There is evidence that Jews resided in Bredevoort and nearby Aalten during the first half of the seventeenth century. Later, in about 1700, a Jewish dry goods merchant settled in Bredevoort and set up a synagogue in a room in the house of a fellow Jew. In 1714, the synagogue was moved to a building of its own and came to be frequented by Jews from Aalten and Lichtenvoorde as well as those from Bredevoort. A textbook preserved from 1747 serves as evidence that Jewish religious lessons were held in Bredevoort during the eighteenth century.
In 1821, the Jews of Bredevoort were officially declared members of the Jewish community of the town of Winterswijk but, by 1830, they had been recognized as constituting an independent community of their own. By the 1860's, the synagogue was restored and re-consecrated. Soon thereafter, the Jewish population of Bredevoort began to decline. By the end of nineteenth century, attendance at the synagogue was no longer sufficient for prayers to be held regularly. By 1900, the Bredevoort community lost its independent status and was absorbed into the Jewish community of Aalten. The synagogue remained in use until the First World War and was converted into a private home in 1920. The building, located at Vismarkt 9, is now a protected monument.
Of the two Jewish cemeteries that served the Bredevoort community, only the larger one, located on the Prins Mauritsstraat, remains. The smaller cemetery, located behind the Hozenstraat, has been cleared.
The Jewish population of Bredevoort and surroundings:
The size of the Jewish community over time