The Jewish community of Dieren dates to the last quarter of the nineteenth century. In 1878, the Jews of Dieren were given permission to hold synagogue services in a room in the village schoolhouse. At the time, the Dieren community officially belonged to the Jewish community of Doesburg; it was not until 1882 that the Dieren community gained independent status.
In 1884, the Dieren community consecrated a synagogue on the Stockvischstraat (today the Spoorstraat). The new synagogue's furnishings and ceremonial objects were from a no longer extant synagogue in Deventer. Almost a decade later, the Dieren community purchased ground for a cemetery near the Goudakkers, today the Diepenbrocklaan. Jewish religious lessons were given in Dieren from 1884 until 1942. A schoolhouse was dedicated in 1898.
Jewish organizations in Dieren included the synagogue council, a burial society, a social club, and two women's societies, one of which cared for the interior and ceremonial objects of the synagogue. As to the circumstances of the community, in 1901 twenty-five percent of the Jewish population of Dieren required some degree of financial aid.
During the first decades of the twentieth century, economic development in the region led to the growth of the local Jewish population. In addition, about twenty Jewish refugees from Germany settled in Dieren during the 1930s.
In the autumn of 1942, 139 Jewish slave laborers were quartered in a villa on the Zutphensestraatweg. They had been conscripted to work on construction at the Avegoor estate in nearby Ellecom which was used by the Dutch SS as a training school from 1941 to 1943. The slave laborers were severely mistreated during their stay in Dieren, causing three of the group to die while working at Avegoor. In November, 1942 the rest of the group was sent to the transit camp at Westerbork. Most of the Jews of Dieren were deported via Westerbork to Nazi death camps in 1943.
The Dieren community was not reestablished after the war; it was officially incorporated into the Jewish community of Arnhem in 1950. The cemetery has been cared for by the municipality of Rhenen since 1966.
The synagogue was sold in 1952. The building housed a church from 1983.
From April 2005, the Foundation "De Dierense Shul" is dedicated to restoring the former Synagogue in Dieren to its original function. The Foundation was able to acquire the building in April 2007. After restoration, the synagogue has been reconsecrated on 7 March 2010. Now services of the liberal Jewish community take place in the synagogue.
In 1998, a monument was unveiled in Ellecom in memory of the murdered slave laborers.
The Jewish population of Dieren and surroundings:
The size of the Jewish community over time