Official documents from the late-seventeenth century indicate the presence of Jews in Monnickendam at the time. A Jewish cemetery, located to the west of the Zuiderpoort on the town's walls was established in 1677. In about 1720, Monnickendam, like many other municipalities, attempted to attract Portuguese-Jewish merchants to settle in the town. The attempt was not successful.

Prentbriefkaart van de Havenstraat in Monnickendam, ca. 1920

Postcard of the Havenstraat in Monnickendam, ca. 1920

A Jewish community was formally organized in Monnickendam in about 1787. During the late-eighteenth century, the economic situation in Monnickendam was quite poor and, as a result, the community at first could not afford to hire a religious teacher for its children. A synagogue was consecrated in 1814 but was destroyed by fire in 1894. A new synagogue was inaugurated the very same year. The Monnickendam community was governed by a two-member directorate, one member of which also served as treasurer for the collection and disbursement of aid to the Jews of Palestine.

During the first third of the twentieth century the Jewish population of Monnickendam fell to the point that, from 1932 on, religious services could only be held during the high holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. As a result, the Monnickendam community made a long-term loan of its Torah rolls to the Jews of Zandvoort and, later, of its Torah mantels and other appurtenances to the Jews of Alkmaar.

Under the German occupation of the Netherlands during the Second World War the remaining Jews of Monnickendam were forcibly removed to Amsterdam from whence they were deported to Nazi death camps and murdered. Only a few of the Jews of Monnickendam returned from the camps alive or managed to escape deportation by going into hiding.

The Jewish community of Monnickendam was administratively merged into that of Amsterdam in 1950. The Monnickendam synagogue was sold soon after the war; the building now houses a bar. A monument opposite the Grote Kerk in Monnickendam is inscribed with the names of local Jews murdered during the war. In 1947, a memorial stone was emplaced in the façade of a building at Kerkstraat 12 in which five Jews had hidden during the war. In 2002, the stone was replaced with a new one during the course of a mass restoration of building façades in Monnickendam. The Jewish cemetery at Monnickendam is now maintained by the local authorities.

In 2005 a plaque, in memory of the deportation of the Monnickendam Jews on May 2, 1942, was unveiled at the Nieuwe Steeg near the Noordeinde.

The Jewish population of Monnickendam and surroundings:

The size of the Jewish community over time