Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Diverse and Divided: Who Are the Jews of Belgium?

Belgium's 40,000 Jews split between Brussels and Antwerp, two communities so separated that couples from those ares consider their union a mixed one.

By Cnaan Liphshiz  for Haaretz

JTA - Reflecting the history of their complicated bi-national country, the Jews of Belgium form a community that is both defined and divided by its diversity.

A tale of two cities

Brussels, the capital of the federal Belgian state (population 11 million), and Antwerp, the center of one of the world’s biggest diamond markets, are the two poles of Belgian Jewry.
The two communities progressed on parallel tracks after Belgium’s creation in 1830 on land taken from the Netherlands in the north and France to the south. The country’s two communities are so separated by language and worldview that some Jewish couples from those areas consider their union a mixed one.

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