The community was founded in 1995 by Jews with secular and religious backgrounds who wanted to create a welcoming, inspiring and renewed Jewish congregation. Since 1997 Beit Ha’Chidush uses the atmospheric Uilenburger Synagogue (1766) in the former Jewish quarter of Amsterdam. The Uilenburger Shul along with the Portuguese Synagogue is the only historic Amsterdam synagogue still in use in the city center. Since 2005 we have our own rabbi.
We draw from traditional and modern Jewish sources. Our inspiration is found in the Torah, the Talmud and other classical sources as well as in today’s renewal thinkers and groups in Europe, Israel and the United States, including the Reconstructionists, Jewish Renewal, Liberal Judaism in Britain and in Humanistic Judaism. Since its establishment in 1995 Beit Ha’Chidush has been supported by many progressive rabbis in Europe and the United States. It is an associate member of Liberal Judaism and cooperates with the Dutch Union for Progressive Judaism.
We have services at least three times per month for Shabbat and holidays (calendar). We use our own trilingual siddur (Hebrew, English, Dutch), and our own Haggadah (the order of service for the Passover celebration). Visitors praise our informal, warm and cozy atmosphere. Email or call us in advance if you would like to come ( contact page).
Do you have children? They can join Ledor Wador (generations), our Jewish education program for children from 4-12 (education). For adults, we have our adult Bar / Bat mitzvah program and shiurim on Jewish topics. For those who want to become Jewish and be accepted by progressive Jewish communities all over the world we have a giur course. During our cozy Tish (Shabbat celebration led by our Rabbi) at members’ homes, we always discuss a different topic (calendar).
Beit Ha’Chidush is a democratic organization with an elected board and general meetings, where all important decisions are submitted to the members. Beit Ha’Chidush is participatory: Members are encouraged to actively participate in all activities and develop their own initiatives.