Israëlitische Gemeenschap van Antwerpen - Shomre Hadas

  • Jewish Community of Antwerpen - Shomre Hadas
  • Communauté Israélite d'Anvers - Shomre Hadas
  • Shomre Hadas


Terliststraat 35


+32 3 232 01 87


+32 3 226 31 23


The Shomre Hadas or Israelite Community Shomré Hadat is the largest of three Orthodox Jewish communities in Antwerp, and is slightly more modern than the Charismatic community Machsike Hadas. The words Shomre Hadas (pronounced Shomree Haddas) are Hebrew (שומרי הדת), and mean "Guardians of the Faith". In standard Hebrew, it is pronounced Shomree Hadat.

The Orthodox Jewish community Shomre Hadas (‘guardians of the faith’) was created in 1920. Initially it was led by rabbi M.A. Amiel; after his nomination as Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv (1936) he was succeeded by Samuel Brodt. In 1931 Shomre Hadas merged with the Israëlitische Gemeente van Antwerpen (also known as the ‘Dutch community’) which was already recognised in 1816. In practice (and to this day) the name Shomre Hadas is commonly used instead of the more general Israëlitische Gemeente van Antwerpen. Before the war, the community had around 3,170 members. Around the community a series of religious institutions and infrastructure developed, such as ritual baths, yeshivas, smaller places of worship affiliated with the community, etc.

The community was also the founder and driving force behind the Tachkemoni school (founded in 1920). By the end of the 1930s financial difficulties emerged. The need for resources increased as result of the solidarity with the Jewish refugees from Germany and Austria. The two main Orthodox communities Shomre Hadas and Machsike Hadass regularly clashed, i.a. regarding the supervision on shehitah. The rapprochement sought with Machsike Hadass from 1931 onwards did not lead to any result before the Second World War. After the war there was a certain merger between the two Orthodox communities (known as the Verenigde Israëlitische Gemeenten van Antwerpen), a fusion which lasted until 1958. Since then, Shomre Hadas has once again existed as a separate community.


The first large synagogue in Antwerp, built in an “oriental” style to the plans of the Jewish architect Joseph Hertogs (1861-1930), was inaugurated on Bouwmeestersstraat in 1893. This synagogue is still known as the “Dutch synagogue” because it was built by descendants of Jews who came to Antwerp from Holland in the early 19th century.

In 1929 The Synagogue 'RomiGoldmuntz' on the Van den Nestlei, a creation by the Jewish architect Joseph De Lange, was inaugurated to accommodate the growing community.

Finding Aids, Guides, and Publication

V. Vanden Daelen, Archief Israëlitische Gemeente van Antwerpen Shomre Hadas. Systematische inventaris, Antwerpen, Instituut voor Joodse Studies – Israëlitische Gemeente van Antwerpen Shomre Hadas, 2004.

Conditions of Access

Consultation requires the authorisation of Mr. Jacques Wenger.

Public Areas

Today, Shomre Hadas has two synagogues; the ‘Dutch synagogue’ in the Bouwmeesterstraat (built in 1893) and the Romi-Goldmuntz synagogue on the corner of Van den Nestlei and Oostenstraat (constructed in 1928).


  • Jewish Community of Antwerp website consulted on 15/07/2019

  • Pierre-Alain Tallier (dir.), Gertjan Desmet & Pascale Falek-Alhadeff, Sources pour l'histoire des populations juives et du judaïsme en Belgique/Bronnen voor de geschiedenis van de Joden en het Jodendom in België, 19de-21ste eeuw, Brussel, ARA-AGR/Avant-Propos, 2016, 1,328 p.

  • Yerusha European Jewish Archives Network website, last consulted on 14/10/2022

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