||Order of ceremonies and liturgies for the dedication of a new synagogue and talmud torah in Rotterdam, city in W. Netherlands. After first trying to attract Marranos from Antwerp in 1604, the city of Rotterdam issued a charter in 1610 which promised various privileges, including complete religious freedom. However, this charter was abolished by the municipality two years later and a large number of those "Portuguese" who had settled meanwhile left for Amsterdam. Nevertheless, a small group remained, opening a synagogue and buying a plot of land to serve as a cemetery. An important reinforcement to the community came in 1647, when the wealthy De Pinto family arrived in Rotterdam and returned to Judaism. That same year the municipality accorded the Jews the same rights as those obtained in Amsterdam. In Abraham de Pinto's house a synagogue and a yeshivah - the "Jesiba de los Pintos" - were opened; head of the yeshivah was Josiah Pardo, who also served as chief rabbi of the community (1648–69). In 1669 the yeshivah was transferred to Amsterdam. From then on it was the De la Penha family, mostly merchants and shipowners, who played the major role in the community, which continued to exist until 1736.
An Ashkenazi community was founded in 1660, at first fostered by the Portuguese community. Its first chief rabbi was Judah Loeb from Vilna (c. 1674–c. 1700). The Ashkenazim were in a difficult economic position; as they were not admitted to the guilds, they were mostly petty traders or dealers in old clothes, or they engaged in one of the few permitted crafts. In addition, they were allowed to sell their merchandise in the market until 1 p.m. only. Nevertheless, their number grew steadily. In 1725 a beautiful synagogue was built, which was destroyed during the German bombing of the city in 1940. Emancipation in 1796 brought important changes, particularly because it put an end to the absolute power of the parnasim in the community. A grave conflict in the community over the powers of the parnasim was settled by the chief rabbi, Levi Hijman from Breslau (1781–1809), who enjoyed great renown as a scholar and was the author of Penei Aryeh. In the 19th century the community flourished, owing to the growth of Rotterdam's port.