THE HAGUE (JTA) — The intended king of the Netherlands, Prince Willem-Alexander, officiated at the dedication of the new Jewish cultural quarter in Amsterdam.
Several hundred people attended the dedication ceremony on Tuesday, the 80th anniversary of the establishment of the Dutch Jewish Historical Museum. The museum is one of seven Jewish institutions situated within the square kilometer that constitutes the new Jewish quarter.
“Combining forces and presenting themselves as one Jewish Cultural Quarter has allowed for new possibilities with regard to the collections and monuments,” the Dutch Royal House said in statement. These possibilities include “exhibitions, digitalization, research, education and the holding of public events.”
Besides the museum, the quarter includes the Portuguese Synagogue and its library, Ets Haim; the children’s museum belonging to the Jewish Historical Museum; and the Hollandsche Schouwburg, once a theater house and a dispatch center for Jews during the Holocaust that is now a monument for the tens of thousands of Jews who were deported by the Nazis to their deaths.
Wearing a blue kipah at the event, the prince unveiled a piece of artwork titled “The Fragmented Talit” by Joseph Semah, an Israeli-Dutch artist who was born in Iraq in 1948 and whose grandfather was the last known rabbi to serve the Jewish community of Baghdad.