The Jewish Historical Museum, known as Joods Historisch Museum in Dutch, is a Jewish historical museum in Amsterdam. It is the only museum in the country dedicated to the Jewish religion, its tumultuous history and its culture.
The Jewish Historical Museum opened its doors in February of 1932. Its original location was at the Waag, or Weighing House, in Nieuwmarkt. The museum itself comprised of one single room on the top floor of the building. During World War II, the museum was forced to close and a large portion of its collection was lost. It reopened in 1955 with one fifth of its original collection. Over time, new objects were added from both private and public collections. The museum quickly grew from one room to the entire top floor of the building, and in 1975 would expand to cover two storeys.
In 1987, it moved to its new location, the Ashkenazi Synagogue Complex. The museum received the Council of Europe Museum Prize in 1989 and its collection has been praised by many.
Exploring the Jewish Historical Museum Collection
The Joods Historisch Museum’s collection consists of more than 13,000 historical objects, works of art and ceremonial items. Five percent of the museum’s collection is on permanent display. The rest of the items are shown occasionally in special exhibits or stored in the depot. Some items are lent to other museums. Objects that are not on display can be viewed on the museum’s website. Some notable items from the collection include:
- The Morning Prayer painting by Eduard Frankfort
- A Torah Crown from 1775
- Judengasse in Amsterdam by Max Liebermann
In addition to the main museum, there is also a children’s museum known as the JHM Children’s Museum. It is designed to educate young visitors on the concerns of Jewish families and Jewish traditions.
The Jewish Historical Museum is open daily from 11AM until 5PM, but the ticket counter closes at 4:30PM sharp. The JHM Children’s Museum shares the same opening hours.
- Children 6 years of age and under: Free
- Children aged 6 – 12: € 3,00
- Children aged 12 – 17: € 6,00
- Adults: € 12,00
There is also a museum shop where visitors can purchase Jewish books, literature, music and other gifts. The shop shares the same hours as the museum. The Museum Café is open to both visitors and non-visitors. The café serves up Dutch-Jewish cuisine, which includes Pear Kugel, Fish Cakes and Apple Nut Cake. Coffee, tea, sandwiches and snacks are also served. The café also features free Wi-Fi and shares the same hours as the museum itself.
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