During the eighteenth century, the city of Maastricht maintained a strict policy restricting the residence rights of Jews. As a result, Jewish populations arose in the smaller settlements surrounding Maastricht, including Eijsden. Jews lived in Eijsden from the beginning of the eighteenth century on. Most were active as traders in cheese, tobacco, spices, gold, or silver.

Synagogue in Eijsden, 1984 (WL)Prior to 1779, the Jews of Eijsden had established a synagogue in a private home. In 1782, they built a new synagogue on the Diepstraat. The Diepstraat synagogue was used by the community until 1935; since then, it has been maintained as a National Monument.

In 1816, the Central Consistory (NIK) declared the Eijsden community to be Bijkerk or local community, under the aegis of the Ring or regional community of Maastricht. The Eijsden community split into two factions in 1868, with each maintaining its own synagogue and cemetery. In 1935, the Eijsden community was merged, under protest, into that of Maastricht.

The Jewish cemetery of Eijsden is now used by Belgian Jews (the Belgian government does not guarantee the perpetual existence of cemeteries of whatever faith). In 2001, following years of discussion with the local authorities, a monument inscribed with the names of thirteen Eijsden Jews murdered during the Second World War was unveiled on the Vroenhof. In the same year, the orthodox Jewish community of the Dutch province of Limburg requested permission to establish a second Jewish cemetery in Eijsden. Permission was denied.

Jewish population of Eijsden and surroundings:

1809 50
1840 58
1869 108
1899 50
1930 6


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