The same spirit that made Amsterdam a center of Jewish life centuries ago makes it a delightful destination today.
There is one connection between the Netherlands’ “coffee shops,” where cannabis is sold legally, and the remarkable Jewish community that used to exist in Amsterdam — the relaxed attitude of openness that dominates this beautiful city.
The historian Simon Schama portrays Amsterdam, where Jews first settled in the 16th century, as an exceptional case of tolerance in an otherwise-hostile Christian Europe. “There was no Amsterdam Ghetto, no yellow badge, horned-hat or lock-up curfew behind gates,” he wrote.
Link to full blog by the Jewish Week: