Reading Texts on Jews and Judaism in the Low Countries
In the past scholars tended to present Dutch Jewish history in terms of uniqueness within the Jewish world and progressive movement towards Jewish integration, indeed assimilation, into Dutch society. S.
Seeligman declared in his famous 1923 article that Dutch Jews experienced a separate and exclusive position among diasporic Jewries and coining the situation as Species Hollandia Judaica. Recent
research has demonstrated the limits and weaknesses of this approach. The articles assembled in this volume oscillate between these two approaches and display the multifaceted and occasionally problematic history of Jews in the Low Countries. Thus, they do not present a coherent or new interpretation of Dutch Jewish history, but rather present various angles through which this history can be studied and understood, and further debated.