Rob Snijders (Rotterdam, 1959) used to be a teacher on a primary school in Amsterdam. In 2005, initiated by a project on the Jewish history of the school, he started the website www.joodsamsterdam.nl, which has now over 1600 pages on Jewish history, culture, persons and locations in Amsterdam. Two years later this was followed by www.joodserfgoedrotterdam.nl, a similar website for Rotterdam. Six years ago Rob decided to stop working as a teacher and he went to the University of Amsterdam. He received his master in history in 2020 and is currently finishing a second master on Jewish Studies. Rob was the co-author of several books, mostly connected to the Jewish history of Rotterdam and was one of the historians during two episodes of ‘Who do you think you are? (Verborgen Verleden) and one episode of Verborgen Verleden van Nederland – Rotterdam. Rob lives in Holysloot, a rural village close to Amsterdam.

Jewish education in Amsterdam between 1796 and 1817. Lernen between civic emancipation and the ban on Yiddish.

On September 2, 1796, during the French occupation of the Low Countries, the Dutch Jews were given full civic rights. Nearly 200 years after the first Jews came to Amsterdam they were not longer seen as a separate entity, but as Jewish citizens. In 1817 King William I signed a decree in which Yiddish was banned in synagogues and schools. The equal rights and duties for Jews did not mean they were allowed to use their mother tongue, but the emancipation was also seen as acculturation. Jews were allowed to be Jews, as long as they behaved, in social life, as Dutch. Did the decree of 1817 came overnight – or was it preceded by important events? And, did Yiddish really disappear? In this session you will hear more about this important time period of 21 years with lots of political changes, both outside the Jewish context as within.