The Jewish Manifesto

Why a Jewish Manifesto?

The Jewish Manifesto project gives a voice to the lived experiences of Jews in the Netherlands. What do Dutch Jews need to feel safe and free in Dutch society? How do we effectively combat anti-Semitism? And what is needed to give Jewish culture and Jewish life a place in Dutch society? These are the types of questions we hope to address in discussions with hundreds of Jewish people and people with Jewish backgrounds or connections here in the Netherlands. The manifesto will respond all these questions and more.

The Jewish Manifesto has the objective to increase knowledge about Jews and to counter the tendency to reduce Jewish history in the Netherlands to religion, the Holocaust, and the state of Israel. Our history in this country is long and rich and our lives consist of so much more than trauma, war, and pain.

Final discussions in January

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How did the Jewish Manifesto come about?

The Jewish Manifesto is being created together with you: Dutch Jews and Jews living in the Netherlands. Our definition of being Jewish is broad. This means that everyone with a Jewish background is welcome to join, whether you had a Jewish upbringing or not, whether you have one or two Jewish parents, whether you converted to Judaism, or do nothing at all with your Jewish background. We want to include as many voices and perspectives as possible in the manifesto. In order to do this, we organize sessions for the manifesto twice a month that you can sign up to join. We use these conversations about themes and topics that touch on being Jewish in the Netherlands as input for the manifesto. You can sign up for both online sessions via Zoom or face to face meetings. You can sign up for one or more sessions here.

So what will the Jewish Manifesto ultimately be?

The Jewish Manifesto will not be a manifesto in the traditional sense. From all the input we are gathering during our conversations, we will create a text. This text will be structured around different topics and is an invitation for non-Jews to learn about being Jewish in the Netherlands. The text will be surrounded by commentaries and resources that together form a rich and lively conversation around the question: What is it really like to be Jewish in the Netherlands? The Manifesto will be available in the form of an interactive website and will also be made available in print. Keep an eye on this website for updates. 

In order to come up with as rich and representative a Jewish Manifesto as possible, we need your input. So sign up today for one of the talks we are organizing. See you then!

In some of our sessions we discussed the essay by Yael van der Wouden: Het (niet) lezen van Anne Frank – De Gids (NL), also available in English: On Not Reading Anne Frank (EN).

It’s easy to join us. We offer online and face-to-face sessions.

Het Joods Manifest is a project of Oy Vey Amsterdam.

Follow us on instagram: @het_joods_manifest

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P.S. Oh, and if you’re wondering if you’re Jewish enough to participate? Have a look at our handy guide:

Am I Jewish enough to participate?

(The answer is probably yes)

  • I’m not religious… (Jewish enough)
  • I don’t know any other Jews… (Jewish enough)
  • I have a Jewish father or one Jewish grandparent (Jewish enough)
  • I’m a convert to Judaism… (Jewish enough)
  • I know nothing about Jewish stuff… (Jewish enough)
  • I had a BLT sandwich for lunch… (Jewish enough)
  • My specific concern is not on this list and I am super anxious about it!!! (Mazal tov! probably nobody’s more Jewish)

Join the conversation about your experience(s) of being Jewish in the Netherlands! Just scroll on up and fill out the subscribe form and we’ll get right back to you.

And follow us on Instagram! @het_joods_manifest