The Doopsgezinde Jongerenbond (Dutch Mennonite Youth Union), was established in 1926. After the Vereeniging voor Gemeentedagen van Doopsgezinden had been founded in 1917 it soon took care of the young members of the church, for whom special Jonge-Leden-dagen (Young members meetings) were organized. In the course of time in many a congregation a Jongerenkring (youth circle) arose, and to promote mutual contact between those circles a general youth secretariat was founded, of which Gerrit Honig of Zaandam soon became the life and soul. In 1924, when the Friese Doopsgezinde Jongeren Bond (Frisian Mennonite Youth Union) was founded in Friesland, the young members of the church all over the country wanted to have a central organization, of which all young Mennonites would be members. This general Union was founded in 1926. Among the founders were Gerrit Honig, mentioned before, and the (later) Mennonite minister, Miss Aafke Leistra, then living at Grouw. During the first years the Youth Union was conducted by the Vereeniging voor Gemeentedagen, but on 9 April 1928 it became an independent association. All young Mennonites from 18 to 35 years and also sympathizing non-Mennonites could be members (in many congregations, however, only those from 18 to about 25 were engaged in the youth circles). From 1928 on the DJB was not a kind of organization conducted by church leaders, as it is often the case in other countries, but a self-conducted movement; it has a board of about ten members, being all representatives of the youth circles of all parts of the Netherlands.
The first secretary of the DJB was Gerrit Honig. P. Vis, then minister of the congregation of Arnhem, who had also been a founder of the Frisian Youth Union, was the first president of the DJB. It is not exactly known how large the membership was when the DJB was founded. It might have been about 600, spread over 39 congregational youth groups. On 1 January 1939 the membership numbered about 1,500 (in 78 groups); it reached its peak in 1944 with 2,250 members, spread over 94 groups. Since then it has decreased. In 1953 there were about 1,200 members in 75 groups. In 1932 the DJB and the Frisian Youth Union merged.
In the course of time many activities were promoted. The most outstanding activity was the yearly general youth meeting, held in June in the brotherhood home at Elspeet. Here sometimes 250 young men and women assembled. In former years the meeting was so large that two general meetings had to be held, one in June, the other in August, both at Elspeet. Besides these general meetings, provincial youth meetings were held in Friesland, Groningen, North Holland, etc. The DJB also organized youth camps: in 1954 three camps were held in Holland, and seven in Germany and Austria (total number of participants: 300). In 1937 the Union arranged a trip to the Mennonites of Danzig, Prussia, and Poland. The next years' trips were made to England and to the Alsatian Mennonites.
For several years the announcements of the DJB were published in the Brieven of the Vereeniging voor Gemeentedagen, but in 1935 they acquired their own monthly De Hoeksteen (the cornerstone). In 1946 the DJB published the Menno-Bundel, an informational booklet of 80 pages.
De Hoeksteen, 1935-.
Onze eerste tien jaren, tenth anniversary booklet of the Vereeniging voor Gemeentedagen. Wolvega, 1927: 37-41.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 88. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Doopsgezinde Jongerenbond ." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 20 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/doopsgezinde_jongerenbond.
APA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1956). Doopsgezinde Jongerenbond . Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/doopsgezinde_jongerenbond.