Jews first settled in Smilde just prior to 1780. Their arrival met with the opposition of the local population, a problem that persisted into the 19th century. Local opposition went so far that, in 1806, the provincial authorities were compelled to intervene on behalf of local Jews.

Yad donated to the Smilde synagogue by Mordechai BloemendalThe Jewish population of Smilde grew during the first half of the nineteenth century. An organized Jewish community was established at Smilde sometime prior to 1821. In 1825, the Smilde community was formally recognized by the Nederlands-Israëlitisch Kerkgenootschap (the central consistory of Dutch Jewry) as a Bijkerk or local community under the aegis of the regional Jewish community at Dwingeloo. In 1846, a synagogue was built in Kloosterveen, one of the villages on the vast peat-moors of Smilde. In 1848, the Smilde community purchased ground along the Drentse Hoofdvaart canal for use as a cemetery.

Official bodies within the Smilde community included a community council, a community directorate, and a treasurer for collecting and dispersing funds in aid of the Jews in Eretz Israel. The community provided Jewish education for its children. During the 1850's, and internal conflict divided the community for short time. At the time, most of the Jews in Smilde worked in retail trade or as butchers. The Jews of Smilde were also active in the affairs of secular society in the provinces of Drenthe en Groningen.

The Jewish population of Smilde declined over the last decades of the nineteenth century and the first third of the twentieth. By the eve of the Second World War, the Smilde community had practically ceased to exist. Under the German occupation of the Netherlands during the war, almost all the Jews of Smilde were deported and murdered. The Smilde community's former Jewish school was converted into a private residence in 1943. The local synagogue was razed just after the war; the fate of its furnishings and appurtenances remains unknown. In 1950, the Jewish community at Smilde was merged into that at Assen. The local Jewish cemetery currently is maintained by the local authorities.

Jewish population of Smilde:

1809 24
1840 88
1869 150
1899 75
1930 16

Collectie en mediatheek

 Jad  1836
object, jad. maker, Doomer, Dierk. materiaal, zilver. datering, 1836. plaats, Amsterdam
& Nederland. hoogte, 32.6. diepte, ø 1.5. collectie, Joods Historisch Museum ...
Collectie > Museumstukken > 01329

 Jad  1850-1875
object, jad. maker, onbekend. materiaal, zilver. datering, 1850=1875. plaats, Nederland.
hoogte, 32.0. diepte, ø 2.8. collectie, Joods Historisch Museum. ...
Collectie > Museumstukken > 01328

Dossiers (158) van de Commissie voor Oorlogsschade mbt 155 joodse
gemeentes (Amsterdam en mediene), 1945-1950.
Collectie > Documenten > 00005954

 Dossier  1887-1888
Dossier met verslagen en correspondentie mbt meerdere
Ned. Isr. Gemeenten, 1887-1888.
Collectie > Documenten > 00005443

 Overzichtsfoto  1984 (ca.)
Foto's (7) van de joodse begraafplaats in Smilde, circa 1984.
Collectie > Fotos > 40011074

 [Binnenland] : Amsterdam  
Vermelding van benoemingen met betrekking tot de Ned. Isr. schoolbesturen.
Collectie > Joodse pers > 20031385

meer treffers in Collectie > Joodse pers

 Gegevens over joodse inwoners in Drente  1999
Gegevens over joodse inwoners in Drente.
Collectie > Literatuur > 12016779