The Uilenburger synagogue is a historic monument in the Louis XV-style (rococo). It was originally established in 1766 for the holding of Jewish religious services, and it served as such for nearly 200 years. It is one of the few remaining original buildings constructed on the former island of Uilenburg. Following the Second World War, the building was used for various purposes, and has since been handed over by the Municipality of Amsterdam to the Uilenburgersjoel Foundation. This foundation was set up at the end of 2002 with the aim of giving the Uilenburger synagogue back its Jewish character and making it a social and cultural centre for a variety of Jewish organisations.
The intention is for the Uilenburgersjoel to become a centre for cultural and social activities – such as concerts, exhibitions, presentations, Jewish worship, educational programmes and other events – the purpose of which is to promote and strengthen the well-being of Jewish community in its widest sense. The premises are also suitable for various social and cultural activities for the population of Amsterdam in general, and of Uilenburg in particular. Space will be allocated for use by both regular and occasional users.
The building requires the kind of modernisation which will bring it up to 21st-century standards. This means, among other things, the installation of a lift, which will make the building accessible for less able visitors. The interior will be designed to have a more flexible character and the problems of both the existing and missing staircases will be dealt with.