Pictured: Sixth & I's grant writer Rachel who competed in the pickle eating competition.
Join us next month for trivia!
The B'nai B'rith Young Pro Network-DC and Sixth & I hosted the April 2013 trivia night on April 17. Over 150 people came out to test their knowledge, meet new friends, have a kosher dinner and to watch the annual pickle eating contest.
Pictured: Sixth & I's grant writer Rachel who competed in the pickle eating competition.
Join us next month for trivia!
B’nai B’rith International observed Holocaust Remembrance Day with its annual program “Unto Every Person There is a Name,” now in its 24th year. B’nai B’rith is the official North American sponsor of the program under the auspices of Yad Vashem, Israel’s official Holocaust Museum and research center in Jerusalem. Participants read the names of the victims of the Shoah, noting where and when they were born and where and when they were murdered by the Nazis. The ceremonies occur on the 27th day of the month of Nissan on the Jewish calendar. These observances honor more victims each year, as more names are collected in an international database maintained by Yad Vashem.
An international committee convened by Yad Vashem suggests a theme each year. This year’s Yom Hashoah theme was “Defiance and Rebellion During the Holocaust: 70 Years Since the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.” Alan Schneider, director of the B’nai B’rith World Center in Jerusalem, serves on the committee on behalf of B’nai B’rith.
“Unto Every Person There is a Name” also directly involves Israeli President Shimon Peres. Peres penned a letter distributed to participating communities. It the letter, he encourages the Jewish people to never forget those who perished and to remember those who bravely rebelled in Warsaw as inspiration when facing future obstacles.
“We are nevertheless inspired by the power of the human spirit as demonstrated in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, an illustration of heroism and struggle against the forces of evil,” Peres writes. “In the face of the heinous scheme to annihilate the Jewish people, this uprising constituted the tangible expression of the principles that have united the Jewish people through the ages.”
Once the theme is decided upon, program materials are distributed to the communities involved. Included in the materials are first hand accounts, interviews and other documents that called Jews to action against the Nazis or describing the events surrounding the uprising. Also with the materials is a copy of the poem “Everyone Has a Name” by the Jewish poet Zelda, from which the program’s name is inspired.
Throughout the month of April, B’nai B’rith groups and committees held programs across North America that included speakers and readings in synagogues, Jewish community centers and public places such as Holocaust Memorials and community parks.
“It’s incredible to watch how ‘Unto Every Person There is a Name’ has grown since its inception in 1989,” B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs said. “It is important that we never forget the atrocities of the Holocaust and individually recognize all those who perished.”
In Maryland, a ceremony was held at Congregation Har Shalom in Potomac, Md. Art and artifact exhibits were displayed, the University of Maryland’s Jewish a cappella group performed, original poetry was read by survivors, and remarks were given by keynote speaker Walter Reich, Yitzhak Rabin Memorial professor of international affairs, ethics, and human behavior at the George Washington University.
At the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, those in attendance not only participated in the reading of the names, but also in a seminar titled “Holocaust Art: Then & Now” with George Mason University Art Historian Marion Deshmukh. Narratives and poetry were also read by representatives of various religious denominations. The program recognized 19 survivors in the community.
A Partnership with Alpha Epsilon Pi
In addition to community observances, B’nai B’rith partners with the Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) fraternity for the “We Walk to Remember” program, which took place on 110 college campuses throughout the United States, Canada, Israel and the United Kingdom this year. Members of AEPi participated in both the walk and “Unto Every Person There is a Name” programming.
Speaking from the walk at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said, “I’m honored to take part in ‘We Walk to Remember.’ B’nai B’rith has a great partnership with AEPi, and we’re wholly behind its efforts to make sure the Holocaust is never forgotten by today’s youth.”
This is the fifth year B’nai B’rith and AEPi have worked together on Holocaust Remembrance Day programming. The combination of the two powerful programs has created a lasting impact on campuses across the globe. It demonstrates that young people on campus understand the importance of remembering and have taken on the responsibility to tell the story of the victims of the Holocaust. B’nai B’rith provides the materials created by the international committee as well as “Never Forget” stickers that the walkers wear on black t-shirts.
“‘We Walk to Remember’ is a program that quintessentially represents what it means to be in Alpha Epsilon Pi,” said AEPi’s Adam Maslia, the Howard M. Lorber director of Jewish and Philanthropy Programming. “Stepping up as leaders in the Jewish community in partnership with B'nai B'rith International, the brothers of AEPi have crafted the world's largest on-campus Holocaust commemoration event that is so simple, yet so impactful and effective in ensuring that the world never forgets the atrocities of the Shoah."
Jewish Rescuers Citations
On the morning of April 8, the B’nai B’rith World Center in Jerusalem and the Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (KKL-JNF) held a unique, joint Holocaust commemoration ceremony dedicated to the heroism of Jews who rescued fellow Jews during the Holocaust. Taking place at the Martyrs’ Forest “Scroll of Fire” Plaza with about 900 people in attendance, 29 rescuers citations were awarded to Jews or their descendants who assisted other Jews in escaping to a safe haven or employed subterfuge, forgery, smuggling, concealment and other methods to ensure the survival of Jews from the Holocaust in Europe.
The idea for the program was the brainchild of Haim Roet, a child Holocaust survivor from Holland. Roet is also responsible for the initial organization of “Unto Every Person” and approached the same Jewish organizations involved to kick start his latest initiative.
Roet was rescued through joint efforts of non-Jews and Jews, so the project was close to his heart. As “Unto Every Person” began to take off, Roet established the Committee to Recognize the Heroism of Jewish Rescuers (JRJ) in which the World Center is also a major partner.
“Our principal contribution to the committee, other than popularizing the heroism of Jewish rescuers in Germany and occupied Europe during the Shoah,” Schneider said. “Is an annual ceremony in partnership with Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael.”
The B’nai B’rith Center for Jewish Identity coordinates the program on behalf of B’nai B’rith. The support for this program is made possible by the generous support of Kurt and Tessye Simon, (of blessed memory). The center chair, Nancy Braun, announced that “Unto Every Person” programming for 2014 will be held on Yom Hashoah, April 27, 2014.
The Center for Jewish Identity encourages communities to continue to promote the important task of collecting names of victims of the Holocaust and submitting “Pages of Testimony” to Yad Vashem. These pages are intended to serve as a lasting memorial for the victims and are preserved in the Hall of Names at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. The names are also added to the central database. Time is running out to get first hand information, so it is important to collect as much information as possible from survivors and their families. If you need further information or want to bring the “Unto Every Person There is a Name” to your community or your community’s Yom Hashoah observance, please contact Rhonda Love at email@example.com.
See photos and videos from select events across the U.S. and in Israel:
Over 120 young professionals came together on February 20, 2013, for the B'nai B'rith and Sixth & I Historic Synagogue's monthly trivia night. Attendees were questioned on history, politics, pop culture, and more.
The March 2013 trivia will be skipped due to Passover, but we will be back at Sixth & I on April 27 for the next round.
B'nai B'rith International joined countless other organizations to promote the Interfaith call-in day to prevent gun violence on February 4, 2012. Members were encouraged to call their Senators and Members of Congress to insist that they act to prevent gun violence. The campaign's message was to ensure that the voices of faithful Americans ring throughout the halls of Congress.
The organizers knew that there are differences in viewpoint and asked callers to convey whichever policies they were comfortable. The major components of legislation that Congress is considering include:
Callers recognized themselves as members of the faith community while advocating against violence and emphasized the policies that they personally supported.
"The time is always right to do what is right"
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Over 150 young professionals came together for a night of trivia, dinner, socializing, and fun at the B'nai B'rith and Sixth & I Historic Synagogue on January 17 in Washington, DC.
Congrats to Team Brooks L'Chaim for the win!
Sixth & I Historic Synagogue
600 I Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20001
Stay tuned for information on the February 2013 trivia night.
Join B'nai B'rith at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue for the monthly trivia night on Tuesday, December 11. From sports to pop culture, geography to politics, we’ll test your knowledge of it all.
$15 in advance, $18 day of the event and includes a kosher dinner and two free drinks. Doors open at 6:30 PM.
> Register online
Join EntrypointDC, B'nai B'rith Young Professional Network, other Jewish organizations and hundreds of Jewish young adults from around the DC area for the biggest party of the year-- Hanukkah Happy Hour on the Hill!
Monday, December 10 (Third Night of Hannukah)
6:00 - 9:00 pm
We'll be at the Pour House and Capitol Lounge on Capitol Hill to celebrate the Miracle of the Lights, enjoy drink specials and hang out with new and old friends.
Be sure to bring winter gloves, socks, scarves, hats, shampoo, lotion and hand sanitizer (travel sizes)! All items will be donated to the December 25th Day of Service at the Washington DCJCC and given as holiday gifts to the DC Homeless Community.
> Learn more and register today
B’nai B’rith Attends Review Session At Organization Of American States, Recommends Strategies To Fight Anti-Semitism
At a session of the Organization of American States Permanent Council, B’nai B’rith warned the organization that anti-Semitism is on the rise, necessitating increased governmental focus on the problem.
At the organization’s headquarters on Dec. 8, B’nai B’rith engaged in dialogue and reflection with other organizations and member states on the workings of the Inter-American Human Rights System. B’nai B’rith also examined proposals from an ongoing report on the IAHRS and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The goal of the meeting and the overall review process is to strengthen the OAS’ promotion of democracy, human rights, security and development.
Eric Fusfield, director of legislative affairs, represented B’nai B’rith at the session with combating anti-Semitism at the top of his agenda. He urged the OAS to increase its focus on anti-Semitism in the Western Hemisphere, as the problem is on the rise throughout the region.
Fusfield had three specific suggestions to deal with anti-Semitism: First, he called for the adoption of the draft Convention Against Racism and All Forms of Discrimination, which has been under discussion since 2004 and includes a specific reference to anti-Semitism. He also recommended that the OAS widely circulate a comprehensive working definition of anti-Semitism among public officials, educators and journalists in order to promote awareness of contemporary manifestations of the problem.
Additionally, Fusfield conveyed the importance of monitoring and collecting data in documenting the phenomenon and the need for public figures to condemn and stigmatize hate speech in order to elevate the public discourse around Jews and other minorities.
November 8, 2012, 6:30 - 8:00 PM
B'nai B'rith International Headquarters
2020 K St NW
Washington, DC 20006
Support those affected in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast from Hurricane Sandy. Join B’nai B’rith at our international headquarters for an evening reception benefiting the B'nai B'rith Center for Community Action (CCA). B’nai B’rith has been supporting victims of disasters since 1868, when it responded to the devastating flood that crippled Baltimore.
The program will include a special exhibit and viewing featuring the works of local artists Lisa K. Rosenstein and Lauren Kotkin, who will be here to meet you and discuss their works. “Life is chaotic, complex, noisy, and at times painfully full” says Rosenstein. Her work uses nothing but white paint and found objects to create a Zen-like space for contemplation. Kotkin is an artist and exhibits and volunteers for Artomatic, an annual month-long art festival in DC.
Also on view will be highlights from B'nai B'rith's collection of Judaica.
Cost: YPN Members: $15
> Register Online
Washington artists Lisa K. Rosenstein and Lauren Kotkin have exhibited locally and throughout the United States. Rosenstein’s serene multi-media works are intended to induce a quiet, Zen-like state in the viewer. Lauren Kotkin’s photographs of Prague’s mosaic sidewalks inspired her new series of collages, which reveals what is “underfoot... yet unnoticed.”
Artwork will be available for purchase, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting CCA. Your registration fee will also support the B’nai B’rith International Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Fund.
The B’nai B’rith Center for Community Action produces and supports national programs such as B’nai B’rith Cares for Kids and the B’nai B’rith Disaster Relief Program, as well as community programs such as local volunteer activities at shelters, hospitals, and more.