructed residence on the De Lairessestraat 145. In 1966, the shul and the new centre on the Jacob Soetendorpstraat (then the Graafschapstraat) were consecrated. 

The community numbered about 300 families at the time. Currently, there are about 900 units i.e. families, couples and individuals affiliated to the LJG Amsterdam. At the end of 2007, the building on the Jacob Soetendorpstraat was demolished to make way for a theatre. The LJG Amsterdam found temporary accommodation in the Stadionsjoel in expectation of a new building development not far from its previous location.

December

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