The App guides the visitor on a walk along the stories that are connected to the monumental cemetery Beth Haim, House of Life or House of the Living. Beth Haim is the cemetery of the Sephardic Jews who came to Amsterdam in the beginning of the 16th century, mainly from Spain and Portugal . Sefarad means 'Spain' in Hebrew. In the Netherlands, one talks about the Portuguese Jews and the Portuguese Synagogue.
Beth Haim was founded in 1614 and is still in use. Approximately 28,000 people are buried here. The grounds are 4 acres in size. Most of the tombstones are sunken into the peat. The gravestones and monuments that are visible reflect the culture and history of the Portuguese Jews. The stones are sometimes richly decorated, with illustrations and inscriptions, and sometimes simple, with only an inscription. They tell the stories of rich and poor people, of the places they came from and how they lived in this country and in the city of Amsterdam. The parents of philosopher Spinoza, doctor and benefactor Samuel Sarphati, famous rabbi's like Yahacob Sasportas and Levi Morteira, the succesfull entrepreneur Maurits Caransa, the App leads you to their last resting place and tells their story. The stories of individuals are supplemented with general information about for example the Jewish rituals around death and, more specific, the Jewish culture of decorating a grave.