Two days ago, In the United States during Gay Pride month, 49 people were killed and 53 wounded in the Pulse, a gay night club in Orlando, Florida. Our hearts go out to the families of those who were murdered and those injured.
We stand in solidarity with the survivors of this horrific shooting, and the LGBT community that has been faced with so much violence, discrimination and abuse. No one should ever live in fear because of who they are and the peaceful choices they make about how to live their lives. As a community and as human beings we cannot abide the pain and suffering to which people who are LGBT are routinely subjected.
We just celebrated a wonderful warm Pesach seder. Special thanks go to all those who helped make the seder happen and in particular Diane Vermunicht who went above and beyond for us all.
Tu B'Shvat, spring, is in the air. With all the goofy weather it can be hard to tell, but if you look closely, you may soon see buds on the trees, and flowers sprouting. The days are getting longer. We have turned a corner from winter and are heading into spring.
The deadly explosions of March 22 have shaken many of us and torn apart the lives of others who have been wounded or lost friends and loved ones. The shadow cast by these terrible deeds is long and dark. We do not know yet what their influence will be on our lives now and over the longer term.Nor do we know what their impact will be for Brussels, Belgium and the EU.
As I write, countries participating in the UN Climate Conference in Paris have signed an accord. It is cause for celebration that every country agreed to sign on and limit their greenhouse gas emissions so as to hold the global temperature increase to 2⁰ C by the end of the century.
The beginning of 2016 has demonstrated the vitality of the IJC community. Our recent Kabbalat Shabbat in central Brussels doubled the attendance at IJC Friday night services, with new faces joining our regular participants.
A Mazal tov to Eli Wizel and his family on his Bar Mitzvah. It was wonderful to see so many people celebrating Eli’s accomplishments and sharing in the Wizel family’s joy.
Some of you may know the Bob Marley song “By the Rivers of Babylon.” He took a psalm and set it to music.