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The B’nai B’rith World Center launched on April 19 the Hebrew Diplomatic Club—the first forum ever established in Israel for Hebrew-speaking foreign diplomats. The inaugural meeting of the club—that enjoys the sponsorship of the Israel Foreign Ministry Protocol Office—took place at the ministry headquarters in Jerusalem with the participation of diplomats from Japan, the EU, Bulgaria, Georgia, Poland and Russia. B’nai B’rith World Center Director Alan Schneider and Head of Protocol Gil Haskel opened the session—the first in what is planned in monthly meetings of the club that will be expanded to include Hebrew-speaking spouses and children of the diplomats.

The guest speaker at the meeting was noted Hebraist Avshalom Kor, winner of the Prime Minister’s Hebrew Language Award for 2016, who made a wide-ranging presentation under the title “I speak with King David” about the less-known advantages of the Hebrew language. Schneider praised the diplomats for making the significant effort to learn Hebrew and immerse themselves in the life of the country and presented a historical panorama of B’nai B’rith, including its contribution to the revival of Hebrew as a functional language, an initiative led by Eliezer Ben-Yehuda who served as the first secretary of the B’nai B’rith Jerusalem Lodge, and other noteworthy breakthroughs including the establishment of the forerunner of the Israel National Library. As planned, future meetings of the club will include a visit to the National Library’s soon-to-be-opened new premises, the Hebrew Academy of Language and the World Zionist Organization headquarters.

Photo Credit: Hila Revivo for MFA