In 1811, during the compulsory assignment of surnames in the Netherlands, five Jewish families from Delft reported for registration.
From early on, the Jews of Delft held their religious services in private homes. Following the establishment of an official Jewish community in 1821, services were held in a home on the Pepersteeg. As the community grew, larger quarters were required and in 1847 an appropriate room was hired on the Choorstraat. Finally, in 1862, the community inaugurated a synagogue of its own on the Koornmarkt in the center of Delft.
The Delft community's cemetery dates to 1845. It was located near the intersection of the present-day Vondelstraat and Geertruyt van Oostenstraat.
Jewish communal organizations in Delft included a burial society, a board for delivering aid to the poor, and a women's society that cared for the interior and appurtenances of the synagogue. The community also supported a small Jewish school that provided religious education to its children.
The Jewish population of Delft declined drastically during the first decades of the twentieth century. As a result, in 1927, the remaining Jews of the city petitioned the central consistory of Dutch Jewry for the formal dissolution of the community. The petition was later recalled.
During the Second World War, the Germans deported and executed most of the Jews of Delft. That Delft's well-known Technical University was an early center of protest against German anti-Jewish measures was to no avail.
The Delft synagogue survived the war but its interior furnishings disappeared. The building was sold to the municipality of Delft in 1952. Ten years later, the Delft community was dissolved and merged into that of The Hague. The synagogue building was later declared a national monument and was restored in 1974. For two decades thereafter, the building served as a cultural center. In 1996, the former synagogue was reassigned to the Foundation for the Preservation of the Delft Synagogue (Stichting Behoud Synagoge Delft), which has since implemented a thorough renovation. The building was officially reopened in 2003 and now hosts cultural activities.
The Jewish students' union of Delft operates its own social and meeting center as well as a library and kosher dining hall. The Jewish cemetery is now maintained by the municipality.
The Jewish population of Delft and surroundings:
The size of the Jewish community over time