Over the course of the seventeenth century, a number of Portuguese Jews from Amsterdam settled in Naarden. At first, they gathered for religious services in a private home. In 1727, the first synagogue was consecrated on the Gansoordstraat. Over the course of the eighteenth century, an Ashkenazi community also began to form in Naarden, which by the 1920s comprised seven families.
With the reorganization of Jewish communities, the Portuguese community of Naarden was assigned to the synagogue of the Portuguese community of Amsterdam. The Ashkenazi community used the Portuguese synagogue, in which services were held according to Portuguese rites until the end of the ninth century.
Until 1825, the community buried its dead at Ouderkerk, Muiderberg or Zeeburg. After that, they had access to a cemetery within the Naarden fortress. A Star of David on the facade of the building at 78 Kloosterstraat is a reminder of this cemetery.
During the nineteenth century, the number of Portuguese Jews in Naarden declined to the point that the community was dissolved. The synagogue was officially transferred to the Ashkenazi community in 1887. In the years that followed, the Ashkenazi community also shrank. Nevertheless, a new cemetery was established on the Amersfoortsestraatweg in Bussum early in the twentieth century.
In 1917, the Jews of Bussum formed an independent community of their own, much against the wishes of the municipality of Naarden. No more synagogue services were held in the Naarden synagogue and the neglected building collapsed in 1935. Two years earlier, the community had been dissolved to the anger of the last administrator, who subsequently burned all synagogue archives. Several chandeliers from the synagogue were loaned to the local council by the NIK.
The Jewish population of Naarden and surroundings:
The size of the Jewish community over time