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Spring 2024


IMPACT Welcome

Welcome to the March issue of IMPACT, your one-stop-spot to see what B’nai B’rith is accomplishing down the street and around the world.

In this issue, you will:

  • Read how our Israel Emergency Fund is helping on so many fronts.
  • Witness hands-on help during our solidarity mission to Israel.
  • Watch our moving Chanukah candle lighting events with victims’ families and survivors of the Hamas attacks.
  • Review our submission to the International Court of Justice, lambasting South Africa’s absurd charges of genocide against Israel.
  • Catch up on some remarkable year-end efforts in Atlanta and Fort Worth to aid community members.
  • See how Mexico honored B’nai B’rith for 180 years of service to the world.
  • Be inspired by what our young leaders are saying, doing and learning.

And so much more…

As always, in our IMPACT newsletter, you will learn about the assistance, events and programs we are undertaking all over the world, launched by B’nai B’rith subject matter experts and by volunteers.

Of course, B’nai B’rith’s varied and deep portfolio means we are busy on many fronts. But the security of Israel remains a top focus. The needs in the Jewish state are many. Please consider supporting our Israel Emergency Fund.

We know what you read about in this issue of IMPACT will make you proud to partner with B’nai B’rith.

–Best wishes from the IMPACT team 

B’nai B’rith Organizes December Solidarity Mission to Israel

On Dec. 18, B’nai B’rith delivered military-grade backpacks and gear—purchased with monies from B’nai B’rith’s Israel Emergency Fund—to IDF soldiers at a volunteer logistical center at Hod Hasharon established by attorney Yifat Amit and supported by B’nai B’rith Israel. Michal Mariaschin and B’nai B’rith CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin are second and third from right.
Photo: Bruno Charbit, B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem
Michal and Daniel Mariaschin, along with other group members, assisted in preparing the donated supplies for transport.
Photo: Bruno Charbit, B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem

B’nai B’rith leaders were in Israel for an intensive examination of the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attacks and their aftermath during a mission coordinated by B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem.

From Dec. 17-21, delegates witnessed presentations by military officers and staff of philanthropic organizations, met with survivors and families of victims, spoke with IDF members on leave from fighting on the front lines and partnered with B’nai B’rith Israel to provide equipment to soldiers. Scheduled events in terror-ravaged areas provided participants with a first-hand understanding of the full extent of Hamas depravity and allowed opportunities for them to express solidarity with the Jewish homeland.

B’nai B’rith leaders and staff with Israel Defense Forces Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner (in uniform) at the office of the IDF Spokesman on Dec. 19.

Mission leader, B’nai B’rith CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin, observed: “This was a solidarity mission like no other in which I have participated. The unprecedented assault on Israelis on October 7 was also an assault on the entirety of the Jewish people. Going forward, we must dedicate ourselves to cooperation between diaspora communities and Israel in a way never before experienced. B’nai B’rith International pledges to be in the frontline of that cooperation.”

B’nai B’rith participants included: former President Charles O. Kaufman; International Vice President for Latin America David Djemal (Panama); International Vice President for Europe Paolo Foá; Warsaw Lodge President Andrzej Friedman (Poland); Board of Governors member Jorge Stainfeld (Uruguay); B’nai B’rith leader Ilan Shchori; and World Center-Jerusalem Chairman Haim Katz (Israel). World Center Director Alan Schneider accompanied the group.

They traveled to sites targeted by Hamas on Oct. 7, including Sderot, where 70 civilians and soldiers were murdered; kibbutz Kfar Aza, suffering 63 casualties; and kibbutz Be’eri, with 93 dead.

During their Dec. 17 Tel Aviv Expo visit, the delegates toured “Nova 6:29,” a special installation, where artifacts including clothing and personal items, along with captured weapons employed by the terrorists on Oct. 7 evidenced Hamas violence at the music festival.
A banner displayed at Jerusalem’s “Hostages Square,” visited by Israelis and people from many countries who engage in advocacy for the return of men, women and children kidnapped during the Oct. 7 attack.

Delegates also toured a Tel Aviv Expo installation devoted to the Nova Music Festival attack and met with Ambassador (ret.) Baruch Bina at the Hostages and Missing Families Forum. They visited “Hostages Square,” where advocates continue to keep the plight of the remaining hostages visible.

Civilian officials, military experts and diplomats delivered updates on both the war and its international impact, including the escalation of global anti-Semitism, as well as the hostage situation.

Mission participants presented military-grade backpacks and gear purchased by B’nai B’rith’s Israel Emergency Fund to IDF representatives at a volunteer logistical center at Hod Hasharon. Delegates engaged in discussions with B’nai B’rith Israel President Emanuel (Mano) Cohen and Shchori, who are responsible for international relations at B’nai B’rith Israel.

Mariaschin with Mayor Avichai Stern (r), during B’nai B’rith’s Dec. 19 trip to Kiryat Shmona. Behind them are the remnants of a restaurant decimated by rockets.

The trip concluded in the Bedouin city of Hura, where B’nai B’rith leaders expressed condolences to the family of Samer al-Talalka, one of three Israeli hostages accidentally killed by IDF soldiers. Samer’s father was hosted by B’nai B’rith at a Dec. 13 conference in Paris that addressed Hamas’ crimes.

B’nai B’rith’s Israel Emergency Fund Helping the Jewish State

B’nai B’rith opened its Israel Emergency Fund on Oct. 7 to aid Israelis after Hamas launched a surprise attack throughout southern Israel. Since then, B’nai B’rith is proud to have raised more than $210,000, which has been directly poured into rebuilding communities and supporting the Israel Defense Forces during the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. B’nai B’rith members and supporters in Israel mobilized quickly to determine areas of greatest need.

Efforts were focused on aiding displaced residents of Kibbutz Kfar Aza and Kibbutz Be’eri, communities that were both decimated during the Hamas infiltration. Survivors received care packages and stipends for groceries and essential items.

Food donations, essential supplies and first aid items have been delivered to Sderot, Netivot and Ashkelon, areas that were heavily targeted by Hamas missile attacks. Dozens of electronic devices have also been supplied to Israeli children displaced from their homes to support their education, along with toys and games. Additional funds have been provided to Kibbutz Be’eri and Kibbutz Kfar Aza.

B’nai B’rith lodge members and volunteers throughout Israel packaged more than 2,100 items that were delivered to IDF soldiers, including tactical gear such as gloves, knee pads and shirts, as well as protective weather and shelter items, ceramic vests and helmets.

In December, B’nai B’rith embarked on a solidarity mission to Israel, where participants presented military-grade backpacks and gear to IDF soldiers at a volunteer logistical center in Hod Hasharon.

B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem Director Alan Schneider traveled to Kiryat Shmona for the delivery of an advanced all-terrain vehicle purchased with contributions from B’nai B’rith’s Israel Emergency Fund. The ATV will be fitted with a hydraulic stretcher to evacuate the wounded by the Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) from nearly any location.
Two advanced observation drones with optical and thermal cameras were also purchased. Mayor Avichai Stern said that B’nai B’rith responded “in lightning speed” to his city’s appeal, weeks after meeting with the organization’s solidarity mission to Israel in December.

In January, Alan Schneider, director of the B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem, presented Kiryat Shmona’s Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) with two state-of-the-art surveillance drones and later, an all-terrain vehicle enabling evacuation of the wounded from nearly any disaster scene. Located in the Galilee panhandle, Kiryat Shmona has endured a barrage of rocket attacks from across the Lebanese border.

Schneider, who delivered the ATV at a ceremony attended by Kiryat Shmona Mayor Avichai Stern, said of the donation: “This equipment met urgent unmet needs identified by Kiryat Shmona’s Rapid Intervention Team and was received enthusiastically by the people working day and night to ensure the safety of the remaining residents of Kiryat Shmona, which is the largest city in the North to have been evacuated temporarily in the face of ongoing rocket attacks by Hezbollah in Lebanon. This valued equipment will serve the people of Kiryat Shmona in the coming years and will undoubtedly enhance the ability of the RIT to meet future security challenges.”

Thanks to the generosity of our members and supporters who have contributed to the B’nai B’rith Israel Emergency Fund, our organization continues to provide relief to Israeli citizens and assist the IDF.

B’nai B’rith Part of New Trilateral Collaboration

As anti-Semitism has skyrocketed worldwide since the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks in Israel, Jewish college students and organizations are increasingly vulnerable to harassment and violence.

To address this urgent problem, B’nai B’rith, the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS) and the International Association of Jewish Lawyer and Jurists (IJL) have joined forces to offer legal resources and services to protect those who are affected on campus.

Daniel S. Mariaschin, B’nai B’rith CEO has commented: “Surely, one of the most real-time, pressing issues confronting our community globally is campus anti-Semitism. Our joining together with the IJL and WUJS constitutes an important step in meeting this challenge.”

To read more about the collaboration and the ways that it will provide legal remedies for students, please see the information contained in the link below.

B’nai B’rith Sheds Light on Humanitarian Consequences of Oct. 7 Terror Attacks, at Geneva and Paris Events

In Paris, distinguished panelists shared their views about the war in Israel at a symposium hosted by B’nai B’rith International and the Permanent Delegation of Israel to the Multilateral Organizations in France. From left: B’nai B’rith UNESCO Representative Stéphane Teicher; B’nai B’rith Director of United Nations and Intercommunal Affairs David Michaels; Haim Assaraf, ambassador of Israel to the Multilateral Organizations in Paris; Dr. Joel Mergui, president of the Consistoire of Paris; philosopher, filmmaker and author Bernard-Henri Lévy.

B’nai B’rith held events in Paris and Geneva during Chanukah that highlighted the dehumanization and incitement behind terrorism following the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks in Israel.

Coming on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), “The Ideology Behind October 7: Dehumanization and Hatred of Jews and Israelis” was held at the Palais des Nations, the European headquarters of the United Nations.

The panel, featuring analyses from leading experts, discussed the objectives of violent Jihadists. Moderated by B’nai B’rith Director of U.N. and Intercommunal Affairs David Michaels, the program occurred alongside Israel’s Mission to the U.N. and was attended by ambassadors and diplomats from various countries, along with European Union representatives.

B’nai B’rith also met with officials including U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk, addressing anti-Semitic incitement and international efforts to secure the release of hostages in Gaza and safeguard Israel’s right to self-defense.

During the same week, Michaels spoke at a rally advocating for the release of hostages, held at the U.N. complex in Geneva and moderated by Nurit Braun, a B’nai B’rith Geneva volunteer leader.

In Paris the following week, B’nai B’rith and the Permanent Delegation of Israel hosted a discussion titled “7 October Is Not Over: An Urgent Humanitarian Appeal,” focusing on the humanitarian crises resulting from Hamas’ Oct. 7 atrocities.

Commencing with a menorah lighting, the meeting included the firsthand accounts from attack survivors and the screening of disturbing footage from Oct. 7, much of which was recorded and broadcast by the terrorists themselves.

Preeminent French public intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy criticized claims of Israel’s “disproportionate” response to the attack, urging global pressure on Hamas to surrender. He proposed issuing Interpol arrest warrants for Hamas leaders and concluded that a ceasefire would only prolong the war.

Family members of Israeli Arabs taken hostage shared their concerns, including the father of a hostage abducted by Hamas in 2015. The Ziyadna family also spoke, expressing their pain after four relatives were kidnapped by Hamas on Oct. 7, two of whom were later mistakenly killed by IDF soldiers in Gaza.

A survivor of the Nova Festival massacre, Matan Boltax, recounted his harrowing ordeal as he witnessed his friends being murdered and kidnapped.

Joël Mergui, leader of the Consistoire de Paris, and Michaels also remarked.

“If only for the sake of its own people, Hamas could end the hostilities today—by ending its violence and releasing all its hostages,” Michaels said during the event. “But it chooses not to. Indeed, its senior official said in an interview that it plans to perpetrate October 7th over and over and over again.”

B’nai B’rith delegates return to Geneva to attend the March meetings of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Watch “The Ideology Behind October 7: Dehumanization and Hatred of Jews and Israelis” here.

Watch “7 October Is Not Over: An Urgent Humanitarian Appeal” here.


Israel Reflections

Seth J. Riklin
President, B’nai B’rith International

I have just returned from Israel, having traveled there together with CEO Dan Mariaschin on a mission with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. B’nai B’rith has been a leading member of the conference since it was established. The conference serves as an umbrella for some 50 member organizations advocating for Israel and for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.

This mission was extremely important given the worldwide emergency that the Jewish people are facing.

In my last column, I told you how Oct. 7 changed me, and it is now readily apparent that I am not alone in dealing with change. Israeli life has changed, as tens of thousands remain displaced from their homes in the Gaza envelope and in the North near the border with Lebanon. Before the heinous attack from Hamas, the country was debating its political future for all the world to see. Now, the country is united in ways that seemed impossible on Oct. 6.

Our mission included a trip to Nir Oz, a kibbutz located seven kilometers from Gaza. More than 300 residents were killed by Hamas, while as many as 80 were taken hostage. We were provided with a tour of the kibbutz by a woman who survived the Hamas attack with her family. She shared the story of the attack, and the fate of many of her neighbors. Her family is still alive, having remained in their home’s safe room until the Israel Defense Forces arrived late in the afternoon. The terrorists had tried to force them to leave the safe room by lighting their house on fire. We saw the charred remains of their home, along with damaged and burned homes of many of their neighbors who were not as fortunate.

We then traveled to Re’im, the site of the Nova music festival. Our group held a meaningful memorial service there. The site was covered in pictures of the young people who had so brutally lost their lives there, or who are now held as hostages in Gaza. It affected me deeply, and my tears flowed.

Later that day, we traveled to an IDF base to hear directly from the soldiers who had recently returned from Gaza. The death and destruction that they witnessed was deeply moving. We accompanied them to a dining area where we shared a barbecue with them. Soldiers joined us at our tables, giving us a chance to thank them directly. As we finished our meal, the music began, and members of the conference and the soldiers danced and sang together, celebrating life. With our arms around each others shoulders, we loudly sang patriotic songs, with tears never far away.

B’nai B’rith International President Seth Riklin’s trip to Israel for a mission conducted by the Conference of Presidents in February also included a visit to Tel Aviv, where he met with B’nai B’rith leaders. Riklin (center) is flanked by B’nai B’rith Israel President Emanuel (Mano) Cohen (left) and board member Ilan Shchori (right).

During the week, we had an opportunity to have discussions with many Israeli leaders. We had frank discussions with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Minister Benny Gantz, Minister Yoav Gallant, Opposition Leader Yair Lapid, and President Isaac Herzog, along with a host of other leaders. They graciously shared their time and answered every question.

The last day was spent at the foreign ministry. We heard from Minister Israel Katz, and then spent time in roundtable discussions with diplomatic experts. The time at the ministry was the best preparation possible for our upcoming B’nai B’rith mission to Paris and Geneva to meet with UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and members of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Sadly, the United Nations and its member organizations have become enemy territory for Israel and her friends. Our mission’s task will be to communicate the existential threat of Oct. 7, and the non-negotiability of Israel’s safety.

The result of the terror attack on Oct. 7 is that the future of a sovereign Palestinian state must be put on hold. We cannot reward terror by accomplishing their goal. Moreover, there can be no sovereign Palestinian state until Gaza and the West Bank are demilitarized. The terrorists must be neutralized or removed from Israel’s borders. Israel will remove Hamas from Gaza. The United States is pressuring the Palestinian Authority to make changes to clean up corruption, remove terrorists and become capable of good governance. Israelis and Palestinians must agree to live as neighbors in peace.

With the Conference of Presidents mission ending with success, I was able to spend my last night in Israel spending time with B’nai B’rith leaders in Tel Aviv. Ilan Shchori, a member of the board of B’nai B’rith Israel and chair of the Tel Aviv Council of B’nai B’rith, and Emanuel “Mano” Cohen, president of B’nai B’rith Israel, shared dinner with me at the Animar Restaurant of the Dan Hotel. B’nai B’rith has existed in Israel since 1888, and currently has more than 3,000 members and the framework of some 100 lodges. Ilan and Mano are busy developing B’nai B’rith Israel and hope to grow it to more than 5,000 members.

The one word that I would use to describe Israel and the Jewish people is “resilient.” Through the centuries, despots and anti-Semites have sought to convert us, enslave us or kill us. In every instance, the Jewish people have prevailed. Israel, as the homeland of the Jewish people, remains the only democracy in the region. Israel and the Jewish people continue to stand strong in the face of hate. B’nai B’rith has also proven its resilience, with more than 180 years of life all around the world.

As Jews and members and supporters of B’nai B’rith, it is important for us to support and to take pride in Israel. If you can, I hope you are able to travel to Israel to show your loyalty sometime in the near future.

Am Yisrael Chai!

B’nai B’rith Commemorates International Holocaust Remembrance Day

B’nai B’rith honored International Holocaust Remembrance Day worldwide with events that paid tribute to victims of the Shoah.

Since the attacks on Oct. 7—the worst atrocity committed against the Jewish people since the Holocaust—this year’s day of remembrance differed significantly from previous years.

International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust (also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day) marks the Jan. 27 anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.

Remembering the Holocaust After October 

B’nai B’rith hosted a virtual program that examined the influence of the terror attacks on the Jewish community’s collective remembrance of the Holocaust. Panelists, including former Yad Vashem Chief Historian Dina Porat and inaugural Director of the NYU Center for the Study of anti-Semitism Avinoam J. Patt, discussed the significance of Oct. 7, addressing themes of anti-Semitism, genocide and historical revisionism. B’nai B’rith CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin moderated the discussion, which also included Director of U.N. and Intercommunal Affairs David Michaels. Watch the program here.

Conference in Brussels

B’nai B’rith collaborated with the Belgian Presidency of the EU, the European Commission and the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) to organize the conference “Remembering the Past. Shaping the Future.” on Jan. 23 in Brussels.

Speakers included Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan, EU Vice President Margaritis Schinas and Katharina von Schnurbein, European Commission coordinator on combating anti-Semitism and fostering Jewish life, who spoke with Baroness Regina Sluszny about her experience hiding from the Nazis as a child. Although Sluszny has made annual presentations about the Holocaust to Belgian students, her school visits were canceled following the Hamas terror attacks on Oct. 7.

At the conference, speakers highlighted IHRA’s recently announced Charter for Safeguarding Holocaust Sites, aimed at preserving former concentration and extermination camps, as well as train stations, mass graves and other sites of historical significance.

Commemoration at the United Nations

On Jan. 26, B’nai B’rith attended the 2024 United Nations observance of the “International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust,” where Holocaust survivors shared their haunting testimonies. From left: Millie Magid, B’nai B’rith chair for U.N. Affairs, with Andrea Cure, vice president of Development and Strategic Initiatives; David Michaels, director of U.N. and Intercommunal Affairs and Liz Krebs, program manager.

Special Report: The Fragility of Freedom: Online Holocaust Denial and Distortion

In advance of Holocaust Remembrance Day, B’nai B’rith Director of EU Affairs Alina Bricman contributed the article “Narratives of Holocaust Glorification, Distortion and Trivialization Following the Hamas Massacre of October 7” as part of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue’s report “The Fragility of Freedom: Online Holocaust Denial and Distortion.” In her analysis, she categorized emerging trends and outlined necessary steps in policymaking to address the resurgence in anti-Semitism, reflecting on the months since the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre and the subsequent wave of anti-Semitic incidents.

Click here to read the report.


Anti-Semitism and Its Remedies

Daniel S. Mariaschin
CEO, B’nai B’rith International

Many will recall the best seller “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” Taking the title literally, I can’t say that fits my life experience, but there is one issue where it closely applies.

From my kindergarten days, I would often hear my parents discussing anti-Semitism, here at home and in Europe. My mother and father were both child immigrants to America, brought here by parents looking for a better life.

My mother loved this country. I’ve described her earliest recollection of arriving, not long off the boat that brought her, her mother and brother to New York, and then traveling to her new home in Bangor, Maine on the Fourth of July, with its fireworks display. She was an avid reader of Horatio Alger. She loved to read about the children of American presidents and often talked about her admiration for Mary Antin, the immigrant rights campaigner who wrote “The Promised Land.”

My father arrived in America at age 13, attended high school at night in Brooklyn, and worked during the day. He frequently talked about his being asked in public school to recite the Gettysburg Address by heart and how, though his accent was somewhat heavy, managed to get through the assignment with nary a glitch. He spent a good part of his life working in the leather goods business, designing and manufacturing wallets, belts and cowboy holster sets for children. He was a fan of Zane Grey’s novels about the American West, which, unfortunately, he never saw with his own eyes.

Mariaschin with his mother and father at Brandeis University in
June 1973. Immigrants who loved their adopted homeland, they exercised their right to freedom of speech to take a stand against anti-Semitism in all forms, asking others in their New Hampshire community to do so as well.

Both were ardent Zionists. My mother was an admirer of Henrietta Szold, who founded Hadassah. We have a speech she gave as a 12-year-old member of the “Young Maccabeans,” in which she proudly proclaimed her love for both the “Hebrew flag” and the Stars and Stripes.

My father was well read in biblical history, and it was from him that I first learned about the Bar Kochba revolt. An early tip-off to his Zionist worldview is his story about the night before his family left Russia in 1913 for the United States: He and his best friend pledged to meet again in Palestine.

With all that, neither was naive about anti-Semitism. At the dinner table, my “school after school,” the discussions would often bring up such topics as the Chmielnicki Pogroms, or how Jews were restricted to living in Russia’s Pale of Settlement. I heard about the radio anti-Semitism of Father Charles Coughlin, and about the German American Bund. I learned that Jews couldn’t buy property in certain neighborhoods. When my sisters were applying to colleges, there was talk about university quotas.

There were many discussions about the Holocaust, and particularly about the large number of our relatives who were killed in Lithuania.

As a result, like many Jews, I grew antennae that could sense when anti-Semitism was in the room, or on TV, or in the air.

Don’t get me wrong: we were not fixated on all of this, just especially aware.

Over the decades, things began to improve. There was greater acceptance of Jews in places that only a few years before had been off-limits: The fields of banking, insurance and advertising come to mind. Quotas at prestigious universities ended. More and more Jews were elected to Congress, a number of whom came from states and districts with relatively small Jewish populations.

Jewish actors began to use their own names instead of stage names. Formerly restricted neighborhoods opened up to Jewish homeowners. There were movies and TV programs about all manner of Jewish themes, from “Exodus” to “Schindler’s List.”

The Six-Day War resulted in widespread admiration for Israel’s prowess on the battlefield, knocking down stereotypes about weak and defenseless Jews. Recently, it was Israel, the “startup nation” that had much of the world looking to the Jewish state for the latest in high-tech innovation. Television dramas produced in Israel became worldwide hits via streaming platforms. Israeli chefs opened restaurants in American cities.

It was the best of times.

Oct. 7 and its aftermath were just the culmination of a decade or more of demonizing and delegitimizing Israel on an international scale. Here at home, it was the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, especially on college campuses. A perverse bias against Israel throughout the United Nations system had existed since the adoption of the infamous Zionism=Racism resolution of 1975, pushed along by the Palestinians and their fellow travelers.

Efforts to confront this rising tide of hate have had their moments, such as the adoption of a standard definition of anti-Semitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), a consortium of countries that have pledged to promote commemoration of the Shoah through education and research. More and more special envoys on Holocaust issues are appointed by governments abroad, especially in Europe. At the U.N., B’nai B’rith has played a central role in the Jewish community’s pushback against the calumnies leveled at Israel and more broadly Jews in general, in agencies of the world body—especially, but not limited to, the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

B’nai B’rith CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. during the “March for Israel.” Organized in the aftermath of the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel, the solidarity event took place on Nov. 14, 2023.

But then came Oct.7 and its aftermath, which has produced a tsunami of Jew-hate not seen on such an international scale since 1945. The scope spans the community of democracies (with some few exceptions) to autocracies worldwide. It manifests itself even in what we would consider to be respectable media outlets. It is burgeoning on university campuses. Jewish actors are being cancelled for being outspoken supporters of Israel. Two of New York’s highly recognized hospitals have drawn protestors because some of their contributors are Jewish.

The venom spewed at Israel seemingly knows no bounds. The list of indignities—and worse—thrown at Israel and its supporters is a long one, and it is growing.

How did what took so many years to build up—good will and acceptance for the Jewish community and Israel—seemingly dissolve in such a short time? Many point to social media, but certainly Israel’s enemies have long been at work laying the groundwork for these verbal, and many times physical, assaults.

Follow the money, as they say—but it’s more than that. We need to know more about the organizers of these demonstrations, who pinpoint targets large and small, from university campuses to small towns around the country, to midtown Manhattan. The network of pro-Palestinian organizations that plan and participate in these protests, marches and disruptive tactics clearly have as their main objective to break the bond between the American people, and more broadly, our country, from Israel and its supporters in the American Jewish community.

I’m not a psychologist, but I think there is another element, especially in Europe (which has had its own explosion of anti-Semitism), that is at play: a subliminal, seething resentment at being reminded, as we justifiably do, that Europeans actively participated and collaborated in, or were apathetic to, the destruction of Europe’s Jews. The Israeli-Palestinian issue has given a convenient opening for Europeans to say: “Well, you (Jews) were victims, but now you are victimizers.” It’s an easy way for the guilt that rightfully hovers over Europe to be assuaged.

My parents would be disturbed by what has transpired, especially since Oct. 7, but I don’t think they would be surprised. They knew that this ages-old phenomenon was hard to erase. They believed the best way to push it back was to stand up and be counted. My mother wrote innumerable letters to the editor when she’d read an anti-Israel article or editorial. If a customer came to our store complaining that a Jewish merchant had “Jewed her down,” she gave a quick riposte. My father taught me to be proud of our history, its moments of glory and centuries of anguish. When the Six Day War broke out, he walked up and down our town’s main street with a petition soliciting signatures from mostly non-Jewish merchants in support of Israel.

Winning this battle begins with person-to-person encounters. But beyond that, we need to advocate for more states and local school districts to introduce Holocaust education. Textbooks need to contain more than just lip service to Jews as part of a list of immigrant groups in America. They need to tell the story of the immense Jewish contributions to American civilization in so many fields, from medicine to technology, to culture and the arts.

We need to press the media to hew to fairness in reporting about Israel, and not follow the current fashion to bash it for every action it makes in self-defense. Political figures need to be held accountable for reckless comments about Israel. (And we need to commend those who have stood up for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship, and those who are speaking out against anti-Semitism). We need to press university presidents and administrators to guarantee a welcoming attitude toward Jewish students, to keep them safe and secure.

And we also need to remember that we have many good friends out there: They are neighbors, colleagues, clergy, elected officials and so many others who not only understand our close connection to Israel but are appalled by anti-Semitism wherever it exists. My guess is that most Americans reside in this category of our population.

In modern history, we’ve not seen the likes of the challenges we face today. But we mustn’t be daunted by it all. I’m especially proud of B’nai B’rith’s record of advocating for a strong and secure Israel and for being among the leaders in the fight against anti-Semitism. Armed with our millennia long history and continuity, and blessed with a modern State of Israel, and with the support of friends and allies, we can prevail.

My parents would be eager to join the fight.

B’nai B’rith Opposes Case Against Israel at the International Court of Justice

In December, South Africa filed a case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, accusing Israel of committing genocide against the Palestinian people.

In response to these claims, B’nai B’rith submitted a memorandum to the court with arguments against the case and urged countries that supported Israel’s right to self-defense following Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre to submit their own filings.

Prepared by B’nai B’rith International former President Richard D. Heideman and Joseph Tipograph of Heideman Nudelman & Kalik, PC, and B’nai Brith Canada Senior Honorary Counsel David Matas, the submission argued that the South African brief should be dismissed, asserting that a ruling in its favor would enable Hamas to persist in its attack on the State of Israel. Hamas bears responsibility for the genocide of the Jewish people on Oct. 7 and for the subsequent suffering of the residents of Gaza.

In its Jan. 26 decision, the court ordered Israel to “take all measures within its power” to prevent acts of genocide and violations of the Genocide Convention, as well as to ensure its forces improve humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza.

B’nai B’rith is concerned that the court has granted several provisions from South Africa, including the need for Israel to report on its compliance with obligations. The court announcement focused heavily on suffering in Gaza and on objectionable statements made by some Israeli officials, while paying minimal attention to Palestinian crimes committed against Israelis and the difficult military conditions created by Hamas in Gaza. Additionally, it did not adequately acknowledge Israel’s obligation to protect its citizens’ lives.

In a statement from B’nai B’rith following the ruling, it was noted, “The very suggestion that Israel—and not its enemies, openly committed to Israel’s violent eradication—may be guilty of “genocide” is outrageous considering patent facts, including Israel’s exceptional efforts to lessen Palestinian civilian casualties and to provide Gaza’s population with humanitarian aid even during an unprovoked and indiscriminate war, like previous wars, brutally prompted by the Palestinian side.”

B’nai B’rith has led Jewish communal engagement with the United Nations since its founding in 1945 and will continue to express solidarity with Israel and condemn the misuse of international political and legal instruments to attack the world’s only Jewish state.

Read the full submission to the ICJ here.

World Center-Jerusalem Conducts Israel Mission for Latin American Journalists

In February, B’nai B’rith-World Center sponsored a trip to Israel for a group of Latin American journalists, whose itinerary focused on the effects of the Israel-Hamas war, which impacted the lives of residents of the country and Jewish people around the world.
The journalists outside the World Center-Jerusalem. B’nai B’rith Director of Latin American Affairs Eduardo Kohn (in black coat), appears at the left-hand side, second right from the menorah.

As guests of the B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem, journalists from Latin America experienced a deep dive into the realities of the Hamas-Israel War during a trip that took place from Feb. 15-19.

Selected and invited by B’nai B’rith affiliates in their countries, 11 reporters from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Uruguay met with experts and viewed sites where the war is being waged. They were briefed by Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan; Prime Minister’s Office Coordinator for Hostages and Missing Brigadier General (Ret.) Gal Hirsch; Foreign Policy Director Dr. Ophir Falk; Member of the Security Cabinet Minister Gideon Sa’ar (New Hope); Minister of Economy MK Nir Barkat (Likud); Opposition MKs including Evgeny Sova (Yisrael Beiteinu) and Dr. Matti Sarfati Harkavi (Yesh Atid); Police Superintendent Mirit Ben Mayor; Ambassador Jonathan Peled, MFA deputy director general of Latin America and the Caribbean; Alon Simhayoff, director, U.N. Political Affairs Department; IDF Spokesman Maj. Roni Kaplan; Capt. (Res.) Shadi Khalloul; Itamar Marcus, director of Palestinian Media Watch; and Victor Harel of the Hostages and Missing Families Forum, among others.

They also talked with Nova music festival survivors, families of hostages captive in Gaza, and released hostages and evacuees from Israel’s northern border. The itinerary included visits to Ofakim and Nir Oz in Southern Israel, which suffered significant casualties on Oct.7, Hadassah Hospital’s Gandel Rehabilitation Center, Magen David Adom’s Jerusalem headquarters, Gush Halav, Kiryat Shmona, Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

B’nai B’rith Latin American Affairs Director Eduardo Kohn and Gabriel Ben-Tasgal, an Argentinean expert on Israel, led the group. This is the fourth mission of Latin American journalists hosted by the B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem and the first since Oct. 7.

World Center-Jerusalem Director Alan Schneider said the mission was intended to emphasize the impact of the terrorist attacks on Israeli citizens and its repercussions for the Jewish community worldwide and demonstrate the country’s resilience in the face of extreme adversity.

B’nai B’rith Connect Group D.C. and New York Winter Activities

New York City

On Feb. 5 at B’nai B’rith’s New York office, B'nai B'rith Connect young leadership group welcomed speaker Eden Gafner, who described the 26 hours she spent hiding in a safe room with her family at her Kibbutz Re’im home during the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas terrorists. Bottom row, from left: Dar Halevy-Feldman; Gafner; and Dana Avissar Kraskin. Halevy-Feldman and Kraskin run Faces of October Seventh, which brings individuals who experienced the war in Israel to campuses and communities in the United States.

Washington, D.C.

B’nai B’rith hosted a Connect Diplomatic Encounters reception on Feb. 20 at its Washington, D.C. headquarters with Romanian Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Cristian Gaginksy (third from right), who spoke about NATO, sustainable energy and Israel-Romania relations. He also briefed the group on Romania's current priorities and the challenges arising from regional conflicts.

B’nai B’rith Colombia Produces Interfaith Events Focusing on Israel

On Nov. 28, B’nai B’rith Colombia and the Jewish community of Colombia were among the sponsors of an interfaith rally in Cali in support of Israel, with over 100 members of Christian congregations in Cali, Buenaventura, Guacarí, Tuluá, Yumbo, Palmira, Jamundiʹ, Cartago, Dagua, Candelaria, Bogota and Cúcuta attending. Representatives of the government of the Department Assembly of Valle del Cauca and the Jewish community also attended to demonstrate solidarity.

Sylvia Valle, director of Human Relations for B’nai B’rith Colombia and the Jewish community of Cali, remarked: “We were amazed at the enormous response by members of these excellent organizations: Thousands of faithful Christians, including many clergy, were present.”

Speakers included experts, religious leaders, local officials, representatives of the Jewish Community of Cali and the Ambassador of Israel to Colombia Gali Dagan via live video link.

On the previous day, the B’nai B’rith Human Relations Office in Cali sponsored a conference with historian Marcos Peckel at the headquarters of the Hebrew Relief Society, attracting journalists, teachers and community members.

His speech “From Oslo to Gaza,” detailed a timeline of the Arab Israeli conflict spanning the Oslo Accords to the current war between Israel and Hamas.

Valle observed: “The event provided a very favorable moment for clarification, especially for the academics and journalists present. It helps us counteract the misinformation that we see so much in the media and social networks.”

Mexico Honors B’nai B’rith’s 180th Anniversary with a Stamp and an Exhibition

From left: B’nai B’rith International President Seth J. Riklin and Vice Chairman Brad Adolph with an enlarged version of the B’nai B’rith stamp, whose design features the organization’s distinctive menorah logo. The stamp was premiered at Mexico City’s Postal Palace.
Opening on Dec. 7, the B’nai B’rith exhibit at the Mexico Israel Institute included photos of archival materials like this early membership certificate.

In recognition of B’nai B’rith’s accomplishments over 18 decades, including its assistance to Eastern European immigrants to Mexico in the aftermath of
World War I, a B’nai B’rith commemorative stamp and a photo exhibition focusing on the organization’s history were unveiled in Mexico City on Dec. 6 and 7.

B’nai B’rith leaders at the Dec. 6 stamp ceremony arranged by the Mexican Postal Service included: President Seth J. Riklin, Vice Chairman Brad Adolph, Senior Vice President Gina Strauss, B’nai B’rith Mexico President Silvia Kleinberg and Board of Directors representative Dan Tartakovski. Also present were members of B’nai B’rith Mexico and the B’nai B’rith South Florida Unit, founded in 2018. Strauss, who serves as president of the South Florida Unit, played an integral role in arranging the Mexico City activities.

Adolph began his remarks with an expression of solidarity for Israel and went on to summarize B’nai B’rith’s early activities in Mexico:

“The Mexican Bureau was established in 1924 to help immigrants. The B’nai B’rith House [its headquarters] included dorms, a restaurant, a clubroom and a gym. The employment agency supplied training and job placement. Language classes were conducted. There was also a shoemaking class, and an apprentice program; eventually, there were doctor and dental services…”

The first Mexico City lodge was founded in 1934.

On Dec. 7, guests at the Mexico Israel Institute enjoyed a festive evening that included a Chanukah menorah lighting ceremony and a first look at the B’nai B’rith history display of 55 images illustrating its past and present achievements.

World Center-Jerusalem and World Union of Jewish Students Sponsor Prague Conference on the Israel-Hamas War

A delegation from B’nai B’rith IMPACT: Emerging Leaders Fellowship program participated in the January World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS) Congress in Prague. B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem facilitated the event. Photos credit: Veronika Konickova, Instagram: @veronikakonickova
From left: Oct. 7 survivors Arik Nani and Bar Chinitz provided firsthand accounts of the harrowing Hamas attack during the Nova music festival where more than 360 people were murdered. Alina Bricman, B’nai B’rith director of EU Affairs, who heads the IMPACT program, noted: “We were especially honored to facilitate the testimony of Arik and Bar, who inspired us with their optimism.”
Bricman was on hand to contribute her expertise during the sessions.

B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem facilitated the sessions for the annual World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS) Congress in Prague, where 150 students from 30 countries, including delegates from B’nai B’rith’s IMPACT: Emerging Leaders Fellowship program, were in attendance.

Alina Bricman, B’nai B’rith director of EU Affairs, who heads the IMPACT program, commented: “Young people who have been on the frontlines of fighting anti-Semitism on campus have faced enormous strain in the aftermath of October 7. For them to come together from all corners of the world and share in a moment of positive Jewish identity was extremely strengthening and valuable. We’re excited about our partnership with WUJS, which will elevate young voices within and beyond the Jewish community.”

The conference’s in-depth programming on the Hamas terror attack centered on an important and moving session led by two survivors of the Nova music festival, where more than 360 people were murdered by Hamas on Oct. 7. They detailed the harrowing and violent events and their aftermath during their hour-long presentation, the first they gave outside of Israel.

Arik Nani, a motivational online content creator from Tel Aviv and Ness Ziona resident Bar Chinitz, a therapist specializing in children’s issues, quickly realized that concertgoers were under siege by hundreds of armed terrorists.

Nani and Chinitz, who bonded during their shared experience, paid tribute to the Nova victims, acknowledged hostages still imprisoned by Hamas, and described their challenges in recovering from the trauma they endured.

Reflecting their optimism for the future, Nova survivors have adopted the motto #WeWillDanceAgain.

The session inspired all the young delegates to renew and strengthen their support for Israel and to share information they acquired with peers, officials and media.

The B’nai B’rith Podcast: Conversations with B’nai B’rith

Where can you watch quick and insightful interviews on topics that you care about and about which you want to learn more? Tune in to the B’nai B’rith Podcast: Conversations with B’nai B’rith.

Hosted by CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin, the podcasts, part of our focus on Jewish identity and culture, include discussions with a variety of prominent and fascinating people.

Our podcasts uncover the story of Jewish participation in all areas of life in America, Israel and throughout the world.

In this issue of IMPACT you can catch up on all the unique discussions you may have missed, including:

Nova Festival Survivor Shye Klein Weinstein: Bearing Witness

Shye Klein Weinstein wasn’t supposed to go to the Nova Music Festival. But at the last minute, he decided to buy a ticket. He had no idea that on Oct. 7, he’d be running for his life to escape Hamas terrorists. In December, we hosted Shye for a live conversation with B’nai B’rith CEO Dan Mariaschin to share his experiences from that horrific day. Watch.

The War on Hamas and its Regional and International Significance

Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS) Director Efraim Inbar and leading scholar, Professor Hillel Frisch break down Israel’s defensive war with Hamas. Watch.

The Inflation Reduction Act’s Impact on Medicare and Prescription Drug Prices

Health policy and legal expert Zachary Baron breaks down the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and its impact on Medicare and prescription drugs. Watch.

The Life of American Jewish Sports Legend Marty Glickman

Author and historian Jeffrey Gurock sat down to talk about his new biography of Marty Glickman, a preeminent voice of New York sports and an American Jewish sports icon. In “Marty Glickman: The Life of an American Jewish Sports Legend,” Gurock explores Glickman’s indelible contributions to American popular culture and his experiences as a successful American Jew in the 20th century. Watch.

Filmmaker Laura Bialis Talks About Her Documentary “Vishniac”

Roman Vishniac was one of the most important and groundbreaking photographers and artists of the 20th century, best known for his iconic images of Jewish life in Eastern Europe before the Holocaust. Now for the first time, his remarkable story comes to life as a feature documentary, “Vishniac,” narrated by his daughter Mara Kohn Vishniac, and produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker Laura Bialis. Watch.

Catch up on all our podcasts, as well as all of our video content here.


Leo Baeck and Alfred M. Cohen: Their Friendship

Baeck’s November 1933 letter to Cohen. He spoke or wrote the words in German, which were translated, likely by British B’nai B’rith leader Leo Elton, who also attended the Arbeitsgemeinschaft meeting in Amsterdam. Photo credit: B’nai B’rith Holocaust and Related Materials Collection, Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati
From left: Former German Grand Lodge President, eminent theologian and rabbi, Leo Baeck (1873-1956) with former B’nai B’rith International President Alfred M. Cohen (1859-1949) together in the U.S. in 1946. Baeck was imprisoned in Theresienstadt, where he lectured and taught classes, and survived because of a clerical error. He would head efforts to restore B’nai B’rith in Europe in the years after the end of World War II.

In a short few months after Hitler came to power in January 1933, his anti-Jewish laws had reduced the community to a state of desperation: Most were forced out of their jobs, and a large percentage of the population struggled to survive.

Friends and regular correspondents during the previous decade, B’nai B’rith International President Alfred M. Cohen and Rabbi Leo Baeck, German Grand Lodge president, could only communicate indirectly; to keep Baeck safe, letters and coded messages were transmitted by Prague B’nai B’rith leader Dr. Joseph Popper and through the Paris office of the Joint Distribution Committee, a Jewish philanthropy founded in 1914. 

Cohen traveled to London as a delegate to B’nai B’rith’s Conference for Relief of German Jewry (IMPACT Backstory, Spring 2023), held from Oct. 29-Nov. 1, 1933. 

Afterward, he journeyed to Amsterdam to meet with continental B’nai B’rith leaders attending the Arbeitsgemeinschaft [the European lodges’ convention] on Nov. 6. Also present was Baeck, who had taken the risk of applying for, and obtaining permission to travel, from the Berlin police. On this occasion, he spoke directly to his colleagues to make sure that they understood that any plans to organize an official boycott of German goods or tourism or an anti-Nazi protest would result in severe punishment, even death, for Jews in Germany. 

How did Cohen receive this moving letter from Baeck, written at about this time? The German District letterhead proves that it is an original letter, not a translated copy. Perhaps it was sent from Amsterdam, or handed to Cohen before he left the city. Now housed in the B’nai B’rith Holocaust and Related Materials Collection at Cincinnati’s Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, Baeck’s letter, and the moving sentiments which it conveys, evidence the strong connection between the two leaders.

Center for Senior Services Updates Older Americans on Prescription Prices

In a recent episode of the “Conversations with B’nai B’rith” podcast, CEO Dan Mariaschin spoke with health policy and legal expert Zachary Baron about the Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA) impact on Medicare and prescription drugs. Baron, director of the Health Policy and the Law Initiative at the O’Neill Institute (at Georgetown University Law Center), reviewed key aspects of the IRA and its repercussions on Medicare and prescription drugs. Explaining its effect on the costs of medicine, he summarized the ongoing legal battles connected with the IRA.

Holiday Cheer Served Up by Two B’nai B’rith Lodges

Volunteers including members of the Isadore Garsek Lodge in Fort Worth cooked and served meals on Christmas at the Beautiful Feet Ministries, a Christian charity providing services to impoverished families. Photo: Courtesy Jim Stanton

B’nai B’rith lodges in Atlanta and Fort Worth were busy giving back to their communities in December.

A 1990 recipient of The George H.W. Bush Points of Light Award, Achim/Gate City Lodge’s Pinch Hitter Program recruits and organizes volunteers who substitute for non-essential personnel during Christmas in and near Atlanta. For more than four decades, employees working at sites including hospitals and senior homes have been able to enjoy the holiday with their families, thanks to the efforts of the “pinch hitters” from the lodge. While the program was on hiatus for two years during the pandemic, the lodge produced a musical variety video, which was enjoyed by staff and patients at veterans hospitals and long-term care facilities in and around Atlanta.

On Christmas Day, Achim/Gate City Lodge members volunteered as pinch hitters at Celebration Village, a residential senior community in Suwanee, Ga.

Program Coordinator Harry Lutz, his daughter and grandson were among the 200 participants stationed at seven facilities who helped to keep everything neat and tidy on Christmas. Lutz commented: “We will serve meals in the cafeteria. Sometimes, we have volunteers in the kitchen rolling up their sleeves and washing dishes.” Pinch Hitters is sponsored by multiple businesses in the Atlanta area.

Maintaining a 35-year Christmas tradition, B’nai B’rith Isadore Garsek Lodge members cooked and served breakfast and lunch at Beautiful Feet Ministries, a philanthropy helping low-income people in the Fort Worth area, together with other volunteers from the Christian community. The team fed more than 450 people two meals each. “It’s a great B’nai B’rith tradition, it brightens up [the holiday for] homeless clients and provides the mission staff with the opportunity to spend Christmas Day at home with their family,” noted Lodge President Rich Hollander.

B’nai B’rith Hosts Chanukah Candle Lightings with Israelis Impacted by Hamas Attacks

During Chanukah, B’nai B’rith hosted live menorah candle lighting events to “Share the Light” with survivors and families affected by the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

Two German Lodges Organize Activities in Support of Israel

B’nai B’rith lodges in two German cities raised funds for philanthropies in Israel.

Franz Rosenzweig Lodge

Guest speaker Tomaš Kraus, president of the Central European Region of B'nai B'rith Europe, delivered remarks at the Franz Rosenzweig Lodge dinner in Düsseldorf on Nov. 25.

Nearly 80 lodge members and guests enjoyed an evening of Israeli music and gourmet cuisine at a Nov. 25 dinner organized by Düsseldorf’s Franz Rosenzweig Lodge.

B’nai B’rith CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin delivered online greetings, congratulating the lodge on its work: “All of the history that is a part of your lodge, and its place in the history of B’nai B’rith Europe and the broader Jewish community is something that we all admire.”

Welcoming attendees, lodge President Oded Horowitz noted that the evening celebrated B’nai B’rith’s 180th anniversary and underscored the organization’s solidarity with Israel, where the repercussions of the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas were impacting Jews around the world.

Proceeds from the evening were earmarked for Neve Hanna, an award-winning residence for children afflicted with a variety of psychological disorders in Kiryat Gat, which has received support from the lodge for three decades.

Traveling from Prague, guest speaker Tomaš Kraus, president of the Central European Region of B’nai B’rith Europe, praised the abiding friendship between Israel and the Czech Republic. Describing the reaction of individuals and groups in his country to the Hamas attacks, Kraus affirmed that the population, with one voice, stands with Israel, and supports its actions, now and in the past.

Schönstädt Lodge

The audience at the Schönstädt Lodge Jan. 16 solidarity concert at Frankfurt’s Haus am Dom was treated to a recital of Israeli songs and operetta excerpts by the Gesher Ensemble. Gesher is the Hebrew word for bridge.

Frankfurt’s Schönstädt Lodge, which has organized several solidarity events since the war began, partnered with the Haus am Dom cultural center and the Rabanus Marcus Catholic Academy to sponsor a Jan. 16 concert for NATAL–Israel Trauma and Resiliency Center performed by the Gesher Ensemble.

Introduced by lodge President Ralph Hofmann, speakers included NATAL Chair Emi Palmor and Daniela Kalscheuer, director of intercultural studies at Rabanus Maurus Catholic Academy. The guest of honor was Ukrainian Consul General Vadym Kostiuk.

Lodge events continued on Feb. 28, when Hofmann, members and guests celebrated the opening of a B’nai B’rith archival exhibit on view at Frankfurt‘s German National Library, in conjunction with Schönstädt‘s release of three online histories of B’nai B’rith lodges in Frankfurt, Mannheim and Nuremberg.


B’nai B’rith President Gerald Kraft z”l

Israel’s Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir (l) with B’nai B’rith International President Gerald Kraft in 1983. Photo credit: Dan Landau

Gerald Kraft, z”l, who died at age 92 on Jan. 11, was an ardent advocate for Israel and for the cause of human rights worldwide. 

Serving as president of B’nai B’rith International from 1982-86, Kraft supervised the initial air lift of Ethiopian Jews from Sudan at the request of the Israeli government in 1984; he remained closely involved in all subsequent air lift operations that completed the mission. 

Among his many accomplishments, Kraft played an instrumental role in the United States’ ratification of the Genocide Convention Implementation Act of 1987.