The Joods Historisch Museum (Jewish Historical Museum), part of the Jewish Cultural Quarter, is a museum in Amsterdam dedicated to Jewish history, culture and religion, in the Netherlands and worldwide. It is the only museum in the Netherlands dedicated to Jewish history. A seven-year renovation of the museum was recently completed (2007).
The museum was recognized in 1989 when it received the Council of Europe Museum Prize, awarded for a combination of the presentation of the collection and the outward appearance of the buildings.
Collection and Exhibitions:
The museum's collection includes some 11,000 art objects, ceremonial objects and historical objects, only some five percent of which is on display at any one time. It has two permanent exhibitions as well as regularly changing temporary exhibitions. The exhibition on the ground floor focuses on Jewish traditions and customs. The presentation is inspired by the former interior of the synagogue. Ceremonial objects from the museum collection are shown in locations where they used to be placed in the synagogue. This gives visitors a sense of the surroundings in which they find themselves and enables them to taste the original synagogue atmosphere.
In 2014 the museum presented an exclusive exhibition of Roman Vishniac's photos. The photographer is famous for capturing the life of Jews during the world war. The galleries of the Great Synagogue feature a new presentation on the history of the Jews of the Netherlands from 1600 to 1890. The central theme is what it meant to be a Jew in the Netherlands in this period. Stories about how Jews arrived in the Netherlands, the extent to which they managed to integrate, the cultural interchange with non-Jewish countrymen and the preservation of their identity resonate today in contemporary situations and debates.