Jews resided in Edam for a short time beginning in 1641. Not until 1722 did Jews once again receive permission to settle in the town. For some time thereafter, only a small number of Jews lived in Edam. However, by the end of the eighteenth century, a growing community had taken root. In 1821, the central consistory (NIK) recognized the Edam community as a regional center (Ringsynagoge).

Toraschild van de joodse gemeente in Edam, 1843

Tora shield of the Jewish community in Edam, 1843

In 1791, the Edam community converted the rear part of a house on the Noorderachterom into a synagogue. Prior to then, the Jews of Edam had held religious services in private homes. A Jewish cemetery was opened in 1793, located at the edge of the town on the Oorgat not far from the former Oosterpoort. The community opened a ritual bath and a schoolhouse on the Grote Kerkstraat in 1845. The school closed in 1880. Communal organizations in Edam included a synagogue council and a board for overseeing aid to the poor.

Staalgravure met gezicht op Edam, ca. 1849

Steel engraving with view of Edam, about 1849


coll. Streekarchief Waterland

Over the course of the nineteenth century the Jewish population of Edam declined. In 1886, the community was administratively disbanded and merged into that of Monnickendam. In 1967, a monument was installed across from the Jewish cemetery on the Oorgat. The remains of the ritual bath were uncovered by chance during an excavation in 1976. In May 2002, a memorial stone was unveiled in the cemetery inscribed with the names and dates of birth and death of Edam Jews murdered during the Second World War.

The Jewish population of Edam and surroundings:

The size of the Jewish community over time