A number of Jews had settled in Vlaardingen prior to the outset of the 19th century. The Jewish population of the town grew as the century progressed. Beginning in 1862, a synagogue was established in a room on the Havenstraat. In the very same year, the heads of eleven Jewish households in the town petitioned the King of the Netherlands to grant permission for the establishment of the Jewish community in the town. The king granted permission thus enabling the community to provide Jewish education to its children and to establish a Jewish cemetery on the grounds of the Schiedamseweg. Not long after, many of the town's Jews moved to other locales and, by the 1880s, the local Jewish population set into decline.

Straatje in Vlaardingen, getekend door Marianne Franken (1884-1945)

Street in Vlaardingen, drawing by Marianne Franken (1884-1945)

During the 1890s, the arrival of a new way of Jewish residents and Vlaardingen led to the inauguration of a new synagogue, located in the Zomerstraat, in 1896. The synagogue remained in use until 1906. In the period around the turn of the 20th century, the community employed a religious teacher of its own. While the community did not have a formal board or counsel, leadership was provided by members of its burial society. A youth organization was established in Vlaardingen in 1899.

As the 20th century progressed, the Jewish population of Vlaardingen declined once again. A drop in community membership led to the suspension of synagogue services. The Jewish community at Vlaardingen was disbanded in 1920 and merged into the Jewish community of Rotterdam. Since 1938, the town's Jewish cemetery has comprised part of a public park.

During the World War II German occupation of the Netherlands most of the few Jews still living in Vlaardingen were deported and murdered. A few local Jews managed to survive the war by finding hiding places in the town; they were joined by approximately 50 Jews from elsewhere in the Netherlands.

Today, the remains of the town's former Jewish cemetery are the only reminder of the vanished Jewish community at Vlaardingen. The Jewish cemetery at Schiedamseweg, corner of Parkweg, is restored in 2010. On this occasion, a plaque was unveiled with the names of the people that were buried here.

The Jewish population of Vlaardingen and surroundings:

The size of the Jewish community over time