B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:
B’nai B’rith International has concluded a leadership mission to two key Caucasus states: Georgia and Azerbaijan. Both countries are vital partners—in a strategically important region—of the United States and Israel, and home to long-standing and highly integrated Jewish communities.
B’nai B’rith leaders and supporters met with senior policymakers and figures from Jewish and non-Jewish communities, to further encourage the respective nations' strong relationships with Israel and other democracies, and to highlight their notable lack of ingrained societal anti-Semitism.
In Tbilisi, Georgia, and Baku, Azerbaijan, the delegation met with officials including the Georgian and Azerbaijani prime ministers, the ranking American and Israeli diplomats in the capitals, communal rabbis and other Jewish leaders, Georgia's chairman of parliament, the patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Azerbaijan's deputy foreign minister and the chairman of the Azeri State Committee on Religious Associations.
Our delegation was led by B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman and Executive Vice President and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin. Other mission participants were Eric Engelmayer, B’nai B’rith senior vice president; Ira Bartfield, B’nai B’rith Center for Jewish Identity chair; Kathryn Bartfield; Dr. Steven Horowitz, member of the B’nai B’rith Executive Board of Directors; Dr. Sandra Horowitz, member of the International Council of B’nai B’rith; Gerald Platt; Michelle Stein; Michal Mariaschin and B’nai B’rith Director of U.N. and Intercommunal Affairs David Michaels, who coordinated the trip.