Communauté Israélite de Bruxelles

  • Jewish Community of Brussels
  • CIB

History

An organized and officially recognized Jewish community existed in Brussels as of the early 19th century. Hartog Sommerhausen, a leading Dutch Jew and follower of the great German Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, moved to Brussels in 1817. As the “brains” of the Jewish community, he immediately took things in hand and founded the Jewish Primary School, which the Dutch government honored with the title of “model school.” The capital of Brabant already had two Jewish cemeteries at the time.

In the aftermath of Belgium’s independence (in 1830), the community’s headquarters were established in a rented house. In 1834 the Chief Rabbi Elie Carmoly inaugurated a synagogue in Rue de Bavière (today’s Rue de Dinant). The building became the Maison du Peuple (”House of the People”) in 1886. Some forty-four years later, in 1878, Chief Rabbi Aristide Elie Astruc consecrated the new Main Synagogue of Brussels, in Rue de Régence, just a couple of years after the Jewish Community of Brussels’s official recognition (Royal Decree of February 7, 1876).

Opening Times

Open only by appointment

Sources

  • Jewish Central Consistory of Belgium website consulted on 29/10/2014

    Pierre-Alain Tallier (dir.), Gertjan Desmet & Pascale Falek-Alhadeff, Bronnen voor de geschiedenis van de Joden en het Jodendom in België, 19de-21ste eeuw, Brussel, ARA-AGR/Avant-Propos, 2016, 1328 p.