On May 20th, the IJC held a Welcome Shabbat service for the many new faces who have been popping up at IJC over the past few months. It replaced the annual Farewell Shabbat service normally held in May or June each year to say good-bye to the IJC members moving abroad. This year - surprisingly for an international congregation - none of our current members are leaving.
In addition, a larger influx of newcomers or simply long-time residents are suddenly made the effort to check out our IJC. The Welcome Shabbat, led by Rabbi Ira, was a big success. It demonstrated to all attending the breadth and warmth of our Community.
This is a pleasant change for us. For the past 3 years, events in Belgium and the world at large have forced the IJC to operate in “maintenance mode”. The IJC, in reaction to a range of events, saw greater than normal numbers of our members leaving Belgium and thus the IJC. We spent a lot of time keeping ticking over without much thought to the future. Perhaps the IJC has turned a corner – and we can focus again on the future.
The IJC’s annual general meeting (AGM), taking place on Sunday morning June 25th at our normal location, is just such an opportunity. It looks back to where we have come from, and to the future and where we should be going. We have important issues on the agenda including housing, the Hebrew school and how to promote membership in such a way that new faces actually commit to joining the IJC. I encourage you to attend the AGM to participate in the discussions and ideas for the future. As El Presidente is el hombre del pueblo, we want to hear your views.