International Jewish Center – IJC Brussels
The IJC welcomes all Jews regardless of their origins, as well as interfaith families, traditional and non-traditional families, to celebrate together Jewish faith and heritage.
Back in 2003 a group of six Jewish families launched Belgium’s first English-speaking Liberal Jewish community. Since then, the IJC has expanded into a thriving and active community of more than 100 full-time members.
Brussels is a multicultural and international city. About half the members were born in Belgium and the other half are from all over the world, from Sweden to Argentina, posted or settled permanently in the capital of the European Union.
New members are welcome. The IJC supports LGBTQIA+ members and gender equality. The community is vibrant and growing. The common foundation is the English language and a belief in a liberal interpretation of Judaism, mixing tradition with modernity.
Hebrew School :
The IJC’s Hebrew School aims to strengthen our children’s Jewish identity and create informed Jewish citizens. Classes range from toddlers to B’nai Mitzvah.
The IJC welcomes children and their families from a range of Jewish cultures and beliefs, including children of interfaith couples. While the primary language of instruction is English, the majority of our students and teachers are multilingual. All children, regardless of English ability and prior instruction in Jewish studies, are welcome.
The curriculum includes Hebrew language, religious holidays and traditions, prayer, and the modern Jewish experience. Crafts and songs are emphasised for youngsters. Teenagers prepare for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah.
Adult Education :
The IJC offers opportunities for adults to learn more about Judaism.
Torah Breakfasts are held on Saturday mornings at 9 am before morning services.
Sunday Lectures: The IJC is not just about religion; the lectures offer a range of secular topics, often with a Jewish theme.
Shiurim: Offered on various topics throughout the year by the rabbi and other guests.
Leyning: IJC members are encouraged to chant the Torah at services. If you want to learn, or already can leyn and would like to read a Torah portion, let us know.
Hebrew Learning: Classes are offered at various levels from beginner to advanced.
Lifecycle Events :
- B’nai Mitzvah
While IJC recognizes descent from either a Jewish mother or father, some will wish to confirm their Jewish status. Others will embrace Judaism without Jewish ancestry.
An intensive conversion programme runs eighteen months is proposed. Entry into the conversion programme is at the rabbi’s discretion. It is preceded by an initial period (minimum six months) of introduction into the IJC.