Photo Credit:
Atheneum Maimonides, a Jewish school in central Brussels. Note the video cameras, unmarked entrance, absence of windows on lower levels.

For years there have been reports of Jews being warned not to wear items that identify them as Jewish in places where there are large or numbers are particularly aggressive anti-Semites.

People are told it is best not to wear Magen David necklaces outside their clothing, or kippot on their heads when visiting certain neighborhoods in France, in England, certainly throughout much of the Arab Middle East or in parts of North Africa.


But now a Jewish school in Belgium has issued an edict to its schoolchildren: do not wear kippot near the school until you are safely inside the steel-paneled fortified building.

The Maimonides School in the Anderlecht neighborhood of Brussels was started shortly after World War II, at the initiative of the director of the Jewish orphanage, Holocaust survivor S.B. Bamberger, with assistance from Brussels’ rabbi.  It was an attempt to reclaim Jewish life in Brussels after the German occupation. The school opened its doors on September 1, 1947 on the Boulevard Poincaré.

Although it is a pluralistic Jewish school, it follows kashrut and boys are required to wear kippot, and all students are expected to dress “decently,” according to the school’s website.

Over the years the neighborhood in which the school is located has deteriorated.  Anderlecht used to be called “little Jerusalem” because there were so many Jews.  The neighborhood is now increasingly populated by Muslim immigrants from Morocco and Turkey, and right near the school building is a subway station where many Muslim immigrants gather.  Attendance at the school has been dwindling.

Last year the Maimonides board of directors concluded that they will soon have to move, because parents have become too frightened to send their children to the school in its current location. The dramatic drop in attendance – the pre-k through senior high school once had 600 students, but it is now down to less than 150 – has created enormous financial difficulties for Maimo, as it is called.

“In recent years, the district suffered a sharp deterioration. The establishment struggled to deal with the problems of insecurity, of cleanliness. Many parents no longer wish to enroll their children in Maimonides because they fear for their safety,” explained Jacques Wajc, chairman of the school’s board of directors, to the Belgian news source 7 Sur 7.

An incident unnerved the school community in March of 2012.  According to the Coordinating Forum for Countering Anti-Semitism,

“Four individuals of Arab-Muslim origin arrived at the door of the Athenaeum Maimonides in Anderlecht and tried to pull the door to enter multiple times. The security services of the school intervened and were joined by police officers on site.  When checking on the individuals, one of them said, ‘I do not care to touch the door of s[**]t dirty Jew,'” according to the Coordinating Forum for Countering Anti-Semitism,  The four who attempted to gain entrance to the school were illegal immigrants.

Until the school can raise the money to move, it has had to issue a new directive to its students, as reported by Gates of Vienna:

Especially since the attack by Mohamed Merah at the Jewish school in Toulouse last year, which resulted in four deaths, the fear of radical Islam with a North African flavor has increased a lot in Brussels.The director of the school has banned the wearing of kippahs by students outside the school in an attempt to protect them. The kippah is a sign of respect towards God. So a fundamental aspect of the Jewish belief system had to go.

There are two Jewish schools in suburban Brussels.

Approximately 25,000 Belgian Jews were deported to the death camps from Brussels during World War II.  Of those, only 1,207 survived the war.


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Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email:


  1. I think standing guard around the perimeter of the school with a couple of Uzis might make these camelfu–ers change their tune, ya think? NEVER AGAIN – let those Muslimes learn a lesson – they will NOT defeat us, the Nazis tried to, and we’re still here, and always will be. Rise up, defend yourselves, whatever it takes.

  2. Read this article – they later found out that reknowned Benny Rawitz, the great Israeli pianist who was living in Brussels was murdered because he was Jewish. I was supposed to meet him when he was coming to New York and play 4-hand piano pieces together – sadly, that day never occurred, he was brutally murdered by Muslimes.

  3. It seems to me that since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin wall, a new wave of Anti-Semitism has gathered momentum throughout Europe. The Europeans are welcoming these hordes of muslins while turning a blind eye to the Right Wing elements in their native populations. I'm sorry to say that history will probably repeat itself both in Europe and with greater concern this time for the Middle East and Africa as well. I'm not sure where Russia will be for the next great conflagration and North and South America may yet hold the center!

  4. Add Holy Cross hospital in Silver Spring, MD to your don't go if Jewish list for they murdered my husband MARCUS PENN in March 2013 for being Jewish and for the theft of his life savings and huge Medicare fraud. It is one of 82 U.S. hospitals owned by Trinity-Health all with same policies employing many muslims then joining with using them actually to commit the murders. It is not safe there really it isn't because you could get sick or hurt and have to go to the hospital. Now if you know anything about MARCUS PENN you will realize that if Washington Adventist hospital don't get your ass, for damn sure Holy Cross will and if old or Jewish and if an old Jew you will die mother er die. The muslims there want the Glory and the Catholics want the damn money bitch. This is what they say and do right in your face. Then your corpse will go missing so your family will have nothing to bury. My husband corpse is missing for 4 months now. I cry everyday having seen him be cruelly torture to death but what he entered the hospital for no one ever dies from it isn't fatal so why is he dead they wont say. patty0 is password if needed Pat Sears on Facebook patriciasears1 on twitter.

  5. I don’t doubt the story, but I walked around Brussels, with a kippa and my tsitsit hanging our in a predominantly Muslim area near the Gare du Midi.  No one attacked me, even at night. As a grown man, of course, I’m not as easy a target as a young kid and it could be that they saw that I wasn’t intimidated.
    On the other hand, I don’t know if it’s related by somehow, some kind of disgusting stuff got all over my back which I hadn’t discovered until I went to the train station.

  6. Don't be so sure about Latin America. Note that every country in Latin America except Panama, Colombia, and Paraguay voted in favor of the pro-Palestinian resolution at UNGA. Much of that can be linked to large Arab populations in Brazil, Chile, and Argentina.

  7. The Middle East is literally on fire. Death and injury are commonplace.

    Sadly, that is becoming the norm as chaos continues to destabilize parts of the globe. This administration is clueless.. I urged that this president not be nominated in the first primaries and most in the Jewish world strongly disagreed with me. TO BE FAIR, the entire CONGRESS seems equally clueless. ISRAEL is surrounded by enemies and they are to busy killing themselves but eventually will turn on ISRAEL. G-d FORBID. IRAN MUST BE DEALT WITH NOW.. YES ANOTHER HOLOCAUST IS AROUND THE CORNER. NUCLEAR BOMBS CAN DESTROY ISRAEL Much of EUROPE is becoming judenrein and many do not realize that the extremist MUSLIMS are the new Nazis. RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG.

  8. I always thought that the message was quite clear. The only place for Jews to live is in Israel, certainly not in Europe, or even the USA and the rest of the America's. The Jews are not wanted in Europe and they should all leave as soon as possible to avoid bloodshed and worse. We Germans know how to deal with minorities, trust us that we will get it right this time especially when dealing with Muslims.

  9. I am an Australian, I have been working on getting the full face covering (Burqa / Niqab) legally banned in Australia. For the last 3 years I have come to truly understand that "Islam is a CRIME against humanity". It is a ideology no different to NAZISM, the world needs to help these poor brain washed fools into joining humanity.

  10. The school asks its students not to wear the Kippah outside but only inside the campus because of the persecution they receive from the Muslims around. Funny and sad that they follow an oral tradition, the Kippah, instead of the written Law. Likewise, the Kippah is working against them making themselves very identifiable thus easy target for the Muslims. The Kippah itself has no value. It is a man made tradition that has become a strong requirement. That's the Lord Jesus said in the New Testament, "you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition" Matthew 15:6. So now, these young Jews are suffering not because of God's law but because of tradition.

  11. I’m from brussels and this article is exagerating things. It is true there is a lot of muslims in That area, and poeple are scared of them, but this fear is generally not relevant, often it is paranoïa. Yes sûre that neigboorhood is not safe, and is often violent. but generally it has nothing to do With thé fact of being jew. I wear thé magen David everywhere and i dont hier it, and when i get insulted tis not bécause I’m jew but because I’m a women. my brother sent to That school, once hé got attacked in thé métro but not because hé was jew, they do it to Everyone, stop screaming for antisemitism

  12. Visited CZECH REP. and POLAND – got almost killed by 2 sick-rude drivers in PRAGUE and while traveling country sides I run in to two large – huge sprayed on Anti-Semitic signs: And nobody – local government, organizations – people living near by didn't removed these at all. Sickening!

  13. Let's now crawl back into the hinterland because of what we are, Jews! If it weren't for the famous of all Jews whom they all worship as a God of Earth, how hypocritical can people get? Can't they face the fact that if it weren't for that ONE JEW, they'd all be pagan or Jewish.

  14. As I see it, there are 2 choices – fight or flight. But whereas, in the past, I would say to my fellow Jews "Time to come home to Israel", I am now inclined to say – "Why the hell should we let those bastards chase us out? Time to fight back." The antisemites must learn that no-one who attacks a Jew will come off unscathed.

  15. And who was behind those parasites?

  16. "The Europeans are welcoming these hordes of muslims"

    No, they are not, but when they say anything about it, they are deemed "naziswhowanttogas6millionjews"

  17. Yeah, Zuckerberg shut that bitch down. Next!

  18. The politicians got the message and playing their cards to get out of the way. They know what is coming, just like in WWII. Only this time, they are the ones who will be used to do the dirty work, and the people will be a lot smarter.

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