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Encyclopaedia Judaica

Jews in the Netherlands 03: Emancipation

French Revolution - Napoleon and patriotism - integration under King William I - diamonds and cotton industry

Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol.
                      12, col. 979., synagogue of Maastrich, built in
                      1841
amplifyEncyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol. 12, col. 979., synagogue of Maastrich, built in 1841

from: Netherlands; In: Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971, vol. 12

presented by Michael Palomino (2008)

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<Emancipation.

[French Revolution and patriotism bringing new problems - split into segregationists and integrationists]

From this group, which eventually put an end to the supremacy of the Sephardim, emerged the adherents of the so-called "patriotic trend", which was (col. 980)

influenced by the ideas of the French Revolution. This brought them into opposition with the majority of the population and the parnasim [[leaders]], convinced adherents of the conservative Oranje Party (the party of the House of Orange). After the occupation of the Netherlands by France and the founding of the Batavian Republic (1795), the patriotic club *Felix Libertate was founded, which strove for the emancipation of the Jews and the abolition of the autonomy of the kehillah [[community]]. After a violent controversy, the national assembly of the Batavian Republic proclaimed the complete emancipation of the Jews on Sept. 2, 1796.

Nevertheless, the supporters of the emancipation were unable to obtain the leadership in the Amsterdam kehillah: they therefore broke away and formed a separate community (Adath Jeshurun, 1797-1808), favoring the complete integration of the Jews into Dutch society. The government, and especially King Louis Bonaparte (1806-10), supported their efforts. The king established a joint organization of all Jewish communities in the Netherlands under an Upper Consistory, and at the same time a concordat regulated relations between the "German" and "Portuguese" communities (1810).

[Number of Jews - French annexation 1810-1813 - bad conditions and increasing of the poor]

The country was divided into 11 districts where 49,973 Ashkenazim and 5,000 Sephardim lived, the latter all in Amsterdam and The Hague. The Ashkenazi community in Amsterdam numbered 31,500 members. At the same time the Jews were obliged to adopt a surname and efforts were made to spread the knowledge of the Dutch language [[against Yiddish?]], especially through the publication of a Dutch translation of the Bible. The annexation of the Kingdom of Holland by France (1810-13) impeded the realization of these plans. The Jewish community was severely hit economically by the war and by Napoleon's monetary measures, so that the number of paupers increased considerably.

[1815-1840: Measures of King William I: Jewry becomes element of the official state - schooling in public schools since 1857 - reduced Jewish schools - battle against Yiddish]

King William I (1815-40) took an active interest in the Jewish community: he wanted to transform it into a national institution which would help the state in its task and should therefore enjoy the support of the government. His "orders in council" regulated many internal Jewish affairs; for example, the appointment of rabbis, the education of clergymen and teachers, school programs, and public worship. His decisions defined the character of the "Dutch-Israelite" and "Portuguese-Israelite" communities, as the representative Jewish bodies were called.

During William's rule Jewish public education was also developed; schools for the poor were established in 1821, followed later by those for the rich, with their own inspectors, best known of whom was Dr. S.I. *Mulder. A law of 1857 made education in public schools obligatory and Jewish education was practically reduced to Sunday and evening schools. Jewish day schools were not reopened in Amsterdam until the 20th century. The government's determined battle against Yiddish and campaign for the spread of Dutch undermined the Ashkenazi community's sense of Jewish nationality.

[19th century: many poor Jews - diamonds and cotton industry - urbanization - Jewish integration and positions]

In the 19th century the economic situation in the Netherlands as a whole remained unstable. In 1849 55% of the German and 63% of the Portuguese Jews in Amsterdam were paupers. Although no statistics are available for the rest of the country, it can be assumed that in general there too the standard of living was below the average of the rest of the population. The situation changed in the second half of the century - in Amsterdam because of the development of the diamond industry, and in the eastern region because of the rise of the cotton industry which enabled peddlers and shopkeepers to make larger profits.

This gradual prosperity was accompanied by increasing urbanization: at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century many small communities ceased to exist, while in the large (col. 981)

towns the number of Jews increased proportionally (Amsterdam: in 1849, 43% of Dutch Jewry; in 1920, 60%).

In spite of emancipation the integration of the Jews into Dutch society proceeded slowly; at first it was evident mainly among the upper classes alone, and many of these were also baptized. Lawyers in particular rose to prominent positions: Jonas Daniel *Meyer, the secretary of the commission that prepared the constitution; J.E. *Goudsmit, the first Jewish professor, was also a lawyer, as was M. H. *Godefroi, the only Jewish minister of the crown in the 19th century. The family of T.M.C. *Asser, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, is another example. It was only in the second half of the 19th century, when prosperity increased and liberal ideas spread, that Jews took a larger part in public life.

After a promising beginning (including many Hebrew writers such as S.I. Mulder, M. *Lemans, and G. *Polak), cultural activities declined rapidly. Interest in the Holy Land was restricted to a small group under the leadership of the *Lehren family and A. *Prins, who founded an organization to collect money for Erez Israel (1810). Efforts to establish a Reform movement in Amsterdam and Rotterdam were a complete failure.

The appointment of Dr. J.H. *Duenner as rector of the Dutch Israelite Seminary (1862) and later as chief rabbi of the Ashkenazi community of Amsterdam (1874) was a turning point. Although an opponent of Reform, Duenner, who did not want to alienate non believing Jews, tried to assemble a group of rabbis who had a sufficient knowledge of Judaism and a general education. In spite of his efforts, however, liberalism and socialism had an increasingly popular appeal. Liberal leaders included Samuel *Arphati, physician and social reformer, and A.C. *Wertheim. Henry *Polak, founder of the diamond industry trade union, and other Jewish socialist leaders had considerable influence on the mass of Jews. (col. 982)

[[Diamond digging has it's base on racism against the Blacks which is not mentioned]].

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Sources
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol.
                    12, col. 973-974
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol. 12, col. 973-974
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol.
                    12, col. 975-976
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol. 12, col. 975-976
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol.
                    12, col. 977-978
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol. 12, col. 977-978
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol.
                    12, col. 979-980
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol. 12, col. 979-980
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol.
                    12, col. 981-982
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol. 12, col. 981-982
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol.
                    12, col. 983-984
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol. 12, col. 983-984
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol.
                    12, col. 985-986
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol. 12, col. 985-986
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol.
                    12, col. 987-988
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol. 12, col. 987-988
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol.
                    12, col. 989-990
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol. 12, col. 989-990
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol.
                    12, col. 991-992
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol. 12, col. 991-992
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol.
                    12, col. 993-994
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol. 12, col. 993-994



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