Policy

Management has formulated the following policy starting-points:

  • Strengthening existing cooperation towards increasing the accessibility of the Portuguese synagogue (Esnoga) that is of national and even worldwide significance due to its antiquity, architecture and extent;
  • Through making use of diverse media techniques, illuminating the history of Portuguese Jews, both throughout the world as well as in the Netherlands, and in particular in Amsterdam;
  • Enlarging the visiting and study facilities of the Ets Haim library so that the collections are made more accessible and thereby easier to use. This has only become possible after completion of the recently undertaken restoration.
  • Making the collection of ceremonial objects from the Esnoga more visible for the public;
  • Enlarging, improving and strengthening the Esnoga's public function and infrastructure by inter alia organizing specific events there.

In order to achieve these objectives, the following aspects are essential: 

  • Making full use of the synagogue complex's authenticity, bringing to light its pure and authentic aspects and pride in its past;
  • Emphasizing to the public that the Esnoga is still in use as a prayer-chamber, by strengthening the complex's characteristic qualities but without trying to make a museum out of it;
  • Making more visible and accessible the complex's “secrets,” its “special features” such as the vaults, the roof and the library;
  • Strengthening the building's public function by improving access and ensuring a logical, user-friendly visitor-flow, good provisions and exhibitions, and an open storehouse;
  • Explaining the history of Portuguese-Jewish Amsterdam to the public, whereby emphasis should lie upon that community’s past exemplary integration into local society. Use will be made here of stock presentations and individual exposition, of artifacts, new media and texts. At the same time educational programs for individual visitors will be fashioned, pointing out inter alia cultural, architectural and religious aspects.
  • Exhibiting the relation with the local community, the city and the (inter)national context;
  • Making the Esnoga a component of and integrating it into the “Jewish campus” consisting of the various existing and previous Jewish institutions found in the same area, such as the Jewish Historical Museum (JHM) and the Hollandse Schouwburg (HS). The public should be “taken along” to these various institutions in the area around both synagogue complexes, so that Amsterdam's position as one of the most important Jewish centers in the world comes to light;
  • Further developing the public functions inherent to the complex (as exposition space and forum for educational programs, public events and the use and management of the ceremonial objects);
  • Attaining maximum synergy in substantial, financial, marketing and organizational areas through cooperation with the JHM and the HS.

The Portuguese-Israelite Beth Haim cemetery in Ouderkerk aan de Amstel is maintained technically by the Castro Fund. The CEPIG bears the accompanying financial responsibility. Whether and, if so, when operational responsibility for other activities involving Beth Haim will be transferred to the JHM is something to be decided upon by the CEPIG. The PIG is responsible for that part of Beth Haim (about one-twelfth of its area) where burials still take place. This maintenance has been sustained thanks in part to active support from the Castro Fund and a yearly subsidy from the Ouder-Amstel municipality, which unfortunately lapsed in 2012.