This is the season of new beginnings. The new academic year started, autumn has begun and we celebrated the beginning of the Jewish New Year as well as Simchat Torah where we started reading the Torah again from the beginning. It also a new beginning for the IJC. As of January, we will be housed in our new home, sharing facilities with our sister community, Beth Hillel.
We are excited about the synergies of having two progressive Jewish Communities sharing one location. It's a great opportunity for us to be in a purpose-built synagogue building with classrooms and a sanctuary that is our own. We have the benefit of sharing space with another Jewish community and working side-by-side with them. We can also securely advertise our location making us easier to find and join. The building in Forest is also readily accessible by public transportation and will afford us the opportunity to hold programs without additional cost outside of service times.
Of course it will require some work on our part to move from our current location to our shared building with Beth Hillel. If you can help with the move please contact George Perlov at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in touch with you. We also want to make sure that people are aware that the IJC will continue to be the open, welcoming, progressive Jewish home it has always been in the new space it will occupy side by side with Beth Hillel. I hope that you are as excited as I am about this new beginning and will join me, the Board and our other volunteers in making this a smooth easy transition for our IJC community and Beth Hillel.
I want to share with you the exciting news about one other new beginning. Starting October, the European Union for Progressive Judaism (EUPJ) is opening a representation office to the EU. IJC member Bill Echikson will be the European Union Office (EUO) Director and I will be the Rabbinic Director.
The objective of the office is to ensure that the EU is aware of Progressive Judaism, that a Progressive Jewish voice is heard on issues that impact the Jewish community and on issues where we should have a moral voice. In addition, the EUO will represent the needs of our communities to the EU and will ask communities to generate support for Union-wide initiatives. The EUO will also work closely with the Progressive movement’s European Rabbinic Association. The EUPJ, of which the IJC is a member, is the umbrella organisation linking and supporting more than 170 Liberal, Progressive and Reform Jewish communities in 17 European countries, with new communities regularly seeking membership. It is part of the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ), the largest movement of affiliated Jews in the world with 1.8 million members. The existence of the EUO owes much to the efforts of some of our members who have been working with the EUPJ to take this step. They and the EUPJ leadership have our thanks for making this a reality.
We have a lot to look forward to and many wonderful opportunities ahead of us.