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One of the sociological phenomena specific to Brussels’s Jewish community in the decades after World War II is the gradual exodus from the old Jewish neighborhoods that were located near the capital’s railroad stations.  This centrifugal movement, which was spurred by developments in the general political climate but also by developments in the economic sector, led to larger Jewish populations in neighborhoods located farther from the city’s center.

The first more peripheral boroughs that benefited from noticeable increases in their Jewish populations were Forest/Vorst and Uccle/Ukkel.  Consequently, the need for an organized, recognized Jewish community, including a synagogue, was felt in these two boroughs of Brussels as early as the 1970s.

To fulfill this need, however, one had to be able to count on the dynamism of people ready to get involved.  This role was taken on by S.B. Bamberger, among others, who had already been instrumental in founding the Maimonides Athenaeum.  After doing his utmost to found a Jewish day school of outstanding quality, Bamberger devoted himself to creating a new Jewish community and synagogue in Forest.  This project, which was well received by the borough’s increasingly numerous flock, took shape rather quickly.  The Jewish Community of Uccle-Forest thus went from de facto to de jure existence through the Royal Decree of May 30, 1979, and the Maale community was born.  A beautiful synagogue opened on Messidor Avenue in 1984 and a rabbi, Samuel Pinson, was hired in September 1990.

Besides its regular services, which have some of the highest attendance figures in the capital, the Maale community also organizes cultural activities, classes for adults, and children’s activities, one of the most important being a summer day camp.