The earliest surviving reports of Jews at Goor date to the first half of the fourteenth century. No other mention of Jews occurs until the seventeenth century when a number of Jews received permission to reside in Goor. By the eighteenth century, several Jewish families were living in Goor and in the nearby village of Markelo. By 1720, the Jews of Goor had established a cemetery of their own, located on the Borghoek, a place close to the Enterseweg and just behind houses fronting the Molenstraat. The presence of Jews at Goor led to repeated conflicts between the local and provincial authorities, the latter seeking to limit the settlement of Jews in the region of Twente.

Synagoge in Goor, ca. 1930

Synagogue in Goor, ca. 1930

The Jewish population of Goor reached its apogee early in the nineteenth century. The community was poor. Although it did not maintain a Jewish school, the Goor community did manage to employ a teacher to provide religious instruction to its children. In 1821, the Jewish community at Goor was fused with those at Diepenheim and Markelo to form a Ringsynagoge or regional community. The Jewish cemetery in Markelo - the 'Jodenkerkhof Stokkumeresch' - fell into disuse by the middle of the nineteenth century.

A synagogue was opened on the Malmberg (the present-day Schoolstraat) in Goor sometime prior to 1870. The synagogue was replaced with a new building in 1902. The Jewish community at Goor maintained a burial society, a society providing shelter to immigrants, and a fellowship for strengthening Jewish identity. Jewish contributions to local economic life included the town's first school for weaving, established by the Lavino brothers, and the NV Twentsche Stoombleekerij (Steam Bleaching Works), a factory owned by Godfried Salomonson.

A number of Jewish refugees settled in Goor during the 1930s. In July, 1941, in the second year of the German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II, members of the Dutch collaborationist NSB party murdered a woman during an attack on Jewish residents at Goor. During the course of the war, the majority of the Jews of Goor were deported and murdered; the rest managed to survive the war in hiding. The synagogue was damaged during a bombardment in 1945 and was demolished soon after the war ended. The Jewish community at Goor was officially dissolved in 1948 and administratively assigned to that at Enschede. The Jewish cemetery at Goor was declared a national monument in 1970. It contains a memorial stone in memory of local Jews murdered during the Second World War. The Jewish cemeteries at Goor and Markelo are currently maintained by the local authorities.

The Jewish population of Goor and surroundings:

The size of the Jewish community over time