Late in the previous century the Center for Research of Dutch Jewry in Jerusalem (affiliated with the Hebrew University) decided to revive the genealogical department which had been inactive for many years. 

A first step was the foundation of the Israeli Circle of Dutch Genealogy as a branch of the Center.

Some years later the idea evolved “to go digital”. Ben Noach, who had started volunteering at the department in 1996, envisioned the development of a Dutch Jewish Genealogical Data Base (the DJGB), a many-faceted digital genealogical database of Dutch Jewry to be made public on the Internet.
This was a new idea even for the Center in this early stage of website development.

Starting with the digitalization of the manually constructed family trees in the Center’s library, two projects were added at an early stage:-the Northern Data Base, a project developed by third-party amateur genealogists and the In Memoriam DB of Dutch Holocaust victims developed by the Dutch Wargraves Organization.

Submitters, attracted by the idea, started to add their contributions and the core began to grow.

After a few years, it became obvious that the DJGB could not flourish at the Center, primarily because of the lack of cooperation from its academic council, and in October 2006 it was decided to transfer the DJGB to a separate independent foundation of experienced amateur genealogists: and so Amoetat Akevoth came into being as a non-profit organization registered in Israel.

Since then Akevoth developed into the most extensive genealogical database of Dutch Jewry worldwide.

From the start, it was obvious that without an influx of a younger generation of dedicated and capable volunteers and institutional backing the viability of Akevoth could not be assured. However, despite the many good intentions and years of fruitless efforts, these did not actually materialize.

In the General Meeting of Akevoth in the year 2018 a motion was passed that Akevoth would be voluntarily liquidated in the summer of 2020, after the conservation of the databases has been assured according to a detailed and well-conceived plan.

This archived website, open to the public for unlimited use, is the result of this detailed planning.

Many volunteers, too many to mention by name, have had their share in the development of this huge and unique database, either by practical work or by coming forward with fresh ideas.

As an exception, the webmasters of Akevoth are mentioned by name: the late Nico Creveld, Hans van den Bos and Yossi Beck. Thanks to their creativity and professionalism Akevoth has remained viable and popular for such a long time. Thus, when the closure of its activities became an unavoidable fact, it was possible to conserve all the collected material, family trees, databases, registers, articles etc. without any loss on this archived website, with unlimited access to the public.


The archived collection contains mainly Ashkenazi and only partly Portuguese/Spanish data. The upkeep of the Portuguese cemetery at Ouderkerk a/d Amstel, although included in the Archive with its status on the date of transfer, will be continued by its original proprietors, the Portuguese Amsterdam Community, and can now also be found at their website Beth Haim.

A large space has been allocated for the collection of family trees, and historical-demographical Regional Databases, which are also connected to Jewish families of Dutch origin.

Historically, a large number of genealogical and historical-literary registrations, going back to the 17th century, have been saved in the Netherlands. 

These special circumstances offered Akevoth the possibility to map out the history of Dutch Jewry as extensively as possible.

Therefore, the sources of the archive also contain registrations of births, circumcisions, deaths, funerals and marriages (including those conducted in synagogues), as well as the results of censuses and permits for market stands in Amsterdam, among others.

Part of the displayed material is the contribution of private historians and genealogists whose research, when they met the criteria of the foundation, was submitted to Akevoth for publishing.

The activities of Akevoth were solely executed by devoted volunteers based in Israel, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the USA.

Contact between these co-operators was maintained by means of the Internet. A virtual office in Israel managed the secretariat. 

The archive shows under the submenu “In Memoriam” – composed by the Foundation for War Graves in The Hague - the list of the Dutch-Jewish victims, who perished during WW II and have no graves at all or the locations of whose graves are unknown. A second database of deceased whose burial locations are known, was added at a later stage.

Not included in the archive, is an extensive project, to be found on: http://www.stenenarchief.nl.   

This project concerns the digitalization of the remaining gravestones in all Jewish (Ashkenazi) cemeteries in the Netherlands. The project was initiated by Akevoth at the beginning of 2008 and planned to stretch over years to come and has been carried out by a special team.

The project is continued by a new organization in the Netherlands, Stichting Stenen Archief, and the section of the Akevoth team that contributed to this project will continue to do so with the new proprietors. The Stichting Stenen Archief developed a new website with the same Internet address. The databases were transferred on 1 February 2020.

The project is intended to be a possible source for further research, as well as being a memorial.

The Tryptich section is meant to serve genealogical research with auxiliary material. It is composed of three parts: kehilloth (communities), famous persons, and well- known Dutch Jewish institutions, now extinct.

Apart from its Internet activities, Akevoth had a genealogical library conserving a wide spectrum of original genealogical material. This library has been donated to the National Library of Israel, after extensive cataloguing.

The archive website's interface language is in English, but material originally submitted in Dutch, is kept in the original and has not been translated.

(Written by: Ben Noach, Yossi Beck & Sara and Tony Kirby)