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An Eventful Summer Break

During this scorching summer, I hope most of us were able to head off on holiday. I have spent most of my time in my native Finland, enjoying beautiful weather, saunas, and dips in our crisp, clear lake and berry picking. But I also was happy to see how our community continues to thrive, even during this “slow” period.

Our new website,, is live. Thanks to Jeremy Bas for an amazing job designing and coding. Thanks to Rabbi Brian for helping organize and write the texts. And thanks to Diana Kanter for her amazing editing.The new site reflects our community - open, modern, and attractive.

Another exciting development is the revamp of our Hebrew School. There’s a new curriculum, new teachers - and a new meeting time on Sunday mornings plus a couple of afternoons too for High Holiday preparations. The changes are designed to attract new students and families.

While we held a couple of Kabbalat Shabbat services and Cafe Klatsches online over the summer, we also hosted two wonderful in-person barbecue Shabbats, one in Ghent, and the other in Brussels. Both were great successes. Thanks to Maria and Chantal who hosted - and to the chefs who prepared feasts. Peter’s marinated and barbecued salmon reportedly outdid my favorite Finnish smoked fish!

High Holidays are approaching. We’re preparing. Please volunteer. We need help to prepare the services, move materials and do much, much more. I look forward to our new year together building our community even further and perhaps seeing all of you soon at our September Welcome Back Shabbat. Until then, enjoy the late summer sunshine.

Anu Ristola

President IJC


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