<![CDATA[B'nai B'rith International - Digital Exclusives]]>Thu, 24 Apr 2014 14:24:10 -0800EditMySite<![CDATA[B'nai B'rith 170th Anniversary Webinar]]>Tue, 25 Mar 2014 17:44:15 GMThttp://www.bnaibrith.org/8/post/2014/03/march-25th-2014.html On Dec.18, 2013, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives (AJA) and B’nai B’rith International held a series of webinars commemorating the 170th anniversary of B’nai B’rith. On display were some of B’nai B’rith’s oldest documents.

Among the items included were a 1937 exchange between Rabbi Leo Baeck and former B’nai B’rith President Alfred Cohen analyzing the nature of anti-Semitism in Europe and the correspondence of former B’nai B’rith President Simon Wolf in the 19th century discussing crime in immigrant communities.

Click here to watch the webinar. ]]>
<![CDATA[Machne Yehuda Slideshow]]>Tue, 25 Mar 2014 17:42:00 GMThttp://www.bnaibrith.org/8/post/2014/03/machne-yehuda-slideshow.html
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<![CDATA[Conversation with planned giver Phil Kershner]]>Tue, 25 Mar 2014 17:36:43 GMThttp://www.bnaibrith.org/8/post/2014/03/conversation-with-planned-giver-phil-kershner.html Phil Kershner, 87, joined B’nai B’rith and the Morris I. Feld Lodge in 1952. He said proudly, “My lodge still meets to this day.”

Kershner, who now serves as the lodge’s president, used the group to develop lifelong friendships with others in the Jewish community.  Along with his fellow members and friends, he became dedicated to B’nai B’rith—working hard to help it grow. From 1968 to 1980, he helped increase the number of lodges in the Baltimore area from three to 22.  

Today, he is still very involved in B’nai B’rith and is also a planned giver. The interview with Kershner above took place at his home in Baltimore.
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<![CDATA[Passover Recipes from B'nai B'rith Cookbooks]]>Tue, 25 Mar 2014 16:58:12 GMThttp://www.bnaibrith.org/8/post/2014/03/passover-recipes-from-bnai-brith-cookbooks.html
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Mom’s Passover Cookies

To prepare cookies:
3 eggs
1 cup peanut oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup cake meal
1 cup potato starch
1 cup chopped nuts (your choice)
1 orange (juice and rind)
½ lemon (juice and rind)

Preheat oven to 325-350°F

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs. 
Beat in sugar and oil.
Add juices and rinds (both lemon and orange)
Add starch, cake meal and nuts.
Form into small balls.
Arrange balls onto ungreased cookie sheet and flatten slightly with a fork
Bake until golden brown.

My Mama’s Matzoh Balls

To prepare matzoh balls:
4 eggs
4 tablespoons chicken schmaltz
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup matzoh meal
½ cup ice water

Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients.
Store in the refrigerator for three hours.
Make balls the size of walnuts.
Boil in large pot of salted water.
After they puff up, cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
Serve warm.

Roast Stuffed Goose
6 servings

To prepare goose:
1 goose, cleaned—about 8 pounds
Salt
½ teaspoon marjoram (oregano) 
1 pound unpeeled apples—cored and quartered
1 cup water

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Salt goose inside and out.
Rub inside with marjoram and fill with apples.
Truss (tie up wings and legs).
Cover bottom of roasting pan with hot water.
Place goose breast down in pan.
Roast for 2-2 ½ hours.
Turn over after first hour.
Baste frequently with pan gravy.
Skim off fat from gravy from time to time.
Before serving, add one cup of water to gravy and bring to a boil.
Increase oven heat to 500° 5-10 min before serving.
Baste frequently to crisp skin.
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<![CDATA[Music of Remembrance]]>Tue, 05 Nov 2013 18:30:41 GMThttp://www.bnaibrith.org/8/post/2013/11/music-of-remembrance.html
“Farewell, Auschwitz” is a work commissioned by Music of Remembrance (MOR) and created by composer Jake Heggie and lyricist Gene Scheer. The lyrics are derived from Krystyna Zywulska’s poetry written in the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944. The video above is the finale of “Farewell, Auschwitz,” performed at its world premiere in Seattle on May 14, 2013.

Heggie has composed three pieces for MOR: “For a Look or a Touch” (2007); “Another Sunrise” (2012); and “Farewell, Auschwitz” (2013). He believes that by putting on musical concerts using Holocaust themes and music, MOR offers an invaluable opportunity for people to learn about the Holocaust in a novel way. “Music reveals levels of our hearts and souls that sometimes we aren’t in touch with,” Heggie says, adding that he tries to convey what is unspoken or what cannot be spoken.

Heggie attempts to mine the emotional truth of the Holocaust through his work with MOR. ”Wwe’re not out to make documentaries,” he says. In his three MOR-commissioned works, Heggie has collaborated with Mina Miller, MOR’s artistic director, to find subject matter that is deeply meaningful to him. His works have explored such topics as the persecution of gays by the Nazis and the moral dilemmas constantly facing those who tried to survive the brutality of Nazi concentration camps.

The language of Heggie and Scheer’s work is often directly inspired by the words written by Holocaust victims, as in their reliance on Zywulska’s poetry for “Farewell, Auschwitz.” And the music Heggie composes for his pieces relyless on modern music and tries instead to mimic the music typical of the historical setting. For instance, in “For a Look or a Touch,” Heggie created a musical score that could very well have been heard in a Berlin night club during the early 20th century. He has also used German folk music and waltzes in his MOR commissions to reflect the diverse cultural backgrounds each inmate brought into the camps.

Heggie hopes his audience will enjoy the performance, but he hopes they’re entertained in a way that is profoundly deep and transformative. “I always hope the audience will be open to feeling something new that maybe takes them by surprise or [gives them an] insight into a human experience that they hadn’t considered,” Heggie says. “[Miller] really wants to explore all different aspects of Holocaust remembrance and how they impact us today. Through remembrance we realize we’re still the same people we were all those years ago.”

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<![CDATA[Camp Conversations, part 2]]>Tue, 05 Nov 2013 18:30:22 GMThttp://www.bnaibrith.org/8/post/2013/11/camp-conversations-part-2.htmlPicture
From July 29 to Aug. 4, 35 residents from B’nai B’rith low-income apartment buildings across the country came to Lake Como, Pa., for the Resident Leadership Retreat at B’nai B’rith Perlman Camp. The biannual retreat, run by the B’nai B’rith Center for Senior Services, features daily training sessions, entertainment and intergenerational programs with the campers.

During the retreat, some of the residents gave video interviews about their lives. They described why they enjoy living in their B’nai B’rith apartment buildings and how much they appreciated the retreat and being at camp.

For almost 50 years, B’nai B’rith has been committed to making apartments available to seniors of limited means, providing them a safe and secure space to age with dignity. And, since 1987, the Center for Senior Services has been bringing seniors to Perlman Camp to take part in the Resident Leadership Retreat. After a week of learning and entertainment at the beautiful camp setting in the Pocono Mountains, they go back home with the knowledge and ability to make real, positive changes in their apartment buildings.

Click on the videos below to watch resident testimonials. And look out for the winter issue of B’nai B’rith Magazine, which will feature a story about the Resident Leadership Retreat in the B’nai B’rith Today section.

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<![CDATA[Diverse Minds]]>Tue, 05 Nov 2013 18:30:06 GMThttp://www.bnaibrith.org/8/post/2013/11/diverse-minds.html
Kristina Rodulfo, who took first place in the 2007 B’nai B’rith Diverse Minds Youth Writing contest. Rodulfo, now a senior at New York University, discusses her book “The Other Von Higgley” and the Diverse Minds competition.
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<![CDATA[Letters to the Editor]]>Tue, 05 Nov 2013 18:29:21 GMThttp://www.bnaibrith.org/8/post/2013/11/letters-to-the-editor1.htmlA Captive Jewish Airman in Europe

Dear Editor:

In your recent summer 2013 magazine issue you ran an article about a captive Jewish airman. I, as a former Jewish prisoner of war, cannot understand why you picked this individual—perhaps he is a friend or close relationship. It is obvious you failed to do adequate research on Jewish POWs in Nazi Germany before printing this article. I happen to personally know Mr. Horn, and he is a fine gentleman. I did not discuss the article with him.

In his 36 days as a POW, I assure you, he barely had sufficient time to recover from the normal shock of being captured or suffered the loss of freedom, the indignities inflicted by the Germans, the hunger and accompanied loss of weight and much more. If you had done your homework and investigated POWs who did not deny their religion, you could have come away with a decent piece of journalism. For your own information, why don’t you check the website about Berga and see how the Germans gathered American JUDEN and used them as slave labor.

Let it suffice to say that I am very upset at the article and the portrayal of Jewish POWs who did not deny their religion and were incarcerated by the Nazi regime.

Sincerely yours,
Irving S. Schrom
Airmont, N.Y.
Served as Platoon Leader 3rd Platoon, “C” Company, 423rd Reg., 106th Infantry Div.
Captured and wounded at Battle of the Bulge—was POW Dec. 19, 1944 through April 29, 1945.


 

Writer Bruce Wolk responds:
In the course of preparing my book, “Stars on My Wings,” I interviewed 14 Jewish POWs. Each man had his own set of experiences and each witnessed his captivity in different ways. No man denied his Jewish faith. No one hid behind a mask, and no one ever denied the experience of another. I interviewed a Jewish POW who was placed in front of a mock firing squad, another who was whipped with a riding crop, some forced to run through gauntlets and others who were sent on brutal forced marches. It is unfair to say that one man in captivity had it better than another in captivity.

What makes Harvey Horn's experience unique is that he was never in captivity and in the end, he actually helped save his guards. He was the only Jewish POW I interviewed who was captured at sea. In his march, three different sets of guards accompanied him. He was always in fear.

As to Berga, it was a terrible, tragic and awful situation. Books and documentaries have been written on Berga. It was clear that in the end the U.S. Government looked the other way. Yet, it was outside of the scope of this article. The writer should also be aware that gentiles as well as Jews were subject to the horrors of Berga. That said, I also interviewed Jewish POWs who claimed they were hardly affected by their captivity as POWs at all.

I appreciate the writer's passion and our nation should always be grateful for his service and sacrifice. The Jewish community, especially, should hold its WWII veterans dear.


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<![CDATA[B’nai B’rith Honors Michael Shepherd, Chairman and CEO of Bank of the West, with Distinguished Achievement Award]]>Wed, 14 Aug 2013 17:45:34 GMThttp://www.bnaibrith.org/8/post/2013/08/bnai-brith-honors-michael-shepherd-chairman-and-ceo-of-bank-of-the-west-with-distinguished-achievement-award.htmlBy Seth Shapiro
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From left to right: Daniel S. Mariaschin, B’nai B’rith International executive vice president; Nancy Hellman Bechtle, chair of the Presidio Trust Board and member of the dinner’s tribute committee; Michael Shepherd, chairman and chief executive officer of Bank of the West and Bancwest Corporation; and Allan J. Jacobs, B’nai B’rith International president.
PictureMichael Shepherd
B’nai B’rith International, celebrating its 170th anniversary year, honored Michael Shepherd, the chairman and chief executive officer of Bank of the West and Bancwest Corporation, with its Distinguished Achievement Award at a dinner on May 22 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in San Francisco. In accepting the award, Shepherd likened Bank of the West to B’nai B’rith, noting that the good works of both entities stem from their similar origins which date back to the 19th century.

“Our Bank has a very distinguished record of achievement dating from its founding as Farmer’s National Gold Bank of San Jose in 1874,” Shephard said. “Like B’nai B’rith—and all of us in our firms and families—we draw inspiration from the examples of our forbearers, and we celebrate those who set us on the right path of supporting the growth and prosperity of our communities.”

For the past four decades, B’nai B’rith has honored corporate and community leaders dedicated to bettering their communities. Shepherd and Bank of the West—through their commitment to philanthropy, community service and leadership in promoting tolerance and diversity—were recognized by B’nai B’rith for their work.

“When looking at potential recipients for this award, it’s important that we find someone who embodies the values of B’nai B’rith—and Michael Shepherd does just that,” said B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs, who presented the award to Shepherd. “Michael sets the bar high and actively drives Bank of the West’s commitment to meeting the needs of its customers and the communities in which it does business. Under Michael’s leadership, Bank of the West galvanizes its community development loans and investments, charitable contributions and team member volunteer hours to improve the social and economic health of the neighborhoods it serves, especially those that are under-resourced.”

Shepherd believes that Bank of the West and B’nai B’rith “share that commitment to community.” Along with being regular contributors toward disaster-relief efforts, Bank of the West is also committed to improving financial literacy in “underserved and under-banked” communities, Shepherd said.

“We believe that we prosper with our communities and with our customers,” Shepherd says in an interview with B’nai B’rith Magazine. “We believe we can do good and make a good profit at the same time. We’re hardly a charitable organization, but we’re committed to making our communities prosper because we know that’s good for us, too.”

Among his proudest achievements, Shepherd cites the ability of Bank of the West to continue to be successful following the onset of the financial crisis in 2008 and the bank’s ability to help its customers through that difficult time.

“Especially at a time where bank reputations in communities in [America] and around the world have been eroded, it’s great to have a bank identified for having made contributions to its communities to help finance the dreams of small businesses or individuals,” Shepherd says, explaining the significance of receiving the Distinguished Achievement Award. “That association with an organization as prestigious and deserving of high regard as B’nai B’rith is a wonderful thing for the banking industry as well as Bank of the West.”

Being honored with the award is validating, Shepherd says. It reaffirms the values Bank of the West has been committed to and inspires the bank and its colleagues to continue down a path dedicated to community improvement.

“Michael Shepherd is an inspiring chief executive who leads by example in the worlds of business and civic responsibility,” said B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin, who gave the closing remarks at the dinner. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to pay tribute to him and to Bank of the West at the 2013 Distinguished Achievement Award Dinner.”

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<![CDATA[Camp Conversations]]>Tue, 13 Aug 2013 17:51:05 GMThttp://www.bnaibrith.org/8/post/2013/08/camp-conversations.htmlPicture
From July 29 to Aug. 4, 35 residents from B’nai B’rith low-income apartment buildings across the country came to Lake Como, Pa., for the Resident Leadership Retreat at B’nai B’rith Perlman Camp. The biannual retreat, run by the B’nai B’rith Center for Senior Services, features daily training sessions, entertainment activities and intergenerational programming with the campers.

During the retreat, some of the residents did video interviews about their lives. They described why they enjoy living in their B’nai B’rith apartment buildings and how much they appreciated the retreat and being at camp.

For almost 50 years, B’nai B’rith has been committed to making apartments available to seniors of limited means, providing them a safe and secure space to age with dignity. And since 1987, the Center for Senior Services has been bringing seniors to Perlman Camp to take part in the Resident Leadership Retreat where they learn from the B’nai B’rith staff and their fellow residents. After a week of learning and entertainment at the beautiful camp setting in the Pocono Mountains, they go back home with the knowledge and ability to make real, positive changes to their apartment buildings.

Click on the videos below to watch resident testimonials. And look out for the winter issue of B’nai B’rith Magazine, which will feature a story about the Resident Leadership Retreat in the B’nai B’rith Today section.

Eva Garcia from the Pasadena Interfaith Manor
in Pasadena, Texas, interacts with a Perlman camper
during an intergenerational program.
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