During the 1460s, a Jewish financier served as an intermediary between the Geertruidenberg and the Count of Holland. Nevertheless, it was not until the 1790s that Jews were reported to have lived in the town.

Synagoge van Geertruidenberg in de Brandestraat, 1927

Synagogue of Geertruidenberg at Brandestraat, 1927

An organized Jewish community arose in Geertruidenberg only in 1810. In 1842, the community bought a house and converted it to a synagogue. The poor condition of the house led to its being demolished in 1879. Subsidies from the national and local governments and from other Jewish communities enabled the Jews of Geertruidenberg to construct a new synagogue on the Elfhuizen at the Marktplein.

Voormalige synagoge te Geertruidenberg, 1984

Former synagogue in Geertruidenberg, 1984



The synagogue was attended both by local Jews and by Jewish soldiers stationed in the area. The Geertruidenberg community had no cemetery of its own but buried their dead in the town of Oosterhout. Nor did the community maintain a religious school; its children received their Jewish education at home. The community did maintain its own association for assistance to the poor. In 1910, the Jewish communities of Capelle and Oosterhout were merged into that of Geertruidenberg.

Only a few of the Jews of Geertruidenberg survived the Second World War.

The community was dissolved in 1947 and merged into that of the city of Breda. The synagogue was sold and is now used as a storage place. Its twin stone tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments are still visible on its façade. The appearance of the building was modified during a renovation in 1996 but, in 2002, these changes were undone and the building was restored to its original appearance. The former synagogue now houses an art gallery.

The Jewish population of Geertruidenberg and surroundings:

The size of the Jewish community over time