New group brings European Day of Jewish Culture to The Hague

(JTA) — The Hague is set to participate for the first time in the European Day of Jewish Culture.

Jewish Heritage The Hague, a nonprofit launched last week, will offer guided tours through Jewish sites in The Hague, some of them dating back to the 17th century and the dawn of Jewish presence in the Dutch political capital.

“Putting The Hague on the map of European Day of Jewish Culture on Sept. 29 will be our first main project,” said Martin Driessen, the group’s chair.

European Day of Jewish Culture started 17 years ago in Strasbourg, France. Jewish institutions threw open their doors for one day a year to welcome visitors for lectures, tours and presentations. The custom has since spread to roughly 30 cities but has not yet been marked in The Hague, which is now home to about 200 Jews. Some 15,000 Jews lived there before the Holocaust.

“The Hague has a very strong tradition when it comes to Jewish heritage, but the problem is you have to go looking for it,” Driessen said. “A lot is gone, a lot got broken and destroyed.”

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