Summary in English
Since the beginning of the 18th century Jewish people have made a living on the isle of Voorne-Putten. In trade and also as shopkeepers, later on, they were fully accepted in Brielle and in its local region. Smaller synagogues were situated in townships like Heenvliet, Zuidland and Hellevoetsluis. Today the only synagogue still in existence is the one in Brielle (built in 1871).
By the systematic deportations of the Jews during the Second World War, almost all Jewish citizens from Brielle were sent to concentration camps. None of them survived.
A stone, placed 1992 in the front wall, is a remembrance of the deportation of Jewish citizens, on the 27th of October 1942, right from this location. The names of all the perished Jews in Brielle and the region are gathered and mentioned in a large frame on the wall, inside the building. A strong appeal to remember history, with its hope and with its brutal violence and discrimination, is given by a famous Chassidic Rabbi:
“To forget will lead into exile; to remember will bring redemption”
Ba’al Sjem Tov (1700 - 1760 )
After 1945 the Rabbinate of Rotterdam was forced to sell the synagogue in Brielle.
Just until the beginning of this year 2002 the building was used as a store for a building contractor. Last February the former synagogue is bought by a foundation (raised in November 1999) to maintain this building with its own history of hope and dark moments.
The acquisition of this only synagogue in the region was a first important step. The next step –and challenge- was the restoration (€ 300.000,-). By fundraising, donations and other support the Foundation has been working hard to realize this goal.
After the restoration the former synagogue has taken its own special place in society. Occasionally, Jewish services will be held in this place. In any way, the former synagogue will be a place for meeting, reflection, understanding and culture in our still growing multiform society.
Lectures of mutual understanding in religion and culture will be held. Apart from small concerts and expositions, schoolchildren will be guided in this place to hear and learn about history.
Visiting De Sjoel
Interested to visit De Sjoel ? On Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1 pm to 4 pm the Sjoel will be open for visitors.