The former Jewish District can be found in the heart of Amsterdam. The first Jewish immigrants came from Spain and Portugal, and settled here in 1593. Amsterdam’s Jewish District attracted many Jews from throughout Europe, primarily because of the relative freedom in which they could live here. In the early part of last century, more than 25,000 Jews called Amsterdam home. Since they came from all corners of the world, the District was rich with culture and diversity. But despite the cultural wealth, many Jews lived in abject poverty.
Three beautiful museums, within walking distance of each other, bear witness to the cultural and religious life in the District through the centuries: the Jewish Historical Museum, the Portuguese Synagogue, and the National Holocaust Memorial. Collectively, they comprise the heart of the Jewish Cultural Quarter. With monumental synagogues, the oldest Jewish library in the world (a UNESCO heritage site), the National Holocaust Memorial and a wealth of artifacts, stories and images, the Jewish Cultural Quarter is a remarkable place in Amsterdam, and in the world.
The logo for the Jewish Cultural Quarter is derived from the square patterns found in the architecture of the Great Synagogue (1671), the oldest of the four synagogues in the District and home to the Jewish Historical Museum (JHM). The vertical lines pay homage to the lists of names in the National Holocaust Memorial. The assignment was to develop an iconic brand, without the use of common Jewish symbolism, such as the Star of David or the menorah. It was also important that the logo not compete with the existing logos from the four museums (including the JHM Children’s Museum).