In 1888, the fledgling Jewish community of Jerusalem suffered from stagnation, vulnerability and poverty. A pioneering group of community leaders—including such historic Zionist figures as Eliezer Ben Yehudah and David Yellin—committed to breathe new energy into the community by promoting the revival of Hebrew as the living vernacular of the community and by establishing a variety of other groundbreaking initiatives aimed at improving community life. Thus—10 years before Theodor Herzl’s first Zionist Congress—the B’nai B’rith Jerusalem Lodge formed.
Twenty-three years earlier, in 1865, the United States-based B’nai B’rith raised more than $4,500 ($67,000 in current values) to assuage the effects of a severe outbreak of cholera in what was to become the State of Israel. They would also send more than $200,000 in 1934 to help acquire acreage that could be an important basis for a new Jewish state, and would send millions of dollars in cash, medical supplies and equipment to Israel throughout the years.
125 years after the creation of the Jerusalem Lodge, B’nai B’rith is still involved with Israel in many of the same ways. B’nai B’rith provides aid to victims of terror attacks. It is a staunch supporter at the United Nations and other international bodies of Israel’s right to defend itself. And B’nai B’rith is invested in connecting Jews around the world to the State of Israel...more.