Reports dating to the seventeenth century and the first half of the eighteenth century point to the occasional presence of Jews in and around the villages of Stedum and Loppersum at the time. The first Jewish families to actually settle in Stedum and Loppersum did not do so until sometime after 1750. Two of the newly arrived Jews worked as butchers.
Despite their not having obtained official permission, local Jews gathered for prayer in a private home in Middelstum. At the outset of the nineteenth century, the local authorities granted permission for Jews to pray in a private home in Stedum.
The local Jewish community, which also included Jews living in the villages surrounding Uithuizen, enjoyed independent status until 1821. From 1821 until 1830 Stedum and Loppersum were made part of the regional community (Ringsynagoge) of Appingedam; however they still maintained their own independent directorate. In 1830, the Jews of Stedum and Loppersum were again recognized as comprising an independent local community (Bijkerk).
The location of the private home at which the Jews of Stedum and Loppersum prayed during the mid-nineteenth century is no longer known. From the 1890s on, a building on the road to Bedum served the community as its synagogue. The Jews of Stedum and Loppersum provided their children with Jewish education from the community's inception until sometime early in the twentieth century.
Prior to 1863, the community buried its dead at the Jewish cemetery in Appingedam. Thereafter, the community leased a plot of land at the corner of the Molenweg and De Schepperij in Loppersum to serve as its cemetery. This cemetery remained in use until 1886 when a portion of the public cemetery on the Tuinbouwstraat was assigned to the Jewish community. In June 2013 at the former cemetery, a monument was unveiled with 23 names of the Jews that were buried there.
During the late nineteenth century, most breadwinners in the community worked in the meat industry and the livestock trade; others were retailers and a few worked as tailors, drapers, and seamstresses.
In 1906, local Jews established the society Help Elkaar (Help One Another).
During the first third of the twentieth century, the community became so small that synagogue services were held only on the High Holidays and on other special occasions. Despite this, new regulations for the Jewish community were introduced in 1922 and the synagogue was restored in 1925.
Under the German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II practically the entire Jewish population of Stedum and Loppersum was deported and murdered. The community was dissolved in 1948 and Stedum and Loppersum was placed within the administrative district of the Jewish community of Groningen. The synagogue building was sold and set to other uses. The inscription that was set into the façade of the synagogue during the 1925 restoration was removed and attached to the tower of the Reformed church in Stedum. The Jewish cemetery is maintained by the local authorities.
In Loppersum a Jewish cemetery was discovered on the corner of Molenweg and Schepperijlaan. Now this place is a Jewish monument.
The Jewish population of Stedum and Loppersum and surroundings:
The size of the Jewish community over time