Portuguese-Israelite synagogue, Heerenstraat 20
Portuguese-Israelite synagogue "Sedek Ve Salom"
The Portuguese-Israelite synagogue "Sedek Ve Salom" was built in 1736. The construction was the result of a segregation between the Portuguese and High German jews in 1724, when the synagogue at the Keizerstraat was assigned to the High German community.
The building was remodelled and extended several times, but not, like the Dutch-Israelite synagogue built anew. That is why it is historically more interesting, although it is by far not as imposing as the other. The synagogue is situated in the centre of a large plot which can be reached from both the Heerenstraat and the Gravenstaat. It is a building of seven bays wide with a double door in the axis of both long sides. The wooden building rests on a low brick substructure with a pavement which encircles the whole building.
In front of the two main entrances there are two semi-round stairs. At the west end, where the entrances to the women’s gallery are situated, there are three steps along the whole side. The large pavillion roof is covered with slate.
The building is divided in three bays separated by two rows of slender octagonal pillars. The central bay has a barrel vault, the side bays a flat ceiling. The women’s gallery is added later and therefore does not rest on pillars, but hangs from the ceiling.
The two jewish communities (Dutch and Portuguese) have dwindled in the course of time. Apart from that, the maintenance of the synagogues posed quite a burden on their shoulders. That is why the synagogue at the Keizerstraat nowadays (2007) is used by both communities for their services and the Portuguese synagogue is leased for commercial purposes.