Jewish cemetery Geervliet. Photo: Arij M. van WaartThe first Jews to arrive on the island of Voorne-Putten settled in Geervliet, Heenvliet, Zuidland, Zwartewaal, Hellevoetsluis, and Brielle in approximately 1750. The small community they comprised held religious services in a small private home in Geervliet. Religious lessons were conducted at the rear of the poorhouse in Heenvliet.

The local Jewish cemetery dates from 1781 and is located on the Spuikade in Geervliet. The cemetery was expanded several times in the nineteenth century. 
The first synagogue on Voorne-Putten, located on the Kerkweg in Heenvliet, was consecrated in 1807. At the time, approximately 135 Jews lived on Voorne-Putten.

Because of the considerable distances between settlements on the island, and due to conflicts within the community, the Jews of Brielle en Hellevoetsluis split away from the those of Heenvliet in 1809. This created financial difficulties for the Heenvliet community, which had paid for the purchase and renovation of the synagogue building only two years before. In 1865, the community applied to the government for temporary financial assistance for the maintenance of the synagogue and cemetery. The assistance the community received enabled it to restore the synagogue in 1867, however, no funds were forthcoming for the maintenance of the cemetery. In 1887, the Jews of Zuidland seceded from the Heenvliet community.

Traditionally, most of the Jews of Heenvliet worked as slaughterers, butchers, or livestock traders, or as textile merchants. The community maintained a society for collectioning funds to aid the Jewish community of Palestine.

The Heenvliet community had formally ceased to function well before the German occupation of the Netherlands during the Second World War. The few Jews who still lived in Heenvliet and Spijkenisse at the time of the occupation were deported and murdered.

Heenvliet was placed under the jurisdiction of the Jewish community of Rotterdam in 1947. The synagogue and its attached home for the teacher of the community's children was sold in 1948 and razed following the disastrous floods of 1953. A stone from the pediment of the synagogue is preserved at the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam and the curtain of its Holy Ark is currently in the synagogue in Leiden. It is uncertain what happened to the other appurtenances of the synagogue. The community's archives were destroyed when the former synagogue was razed. The cemetery at Geervliet was declared a national monument in 1971 and restored in 1986. It is now maintained by the local authorities. A street in Heenvliet bears the name of S. van Blankenstein (1862-1942), a former head of the Heenvliet community murdered by the Germans.

Jewish population of Heenvliet: 

1809 62
1840 41
1869 54
1899 19
1930 14

Collectie en mediatheek

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

 Gevelsteen  1867
Gevelsteen van voormalige synagoge te Heenvliet, met Hebreeuwse inscriptie.
Collectie > Museumstukken > 06694

 [Binnenlandse berichten (2)]: 's Gravenhage  1902
Verslag van drie vergaderingen : de heer JH Kann werd herkozen tot lid van de Centrale
Commissie./ Vergadering van het synagogaal ressort 's Gravenhage./ Laatste ...
Collectie > Joodse pers > 20050938

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 Leidse Parochot : voor de glorie van de synagoge  1996
Leidse Parochot : voor de glorie van de synagoge.
Collectie > Literatuur > 12005273

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