Jews settled in Ulrum and Leens during the second half of the 18th century. Initially, both villages fell within the jurisdiction of the Jewish community at Winsum. In 1806, a building was purchased in Leens to serve as a synagogue for the Jews of Ulrum-Leens and the surrounding villages.

Julianalaan in Leens, met voormalige synagoge, 1958

Julianalaan in Leens, with the former synagogue, 1958

In 1877, the Jews of Ulrum-Leens were on board with the status of an independent community. In 1887, a new synagogue was opened in the Julianastraat. The local municipality provided Jewish residents with their own section of the public cemetery; the cemetery was maintained by the municipality.

The majority of the Jews in Ulrum-Leens and its surroundings worked as vendors and peddlers, occupations that fell into decline with the rise of industrialization and mass migration to urban areas. Local Jews joined the departure of larger cities and the Jewish population of Ulrum-Leens declined accordingly.

During the World War II German occupation of the Netherlands, all of the remaining Jews in Ulrum-Leens were deported and murdered. The synagogue was heavily damaged during the occupation and it is unknown what became of its contents. The building was converted into a private residence after the war. In 1947, the Jewish community at Ulrum-Leens was formally dissolved and the locale was placed within the jurisdiction of the Jewish community at Groningen.

The Jewish population of Ulrum-Leens and surroundings:

The size of the Jewish community over time