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Message from Scott Knapp, Chair of the Young Leadership Network

​One year has passed from our last leadership forum, and we are proud to report flourishing activity amongst B’nai B’rith’s next generation of leaders.  We officially launched B’nai B’rith Connect, our platform for professionals and leaders under age 40, with a kickoff weekend in Las Vegas. We provided opportunities for multiple members to participate in worldwide educational, cultural and advocacy programs in Cyprus, Israel and Japan. Our members participated in programs at B’nai B’rith senior housing centers. With the participation of AEPi brothers, we brought students to advocate with us at UNESCO in Paris and the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva. We broadened our domestic programming with programs at embassies in New York and Washington, D.C.  And the future is even brighter.  Community service events, senior housing projects, Shabbat dinners, diplomatic encounters, and social and networking activities are in store for the coming year. Stay tuned for more information in your area.

Highlights of Our Recent Activities:


​B’nai B’rith Colorado held its 23rd Annual Leadville Cemetery Cleanup from June 21 through June 23, 2019. For the first time, on Friday evening, the group hosted a pre-services oneg for the B’nai Vail congregation to thank and engage the mountain communities. The rest of the weekend offered camping at Turquoise Lake, Saturday morning Shabbat services at the beautifully restored Temple Israel followed by a Kiddush brunch, a potluck dinner and Havdalah later that evening at the campgrounds. The weekend culminated on Sunday with the cleanup of the historic Jewish cemetery, including a continental breakfast, a memorial service led by B’nai Vail, and a BBQ lunch. The weekend was an overwhelming success, with nearly 200 attendees throughout the  events, in spite of the unseasonal weather, including snow during the Sunday cleanup.

2nd Annual Jewbilee Bash

​The 2nd Annual Denver Jewbilee Bash is set for Dec. 24, 2019:

Washington, D.C.:

On May 14, B’nai B’rith Connect D.C. members met with Romanian Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Cristian Gaginsky and his colleagues for a discussion and reception. The one-hour conversation focused on topics such as Romania’s six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union, anti-Semitism, Iran’s nuclear program and Romania’s relationships with Israel and the United States.
​B’nai B’rith Connect D.C. partnered for a second year in a row with EntryPointDC on an event that reaches out to young professionals. Every year, EntryPointDC, the 20s and 30s program of the Edlavitch DCJCC, holds an event to welcome Jewish young adults to D.C. and to the Jewish community and let them know about some of the great things going on in the community.

New York City:

​On June 19th, B’nai B’rith Connect New York leaders visited the residence of David Gill, consul general of Germany in New York City. Gill was introduced by Millie Magid, B’nai B’rith International’s chair of U.N. affairs. The event provided the opportunity for an intimate discussion which ranged from Gill’s path to diplomacy, the German-American bilateral relationship and Germany’s relationship with the Jewish people.
​B’nai B’rith Connect New York leaders attended the B’nai B’rith Distinguished Achievement Award Dinner on Sept. 19. The award recognizes the accomplishments of key community and corporate leaders from around the world. Richard Robinson, chairman and CEO of Scholastic, was the recipient of the 2019 award. Robinson was recognized for his industry leadership, driven by the mission of supporting the intellectual and personal growth of every child while promoting tolerance around the globe through high-quality children’s literature and classroom magazines which present current issues in an age-appropriate and thought-provoking way.
​B’nai B’rith International sends a delegation to the United Nations General Assembly meetings in New York each fall. There, the delegation meets with leaders from all over the world to advance the interests of human rights, Israel and the Jewish people worldwide. This year, B’nai B’rith International Connect New York Co-chair Jared Hakimi represented B’nai B’rith at some of the high-level meetings.

On, October 17 the New York Connect leaders were invited alongside CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin to the residence of the
Consul General of Japan in New York, Kanji Yamanouchi, at a reception to honor Takanobu Fuchikami, mayor of the
Japanese city of Tsuruga. A port city, Tsuruga welcomed Jewish refugees during World War II thanks to the lifesaving
work of then-Japanese Consul Chiune Sugihara.

All of these representatives are alumni of the Kakehashi mission, which seeks to build bridges between the Japanese and American Jewish communities through travel to Japan. The next Kaekhashi Project Mission is set for February 25 through March 4, 2020.

​B’nai B’rith Connect – National

​In August, B’nai B’rith International and The Jewish Agency for Israel, along with the Greek Foreign Ministry and the Presidential Commissioner for Cypriots Overseas, sent 12 members of their communities on a 10-day trip to Israel, Greece and Cyprus in an effort to forge bonds between the communities and strengthen ties between the three countries. The trip created a passionate cadre of young Jews, Greeks and Cypriots who have taken the message of strategic cooperation back to their home countries.