Tagged Amsterdam

Outside Amsterdam’s Portuguese Synagogue, Spanish olive trees endure northern winters

The olive trees outside of Amsterdam's Portuguese synagogue get wrapped up every year. They are shown here in February 2018. (Hans Kaljee)

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — Each year at the height of winter, city workers descend on the square opposite Holland’s oldest synagogue and pull gigantic yellow tarps over the canopies of 25 olive trees. The trees, each 250-300 years old, are Amsterdam’s oldest. They were brought here in 2010 from central… Read more »

Ghost writer revisits her own amazing Holocaust survival story in Amsterdam

During World War II, Miriam Dubi-Gazan registered falsely as the daughter of a Nazi collaborator without his knowledge. (Courtesy of Dubi-Gazan)

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — As a seasoned ghost writer who specializes in biographies, Miriam Dubi-Gazan says there is no such thing as a boring life story. Her attention to detail, creativity and editing skills yield satisfying results even for clients whose resumes are not exactly the stuff of spy novels… Read more »

Europe’s only Jewish hospice gives Holocaust survivors a dignified farewell

Henny Goudeketing, left, and Anne van de Geest at the main hall of the Immanuel Jewish hospice in Amsterdam, Nov. 1, 2017. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — Henny Goudeketting, a 95-year-old Holocaust survivor, is ailing and preparing to leave the world. Goudeketting, who was sterilized in Nazi medical experiments at Auschwitz, has neither children nor other relatives to care for her. Now, after multiple infections and recurrent falls, she’s readying to say goodbye.… Read more »

Alfred Havas

Alfred Paul “Fred” Havas, 71, died Oct. 15, 2017. Mr. Havas was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. His family immigrated to the United States and settled in Ogden, Utah. Mr. Havas, who spoke seven languages, spent time studying and working in Israel, but returned to Ogden and took over… Read more »

How Hanukkah sufganiyot became a national treat in the Netherlands

A stall selling oliebollen in Delft, the Netherlands, in 2015. (Gerard Stolk/Flickr)

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — Though they are considered a caloric hazard in Israel, sufganiyot are a rare Hanukkah treat for many Jews in Europe. When the holiday arrives, some Jewish communities in Russia, Ukraine and beyond arrange special community bakes. This keeps schools and kindergartens in supply of the jam-filled… Read more »

Some fear refugee center planned for Amsterdam’s Jewish heart

Dutch rabbis in the Amsterdam suburb of Buitenveldert, the site of a planned center to house migrants from the Middle East. (David Serphos)

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — In Buitenveldert, a quiet residential area of the Dutch capital, special forces soldiers are watching over a Jewish school from inside unmarked cars. About half of the Netherlands’ 40,000 Jews live here and in the adjacent suburb of Amstelveen, the only areas of the country with a… Read more »

Imagining if Anne Frank had lived to tell her story

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — At a Paris café after the war, a young publisher is quickly falling in love with an adorable Jewish author he just met as she discusses her still-unpublished book. It is an intensely private account based on a personal diary that recounts her amazing survival of… Read more »

At new Anne Frank theater in Amsterdam, tragedy and fancy dinners

"ANNE" co-writers Leon de Winter and Jessica Durlacher stant outside the Amsterdam theater that is being built as a venue for their play on March 12, 2014. (Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA)

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — To millions worldwide, she is a symbol of heroism and a haunting reminder of the dangers of discrimination. But for one Dutch entertainment firm, Anne Frank is a brand name powerful enough to merit millions of dollars of investment. Last week, the Amsterdam-based production company Imagine… Read more »

20 years on, El Al crash in Amsterdam still spawns conspiracy theories

Rabbi Raphael Evers speaking with spectators at the commemoration ceremony on the 20th anniversary of the crash of an El Al plane in Amsterdam, Oct. 4, 2012. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — Chemical weapons, nuclear debris and Mossad agents in biohazard suits all have played prominent roles in the dozens of conspiracy theories surrounding the crash of an El Al airplane here 20 years ago this month. But Rob Oudkerk, vice chairman of the Dutch parliament’s inquiry into… Read more »

New Dutch translation of Talmud a tribute to Friesland’s nearly vanished Jews

Frisians in traditional garb celebrating Fisherman's Day in Harlingen, Aug. 31, 2012. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

LEEUWARDEN, Netherlands (JTA) – When Jacob Nathan de Leeuwe found himself returning nearly two decades ago from his home in a suburb of Amsterdam to this isolated idyll he calls “the end of the world,” it undoubtedly was the pull of his roots. De Leeuwe’s family had lived in… Read more »

Eichmann trial anniversary brings prosecutor to face lost childhood

Justice Gabriel Bach, the prosecutor in the trial of Adolf Eichmann, in front of the Vossius Gymnasium in amsterdam. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — Gabriel Bach knew he was Jewish and that the Nazis were a serious threat, but at 13, leaving his new school and home in Amsterdam proved heartwrenching. What if, the boy wondered, he could stay just a few more weeks to finish the academic year? Bach… Read more »