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Sun 30-11-2014
13th International Symposium on the History of the Jews in the Netherlands

(Dutch) Jewish History through the Prism of the Family


In Jewish History, every new generation is formed, both individually as well as collectively, socially politically and nationally, by the influence of older generations and the particular family constellation in which people find themselves. Family traditions are adopted or rebelled against, consciously or unconsciously. Because of this, important developments in (Dutch) Jewish History relating to religion, politics, emancipation, and gender become visible and tangible in the bosom of the Jewish family.

Day 1: November 30, 2014
Venue: Jewish Historical Museum, Nieuwe Amstelstraat 1, 1011 PL Amsterdam

Day 2 & 3: December 1 & 2, 2014
Venue: Trippenhuis, Kloveniersburgwal 29, 1011 JV Amsterdam


Registration (€15 tot €50) see: REGISTRATION FORM

The conference is intended to present a new perspective on (Dutch) Jewish History through the prism of the family.


The conference is organized by the Menasseh ben Israel Committee for the History and Culture of the Jews in the Netherlands


Partners: Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam; University of Amsterdam; Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences

Sponsors: Stichting Maatschappij tot nut der Israëlieten in Nederland,  Embassy of Israel in the Netherlands


Sunday evening, November 30th, 2014

location Jewish Historical Museum (Nieuwe Amstelstraat 1)




Marcel Möring

The Grammar of Absence

Marcel Möring is a Dutch novelist. His books include Het grote verlangen (1992, AKO Literatuurprijs), In Babylon (1997, Gouden Uil Literatuurprijs), Louteringsberg (2011)


Drs. Robert Vuijsje

The Jewish Family and the History of Kvetching

Robert Vuijsje is a Dutch novelist. His books include Alleen maar nette mensen (2008, Libris literatuurprijs and Gouden Uil Literatuurprijs), In het wild (2011) and Beste vriend (2012)


Discussion led by Dr. Anet Bleich (independent scholar and journalist)

Reception offered by the Jewish Historical Museum


Monday, December 1st, 2014

location KNAW (Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, Trippenhuis, Kloveniersburgwal 29)



Session 1: Religion & Culture

Dr. Tirtsah Levie Bernfeld (independent scholar)

Sephardi Women and Family Life in Early Modern Amsterdam

Prof. dr. Shaul Stampfer (Hebrew University Jerusalem)

Families, Rabbis and Education. Traditional Jewish Society in 19th century Eastern Europe

Drs. Chaya Brasz (independent scholar)

All in the 'Dutch' Jewish Family: Networks, Cultures and Politics

12.15-13.15 lunch*


Session 2: Emancipation & Integration

Prof. dr. Wim Willems (Leiden University)

A Street in Holland. Jewish Family Life (1900-1942). A Website as Research Tool

Drs. Joosje Lakmaker (independent writer and journalist)

Writing about My ‘Non-Jewish’ Grandfather and the Family I Never Knew

Dr. Koen Hilberdink (KNAW)

Repairing the Polak Family. The Mission of Publisher Johan Polak (1928-1992)

15.30-16.00 tea


16.00-18.30 Session 3: Migration & Demography

Prof. dr. Sergio DellaPergola (Hebrew University Jerusalem)

Demography of the Jewish Family: Continuities and Discontinuities

Drs. Erik Schumacher (NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Amsterdam)

Jewish Mass Migration from the Perspective of an Amsterdam Wedding in 1939

Prof. dr. Gerard Wiegers (University of Amsterdam)

The Pallache family and the Conversion of Isaac Pallache to Christianity (1627)


18.30-18.50 Presentation Hartog Beem prize for the best MA thesis written in the Netherlands on a topic related to Jewish Studies


Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

location KNAW (Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, Trippenhuis, Kloveniersburgwal 29)


9.30-11.00 Session 4.1: Shoah I

Prof. dr. Rebecca Boehling (ITS Bad Arolsen / University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

The Jewish Family and the Holocaust: The Post-Shoah Search for Closure and Identity Across Generations

Dr. Nicole Immler (NIOD / University of Humanistic Studies, Utrecht)

Imagining Justice: Compensation Claims Investigated from a Family Memory Perspective


11.00-11.30 coffee


11.30-13.00 Session 4.2: Shoah II

Drs. Jaap Cohen (NIOD / University of Amsterdam)

Sephardic Family History as a Rescue tool. The Case of the d’Oliveiras

Prof. dr. Evelien Gans (NIOD / University of Amsterdam)

Jaap (Laius) and Ischa (Oedipus) Meijer. A Fatal Rivalry Against the Background of the Shoah


13.00-14.00 lunch*


14.00-15.30 Session 5.1: Visualization & Musealization I

Dr. Miri Talmon (Tel Aviv University)

Re(dis)covering the Jewish Family: The Case of Israeli Culture

Dr. Judith Thissen (University of Utrecht)

Paving the Way for ‘The Jazz Singer’: Cinema, Social Mobility and the Commercialization of the High Holidays


15.30-16.00 tea



Session 5.2: Visualization & Musealization II

Prof. dr. Nina Warnke (Vanderbilt University, Nashville TN)

Constructing Family Narratives in Yiddish Actresses' Memoirs

Drs. Harm Stevens (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam)

Wachenheimer (1880-2010): A Jewish Family Inheritance in the Rijksmuseum


17.30-19.00 Reception offered by the KNAW


*Lunch is only available for those who have purchased a lunch voucher at the time of registration. There are many locations serving meals in the vicinity of the venue.