The Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science has allocated €2.5 million for the maintenance and restoration of Jewish cemeteries in The Netherlands.
Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven announced the grant in a letter to Parliament November 5.
The NIK Jewish umbrella organization said in a statement that it was “deeply satisfied” with the move, which, it said, would help put Jewish heritage “back on the map.”
It said the Jewish community is working with the Ministry to develop a five-year plan of work to involve “especially ‘forgotten’ cemeteries or cemeteries with a special character.”
Jewish cemeteries are often the only remnant of the Dutch-Jewish culture, which is largely destroyed in 1940-1945. […They] are each a monument of Judaism that has existed continuously in the Netherlands for 400 years. These cemeteries are the silent witnesses of the mostly vanished Jewish life in a city, town, or region. […]The Jewish cemeteries in towns or villages are both an expression of the Jewish culture, history and a part of local or regional cultural history.
There are more than 200 Jewish cemeteries in The Netherlands, dating back hundreds of years and encompassing both Sephardic and Ashkenazic communities.
The Stone Archives project has digitally documented more than 120 of them.