Private Jewish Amsterdam - Walking TourExplore > Netherlands > Amsterdam > Private Jewish Amsterdam - Walking Tour
Your sense of Amsterdam will be different after this experience, and much more heartfelt.
The Jewish people have a story that weaves a thread throughout Europe. In some locations, it is difficult to pinpoint facts but Amsterdam's Jewish history is unbounded.
Jews have been an integral part of the culture in Amsterdam long before the 14th century. As the city became more and more a center of trade and commerce and the persecution of the Jewish people was taking place in other areas of Europe, the Jews left important legacies in the landscape and the culture of this city. This experience will bring forward what life was like in the Jewish community long ago and even today. The diverse culture of the Netherlands' capital will layer the economic stability of their trades and their disciplines, balancing their economic impact with their philosophical ideas.
Your guide will be a local historian able to paint pictures in your mind of stories and facts of the past as you walk through a portion of Jewish Amsterdam. You will enjoy an on-site visit to a famous diamond seller and learn about the union of diamond cutters, one of the first in the Netherlands, and how the Jews entered this trade, which they brought across the ocean later to become part of the famous diamond center in New York City.
This tour is handled is a loose fashion in that your guide is able to sense your interests by your questions and, as well, will determine the schedules of other highlights that dot the city, such as birthplaces, homes of well known Jews as well as monuments of famous Jews who worked in various trades and disciplines. Examples would be the philosopher Spinoza, the entertainment entrepreneur Tuschinksi or the feminist Aletta Jacobs.
In order to really understand the spiritual life of the Jews people in Amsterdam, your excursion will include visits to both sefardim and ashkenizim synagogues which includes the beautiful Portuguese Synagogue. This is the centerpiece of Jewish life here and since its completion in the 17th century, it set the tone for daily life and social organization including how Amsterdam’s forward-thinking public policy provided opportunities for Jews that didn’t exist in many other European capitals at the time. Much of that 'progressiveness' was carried over to the Red Light District, not part of this experience but certainly one that you will visit while in Amsterdam. Inside the synagogue, the sweeping spaciousness of this massive 17th-century structure, borne up by enormous columns, symbolizes the power and the comfort that Jews felt here.
From here you will leave the Jewish District and turn your attention to the stories and locations of the devastation of World War II and the Holocaust, which did destroy this community. Walking along the canals will invite a stop at a simple stone memorial which marks the Monument to the Jewish Resistance. You will see the exterior of the Hollandse Schouwburg, now a cultural museum housed in a former theater, where thousands of Jewish children were once loaded onto transport ships bound for German concentration camps. Your guide will be able to understand the scope of destruction from the Holocaust, and will do so by sharing stories and factual information with the sensitivity needed to tackle this subject.
You will also hear about how the Anne Frank story centralizes the Jewish experience during the war. This will wrap up the history of the Jews here and allow you to understand better what you feel if you decide to enter Anne Franke's home on your own. The tour in the Anne Frank house is self-guided and no independent guides are allowed, nor are they necessary. Please see Restrictions below to learn more about access to this special place.
- WE WILL NEED THE NAMES OF EACH PARTICIPANT FOR THIS TOUR AT THE TIME OF BOOKING..
- This tour is a walking tour of the areas described. The sidewalks are mostly flat but can be of cobblestones. Please wear proper footwear and layers of clothing.
- Entrance fees for the Portuguese Synagogue and the Jewish Historical Museum are included.
- Due to the difficulty of obtaining entrance tickets to the Anne Frank house, we do not include it in this tour. Independent guides are not allowed, nor are they necessary, for this tour. ShoreTrips offers that special highlight in other excursions instead of this one.
Days offered: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday