Tony Gardner’s special journey

IJC alumnus and diplomat Tony Gardner is the subject of an in-depth article in the UK’s Jewish Chronicle. He never had a bar mitzvah, but he recently closed the gap with his Jewish heritage in his mother’s home town of Venice. 


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Purim Masquerade Ball March 3

IJC members Anya Topolski and Lisa Kelman are organizing a Purim Ball in Brussels to raise money for Our House Project, a local organization providing support to Refugees.  They are inviting several local Jewish organizations, including of course IJC members and friends.  Please support this fun event! Register at 


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IJC’s Student Rabbi – Brian Doyle

People do strange things when they turn a decade.  I moved to Belgium when I was thirty, met my life-partner when I was forty, became Belgian when I was fifty, and when I turned sixty last year I applied to Abraham Geiger College in Berlin to train to become a rabbi! 

Some said: ‘You must be out of your mind!  Shouldn’t you be coasting toward retirement?’ – and maybe they were right – but others said: ‘This is logical for you! It’s the next step. You’ll be a great rabbi.’


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Join Beth Hillel’s Ulpan classes

Would you like to discover Ivrit and learn to read, write and speak it?  Beth Hillel has started weekly Ulpan classes on Monday evenings 19h-21h with our former Hebrew School teacher and musician extraordinaire Maayan Smith. All levels are welcome! 


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Visiting the "Falashas" of Ethiopia

Peter Oliver writes -- “A little known fact is that some 9,000 Jews (who prefer to be known as Beta Israel, as the term “Falasha” is derogatory) still live in Ethiopia.  The majority live in Gondar, a former royal capital in the northern Amhara region, while some are based in Addis Ababa. 

In the 1980s and 1990s, most were air-lifted to Israel, where their community numbers some 135,000 today.  Those who remain in Ethiopia (the “Falasha mura”) are descended from Jews who converted to Christianity under duress, but they have now reverted to Judaism. 


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Gilly Weinstein on leaving IJC

Gilly Weinstein and her husband John Weissberg were honored at IJC’s services January 6. Here are extracts from Gilly’s very moving speech:  

“I won’t regale you with all the profound, meaningful and colorful moments we have lived through while at the IJC, but I feel like sharing a few highlights, if you’ll indulge me.


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International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2018 in Brussels

US Holocaust Memorial Museum with European Parliament’s Parlamentarium hosts exhibition: State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda - January 25 to May 13.

“Propaganda is a truly terrible weapon in the hands of an expert.” —Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1924 

Brussels — The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, in conjunction with the European Parliament’s Parlamentarium museum*, is marking the 2018 International Day of Commemoration under the theme “Propaganda and the Holocaust: From Words to Genocide.”

For this occasion, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is opening an exhibition on Nazi propaganda. Entitled State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda, it encourages visitors to reflect on the ongoing dangers of propaganda - especially today when many of the techniques and messages developed by the Nazis are being recycled and reused by extremist groups promoting violence and hatred.

The exhibition opens on January 25 and will run until May 13. Exhibition texts in German, French and Dutch are available. The Kazerne Dossin museum in Mechelen, Belgium, is organizing guided tours in four languages.

“While the Nazis are gone, the deadly potential of propaganda lives on,” U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum director Sara Bloomfield said. “It is even more dangerous in this interconnected world, when heinous content can be disseminated and consulted anywhere anytime. We need to learn the lessons of the past, to strengthen our collective capacity to respond to violent extremism. “

State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda draws visitors into a rich multimedia environment vividly illustrating the insidious allure of Nazi propaganda.

“Adolf Hitler was an avid student of propaganda and borrowed techniques from the Allies in World War I, his Socialist and Communist rivals, the Italian Fascist Party, as well as then-contemporary advertising,” says exhibition curator Steven Luckert, who will be in Brussels for the exhibition opening. “Drawing upon these models, he successfully marketed the Nazi Party, its ideology, and himself to the German people.”

The Museum is encouraging visitors to the exhibition in Brussels and globally to consider how they can honor the legacy of the Holocaust to combat hate and antisemitism. Audiences can use #askWHY to share how they will make choices and act to apply these lessons in their lives for a safer future.


*The Parlamentarium is the visitors' centre of the European Parliament and is located in the Parliament's Espace Léopold complex in Brussels at rue Wiertz 60, 1047 Brussels.