The Jewish community at Zandvoort arose during the last quarter of the 19th century. At the time, the locale was emerging as a popular seaside resort.
Jewish life at Zandvoort fell under the aegis of the Jewish community of Haarlem until the 1920s. In 1919, Jewish inhabitants of Zandvoort founded the Elia society. With the support of the Amsterdam branch of Elia, they financed the construction of a synagogue, located in the Dr. J.G. Metzgerstraat. The synagogue was consecrated in 1922.
In 1923, the Zandvoort community was granted independent status by the Nederlands-Israëlitisch Kerkgenootschap. The community maintained two voluntary societies, one for the upkeep of the interior of the synagogue and the other for the organization of social events.
In the decades prior to World War II, many Amsterdam Jews, especially Jewish workers, spent their vacations in Zandvoort. Zandvoort was also the site of the Clarastichting, a hospital for the children of poor Jewish families. During the 1930s, several dozen Jewish refugees from Germany settled in Zandvoort. A number of local Jews rose to serve on Zandvoort's town council during the prewar period.
Immediately after the German invasion of the Netherlands in May, 1940, an SS detachment was stationed at Zandvoort. This, together with the fact that many non-Jewish residents of Zandvoort were members of the Dutch collaborationist NSB party, compromised the position of local Jews. On the night of August 4, 1940, the Zandvoort synagogue was blown up. The Jews of the Zandvoort were expelled to Amsterdam in March, 1942. From there, they were deported to Nazi death camps. Only a few survived to return to Zandvoort after the war.
The Jewish community of Zandvoort was merged into that of Haarlem in 1947. For a time during the 1970s, synagogue services were held in Zandvoort during the summer months in a building on the Korte Haltestraat. In 1991, a memorial plaque was unveiled at the site of the Zandvoort community's former synagogue.
The Jewish population of Zandvoort and surroundings:
The size of the Jewish community over time