The first Jews in Beek and surroundings probably arrived late in the seventeenth century. Their names appear amongst those of gang members and criminals under trial. By 1740 three Jewish families resided in Beek. By the close of the eighteenth century this number had risen to twelve. At the time, most of the Jews of Beek worked as cattle dealers or slaughterers.
From the outset of Jewish settlement in Beek synagogue services were held in a private home. In 1828, the Central Jewish Consistory of the Netherlands awarded Beek the status of an independent Jewish community with the rank of Bijkerk or local synagogue. The community's first true synagogue building was not built until 1866. It was located on the Molenstraat. Due to the small size of the Jewish population of Beek, the community did not provide Jewish education.
from around 1850 the dead were buried in a Jewish cemetery adjacent to the present-day Putbroekerweg. The oldest remaining gravestone in the cemetery dates to 1851. A more recent cemetery is located on the Kloosterpad in the nearby village of Urmond. The oldest stone in the Urmond cemetery bears the date 1892. The Jewish community of Urmond never achieved independent status.
Of the twenty Jewish families that resided in Beek at the time of the German invasion of the Netherlands in 1940, twelve survived the war in hiding and eight were murdered in Nazi death camps.
The Jewish community of Beek was not formally reestablished after the war. In 1954, the Jews of Beek were included into the Jewish community of city of Maastricht. The Beek synagogue was sold to the municipal government and later razed. The site of the former synagogue now contains two monuments in memory of the murdered Jews of Beek. The cemetery is maintained by local authorities.
The Jewish population of Beek and surroundings:
The size of the Jewish community over time