“The IJC has been a vital part of our lives since arriving in Brussels three years ago,” says member Paul Cohen. At a time when “one’s Jewish identity cannot be taken for granted in a country where Jews are a tiny percentage of the overall population”, the IJC gives a real sense of community to Paul, Jessica and their boys Gabriel and Theo. So Paul decided it was time to give back – and join the Board as the Hebrew School representative.
IJC member Daniel Kogut will start hosting a weekly broadcast of Brazilian music on Radio Judaica on Tuesdays at 8pm. Called ‘Soirées Brésiliennes’, the first show will air August 30.
On 17 May, the Flemish Brabant group Leonardo LGBT organized the seminar ‘Homosexuality and religion, irreconcilable?’, an activity to mark International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHO). During the event, held in Leuven, representatives from the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Roman Catholic communities discussed this controversial topic from a theological and societal point of view.
The first IJC Shavuot Retreat was a real success.
The atmosphere was as warm as the weather, the positive energy as great as the location,the outdoor services as inspirational as the study sessions and the food, well the food, …there are no words for the food!!
A special thank you to Rav Ira, Veronika, Brian and Andres for leading us in study and dance!
We are nearly at the end of the ritual journey from Egypt to Mount Sinai. There is a Jewish tradition to count the seven weeks that lie between the Exodus (Passover) and when God gave us the Torah on Mount Sinai (Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks). It is a journey of transformation from slavery to nationhood, from being subjects to becoming responsible in a reciprocal covenantal relationship.
The end of the academic year, the IJC holds its traditional “Farewell Shabbat”. This took place the last weekend of May. The IJC is a synagogue community serving, for the most part, an international, ex-pat community. And by its very nature, the IJC receives new members each year and sees others leave for destinations all around the world. Though members anticipate these predictable and regular departures, it doesn't make them any easier.
BaLaGan’s is an organization for LGBT Jews in and around Brussels. Established only six months ago, it already has more than 80 members representing over 20 nations. LGBT is an acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. The IJC, together with Beth Hillel, have pledged their support for BaLaGan.