Lost & Found: The Brummel House

By Steve Brummel

Something strange happened when, in the 1970s, I went looking for long lost family members in what was then Czechoslovakia.   I uncovered surprising connections between my Brummel relatives, Jewish support for the avantgarde arts in the early 20th Century and one of the major founders of the Modern architecture movement, Adolf Loos.  I discovered an architectural treasure designed by Adolf Loos for the Brummel family in Pilsen in 1928.  But by the time I found it in 1977 the Communist city authorities were on the verge of demolishing it.

 

Read more: Lost & Found: The Brummel House

Profile of EUPJ Brussels Office

By William Echikson

The IJC is a member of the EUPJ (European Union of Progressive Judaism), which is the umbrella organization for progressive Jewish synagogues in Europe. In November 2018 I opened the EUPJ Brussels office. 

The EUPJ fights for equality for Progressive Judaism in Europe, makes sure that our Progressive Jewish voice is heard in the corridors of European power, and aims to win European funding for projects. The EU represents our natural ally. It emerged from the ashes of the Shoah as a response to the anti-semitic and racist Nazi nationalism, embodying a commitment to tolerance and protection of minorities.

 

Read more: Profile of EUPJ Brussels Office

Eric Mark Remembered by So Many

Eric Mark was a beloved and respected figure within the IJC.  He was very warm and hospitable. He had a generous and compassionate heart.  Eric - along with Miriam - were always delighted to participate in shul activities.  Indeed, they were very active IJC members and they gave so much by being present. Eric passed away on November 7 at the age of 98.

There have been many tributes.  Here you can find Steve Brummel’s speech on behalf of the IJC at his funeral

Here is the obituary from The Times

The Daily Express

and

The Times of Israel  - written by Bill Echikson

A Holocaust Survivor Lifts Neighbours in Dark Times

Simon Gronowski was profiled recently in the New York Times. He has spoken to IJC about his experiences during World War II in Belgium when he escaped from a cattle wagon on the deadly route from Mechelen, where Belgian Jews were rounded up, to Auschwitz. He spent many months hidden in the attics of Catholic families until Belgium was liberated. In this article he talks about drawing on those memories to encourage others during the Covid confinement and the role of music in his life.

IJC Chanukah Every Night Online

You don’t have to celebrate Chanukah alone this year. While we cannot meet in person, we can meet and light candles together online. So the IJC will hold a Chanukah candle lighting ceremony online via Zoom every night of Chanukah. Each of the eight nights will be hosted by a different family/member – both current members and former members living far away.

Chanukah begins on Dec 10. Evening ceremonies will start at 19:00 CET and last 15 minutes (except the night of the Chanukah Party December 12 - which will last 18:00-19.00 CET). 

The Chanukah Party on Saturday Dec 12 will be hosted by Rabbinical Intern Brian and will combine Chanukah with the end of Shabbat (Havdalah). There will be candle lighting, our favourite Chanukah songs, Chanukah story-telling especially for children and online dreidel games (for adults and children).

Questions and information about access should be directed to info@ijc.be

Let’s curse the darkness and the pandemic by coming together for a few minutes each and every Chanukah night to celebrate the Maccabee triumph over oppression 2200 years ago.

We look forward to seeing you!

IJC Hebrew School Update

The IJC is working hard to develop the best strategy for Hebrew School during the pandemic. With this second lockdown, we have moved all classes online. 

The Bar Mitzvah class has easily transitioned to meeting on Zoom. Maayan S. organizes the class so that it meets for one hour of Hebrew and then for another hour of Judaic studies. This week they discussed the objects in a synagogue.

Kita Bet has successfully met via Zoom. This week they discussed life cycles. Sarah L. had parents prepare a jar and they grew a plant. Sweet!

Kita Aleph is still in development. Hadar has some terrific ideas and is preparing some videos and activities to keep our youngest group connected. There will be stories and crafts for parents to share with their kids.

Thank you for your patience!

Lisa Kelman

Virtual High Holy Days a Huge Success

We asked members how they experienced the virtual services; and we ask Anneke how it felt from the Bimah… here is what you said:

 

Read more: Virtual High Holy Days a Huge Success