Over the past 11 years, we members of the International Jewish Center (IJC) have created a magical place. The IJC, the only Liberal/Reform synagogue community in Belgium for the English-speaking community, has been a “home away from home” for its mostly expat membership drawn from more than 20 nationalities.
Our congregation is located in the heart of Europe, in the federal capital of the European Union (EU). It serves principally expats who are drawn to Brussels because the presence of the EU Institutions, other international institutions and multinational companies. The IJC is at the geographic crossroads of Europe. Last year it also came to an institutional crossroads.
For the civil New Year’s Eve on December 31st, the Scots song “Auld Lange Syne” is often sung. We have just finished the 10-day High Holiday period. It began with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Would it have been appropriate to sing Auld Lange Syne?
The IJC is not your average synagogue community. It caters to mostly expats in the Federal Capital of the European Union (EU). Its members come from over 20 different countries from around the world. It is 11 years old and has most of the attributes of a synagogue community.
Coming Together - by Steve Brummel
Why be part of a Jewish synagogue community? Does it prove its worth? These questions have been heard more frequently over the years in Jewish centers in North America and Western European where Jews have been living undisturbed lives in free societies.
Arbeit Macht Frei.
Do we learn from the past? Can we avoid the errors and poisons of the past?
November is weighed down with anniversaries – Armistice Day as we observe the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I and the Nazi Kristallnacht pogrom.
“No, I won’t be there.” Those were the words of my favorite aunt, Great Aunt Ruth now age 102, when I told her I might next be in New York in August. She was not saying she’d be out of town on holiday, rather, she was telling me—matter-of-factly—that she thinks she’ll be dead by then. That is quite final.