The Center for Research on Dutch Jewry deals with the history, the culture and the traditions of Dutch Jewry. This includes, inter alia, Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews, their social and cultural history, their literature, their philosophy and art, both in the Netherlands and outside of the Netherlands
The general aim of the Center is to stimulate and initiate scientific research on Dutch-Jewish history, in the broadest sense of the word. To realize this, a symposium is organized every three years, alternating between Israel and the Netherlands. In addition, research projects are conducted relating to various subjects, such as the history of the Portuguese Jews in the 17th and the 18th century, oral history, liturgical music, the translation of books and documents into Hebrew, etc. The Center houses a unique book collection, consisting of thousands of books and archives, including periodicals, documents, and audio-visual material. This collection is being expanded continuously, and the catalogue system is being modernized. There are plans to establish an audio-visual department in the near future, which will make pictures and audio material accessible via the internet.
The Center, established in 1968 at the initiative of Dr. Jozeph Michman z"l, became part of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1972. Since that date, the academic activities of the Center are coordinated within the framework of the Ben-Zion Dinur Institute for Research on Jewish History. This is a large research institute for Jewish Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, with the purpose of encouraging research on and publishing about Jewish history in Israel and the Diaspora.
The Center for Research on Dutch Jewry is governed by an Academic Committee, consisting of representatives from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The Center has a supporting organization of Friends of the Center, in Israel as well as in the Netherlands.