Holding Havdallah potluck dinners 15 years ago was the basis for founding the IJC. The dinners attracted a large group which demonstrated clearly the need for an English-speaking progressive shul in Brussels. Last weekend, to mark the end of the summer season, the IJC held another Havdallah potluck as a BBQ in the backyard of my home outside Antwerp. Again, we attracted a large number of attendees - over 60 with all age brackets represented.
Brian Doyle is a familiar and welcoming face to all IJC members. He has been a key member of our Religious Affairs Committee since 2011 and on the Board from 2015-18. Brian has led services both at IJC and at Ohel Yachdav in Leuven where he lives with his partner Peter and children Julie 10, and Thibault, 13. Brian is now studying to become a Rabbi and is officially IJC’s Rabbinical Intern as of September 1. Brian talked to newsletter editor Diana Kanter about his journey to Judaism and to the IJC.
On August 25, more than 60 members and friends of IJC came together from all corners of the globe to a small town near Antwerp to conclude the summer recess with Havdallah and a BBQ hosted by IJC’s President Steve Brummel (now in his 10th year!) and his wife Marion. While the weather was on the chilly side, both hosts and guests combined to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Tot Shabbat aims to be a playful, hands-on space for tots and their families to sing, play, cook, and laugh while discovering Jewish themes together. Over 10 sessions, we will explore holidays, Torah stories, costumes, and values. We will kick off on September 1st learning about Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. We will be making shofars, tasting apples and honey, and exploring what is means to be the best version of ourselves. Come join in the fun!
Tisha Be’ Av – the 9th day of the month of Av- is traditionally considered the darkest day of the Jewish calendar, a time set aside to fast and mourn the destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem. The First Temple was destroyed in 586 BCE by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians and the Second Temple in 70 C.E. by Titus and the Roman legions. Down through the centuries, many tragedies have occurred around this day, including the expulsion of Jews from England (1290 C.E.) and Spain (1492 C. E.).
The Quaker Council for European Affairs (QCEA) invites all IJC members to a Quaker House lunch on September 4 on the topic of Truth. Head at the Quaker House, Square Ambiorix 50, it will be an excellent opportunity to reconnect with old and new colleagues after the summer break. The lunch will start at 13.15 followed at by a conversation with introduction by Molly Scott Cato MEP. The event will finish at 15.30.