A mid-eighteenth century report mentions a butcher as the first Jewish inhabitant of Barneveld. By1853, the community had grown to the point that received independent status as a Bijkerk or local community falling under the auspices of the regional synagogue at Nijmegen.
In 1855, the Barneveld community completed and inaugurated its first synagogue, located on the Catharinastraat, the present-day Jan van Schaffelaerstraat. Construction of the synagogue was financed by contributions from Jews in other communities. The interior furnishings were from the former Italian Synagogue in Nijkerk. Land for cemetery on the Kallenbroekerweg, adjacent to the public cemetery of Barneveld, was purchased by the community in 1858. The Barneveld community never reached sufficient size to be able to offer Jewish education.
During the nineteenth century, the Jews of Barneveld worked as butchers and slaughterers, as dealers in textiles, and as bankers and lenders. By the twentieth century, the Jewish population of Barneveld had declined radically and, in 1910, the community lost its independent status. In 1922, the synagogue was closed and sold to the municipal government. Today, what is left of the building is used as commercial and storage space.
Of the ten Jews who resided in Barneveld at the outset of the Second World War, four managed to survive the war in hiding and six were deported and murdered.
Beginning in 1942, seven hundred so-called "privileged" Dutch Jews, intellectuals and artists mostly, were detained near Barneveld at Castle De Schaffelaar and at a private estate, De Biezen. In September of 1943, the seven hundred were sent to the Dutch concentration camp at Westerbork and from there were deported to Theresienstadt, where several dozen of the group perished. In February of 1945, a number of the group had the good fortune to be sent to Switzerland as part of an exchange of prisoners. In 1987, a monument in memory of the "Barneveld Group" by the Dutch Jewish artist Ralph Prins was installed at the entrance road to Castle De Schaffelaar.
The Jewish community of Barneveld was formally dissolved in 1947. The cemetery is now owned by the Amersfoort community but is maintained by the city of Barneveld. The cemetery's headstones were restored in 2000.
The Jewish population of Barneveld
The size of the Jewish community over time