The Beth Haim of Ouderkerk aan de Amstel is the oldest Jewish cemetery in the Netherlands. It was purchased for use as a burying ground by the Jewish community of Amsterdam in 1614 and is located in the village of Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, in the countryside near Amsterdam.
In addition to its age, the graveyard is interesting because the tombstones have inscriptions in three languages, Portuguese, Dutch and Hebrew, and because, unusually for a Jewish cemetery, many of the tombstones are carved with elaborate scenes including human figures.
There are two paintings by Jacob van Ruisdael that were inspired by Beth Haim. Although the paintings are usually called in English "The Jewish Cemetery at Ouderkerk", the artist felt free to add picturesque elements, and they therefore do not closely resemble the actual location.
Famous people buried at the Beth Haim include:
- Samuel Pallache (ca. 1550–1616), Moroccan diplomat
- Joseph Pallache (c. 1580 – 1638/1648/1657) merchant and diplomat
- numerous Pallache family (later as "Palache") descendants of brothers Samuel and Joseph Pallache
- Menasseh Ben Israel (1604–1657), rabbi and friend of Rembrandt van Rijn
- Joseph Pardo (ca. 1561–1619), Italian rabbi
- David Pardo (ca. 1591–1657), Dutch rabbi and son of Joseph Pardo
- Eliahu Montalto (1604–1657), personal physician to Maria de Medici
- Joseph Pardo (ca. 1624–1677), English hazzan
- Baruch Spinoza's parents (16th–17th centuries)
- Maup Caransa (1916-2009), real estate developer
The cemetery is open to visitors and is free of charge.
- L. Alvarez Vega, The Beth Haim of Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, 1994
- Beth Haim at Ouderkerk Archived May 16, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- García-Arenal, Mercedes; Wiegers, Gerard (2007). A Man of Three Worlds: Samuel Pallache, a Moroccan Jew in Catholic and Protestant Europe. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
- "Palache, Samuel". Amstel: Dutch Jewry. Archived from the original on 15 September 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
- "Haham Joseph PARDO". 1999. Retrieved 1 Oct 2015.
- "Rabbi/Haham David 'Joseph' PARDO". 1999. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
- "Hazan Joseph 'David' PARDO". 1999. Retrieved 1 Oct 2015.
- Beth Haim Portuguese-Jewish Cemetery, The Netherlands (official website)
- Burial lookup for the Gemeente Amsterdam Portuguese Israelite Congregation burials database