LIFE IN ANTWERP'S

JEWISH COMMUNITY

Where Jews can celebrate Holy Days, eat Kosher, Mikveh and get Education 

ONE HUNDRED YEARS AFTER ITS ESTABLISHMENT, THE SEPHARDIC KEHILLAH “BETH MOSHE” IS CONSIDERED ONE OF THE MOST PROMINENT IN EUROPE IN GENERAL, AND IN ANTWERP IN PARTICULAR. ITS MEMBERS NUMBER SOME 250 FAMILIES, COMPRISED OF DESCENDANTS OF TURKISH JEWS; ASHKENAZIM WHO LATER JOINED THE KEHILLAH; AND IMMIGRANTS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES, MOST NOTABLY FROM THE MIDDLE EAST. EACH AND EVERY MEMBER CONTRIBUTES IN HIS OR HER OWN SPECIAL WAY TO THE MAKEUP OF THE KEHILLAH.

KOSHER FOOD

& RESTAURANTS

torah-book.png

SEPHARDIC JEWISH

PRACTICE & WORSHIP

four-species.png

JEWISH HOLIDAY

SERIVCES & ACTIVITIES

halakha.png

TORAH

READING & LESSIONS

chicken-facing-left.png

KOSHER MEAT & SH'HITA

 

ONE HUNDRED YEARS AFTER ITS ESTABLISHMENT, THE SEPHARDIC KEHILLAH “BEIT MOSHE” IS CONSIDERED ONE OF THE MOST PROMINENT IN EUROPE AND ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL IN BELGIUM. HEADED BY DISTINGUISHED RABBIS AND DEDICATED LEADERS, IT SERVICES HUNDREDS OF MEMBERS WHO PRAY, LEARN, AND OTHERWISE SERVE HASHEM ACCORDING TO THE TORAH’S DICTATES. TEFILLAH SERVICES AND TORAH LECTURES TAKE PLACE THROUGHOUT THE DAY - THE BEIT KNESSET IS NEVER EMPTY. AT THE RAV’S HOME, REGULAR LECTURES ARE HELD AND A MULTITUDE OF CHESED AND OTHER ACTIVITIES ARE PLANNED AND CARRIED OUT.

 

HARAV YOSEF CHAIM TARAB HACOHEN, HARAV MUGRABI’S SUCCESSOR, CURRENTLY SERVES AS THE RAV OF THE KEHILLAH. A GRADUATE OF THE BELZ TALMUD TORAH, OHR YISRAEL YESHIVAH AND CHEVRON YESHIVAH OF GIVAT MORDECHAI, JERUSALEM, HE WAS TRAINED IN RABBINIC LEADERSHIP BY MARAN HAGAON RABBI MORDECHAI ELIYAHU ZT”L. BEFORE BEING APPOINTED AS A RAV, WHILE STILL IN ISRAEL, HE WAS GRANTED CERTIFICATION FOR CIRCUMCISION BY THE RENOWNED JERUSALEM MOHEL YOSSELE WEISSBERGER; CERTIFICATION FOR SAFRUT; AND CERTIFICATION FOR SHECHITAH.

TODAY, THE SEPHARDIC KEHILLAH “BEIT MOSHE” IS A VIBRANT AND FULLY FUNCTIONING KEHILLAH. EARLY IN THE MORNING, THE FIRST CONGREGANTS START STREAMING IN, MANY OF WHOM WORK IN THE NEARBY DIAMOND EXCHANGE. AFTER SHACHARIS, THE RAV OF THE KEHILLAH, HARAV YOSEF CHAIM TRAB HACOHEN, DELIVERS A HALACHAH LECTURE, AFTER WHICH BREAKFAST IS SERVED. LECTURES ARE DELIVERED THROUGHOUT DAY IN THE BEIT KNESSET, SOME OF THEM BY THE RAV, INCLUDING A DAILY DAF YOMI SHIUR IN BOTH FLEMISH AND FRENCH. THE BEIT KNESSET IS ALSO HOME TO A KOLLEL AVREICHIM, HEADED BY THE RAV, WHERE YOUNG MEN DILIGENTLY STUDY. OCCASIONALLY, THE KEHILLAH HOLDS LARGE-SCALE RALLIES IN WHICH CURRENT ISSUES ARE RAISED AND ADDRESSED. UNDER HARAV YOSEF CHAIM TRAB HACOHEN’S DIRECTIVES, A TIGHT DAILY PROGRAM OF SHIURIM TAKES PLACE IN THE BEIT KNESSET. HARAV TRAB ALSO INITIATED A HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL EVENING PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM, IN WHICH KOLLEL STUDENTS ARE PAIRED UP WITH BUSINESSMEN FOR TORAH LEARNING SESSIONS. HARAV YOSEF CHAIM TRAB HACOHEN HAS DEMONSTRATED THAT A RAV’S ROLE IS NOT CONFINED TO MERELY DELIVERING SHIURIM AND ATTENDING THE PRAYER SERVICES IN THE BEIT KNESSET, BUT A RAV IS INTIMATELY INVOLVED IN ALL THE GOINGS ON IN HIS KEHILLAH. JUST LIKE AHARON HACOHEN, HARAV TRAB DOES HIS UTMOST TO PRESERVE PEACE AMONG THE KEHILLAH MEMBERS. HIS CONGREGANTS REGULARLY SEEK HIS COUNSEL ON A MYRIAD OF ISSUES AND THEY KNOW THEY CAN TURN TO HIM IN TIMES OF CRISIS. NO MATTER WHAT TIME OF THE DAY – OR NIGHT – THE RAV IS ALWAYS AVAILABLE TO LISTEN TO THEM AND ADVISE THEM.

 

LIKE HIS SAINTLY FORBEARS, THE RABBIS OF SYRIA AND ALEPPO, HARAV YOSEF CHAIM TRAB HACOHEN ENGAGES IN OUTREACH ACTIVITIES, ESPECIALLY AMONG THE KEHILLAH’S YOUTH. WITH HIS TRADEMARK FRIENDLINESS, WARMTH, AND ISRAELI ENTHUSIASM, HE HAS ESTABLISHED A CLOSE RAPPORT WITH THE YOUNG MEMBERS OF HIS KEHILLAH. BY INVOLVING THEM IN THE BEIT KNESSET’S ACTIVITIES, HE CULTIVATES IN THE YOUNGSTERS A DEEPER INTEREST IN JUDAISM. THE PIYUTIM (LITURGIES) OF THE TEFILLOT OF THE HIGH HOLY DAYS, AND PARTS OF HALLEL ON ROSH CHODESH AND THE CHAGIM ARE DIVIDED UP AMONG THE CONGREGANTS, SO THAT EVERYONE CAN LOOK FORWARD TO RECITING ALOUD A PART OF THE TEFILLAH. THIS HOLDS GREAT APPEAL FOR THE YOUTH AND MOTIVATES THEM TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PRAYER SERVICES, TO THE IMMENSE DELIGHT OF THEIR PARENTS.

 

THE RAV REINFORCED THE CUSTOM THAT A BAR MITZVAH BOY SHOULD PRACTICE READING THE ENTIRE PARSHAH OF HIS BAR MITZVAH WEEK AND RECITE IT IN THE BEIT KNESSET THAT WEEK. CONSEQUENTLY, IT IS NOT UNCOMMON TO HEAR YOUNG TEENAGERS READING THE PARSHAH WITH PERFECT CANTILLATION, EVEN AFTER THEIR BAR MITZVAH.

HARAV TARAB PROMOTES AND ENCOURAGES CHARITABLE ACTIVITIES AND ANONYMOUS AID FOR THE NEEDY. THE RAV ASSISTS THE GABBAIM WHO RAISE CHARITY AND DISTRIBUTE IT TO THE NEEDY, JUST LIKE THE LEGENDARY RAV OF ANTWERP, RAV KREISWIRTH, ZT”L, WHO WORKED INDEFATIGABLY TO RAISE AND DISTRIBUTE CHARITY AMONG ALL KEHILLOT, NOT JUST HIS OWN.

 

TO THAT END, A DINING HALL WAS ESTABLISHED TO SERVICE THE PUBLIC. BREAKFAST IS SERVED DAILY IN THE DINING HALL FOR THE BENEFIT OF THOSE WHO WORK IN THE NEARBY DIAMOND EXCHANGE SO THAT THEY NEED NOT RETURN HOME TO EAT AFTER THE MORNING SERVICE AND BEFORE SETTING OUT TO WORK. THIS SERVICE IS NOT LIMITED TO MEMBERS OF THE KEHILLAH; EVERYBODY IS WELCOME TO JOIN – NO QUESTIONS ASKED. MANY FUNDRAISERS FROM ERETZ YISRAEL ARE GRATEFUL TO PARTAKE IN THE COMMUNAL BREAKFAST INSTEAD OF HAVING TO SPEND THEIR HARDEARNED MONEY IN RESTAURANTS.

 

HARAV TARAB’S QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSIONS FOLLOWING HIS HALACHAH LECTURES ON SHABBAT ARE VERY POPULAR - EXTRA BENCHES EVEN HAVE TO BE BROUGHT IN TO THE BEIT KNESSET TO ACCOMMODATE THE LARGE CROWDS! AT THESE SESSIONS, PEOPLE HAVE THE CHANCE TO RAISE QUESTIONS ON ANY AND ALL TOPICS. IN FACT, THE RAV INSTITUTED MANY NEW REGULATIONS IN THE KEHILLAH IN RESPONSE TO SOME OF THE CONCERNS THAT WERE RAISED AT THE SESSIONS.

 

EVERY SHABBAT AND CHAG, THE RAV AND RABBANIT PERSONALLY SEE TO IT THAT VISITING JEWS WHO HAPPEN TO BE IN ANTWERP FOR MEDICAL OR OTHER REASONS, HAVE A PLACE TO EAT THE MEALS – BE IT AT THEIR OWN HOME OR AT THE HOMES OF OTHER MEMBERS OF THE KEHILLAH

 

IN ORDER TO FURTHER DEVELOP A SENSE OF COMMUNITY, RAV TARAB INTRODUCED THE PRACTICE THAT MEMBERS OF THE KEHILLAH PARTAKE IN COMMUNAL PURIM, CHANUKAH AND TU B’SHEVAT MEALS. LIKEWISE, HE INITIATED THE CUSTOM THAT ALL KEHILLAH MEMBERS PARTICIPATE IN THE MEAL OF CHATTANIM ON SIMCHAT TORAH.

 

HARAV TARAB ORDAINED THAT THE MEALS OF SHABBAT HAGADOL, WHICH THE KEHILLAH TRADITIONALLY EATS COMMUNALLY, SHOULD BE EATEN OUTDOORS IN ORDER TO FURTHER ENSURE THAT ON PESACH THE BEIT KNESSET IS COMPLETELY CHOMETZ-FREE. THE KEHILLAH ALSO BEGAN TO HOLD A COMMUNAL PESACH SEDER WHERE THOSE WHO HAVE NOWHERE TO BE FOR THE SEDER ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND.

 

A HACHNASSAT SEFER TORAH, WHICH USED TO BE A RARE EVENT AT THE BEIT KNESSET, HAS BECOME A FREQUENT OCCURRENCE. ADDING ANOTHER SEFER TORAH TO THE ARON KODESH IS JOYFULLY CELEBRATED, AMID MUCH POMP AND ADO.

THE KEHILLAH’S BEIT KNESSET IS A PLACE FREQUENTED BY MANY VISITING RABBIS, ROSHEI YESHIVAH AND OTHER DIGNITARIES. THE ESTEEMED VISITORS ARE WARMLY WELCOMED AND INVITED TO ADDRESS THE CONGREGANTS WITH WORDS OF TORAH.

 

EVERY SHABBOS, A GROUP OF WOMEN GATHER AT THE HOME OF THE RABBANIT TO RECITE TEHILLIM AND LISTEN TO A LECTURE DELIVERED BY THE RABBANIT ON THE HALACHOT OF GUARDING ONE’S TONGUE. THE RABBANIT ALSO ORGANIZES AN ANNUAL GATHERING ON THE YOM HILULA OF RACHEL IMEINU. THE WOMEN GREATLY ENJOY THIS EVENING OUT, WHERE THEY ARE ENTERTAINED AND INSPIRED BY RENOWNED SPEAKERS ON AN ARRAY OF TOPICS.

 

KEHILLAT BEIT MOSHE MAY BE OVER ONE HUNDRED YEARS OLD, BUT IT IS GOING STRONGER NOW THAN EVER BEFORE.

JEWISH ESTABLISHMENTS IN ANTWERP

1961 MARKED THE REBIRTH OF THE GOLDEN TIMES FOR THE COMMUNITY. THANKS TO THE EMIGRATION OF JEWS FROM THE SOVIET UNION, ESPECIALLY JEWISH BUSINESSMEN FROM RUSSIA AND GEORGIA, WHO CJ-HOSE TO STAY IN ANTWERP AFTER WHICH THEY HAVE FOUND THEIR PLACE WITHIN THE PORTUGUESE SEPHARDIC COMMUNITY REACHING AN HISTORICAL RECORD OF AROUND 300 FAMILIES.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 

A

RESTAURANT

AL HA-ESH

HOVENIERSSTRAAT 42

2018 ANTWERP, BE

+32 (0) 499 79 98 80

DIRECTIONS

LIQUOR STORE

AVENUE WINES

BELGIËLEI 129B

2018 ANTWERP, BE

+32 (0) 3 230 03 30

B

 

RESTAURANT

BENI FALAFEL

LANGE LEEMSTRAAT 188

2018 ANTWERP, BE

+32 (0) 3 218 82 11

DIRECTIONS

BUTCHER

BERKOWITZ

ISABELLALEI 9

2018 ANTWERP, BE

+32 (0) 3 218 51 11

RESTAURANT

BLUE LAGOON

LANGE HERENTALSESTRAAT 70

2018 ANTWERP, BE

+32 (0) 3 226 01 14

GROCERY STORE

BRAUN'S GROCERY

TERLISTSTRAAT 28

2018 ANTWERP, BE

+32 (0) 3 232 46 26

 

C

RESTAURANT

CONFETTI'S

LANGE HERENTALSESTRAAT 12

2018 ANTWERP, BE

+32 (0) 3 213 31 76

DIRECTIONS

D

 

BUTCHER

DREZNER

SIMONSTRAAT 22

2018 ANTWERP, BE

+32 (0) 3 233 18 11

DIRECTIONS
 

E

RESTAURANT

EIGHTEEN

APPELMANSTRAAT 21

2018 ANTWERP, BE

+32 (0) 3 235 80 52

DIRECTIONS

G

 

GROCERY STORE

GROSZ CENTER

JACOB-JORDAENSSTRAAT 64

2018 ANTWERP, BE

+32 (0) 3 218 66 31

DIRECTIONS
 

H

GROCERY STORE

HERSHKOVITZ-KATZ

ISABELLALEI 47

2018 ANTWERP, BE

+32 (0) 3 218 79 62

DIRECTIONS

RESTAURANT

HOFFY'S

LANGE KIEVITSTRAAT 52

2018 ANTWERP, BE

+32 (0) 3 234 35 35