An IsraAID fact-finding mission to Bulgaria in March, led by B’nai B’rith World Center Director Alan Schneider, provided emergency aid to Syrian refugees and developed a proposal for long-term assistance to Bulgaria as it deals with the large influx of Syrian refugees.
The program is a joint-effort between B’nai B’rith International, the American Jewish Committee and the Shai Fund, under the IsraAID banner.
The IsraAID mission was sparked after Bulgaria, overwhelmed by the mass of people – primarily Syrian – crossing through Turkey into the country, appealed for international aid, while the United Nations declared a “human emergency” along its border. About 11,000 Syrian refugees have fled to Bulgaria, many taking up residence in deteriorating, overcrowded camps.
B’nai B’rith and its IsraAID partners provided food and hygienic supplies for immediate relief to the Syrians, as well as support for Bulgarian authorities by launching a psycho-social training program.
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The B’nai B’rith World Center in Jerusalem hosted a mission of high level executives from the Argentinian branch of Securitas – a multinational security company with 300,000 employees in 53 counties – March 21-31.
The mission was initiated by B’nai B’rith Argentina that has maintained a long relationship with the company through its extensive corporate responsibility programs.
B’nai B’rith Argentina Treasurer David Petliuk and Development Director Sergio Skliavski joined the group of nine corporate executives for the mission. The intensive program planned and implemented by the World Center included meetings with twelve Israeli security-oriented high-tech companies coordinated by the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute.
Site visits were also made to leading Israeli defense and security firms: Magal Security Systems, Elbit Systems and Aeronautics Defense Systems. The group also visited major security-sensitive sites such as the Separation Barrier, Ben Gurion Airport, Ashdod Maritime Port, Bank Leumi’s security headquarters and the Israel Police’s “Mabat 2000” Jerusalem Old City surveillance center to get a sense of how Israel copes with varied security challenges.
While in the country, the group visited the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, toured the border with Lebanon with IDF commanders and view the strategic importance of the Samaria mountain range.
The ten-day program included in-depth visits to historic and national sites including Jerusalem’s Old City, Caesarea, Old Jaffa, Nazareth, Golan Heights, Bethlehem, Israel Museum, Knesset and Yad Vashem.
B'nai B'rith World Center
The B'nai B'rith World Center in Jerusalem is the hub of B'nai B'rith International activities in Israel. The Center serves as the key link between Israel and B'nai B'rith members and supporters around the world.