The Education Act of 1857

The implementation of the Education Act in 1857 initially meant the end of Jewish daytime education. Schools were then obligated to meet new national standards and religious schooling was not subsidised. Jewish children attended public schools. Jewish community teachers provided lessons in Jewish traditions in the afternoons and weekends.


Side view of the former Palache school. Photo: City Archive Amsterdam.

The Kennis en Godsvrucht Association (Knowledge and Godliness)

The act was first adjusted in 1895 and then permanently in 1920, as a result of which it was possible to obtain government support for special forms of education. The association Kennis en Godsvrucht, the aim of which was to found schools at which religious teaching was a standard part of the curriculum, was established by schoolteacher Herman Elte. The Herman Elteschool on the Nieuwe Achtergracht (canal) was the first school to fall under the administration of the association. A Jewish MULO (advanced secondary education) and a Jewish HBS (former Dutch High School), among others, soon followed.


Funeral procession for Chief Rabbi I.J. van Palache, 1926 (Internationaal Persfoto Bureau B.V.)


The Palacheschool on the Lepelkruisstraat (street) was established by the association Kennis en Godsvrucht in 1929. The school was named after the Portuguese-Israeli Chief Rabbi Isaac Palache (1858-1926), who had recently died.


Former Palache school, now converted into apartments. Photo: City Archive Amsterdam.

Central (soup) kitchen

The school did not have a long history. Most of the pupils and their parents were deported during the occupation, after which the school was closed down. The building served as a distribution point of the central soup kitchen during the last winter in wartime. The school was re-opened after the war as the (non-Jewish) Brugmaschool. Various communes now occupy the premises.