The Jewish Community of Oud-Beijerland
The village of Oud-Beijerland is located on an island "de Hoeksche Waard," about 20 kilometres south of Rotterdam.
A bit of history
After the St. Elizabeth flood (1421), large parts of the islands of Putten and de Grote Waard were lost and became clay banks and salt marshes, inundated at high tide and unsuitable for habitation. During subsequent centuries, portions of land were reclaimed.
The village of Oud-Beijerland was founded in 1559 as "Beijerland" by Lamoraal, Count Egmont. He was granted the rights to the area in 1557 and had the land reclaimed. The new polder was named "Beijerland, Moerkerken, Cromstrijen and de Greup".
A polder is a low-lying tract of land enclosed by an embankment, known in Dutch as a dijk, forming an artificial hydrological entity. The reclaimed land has no connection with outside water, other than through manually operated devices.
Around 1624 the smaller polders Bosschenpolder and Nieuwlandpolder were added. Beijerland was named after Sabina van Beijeren, the spouse of Count Egmont.
In 1582 the name was changed to Oud-Beijerland, in order to distinguish it from Nieuw-Beijerland, which was founded several kilometres to the west. Count Egmont did not enjoy his property for a long time. After a few years he was decapitated on the market square of Brussels, together with Count van Horne, by order of Philips II. The war of independence of the Netherlands had started.
In 1604 the village got its church tower from Sabina van Beijeren and in 1622 the town hall was built. This building, known today under the name of Oude Raadhuis, the Old Municipality, is still one of the most beautiful buildings of the Hoeksche Waard. It was used by the municipal council of Oud-Beijerland till the seventies of the 20th century.
In the past Oud-Beijerland was one of the most important market centers of the Hoeksche Waard. Its economy was dependent on trade, industry, agriculture and fishing. The prosperity of those years is still reflected in the elegant mansions along the Vliet. The harbour was busy serving the industrial activity of the town. There was a sugar factory, a cigar factory, a cement factory, and an eel and salmon smokehouse.
From the end of the 19th century until ca. 1955, a steamtram connected Oud-Beijerland with Rotterdam. The tram was nicknamed "Het Moorde-naartje," the Little Murderer, due to the many casualties involved with its operation.
The first Jews settled here in the middle of the 18th century, about two centuries after the village was founded. They were Ashkenazi Jews, members of a German-Polish group, who were compelled to leave their homeland after the persecutions in Frankfurt in 1741. Their number was always very small. Between 1835 and 1860 the Jewish population increased to 165 persons, on a total of 3,500 inhabitants, but afterwards their number declined gradually. In 1941 there were 33 Jews.
Jewish family names
We do not know for sure who the first Jewish villagers were. In 1773 however, a certain Baruch Meijer is mentioned in the so called “gaarders-boeken,” the tax registers. The birth register of the Nederlandse Israëlitische Ringsynagoge mentions some names, over the period from 1793 to 1811.
An Imperial Decree from 20 juli 1808, obliged all citizens who did not yet have a family name, to adopt such a family name within three months, in order to enable a general registration of the whole population.
On 31 December 1811 the following Jewish family names are mentioned in the Jewish family archive:
1. Goudsmit (Simon);
2. van Koppels (Jozeph);
3. Koopman (Philip);
4. de Haas (Simon); 51. Pinkhof (Salomon).
The more current family names in Oud-Beijerland were: van den Berg, Boers, Cats, Cohen, van Dijk, Frenkel, Goudsmit, Hamme, Koopman, van Leeuwen, Rood, van Tijn and Ullmann. On the Jewish cemetery one also finds names like van Gelderen, Hartog, Hijmans, Horneman, Keizer, Kleinkramer, Kooperberg, Kühn, Langendijk, Ligtenstein, Meijboom, Meijer, Mendels, Monasch, Morisco, Philip, Rees, Rosenberg, Salomons, Schliecher Cohen, Sluis, van Straten, de Vries, Vrooman, Weijl, Wolf, Zeehandelaar and Zwarenstein.
The names Kleinkramer and Zwarenstein also appeared in the nearby villages of Strijen and Numansdorp. Until 1857 the Jewish inhabitants of Strijen were members of the kehilla of Oud-Beijerland.
The Jewish community
Part of the history of the Jews of Oud Beijerland is reflected in the history of some of the families there.
The van den Berg family
Levie van den Berg (born in 1800) arrived from Nieuw Beijerland and settled in Oud Beijerland in 1836. He was a trader and a banker. In 1818 he received a lease to manage the Loan Bank for a period of six years
together with Moses Goudsmit.
Levie and his wife Gerritje had ten children. One of their sons became health officer in West India and later in The Hague. Other children became shopkeepers, tanners, a securities agent, and a math teacher.
The van den Berg family was highly respected in the community.
In 1843 Levie became one of the parnassiem of the synagogue.
In 1873 he was invited to the reception in honor of the jubilee of King Willem III. In 1874 he became a member of the school management.
Elizabeth van den Berg, one of their grandchildren, was hidden in Dordrecht during the Second World War and survived the war.
On 29 October 1987 she inaugurated the monument at the Havendam, erected in memory of the Jews murdered during the war.
The Boers family
This family arrived from Trier. In 1846 Simon Boers married Sara Philip and opened a butcher shop in the Oost-Voorstraat. Their son, Salomon, became a tanner and traded in hides. During many years he was the chairman of the Jewish community in Oud Beijerland.
He did not keep account books and therefore his heirs published in 1920 a summons to all his creditors and debtors.
Salomon was married to Henriette Hartogs. They had nine children.
His family was respected in the community and the local orchestra played at the 25th year jubilee of their marriage.
Also living in Oud-Beijerland were David Boers with his spouse Bertha and their foster-daughter Clara Haagens from Middelharnis.
The Cats family
The family of Pinchas Levie Cats, born 1843, and Eva Philip, came from Nieuw-Beijerland and settled in Oud Beijerland in 1895. Pinchas was a butcher. His shop was in the Molendijk. One of his sisters, Betje, born in 1837, was married to Eliazar Monasch, born 1845, who repaired watches.
The Cohen family
Samuel Moses Cohen came from Tholen to Oud Beijerland in 1835. The same year he married Elsje van Koppels, the daughter of the secretary of the synagogue. The marriage was very short, because Elsje died in 1836. He married again in 1837 with Hester Kooperberg from Oosterhout. They had 12 children.
At their 40 years ' anniversary, Samuel Moses received the "chower" title. (A title of honor, bestowed by the Chief Rabbi for exemplary services to the Jewish community).
His son Nathan Samuel became a shopkeeper. He married Isabella Schlicher in Köln. They had seven children.
Their eldest son, Felix Samuel, left the S.M. Cohen firm in 1921 and became a male nurse. The second son, Jacques Schlicher continued to manage the business.
The van Dijk family
Benjamin van Dijk was a cattle trader and moved from Zuidland to Oud-Beijerland. He was married to Emma Clara Levie. They had three children. In 1939 the family moved to Delft. One son, Meijer, survived the war; all other family members were murdered in Auschwitz.
The Frenkel family
Hessel Frenkel moved from Rotterdam to Oud Beijerland. He traded in old metal and textiles. He was married three times and had five children from his marriages. On 11 August 1942 the family was transported to Auschwitz or Sobibor and murdered there.
The Goudsmit family
Simon Jonas Goudsmit was born in Veghel in 1774. About 1800 he moved with his wife, Lena Koopman, to Oud-Beijerland. He was a descendant of a family of butchers, tanners and traders in animal skins.
His father, Jonas Samuel Goudsmit, lived at the time in Lommel, today in Belgium. His daughter Gerritje, born in 1802, was married to Levie van den Berg, as mentioned before.
His son, Hartog (1805), married Maria van den Meijdenberg from Oosterwijk.
Hartog was a butcher and trader, and one of the money lenders from the Vlaardingse Bank van Lening in Vlaanderen.
His son Philip (1809) married Catharina Goudsmit from Eindhoven. He was a butcher, a shop holder and also an official seller of the Koninklijke Nederlandsche Loterij. A memorable tombstone was erected on his grave in the Jewish cemetery of Oud-Beijerland.
Simon Philip (1844), one of the children of Philip and Catharina, deserves to be mentioned. In 1868 he moved to Rotterdam and from there to Amsterdam in 1870. In the same year he opened a textiles shop at the Nieuwendijk in Amsterdam, named "The Bijenkorf." From 1870 till 1883 he worked together with Abraham Salomon Polak.
We quote from Wikipedia:
The Bijenkorf is a Dutch chain of department stores. It was founded in 1870 by Simon Philip Goudsmit (1845-1889) and grew from a small textile shop at the Nieuwendijk 132 in Amsterdam to a warehouse of the highest order, with establishments in several other towns. The simple shop, which started with four employees, sold only yarn and band, but slowly on the assortment grew.
After the death of Simon Philip Goudsmit in 1889 from a serious illness, his widow enlarged the business with the help of her nephew Arthur Isaac. Later on, Alfred, the son of Simon Philip Goudsmit and Catharina, also joined the business.
He and Arthur Isaac displayed a greater assortment, and enlarged the business by acquiring the neighboring houses. In 1909 they decided to rebuild the whole shop on a greater scale.
They moved in 1909 to an empty lot, where the former bourse van Zocher had been, where they erected a wooden building, which later on was enlarged and rebuilt. The new building was named the Bijenkorf. Till today the Bijenkorf is an impressive building at the Damrak and the Dam in Amsterdam.
In 1926 they opened another shop, the HEMA, which also did very well, making use of the expertise of theBijenkorf.
After the outbreak of the Second World War the management fled from the Netherlands together with selected members of their staff. More than 700 Jewish staff members were murdered by the Nazi's.
The Hamme family
Marcus Hamme, born in The Hague in 1901, was a brother of Helena Hamme, the spouse of Hartog Koopman (see the Koopman family, hereunder). He married Keetje (To) Tromp in The Hague. Marcus (Max) was an economist and was employed by Hartog, his brother in law. From 1938 till 1941 he taught Economic Science at the Rijks Hogere Burgerschool in Oud Beijerland.
Marcus(Max) and Keetje(To) had two daughters, Hanneke (1933) and Aaltje (Elly) (1936). In October 1942 the family was arrested and transported to the Hollandsche Schouwburg in Amsterdam. One day Keetje just walked out of the Schouwburg with her two daughters. They were hidden by Dutch families. All three survived the war, but Marcus was caught during a razzia in Amsterdam, deported and murdered in Sobibor.
Hanneke is married to Ben Noach, the vice chairman of the board of the "Akevoth" organization and the coordinator of its daily activities.
The Koopman family
At the end of the 18th century Philip Hartog Koopman (Bergwelle 1762) and his wife Rebekka Levij Hijmans (born about 1766), settled in Oud- Beijerland. They had five children.
In 1809 their son Hartog married Sara van den Berg in Brielle. The couple had twelve children.
In 1889, on the occasion of his 80th birthday, he was presented by the Jewish community with a silver kiddush cup for his merits. Jelka Kröger discovered this cup after the Second World War, amongst retrieved art objects. From the large offspring of Hartog and Sara we mention the following names:
Their son Philip (1843) was circumcised by the mohelSalomon Frank. In 1873 he became a member of the Nederlandse Israëlitische School-commissie and an active member of the school management in Oud-Beijerland.
Their son Meijer (1858) became a manufacturer and in 1907 he became one of the parnassim of the synagogue.
Their son Abraham (1860) became a book keeper and a securities agent as a correspondent of the Nederlandsche Bank.
Their grandson Hartog (1889), a son of Meijer, became a banker. The "Bank of Koopman" became an important institution in Oud-Beijerland. In 1938 he donated a stained glass window for the restored city hall, known as the "Oude Raadhuis."
Hartog married Helena Hamme, as mentioned above. They had three children:-Johanna(Hans), Franciska(Frans) and Meijer.
The Koopman family was very active in Oud-Beijerland. The children were members of a club, which met in "Ons Huis."
Mrs. Koopman (Helena Hamme) was a member of the commission which supervised higher education in Oud-Beijerland. On 13 December 1940 the municipal council of Oud Beijerland relieved her from this position, compelled to do so by the German occupation.
Hartog Koopman managed the synagogue as long as possible. In the city archive of Rotterdam a few letters written by him were found.
On 4 November 1940 he wrote the chief rabbi A.B.N. Davids that all sacred artifacts of the synagogue were hidden, except a shofar. In a letter from 17 September 1940 the chief rabbi requested to use the shofar in Gouda, to which request Hartog agreed.
The Koopman family was arrested on 11 August 1942. They died in a concentration camp in July 1943.
The van Leeuwen family
Izaak Benjamin van Leeuwen (Sommelsdijk, 1824) and his wife, Rosetta Vroom (Rotterdam, 1826) moved in 1865 from Goeree-Overflakkee to
Oud-Beijerland. They had four children. Their daughter Antje (Rotterdam 1853) moved to Medemblik. Their son Benjamin (Oud-Beijerland 1867) died when he was 21 years old. Their daughters Sara (Sommelsdijk 1856) and Jetje (Middelharnis 1862) were not married and remained in Oud-Beijerland. Jetje had a small shop of textiles and similar articles in the home of her parents.
She was arrested and transported on 29 October 1942. Nothing has been heard from her since then.
The Rood family
When the name Rood is mentioned, it is obvious this refers to Bram Rood, the butcher on the Molendijk, where he had a "Rund and Kalfsvlees-houwerij." Now there is a fish shop.
Abraham (Bram) Rood (Oud-Beijerland 1894) was the son of Willem Rood, hailing from Middelharnis (Middelharnis, 1859). His second wife was Vrouwtje Meijer (Woubrugge 1863). His father Willem was a butcher and his son Abraham (Bram) continued the profession of his father.
Abraham married Betje den Hartog (Sliedrecht 1892), a sister of Abraham den Hartog, who had a butcher shop on the West-Voorstraat.
The couple had two children, a son, Elias, and a daughter, Vrouwtje Sara. Abraham was a known personality in Oud-Beijerland.
In August 1942 the family was transported by tramway to Rotterdam. A photo has been saved of Abraham on the platform of the tram wagon. According to a family tradition he said to the onlookers: "We'll meet again."
Via shed 24 in Rotterdam the family was transported to Auschwitz, where they were murdered on 30 September 1942.
The Rosenberg family
As far as known no member of the Rosenberg family lived in Oud-Beijerland. David Rosenberg (Warschau 1883) and his wife Jeanette Schustirowitz (Rotterdam 1887) lived in Rotterdam, where David was the manager of a movie theater. They had two children, both born in Rotterdam, Jacob (1912) and Rosa (1917).
The name of Jacob Rosenberg however appears on the last tombstone of the Jewish cemetery in Oud-Beijerland. Jacob worked in advertising and lived in Rotterdam.
He probably died during the German invasion of Holland in May 1940. We do not know the exact place and date of his decease, but his death certificate of 4 May 1943 reads:
"Today the fourth of May nineteen hundred forty three, the following was enlisted by me, official of the civil registration of the community of Rotterdam.
In accordance with article fifty, section two, of the Burgerlijke Wetboek,
I received an extract of the death register of the community Nieuw-Beijerland, which states that there on the fifteenth of May nineteen hundred and forty, at one o'clock in the afternoon, passed away Rosenberg Jacob, serving in the Dutch army, at the age of twenty seven years, advertising artist, born and living in Rotterdam, not married, son of Rosenberg David, owner of a movie theatre and Schustirowitz Jeanette, no profession, both living in Rotterdam."
According to another source Jacob Rosenberg, "soldier tambour," was killed on 15 May 1940 near Willemstad. A further source mentions that he was one of the eight Jewish soldiers, who took their own life after the capitulation of the Netherlands.
The van Thijn family
Moses van Thijn (Puttershoek 1874) lived in Oud-Beijerland with his sister Rijntje (Puttershoek 1869) in the Kerkstraat, near the entrance to the synagogue. Moses was the shamash and administrator of the synagogue and the school building. He also took care of the mikwe, the ritual bath. Later on Jetje van Leeuwen (see above) came to live with him.
Moses, Rijntje and Jetje were arrested on 29 October 1942. Moses was murdered in Auschwitz on 2 November 1942. About Rijntje and Jetje we have no further information.
The Ullman family
Ernst Ullman (Duren, Germany 1904) was one of the fugitives from Germany, who were admitted to Holland. Via Utrecht he arrived in Oud-Beijerland in 1936, where he worked in a flour factory.
In 1938 he married Edith Fleischmann (Ebelsbach, Duitsland 1912). They had one daughter, Ellen Wilhelmina (Oud-Beijerland 1939) and one son, Rolf Dirk, born in camp Westerbork (1942).
"Beijerlandse Berichten," 14th annual, volume nr. 41, April 2011, printed the following article, by Wendy Riedijk and Alie van den Berg:
"Memories from the second world war, as told by my grandmother.
When I ask my grandmother what were her most vivid memories from the war, she looks for old pictures from the paper and for books on Oud-Beijerland. My grandmother, Leny Weeda, lived at the Havendam in Oud-Beijerland. She was almost eight years old when the war started. Her father was a market boat skipper, with his own market boat.
In the office of the cattle fodder factory, where her father worked, there also worked a Jewish man. They were good friends.
When the next deportation of Jews was imminent - they were transported by tram from Oud-Beijerland - her father decided to help his Jewish friend to escape, together with his family.
The furniture of this Jewish family was hidden in the attic of the Weeda's.
The father and the mother were hidden by the Weeda's and their three year old daughter, Ellen, was hidden by another Dutch family in Oud-Beijerland, since it was too dangerous to hide her with her parents. In this way she also had a better chance of survival.
"My father took Ernst and Edith Ullman with his ship to Antwerpen. He also took a couple of bikes with him, because after reaching Antwerpen they should go on and then they should try to reach England. On their way to Antwerpen, the ship was searched by the Germans. Gerrit Weeda had hidden Ernst and Edith in the mast-hole, where a small place is found when the mast is down. Fortunately the Germans did not find them and so they arrived safely in Antwerpen. Then Gerrit Weeda went back to Oud-Beijerland. But the Ullmans were not able to leave Ellen behind and therefore they cycled back to Oud-Beijerland.
Upon their return the Ullman couple was arrested and transported to Westerbork, where their second child, Rolf Dirk, was born. Ernst was employed in the camp as a clerk. Edith, Ellen and the little Rolf Dirk were murdered in Auschwitz on 8 October 1944. Ernst survived and after the war he went to Canada. In Canada Ernst he married Friedel Salomon, with whom he had three daughters. He died in 1968.
The Jewish professions
Most of the Jews in Oud-Beijerland sold textiles. The Bank van Koopman, wholly owned by a Jewish family, was a known enterprise, but 11 from the 49 Jewish citizens in the year 1901, received support from social security.
A list of names printed in the booklet "the Jewish community of Oud-Beijerland" also mentions how the Jews there made their living.
A variety of trades is mentioned: skin salter, butcher, merchant, tailor, cigar maker, rags seller, tanner, varnish stoker, caps maker, shopkeeper, wigmaker, seamstress, manufacturer, cashier, teacher, candle maker, watchmaker, book binder, milk controller, religion teacher, goldsmith and other trades.
In Oud-Beijerland were many Jewish butchers. Some of them only
sold meat, without being slaughterers themselves. Often they went from one farmer to the other to sell non-kosher meat, which could not be sold to Jews.
Being a tanner, one of the trades mentioned above, was obviously not very lucrative, because later on we found only hide salters, who collected the hides, and salted them in order to prevent putridity.
The candle makers used animal fat to produce their candles. This profession was also not lucrative, and disappeared. These candles could not be used in churches and in the synagogue wax candles were used. Candle fat obviously had a better selling potential in large towns, than in villages. The rise in the use of petrol for lighting certainly was of no help to this industry.
The organisation of Jewish life
The council of the kehilla (Jewish community) had five members plus a gabbaj tsedaka sjel Eretz Jisra'el, a fundraiser for the Land of Israel, who, at the time, was Mr. Levie van den Berg. He passed away on 16 October 1879. His tombstone can still be seen in the Jewish graveyard. From 1852 until 1861, one community member, Mr. Meyer de Vries, had a seat on the local council.
In 1927 the kehilla had no council anymore and the Permanente Commissie of the NIK appointed an administrator.
Even on the High Holydays no more services could be held.
We grope in the dark about the place where the congregation assembled in the earliest years. There are reports from 1802 and 1818 which may indicate that the community successively used two private houses as a meeting place.
From the following report in the Rotterdamsche Courant from 1816 we learn that in 1816 the synagogue was inaugurated:
"Oud-Beijerland the 27th of April.
The Israëlites of this community spent today and yesterday in an edifying way, with appropriate merriment, on occasion of the inauguration of their new ring synagogue.
The honored Chief Rabbi of the Israëlite main synagogue in Rotterdam, gave yesterday evening an appropriate speech in the aforementioned new, for religion designated building, and today, after the morning prayers, he delivered a moving sermon.
The presence of the president of this community, of the magistrate and of the honored preachers of the Protestant Hervormde gemeente, added luster and splendor to this solemn ceremony. Notwithstanding the influx of eyewitnesses from all creeds, deep attention and silence ruled the whole service."
The (second) house was demolished to make room for a true synagogue.
The first stone was laid on 1 May 1843 (1 Iyar 5603) by Meyer de Vries, under auspices of the church council, consisting of M. de Vries, L. van den Berg, M. Goudsmit and E. van Win.
One should not wonder about the term “church council” which has a Christian flavor. It stems from the Royal Decree of 26 February 1814, which reorganized and regulated the religious institutions in the Netherlands.
The synagogue stood between de Kerkstraat and the Nobelstraat and served the community until after the Second World War.
According to the chief rabbi the building was very beautiful. The inscription above the entrance was a quotation from the Book of Psalms, ch.84, verse .2: “How amiable are thy tabernacles.”
The building also housed a school and a dwelling for the schoolteacher.
When in 1942 all the Jews were gone, the synagogue was little by little dismantled and used for other purposes. After the war the kehilla ceased to exist and its belongings were transferred to the Jewish community of Rotterdam, which sold the building in 1947 to the Christian Foundation for the teaching of domestic economy to girls. This institution had part of the building stripped, but kept some of the walls intact and erected on the remnants of the former synagogue the school it needed. Two memorial stones in the facade mention the origin of the building.
School and Jewish studies
In 1832 the Minister for Zaken van Eredienst approved the request of the Jewish community to acquire a house near the synagogue. The regents of the Jewish community, Hartog van den Berg, Eliazar Oppenheim and Meijer de Vries had decided that the community needed a special building for their activities. The building also housed a school room for the increasing group of boys and girls who received Jewish education.
Already three years earlier such an opportunity had risen, but through the antics of ten community members the offer had been refused.
At the time the Jews from Oud-Beijerland were very well aware of the difficulties they had to overcome to express themselves in good Dutch. The correspondence with the Hoofdcommissie was therefore handed over to the Jewish religion teacher, Mr. J. Koppels, who held this position for many years.
The Royal Decree from 6 May 1817 abolished teaching in degraded Dutch, in order to teach the children in a more civilized fashion. From now all lessons had to be given only in Dutch, and not in Hebrew or Jiddish any more.
There were also Polish Jews in Oud-Beijerland. In a letter from 1 July 1817 to the Hoofdcommissie, S. van den Berg from Nieuw-Beijerland complained that a Polish Israëlite was appointed as a teacher by Messrs. S. Goudsmit and P. Koopman, without informing the other members of the synagogue. Later on it turned out that the pupils did not like the Polish teacher and within a few months their number decreased. The teacher was able to express himself in degraded German only, which was not appreciated by the Jewish community. Happily he disappeared after a short time. On the curriculum of the Jewish school in Oud-Beijerland we have some information, thanks to the reports of S.J. Mulder, the school inspector from Amsterdam, who paid several visits to the school.
He was not able to do many inspections, due to the small travel budget afforded to him and, moreover, he had to travel all over Holland. Only after three years he was able to come to Oud-Beijerland again.
The curriculum was quite often changed. In 1857 it was decided to revise the Jewish lessons in Oud-Beijerland.
Jewish religion was taught daily from nine till twelve o' clock, and consisted mainly of reading and writing Hebrew.
The following schedule was adopted.
- Daily lessons of Rashi, the famous commentator who lived in France from 1040 till 1105.
- Daily: Study of a school book written by Mulder, "Alle delen van de Heilige Schrift"
- Sunday and Thursday: Basics of Judaïsm.
- Monday: Rudimenta, first steps in Judaïsm
- Monday and Wednesday: Mishna
- Wednesday: History
- Wednesday: Bible translation
Another book used was: Kort begrip der lsraelietische Feest- en Vastendagen benevens een korten inhoud der Tien Geboden; voor eerstbeginnenden, vervaardigd door Jb. Lopes Cardozo Jr., Rabbinaal-Kandidaat (Moré) en Hoofd-Onderwijzer.
The book was issued in Amsterdam by D. de Miranda & Camp. in 5623-1863. In the preface the author wrote that "this book, offered to my colleagues, is destined for children from 7 till 10 years".
Besides religious teaching, social teaching - given from two till five - was also a part of the curriculum, comprising the following lessons:
- Daily: Reading and writing, arithmetic and language
- Sunday: Theory of arithmetic
- Monday: History of the Netherlands
- Thursday: Geography
The study books in use were: Language method, by van Wees, History by Knuivers, Arithmetics by van Hoonaart, Geography by van Prinsen.
In 1898, a new school building was erected next to the synagogue. The first stone was laid by the daughters of the church council members: Saartje Boers, Emma Cohen, Maria Koopman and Betsie Rood. This building was demolished in 1954.
The Hevra Kadisha
The Hevra Kadisha, the "Holy Association." This association takes care of the cemetery and the burials.
In 1832 however, a new synagogue management had been chosen, which boldly adopted the plan. A special building for several purposes had become a necessity.
Till then the deceased from outside Oud-Beijerland, who had to be buried in the cemetery of Oud-Beijerland, had to be brought to the house of Goudsmit the shamash,the beadle. In his house there were only two rooms, the mikve was housed in one room, and the other room was used for meetings. The body was put down in the meeting room. This was very undesirable, especially when somebody had died from a contagious disease. Moreover the shamash with his wife, with six children lived in the same house.
The new gabbaim of the synagogue decided to change this undesirable situation and decided to erect a new building, which would serve as a school for religious lessons. In order to accomplish this goal a new religious foundation, Ets Hajim, the tree of life, was created. The whole community voted in favor of the proposal, except the shamash and his wife. They didn't want to become members of the Hevra Kadisha, although the weekly contribution was only 5 cents a week.
Till 1790 the Jews of Oud-Beijerland were buried in Geervliet, on the nearby island of Voorne-Putten. In that year the Jewish community of Oud-Beijerland got a cemetery of their own, outside the village, on a piece of land called Ossebil, ox’s rump. But the village expanded and the cemetery was located inside its limits, on the Prinses Irenestraat. Until 1940, the Jews of Oud-Beijerland and the surrounding villages were buried there. In 1895 the Jewish community of Strijen obtained a cemetery of their own.
The Oud-Beijerland cemetery had a mortuary with the inscription: "Heden ik, morgen gij,” meaning: "Me today, tomorrow you."
The wooden fence around the cemetery underwent changes in the course of the years. In 1971 it was replaced by a concrete wall on three sides and with an iron fence at the front in 1997. The iron fence was made possible through a fundraising action of the Christian secondary school “Willem van Oranje”. Together with financial support of the municipality, a beautiful wrought iron fence could be erected.
Nowadays the Nederlands Israëlitische Kerkgenootschap (NIK) is the owner of the cemetery whereas its maintenance is the responsibility of the municipality. The small number of 67 tombstones shows that the cemetery contains more graves and tombstones, hidden below ground level. Further details may be found in the website of the “Stenen Archief,” the Archive of Stone.
The circumcision book
Mrs. Alie van den Berg discovered a most important and interesting document, the circumcision book of Salomon Franck or Frank, who lived part of his life in Oud-Beijerland. He was the mohel of Oud-Beijerland and surroundings. The more than 110 entries in this book, stating the names of the children circumcised by him, cover the period from 1835 till 1864. This information was used by Mrs. van den Berg for her book on the history of the Jews of Oud-Beijerland.
Jews in the nearby villages
The ring synagogue of the island De Hoeksche Waard was in Oud-Beijerland.
During the second half of the 19th century the villages Buitensluis (Numansdorp), Klaaswaal and Zuid-Beijerland - with no more than 20 Jews - possessed a synagogue of their own in Numansdorp.
The "Hof van Moerkerken," the countryseat of the nearby village of Mijnsheerenland, housed in the thirties of the previous century a hachsharah group. In the autmn of 1939 a small group of children from the Youth Aliya from Germany also lived there.
The village Strijen probably opened a synagogue of their own in 1862 and a cemetery in 1895. The Jews from 'sGravendeel also belonged to this synagogue.
The dream to build a Jewish state in Palestine became more real towards the end of the First World War. The Ottoman Empire, one of the losers of that war, had to cede a great part of their territory. The province of Palestine, with Jerusalem as a capital, became a British mandate.
In 1917 Lord Balfour declared on behalf of the British government that a "Jewish home" could be founded in Palestine. The so called "Balfour Declaration" urged idealistic Jewish youngsters in Europe to become pioneers, intending to settle the region and reclaim the country.
To this purpose training centers were established in several European countries, where they could learn agriculture or any other craft. Such a training center was called a hachshara, a preparation center, and the young pioneers were called haluzim.
These youngsters also learned Hebrew, which would eventually become the official language of the Jewish state.
The entry to Palestine was severely controlled by the British government. Each year only a few thousand visas were issued. It was difficult to obtain a visa, sometimes called a Palestina Pass, which would be granted after the mentioned hachshara period was finished.
After 1918 several training centers were also established in Holland. The first of such centers, theDeventer Vereniging, was founded by Ru Cohen,
The participants worked in several farms and for the study of agricultural theory and cultural activity, they congregated in their community house in Deventer, namedBeit Haluz. In 1940 their community had about 250 members.
The religious-Zionistic movement, the Mizrahi, established in 1933 the Dath Va'aretz - religion and country subsidiary, which resided in Beverwijk and Franeker, and were called a kibbuz.
In the same year the orthodox movement Agudat Jisra'el, also established a preparation center. This movement was not a proponent of Zionism, but intended to settle near the Jewish holy places in Palestine. A large villa in Twekkelo near Enschede was used, named Haimer's Esch.
In the thirties many German and Polish refugees came to Holland. For the reception of these prevailingly younger people, between 18 till 24 years, a Jewish center was established in the Wieringermeer. The Werkdorp Wieringermeer housed about 300 inhabitants.
Some hachshara centers were established for younger people, less than 18 years old, instigated by the Youth Alya. The Pavilioen Loosdrechtse Rade was the largest one, counting about 50 youngsters, who also were trained by the surrounding farmers. In 1939 the Catarinahoeve was used for this purpose, under the name of Joodse Jeugdfarm.
In the 40's the activities of the Youth Aliyain Holland wereHh
directed by theJoodse Centrale voor Beroepsopleiding.
In May 1938 three Jewish refugees from Germany lived in Oud-Beijerland. The kehilla donated each month a small amount to the Joodse Vluchtelingencomité in Amsterdam.
The German occupation
Under the German occupation the Jewish inhabitants from Oud-Beijerland were compelled to move to Amsterdam. From there they were transported to Poland. Some onderduikers, Jews hidden by Dutch families, were betrayed and arrested. 32 Jews from Oud-Beijerland were killed in Auschwitz and Sobibor. Only one of them, Ernst Ullman, a refugee from Germany, survived.
Seven Jews, holders of falsified baptism certificates, were hidden by Dutch families till the end of the war. The synagogue was plundered by the Germans and used as a storage room.
On 11 August 1942, Hartog Koopman, Abraham Rood and Moses Frenkel with their family, together with Henriette Boers - who was then 17 years old - were arrested and transported to Amsterdam.
On 17 October Jacob van den Berg and his wife followed. On 29 October Moses van Tijn and his sister were arrested. On the same date Marcus Hamme with his family and Jetje van Leeuwen were arrested. Not long afterwards came the turn of the remaining Jews.
Mrs. Hamme was arrested with her two children in Amsterdam and interned in the Hollandse Schouwurg. She just walked out from there with her children and all three of them survived the war.
David Boers, with wife and son and Pinhas Boers with his wife and their adopted child, were hidden in Apeldoorn on 24 October. Elisabeth van den Berg was hidden in Dordrecht. Pinhas and his family were betrayed.
The others, which were hidden, were saved from the German blood-thirstiness.
Lest we forget
Here we remember the Jewish inhabitants of Oud-Beijerland, who were murdered by the Nazis:
Jakob van den Berg, 76 years old. Oud-Beijerland 07-08-1866; Auschwitz, 01-02-1943.
Alida van den Berg- Kleerekoper, 65 years old. Amsterdam, 11-03-1877; Auschwitz, 01-02-1943.
Pinas Levie Boers, 48 years old. Oud-Beijerland, 21-04-1895; Sobibor, 16-07-1943.
Emilie Boers-Beer, 37 years old. Zablocie (Polen), 16-05-1904; Sobibor, 16-07-1943.
Theodoor Maximiliaan Beer, 9 years old. Eggenberg (Polen), 12-08-1933; Sobibor, 16-07-1943.
Henriëtte Wilhelmina Boers, 17 years old. Oud-Beijerland, 27-03-1925; Auschwitz, 30-09-1942.
Hessel Frenkel, 59 years old. Leeuwarden, 06-01-1883; Auschwitz, 05-11-1942.
Saartje Frenkel-Sanders, 57 years old. Arnhem, 19-05-1885; Auschwitz, 05-11-1942.
Wolf Frenkel, 26 years old. Rotterdam, 11-03-1917; Sobibor, 28-05-1943.
Abraham Frenkel, 22 years old. Middelharnis, 09-07-1920; Auschwitz, 30-09-1942.
Mozes Frenkel, 14 years old. Rotterdam, 20-10-1928; Auschwitz, 05-11-1942.
Elisabeth Frenkel, 12 years old. Schiedam, 08-04-1930; Auschwitz, 05-11-1942.
Aaltje Mug, 16 years old. Rotterdam, 12-09-1926; Auschwitz, 05-11-1942.
Marcus Hamme, 41 years old. 's-Gravenhage, 24-12-1901; Sobibor, 16-07-1943.
Abraham den Hartog, 67 years old. Sliedrecht, 25-10-1875; Auschwitz, 06-11-1942.
Roosje den Hartog-van Tijn, 64 years old. Puttershoek, 24-02-1878; Auschwitz, 06-11-1942.
Hartog Koopman, 53 years old. Oud-Beijerland, 24-11-1889; Sobibor, 09-07-1943.
Helena Koopman-Hamme, 52 years old. 's-Gravenhage, 06-06-1891; Sobibor, 09-07-1943.
Francisca Koopman, 23 years old. Oud-Beijerland, 07-07-1919; Sobibor , 09-07-1943.
Johanna Maria Koopman, 21 years old. Oud-Beijerland, 09-02-1922; Sobibor, 09-07-1943.
Meijer Koopman, 18 years old. Oud-Beijerland, 02-10-1924; Sobibor, 09-07-1943.
Jetje van Leeuwen, 80 years old. Middelharnis, 22-01-1862; onbekend.
Abraham Rood, 47years old. Oud-Beijerland, 28-11-1894; Auschwitz, 30-09-1942.
Betje Rood-den Hartog, 50 years old. Sliedrecht , 18-05-1892; Auschwitz, 30-09-1942.
Elias Rood, 19 years old. Oud-Beijerland, 22-02-1923; Auschwitz, 30-09-1942.
Vrouwtje Sara Rood, 16 years old. Oud-Beijerland, 24-02-1926; Auschwitz, 30-09-1942.
Mozes van Tijn, 68 years old. Puttershoek, 12-09-1974; Auschwitz, 02-11-1942.
Rijntje van Tijn, 73 years old. Puttershoek, 31-12-1869; date of death unknown.
Edith Ullman- Fleischmann, 29 years old. Ebelsbach (D), 30-10-1912; Auschwitz, 08-10-1944.
Ellen Ullman, 4 years old. Oud-Beijerland, 15-09-1939; Auschwitz, 08-10-1944.
Rolf Dirk Ullman, 1 year old, Westerbork, 31-03-1943; Auschwitz, 08-10-1944.
After the war
In 1947, two years after the war, the Jewish community of Oud-Beijerland became a part of the community of Rotterdam. After the atrocities of the Shoa no Jewish life was left in Oud-Beijerland.
On 29 October 1987, a monument, designed by Mrs. Marga Vogel-Granada from Amsterdam, was unveiled at the Havendam, near the little harbor of Oud-Beijerland, commemorating the Jewish inhabitants who were deported and massacred by the Nazi’s. The monument consists of a copper made hand, holding a Magen David, placed on a pedestal bearing a plaque with a verse from Isaiah (chapter 61 verse 1): “To bind up the brokenhearted,” (לחבש לנשברי לב) and the words: “The people of Israel lives,” (עם ישראל חי).
Every year, on the 4th of May, a commemorative ceremony is held there.
The street names
In 1986 the local council of Oud-Beijerland decided that in the new Spuioever quarter several streets would be called after Jewish persons and families who lived in Oud-Beijerland before the Second World War. These Jews were deported during the German occupation and did never return. The following street names were created:
Van de Bergstraat, after Jakob and Alida van den Berg, murdered in Auschwitz in 1943.
Boerserf, after the Boers family who was murdered in Auschwitz and Sobibor in 1942 and 1943.
Frenkelerf, after the Frenkel family, who was murdered in Auschwitz and Sobibor in 1942 and 1943.
Hammepad, after Marcus Hamme, murdered in Sobibor in 1943.
Den Hartogerf, after Abraham and Roosje den Hartog, murdered in Auschwitz in 1942.
Koopmanstraat, after the Koopman family, who was murdered in Sobibor in 1943.
Van Leeuwenerf, after Jetje van Leeuwen, murdered in a German concentration camp in 1943.
Roodpad, after the Rood family, who was murdered in Auschwitz in 1943.
Van Tijnerf, after Mozes and Rijntje van Tijn, murdered in a German concentration camp in 1942.
Ullmanstraat, named after members of the Ullman family, whose members were murdered in Auschwitz in 1944.
In doing so, the municipality wished to keep alive the memory of the important role the Jews had played in this village.
The windows of the old town hall
Built in 1622, renovated in 1938 and 1939, the old town hall - the Oude Raadhuis - stands proudly in the heart of the village. In 1977 a new town hall was built. The new building contains a series of beautiful stained glass windows. One of these masterpieces was donated by the Nederlands Israëlitische Gemeente, the Jewish community of Oud-Beijerland. The window depicts a menora and a scroll with a Magen David in red.
A. and R. van den Berg, De Joodse Gemeenschap van Oud-Beijerland, Oud-Beijerland 1982, ’s-Gravendeel, 1987.
Jozeph Michman, Hartog Beem, Dan Michman, Pinkas, Geschiedenis van de Joodse gemeenschap in Nederland, Amsterdam/Antwerpen, 1999.
Alie van den Berg, Het Joodse verleden van Oud‑Beijerland, Oud‑Beijerland, 2008.
Daniël Metz, "Joodse militairen" (part 1) Misjpoge, jaargang 22, 2009-1.
Wendy Riedijk, "De herinneringen aan de tweede wereldoorlog, verteld door mijn oma." Beijerlandsche Berichten, jaargang 14, nr. 41,
Nederlands-Israëlitisch Kerkgenootschap: http://www.nik.nl/
“Stenen Archief” (The Archive of Stone): http://www.stenenarchief.nl/phpr/nik/stenen_archief/nik_list.php?cemetery=Oud-Beijerland
"Joods leven in Oud-Beijerland" (Jewish life in Oud-Beijerland):http://www.joodsleven-obland.nl/
Digitaal Monument Joodse Gemeenschap in Nederland:http://www.joodsmonument.nl/page/552342
Extracted from the sources by:Jan Sanberg & Alie van den Berg
Translated into English by:Mechel Jamenfeld
Final editing by:Ben & Hanneke Noach
Grotere kaart weergeven