B'nai B'rith International Honorary President Moishe Smith - a member of Jewish Agency Board of Governors Board committees and Extended World Zionist Organization Executive – represented B'nai B'rith at JAFI and WZO meetings held on October 28-31 in Tel Aviv.
Over the four-day parley Smith participated in meetings of a number of Board committees including Small Jewish communities; Holocaust restitution; Unity of the Jewish People and a Task Force on Anti-Semitism.
The Board also approved JAFI's 2013 budget of $315m (reflecting a cut of $20 from 2012) and held a session on the Iranian threat. The Extended Zionist Executive heard in-depth reports on the organizations' expanding activities in Israel and the Diaspora.
B'nai B'rith World Center director Alan Schneider, coordinator of the B'nai B'rith International WZO/JAFI Committee, also participated in the meetings, attending the launch of a new JAFI Task Force on outreach efforts to Israelis living abroad.
On October 30, 2012, a Memorial meeting was held as a Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repressions in Russia.
The ceremony took place at the "Levashovo Wasteland " located near Leningrad, one of the huge secret burial sites of the NKVD-MGB among many others in Russia (former USSR). In a silent corner of the forest, protected by a high fence with barbed wires on top, and well groomed tracks with the rare sound of a bell, graves were set by visitors quite differently from ordinary cemeteries : on trees, portraits of the people executed on the ground, mounds lined with cones or stones – it is impossible to say for sure exactly where any of the people were buried. Those who lie there were all honourable people from Russia who were shot, murdered or tortured to death in the dungeons of these institutions, under false pretences, by denunciations, and without trials. Millions of lives were taken.
The ceremony was attended by Alik Frenkel, Director of the Jewish Community Centre, Leonid Kolton, Director of the Hesed Abraham Charity Organisation, Mark Grubarg, leader of the St. Petersburg Religious Community "Grand Choral Synagogue", the Social Organisation of Jews, World War II veterans and disabled lead by Grigoriy Matveevich Lerner, the Progressive Judaism Community "Shaarei Shalom" of St. Petersburg represented by Elena Rubinstein, Talia Volkovicher, Director of the Jewish Agency in Russia in St. Petersburg and the Northwestern District and Eudard Shapira, Consul General of the State of Israel in St. Petersburg.
Representatives of Jewish organisations laid flowers, wreaths and memorial stones at the bottom of the Jewish monument, a sculpture by Edward Zaretsky installed in 1997 at the memorial cemetery and candles were lit. Baruh Finkelshteyn, President of the B'nai B'rith Lodge in St. Petersburg read the memorial prayers.
It was agreed that this ceremony should take place every year, involving young people together with all the Jewish organisations in the city.
May the memory of the innocent victims be blessed.
El lunes 29 de octubre se reunirá el Jurado integrado por los Sres. Julio Bocca, Gerardo Grieco e Ignacio Cardozo. En representación de la Comisión de Cultura los acompañará (sin voto) el Ing. Manuel Berger. Habrá de seleccionar a los galardonados con el Premio Fraternidad 2012 y el Candelabro de Oro. Este año la disciplina premiada será "Danza".
Join B’nai B’rith St. Louis as we present the 60th year of the Al Fleishman Institute of Judaism in Creve Coeur.
Sunday, October 28, 2012, 9:00 A.M.
Jewish Community Center Staenberg Family Complex
2 Millstone Campus Drive
St. Louis, MO 63146
The program begins with a continental breakfast followed by a presentation by Eric Fusfield about “Global Anti-Semitism and the Demoralization of Israel.” Fusfield, from Washington, D.C., has served as Deputy Director of the B’nai B’rith Center for Human Rights and Public Policy since 2007, and as Director of Legislative Affairs for B’nai B’rith International since 2003.
A dairy buffet lunch will be served when Karen Aroesty, Executive Director of the Anti-Defamation League of Missouri and Southern Illinois, will speak on anti-Semitism in St. Louis. Lunch will be followed by Fusfield’s second presentation, “Jewish Policy Priorities for 2013: The View from Washington.” The evening will conclude with cocktails and a nosh. Registration is $45 per person for the whole day.
For more information, to register or to receive an invitation, contact Diane Maier at 314-442-3190 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
B’nai B’rith World Center director Alan Schneider presented a Jewish Rescuers’ Citation to Lili Guinat (89) on Oct. 25 for her heroic efforts rescuing Jews in Vichy and occupied-France during the Holocaust. A Jewish Rescuers’ Citation was also presented posthumously to her late husband Dr. Eitan Guinat.
Lili and her husband operated within the framework of the MJS organization (Mouvement de la Jeunesse Sioniste) of which Dr. Guinat, known by his nom de guerre “Toto,” was one of the founders and leaders. MJS was one of the most important organizations in rescue operations of Jews during the war, arranging hiding places for thousands of Jewish families and saving many hundreds of children through escape routes to Switzerland and Spain.
MJS also provided false identity papers to many thousands of Jews, enabling them to escape persecution by French authorities. Many children, now organized in a group named Les Enfants Cachés (The Hidden Children), owe their lives to this organization.
A number of MJS members were caught by French collaborationists and handed over to the Germans for interrogation and execution.
Dr. Guinat, a chemist by training, was an early and active member, along with the B’nai B’rith World Center, in the Committee to Recognize the Heroism of Jews who Rescued Fellow Jews During the Holocaust (JRJ). He was the featured speaker at the World Center/KKL Holocaust and Martyrs Commemoration Day event in 2004.
The Jewish Rescuers’ Citation was established in 2011 by the JRJ and the B’nai B’rith World Center to honor Jews who went beyond the call of duty to rescue fellow Jews living under Nazi occupation, Axis regimes and Nazi puppet-states during the Holocaust. To date, citations have been presented to 40 rescuers who were active in France, Hungary, Germany and Holland.
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The B'nai B'rith Banking and Finance Unit honored Mark R. DeFazio, President & CEO, Metropolitan National Bank, and Harold Shulman, Partner, Citrin Cooperman & Company, LLP, in New York City.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 5:30 P.M.
Grand Hyatt Hotel
109 East 42nd Street
New York, NY 10017
> Read comments by Harold Shulman
Join the B'nai B'rith Young Professional Network and Sixth & I Historic Synagogue's 6th in the City for our monthly trivia night for those in their 20s and 30s.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 7:00 P.M.
Sixth & I Historic Synagogue
600 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
Due to overwhelming interest in this event advanced registration is required to guarantee your spot.
Advance registration: $15
Day of registration: $18
> Register Now
Registration covers dinner and two drink tickets for wine and beer. Unlimited soft drinks will be available.
Teams: You can sign up and pay individually however please enter your team name in order to sign up with a specific team.
Every member of your team must be signed up in order to guarantee their spots.
Individuals: We'll create a team for you!
Registration will close on October 24, 2012 at 5 p.m. However we can sell out before then.
All sales are final.
Polin Lodge celebrated the fifth anniversary of its re-establishment, a re-establishment after the Holocaust. We need to remember that towards the end of the 1930's there were ten lodges in Poland with more than a thousand members.
We were warmly welcomed by the Jewish community in Cracow at an Erev Shabbat Kiddush and dinner and an evening full of song. On the following day we visited the Jewish quarter and in the evening were royally entertained by a superb Klezmer concert.
The ceremony on Sunday, October 14, was most moving. Polin Lodge has about 45 members and they meet once a month. The guests included:
> Ralph Hofmann, president of B'nai B'rith Europe, accompanied by his wife Simone Hofmann
> Erika van Gelder, senior vice president of B'nai B'rith Europe
> Witold Zyss, accompanied by his wife Isabelle
> Michel Zaki, with his wife Tania
> Nathaniel, a member of Daniel Pearl Lodge.
Renée Samanovy gave a talk, recalling that during the 1930's there were 10 lodges in Poland with over 1,000 members. B'nai B'rith was outlawed in Poland in 1938 by a special decree of the Polish President, Ygnacy Mascicki, that Cracow contained the largest Jewish community of Poland and the oldest of Europe. She reminded the audience of the Nazi reign of terror and that it was in Cracow that all the anti-Jewish legislation was formulated. The event also included concluding remarks by Serge Dahan, president of B'nai B'rith France.
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