The municipal authorities at Schiedam granted permission to a group of Jews from The Hague to settle in the town in 1786. In 1787, local Jews were assigned ground for a cemetery on the Burcht van Mathenesse, the site of a castle that was ruined in the 16th century.

The Jewish community at Schiedam was awarded independent status in 1821. The community grew throughout the 19th century, reaching its largest membership as the century came to a close.

During the early years of Jewish life at Schiedam, a synagogue was established in a renovated house in Broersveld. This synagogue was replaced in 1826 by a new synagogue set up in a hall in the Wachthuis, a building located on the corner of Grote Markt and Hoogstraat. Three decades later, the Wachthhuis synagogue was replaced with a new synagogue built in the Raam and inaugurated in 1859. The synagogue in the Raam remained in use until 1910. The building was sold in 1915.

Synagoge te Schiedam, 1984

Synagogue at Schiedam, 1984

A small Jewish school was founded in Schiedam during the middle of the 19th century. Attendance declined in parallel with the decline in the Jewish population of Schiedam early in the 20th century. A society for Jewish studies and religious education was founded in Schiedam in 1867. The official directorate of the Jewish community at Schiedam consisted of three members.

A new public cemetery containing a separate Jewish section was opened in Schiedam in 1930. The cemetery was cleared away shortly after the Second World War.

Just prior to the war, an influx of Dutch Jews and Jewish refugees from Germany led to a momentary rise in the number of Jews living in Schiedam. During the war, most of the Jews of Schiedam were deported and murdered.

The Jewish community at Schiedam was officially dissolved in 1948 and placed within the administrative district of the Jewish community at Rotterdam. The Jewish cemetery on the Burcht van Mathenesse was cleared away in 1962. Remains from its graves were moved to the Jewish cemetery on the Toepad in Rotterdam. The former synagogue was razed in 1987.

The Jewish population of Schiedam and surroundings:

The size of the Jewish community over time