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  • Diamond Darwinism

    On my final morning in Antwerp, I went to see Ari Epstein, the deputy CEO of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre. The center is the coordinating body for the local diamond community and its offices are located in a 9-story glass building on Hoveniersstraat, ground zero for the Antwerp diamond trade.  After surrendering my ID… More ▸

  • Diamonds are Forever

    Actually, they’re not. But they are important, indeed crucial, to understanding the Jewish community of Antwerp.  A generation ago, diamond jobs were plentiful and most of them stayed among Antwerp’s close-knit Jewish community. It took two or three months to train as a diamond cleaver, and when it was over you could get as much… More ▸

  • Antwerpen

    Brussels Central Station is so unremarkable you could miss it. Even inside, I wasn’t sure I had found the right place.  Two hours later I was in Antwerp, and the difference couldn’t be starker. Four levels of subterranean platforms emerge into a soaring atrium covering a station built in the typical European style. "Antwerpen" is… More ▸

  • Party Like a Jew

      At several points during this weekend’s Party Like a Jew event in Brussels, I was asked whether we have anything similar in the U.S. I’m not sure I know. Sure, we have singles weekends which, though I’ve never been, I imagine follow the same general formula: a decent hotel, some Shabbat spirit, a lecture… More ▸

  • Belgian Waffles

    They are everything you expect them to be, and then some. Maybe I was just hungry and hadn’t eaten anything since the crappy hotel breakfast in Copenhagen before dawn, but from the first bite there was no doubt it was the finest waffle I’ve ever tasted. It was literally the first thing for sale when… More ▸