First a Mazel Tov to Keenan Talon-Moses and his family on the wonderful job he did on 22 April. The IJC community can be justly proud of his learning and what he accomplished in the process of studying for his Bar Mitzvah. Also a thank you to Mikael Garellick and all the many other people who helped make our wonderful IJC potluck Seder inspiring and celebratory.
At the end of March, a number of Europe’s Progressive rabbis met in Brussels for the first annual meeting of ERA, the European Union for Progressive Judaism’s Rabbinic Association. It was a productive, collegial gathering at which there was a session on advocacy led by Robin Sclafani, Director of CEJI, a Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe. She opened the session by asking each of us to think about a pet peeve of ours.
My sincere thanks to the IJC family for all its support over the past months. The IJC is an extraordinary community and I regularly feel blessed to be a part of it. You all have my gratitude and appreciation.
Recently, three of our IJC giur, conversion, students went before the Beit Din, the rabbinic board, and were accepted as full members of the Jewish people on 12 February 2017 corresponding to 17 Shevat 5777.
One of the more well-known stories towards the beginning of the Book of Genesis is the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). After the flood, human beings who all speak one shared language, multiply and migrate. They decide to build a city and a tower to make a name for themselves in order not to be scattered across the world.
The UK has just announced that it will stop receiving children under the Dubs amendment to the Immigration Act of 2016, which required the UK to bring unaccompanied refugee children to the UK. While there are other means by which the UK accepts refugees, both children and adults, the ministerial statement by British Home Office is worrying. All the more so in light of past refusal by other EU countries to accept refugees, particularly from the Middle East and Donald Trump’s recent executive order banning refuges, specifically those from certain predominantly Muslim countries.
Hopefully, this summer many of you were able to get away for a bit, take a break from your routine and relax. I know that for me, spending some time in the sun was a great opportunity to recharge my batteries. For a lot of us, the summer is a period of less stress, vacations, time off.