The independent Jewish community of Gennep was established during the 1850s. Jews had lived in Gennep during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries but their numbers were so small that they were included in the Jewish community of nearby Sittard. Even after the community was granted independent status, the Jewish population of Gennep remained small.
In 1864, the Gennep community purchased a building on the Kerkstraat (today the Torenstraat) for use as a synagogue. The synagogue was consecrated ten years later. The community's cemetery, located on the present-day Davidlaan, was officially established in 1842 but contains gravestones from as early as 1794.
The synagogue council of the Gennep community consisted of two members. Jewish education for the children of the community was provided by a teacher from nearby Cuijk. Voluntary organizations maintained by the Gennep community included a society for the collection of funds for the synagogue and a women's society that cared for the sick and dying and for the upkeep of the embroidery of the synagogue.
During the 1930s, an influx of refugees from Germany led to a rise in the Jewish population of Gennep. During the war, half the Jews of Gennep were murdered in Nazi death camps. The fates of the others are not known. The synagogue was damaged by wartime bombardment and later razed. A cloister now stands on its site. The Gennep community was officially disbanded in 1947 and added to the jurisdiction of the Jewish community of Venlo. The cemetery is maintained by the municipality of Gennep.
The Jewish population of Gennep and surroundings:
The size of the Jewish community over time