The Flemish Opera is currently staging the 1835 French opera “La Juive” composed by Jacques Fromental Halevy. This grand opera, set in the 15th Century, deals with the position of a minority in a theocratic authoritarian state, the lack of tolerance, the fanning of mob hatred and the violent consequences.
It is almost Pesach. IJC will celebrate it with a Community Seder on the First Night (Friday, April 3rd) led by Rabbi Ira. Pesach is the Festival of Freedom, the story of the Exodus from Egypt. It is a festival not intended to be formally celebrated in a shul.
The IJC is not your average synagogue community. It caters to mostly expats in the Federal Capital of the European Union (EU). Its members come from over 20 different countries from around the world. It is 11 years old and has most of the attributes of a synagogue community.
Over the past 11 years, we members of the International Jewish Center (IJC) have created a magical place. The IJC, the only Liberal/Reform synagogue community in Belgium for the English-speaking community, has been a “home away from home” for its mostly expat membership drawn from more than 20 nationalities.
Arbeit Macht Frei.
Do we learn from the past? Can we avoid the errors and poisons of the past?
November is weighed down with anniversaries – Armistice Day as we observe the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I and the Nazi Kristallnacht pogrom.
Our congregation is located in the heart of Europe, in the federal capital of the European Union (EU). It serves principally expats who are drawn to Brussels because the presence of the EU Institutions, other international institutions and multinational companies. The IJC is at the geographic crossroads of Europe. Last year it also came to an institutional crossroads.
For the civil New Year’s Eve on December 31st, the Scots song “Auld Lange Syne” is often sung. We have just finished the 10-day High Holiday period. It began with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Would it have been appropriate to sing Auld Lange Syne?