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Meeting Our Brussels Neighbors

15 3 1
30.11.2021

The International Jewish Centre synagogue in Brussels resembles a fortress. Its facade is a windowless concrete wall. The front door is so forbidding and thick that it seems designed to withstand a tank attack. Guests must send in their personal details 10 days in advance and guards check their details before allowing them to enter. Anyone with an Arab or Muslim name is automatically rejected.

In an effort to break down these high walls, the IJC recently launched the inaugural Belgian version of the innovative Know Your Neighbor program. Supported by HIAS, the program recently hosted more than 60 students from a local tourism school. None had ever visited a synagogue. Most have never met a Jew. All arrived with many questions.

“Are all Jews rich?”

“What does kosher mean?”

“Why do Jews oppress Palestinians?”

“What is a kipa?”

“Do Jews believe in the devil?

Know Your Neighbor takes an innovative approach to provide answers. Forget theological heavy introductions to Judaism, most often attempting........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)


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