Inter Community Connections

Over the weekend January 12th – 14th we were delighted to welcome Board Members from sister Progressive Synagogues in Brussels

Photograph by Maurice Hoffman

The visit was organised by Michael Reik, who writes:

I had received a request from the then President of the Beth Hillel Synagogue In Brussels,Gilbert Leaderman,early in the Autumn as to how it worked with two Synagogues separately operating in the same building. He was asking me as part of the European Union of Progressive Judaism(EUPJ).  This was because the two Belgian (Brussels) Synagogues were intending to do the same early in January.

So we arranged for Steve Brummel (President of IJC) and David Weis (Admin Manager of Beth Hillel) to start their weekend by attending our Friday night service and then having dinner kindly provided by the Daniel Brown family.

I took Steve and David to our three services on the Shabbat morning; They were especially impressed by the Shabbat Shira service I think with a view to including in their own.

Following the excellent kiddish provided by Caroline Chadwick for her 60th Birthday Steve and David were taken to Rabbi Kathleen for a superb lunch with family.

David then went his separate way up to the West End while Gill and I looked after Steve for an evening meal and a visit to Pinner Jazz, which we all enjoyed.

The following morning Steve visited Hamakom where he was especially impressed by the post Bar/ Bat Mitzvah classes.

All in all our guests enjoyed our company and we theirs and learnt a lot of how we operate together.

This inter European Community Connections can only benefit us all


We received the following Thank You email from Steve:

Dear Michael,

I want to than you and the Mosaic communities for the warm welcome David and I received this past weekend. When I received your invitation in November to come for a weekend and observe the Mosaic shuls in action, I liked the thoughtfulness and timeliness behind the gesture.  When we made our trek to Harrow, I was impressed by the generous reception and eagerness to share Mosaic’s experience with David and me as our own shuls start cohabitation in Brussels.

I can say I learned a lot in our short stay and will be reporting to my IJC Board.  I will note to them your informal list of do’s and don’t’s for smoother cohabitation. I will cite how the number of activities have mushroomed and produced synergies. I was impressed that 4 shuls have merged their schools into HaMakom and will ask IJC to consider arranging its Hebrew School so that Beth Hillel (French-speaking)  families might be able to participate.  Please convey my gratitude to all at the Reform and Liberal shuls as well as the teachers at HaMakom who helped make this visit so pleasant and  useful.

I hope to see you in Prague in April.

Very best regards,


January 17, 2018