Amsterdam Jewish community gets back former synagogue

THE HAGUE, The Netherlands (JTA) — An ancient synagogue in Amsterdam that was sold after World War II has returned to the hands of the Dutch Jewish community.

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The City of Amsterdam signed over the Uilenburger synagogue in the eastern part of the city center to a registered association set up by the Jewish community, according to a report last week in the Dutch Jewish weekly Nieuw Israelietisch Weekblad.

The institutions of Holland’s decimated post-Holocaust Jewish community sold the synagogue, which opened in 1766, to the city in 1954 due to lack of use. The building stood vacant for many years before it was rented out as a storage place, NIW reported.

The Uilenburger Shul Foundation, which is the formal owner of the building, has a budget of up to $2.5 million for its plans to renovate the building — a simple but large rectangular structure with a tall gable and three large windows in its façade.

About 75 percent of the 140,000 Jews who lived in the Netherlands in 1941 died in the Holocaust.

Maurits Jan Vink, the chairman of the Uilenburger Shul Foundation, told NIW that he was very happy to see “such a pretty building returning after such a long time to function as a Jewish institution.”

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