The Chaj Foundation and the Hague Municipal Archives present the exhibition 300 years of pinkas, the protocol of the Ashkenazi Jewish community in The Hague, in the illuminated panels of Hague Municipal Archives in the Atrium of the City Hall in The Hague to June 22, 2023. This exhibition is part of Just Peace The Hague.
What is a pinkas?
Pinkas is the Hebrew word for register. A pinkas is a valuable source on the history of a Jewish congregation with many records of daily activities in and around the synagogue. This exhibition looks at the pinkas of the Ashkenazi Jewish community in The Hague.
The first Jews came to the hofstad in the 17th century. These were Sephardic Jews, mainly from Spain and Portugal. Ashkenazi Jews from Germany and Poland followed from the middle of the 17th century. In 1674, the first Ashkenazi Jew, a shochet (ritual slaughterer), settled in the city. In 1723, Ashkenazi Jews in The Hague opened their synagogue on the Brouwersloot behind the Voldersgracht and the Gedempte Gracht (then called Lange Gracht). The building was invisible, as only the Reformed churches were allowed to be seen from the street. With the dedication of the new synagogue, a new pinkas was also opened. This one is 300 years old this year.
Still a Jewish community in The Hague
During the Nazi occupation in 1940-45, most of The Hague’s Jews were deported and murdered; only a few managed to go into hiding or endure stays in concentration camps. Yet there is still a Jewish community in The Hague today.
Bridge between the past and the present
In the exhibition, young people talk about Jewish customs and rituals that are important to them. We read about the meaning of eruv, kosher food and the shul, but also about C’Teen The Hague and Gan Tzemach Hasadeh, the Jewish day care centre. Each panel thereby features an excerpt from the rich Pentecostal past addressing the same topic. Thus, this exhibition bridges the past and the present.
The pinkas of the Ashkenazi Jewish community is kept in the archives of the Dutch Israelite Community in The Hague (NIG). This archive is located in the depots of the Hague Municipal Archives.
For more information, go to www.haagsgemeentearchief.nl (Dutch only).
Justice Peace The Hague
The organisation Just Peace gives peace and justice an important place in the hearts and actions of our residents, entrepreneurs, and organisations in the city of Peace & Justice, The Hague.
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