B’nai B’rith International observed Holocaust Remembrance Day with its annual program “Unto Every Person There is a Name,” now in its 24th year. B’nai B’rith is the official North American sponsor of the program under the auspices of Yad Vashem, Israel’s official Holocaust Museum and research center in Jerusalem. Participants read the names of the victims of the Shoah, noting where and when they were born and where and when they were murdered by the Nazis. The ceremonies occur on the 27th day of the month of Nissan on the Jewish calendar. These observances honor more victims each year, as more names are collected in an international database maintained by Yad Vashem.
An international committee convened by Yad Vashem suggests a theme each year. This year’s Yom Hashoah theme was “Defiance and Rebellion During the Holocaust: 70 Years Since the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.” Alan Schneider, director of the B’nai B’rith World Center in Jerusalem, serves on the committee on behalf of B’nai B’rith.
“Unto Every Person There is a Name” also directly involves Israeli President Shimon Peres. Peres penned a letter distributed to participating communities. It the letter, he encourages the Jewish people to never forget those who perished and to remember those who bravely rebelled in Warsaw as inspiration when facing future obstacles.
“We are nevertheless inspired by the power of the human spirit as demonstrated in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, an illustration of heroism and struggle against the forces of evil,” Peres writes. “In the face of the heinous scheme to annihilate the Jewish people, this uprising constituted the tangible expression of the principles that have united the Jewish people through the ages.”
Once the theme is decided upon, program materials are distributed to the communities involved. Included in the materials are first hand accounts, interviews and other documents that called Jews to action against the Nazis or describing the events surrounding the uprising. Also with the materials is a copy of the poem “Everyone Has a Name” by the Jewish poet Zelda, from which the program’s name is inspired.
Throughout the month of April, B’nai B’rith groups and committees held programs across North America that included speakers and readings in synagogues, Jewish community centers and public places such as Holocaust Memorials and community parks.
“It’s incredible to watch how ‘Unto Every Person There is a Name’ has grown since its inception in 1989,” B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs said. “It is important that we never forget the atrocities of the Holocaust and individually recognize all those who perished.”
In Maryland, a ceremony was held at Congregation Har Shalom in Potomac, Md. Art and artifact exhibits were displayed, the University of Maryland’s Jewish a cappella group performed, original poetry was read by survivors, and remarks were given by keynote speaker Walter Reich, Yitzhak Rabin Memorial professor of international affairs, ethics, and human behavior at the George Washington University.
At the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, those in attendance not only participated in the reading of the names, but also in a seminar titled “Holocaust Art: Then & Now” with George Mason University Art Historian Marion Deshmukh. Narratives and poetry were also read by representatives of various religious denominations. The program recognized 19 survivors in the community.
A Partnership with Alpha Epsilon Pi
In addition to community observances, B’nai B’rith partners with the Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) fraternity for the “We Walk to Remember” program, which took place on 110 college campuses throughout the United States, Canada, Israel and the United Kingdom this year. Members of AEPi participated in both the walk and “Unto Every Person There is a Name” programming.
Speaking from the walk at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said, “I’m honored to take part in ‘We Walk to Remember.’ B’nai B’rith has a great partnership with AEPi, and we’re wholly behind its efforts to make sure the Holocaust is never forgotten by today’s youth.”
This is the fifth year B’nai B’rith and AEPi have worked together on Holocaust Remembrance Day programming. The combination of the two powerful programs has created a lasting impact on campuses across the globe. It demonstrates that young people on campus understand the importance of remembering and have taken on the responsibility to tell the story of the victims of the Holocaust. B’nai B’rith provides the materials created by the international committee as well as “Never Forget” stickers that the walkers wear on black t-shirts.
“‘We Walk to Remember’ is a program that quintessentially represents what it means to be in Alpha Epsilon Pi,” said AEPi’s Adam Maslia, the Howard M. Lorber director of Jewish and Philanthropy Programming. “Stepping up as leaders in the Jewish community in partnership with B'nai B'rith International, the brothers of AEPi have crafted the world's largest on-campus Holocaust commemoration event that is so simple, yet so impactful and effective in ensuring that the world never forgets the atrocities of the Shoah."
Jewish Rescuers Citations
On the morning of April 8, the B’nai B’rith World Center in Jerusalem and the Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (KKL-JNF) held a unique, joint Holocaust commemoration ceremony dedicated to the heroism of Jews who rescued fellow Jews during the Holocaust. Taking place at the Martyrs’ Forest “Scroll of Fire” Plaza with about 900 people in attendance, 29 rescuers citations were awarded to Jews or their descendants who assisted other Jews in escaping to a safe haven or employed subterfuge, forgery, smuggling, concealment and other methods to ensure the survival of Jews from the Holocaust in Europe.
The idea for the program was the brainchild of Haim Roet, a child Holocaust survivor from Holland. Roet is also responsible for the initial organization of “Unto Every Person” and approached the same Jewish organizations involved to kick start his latest initiative.
Roet was rescued through joint efforts of non-Jews and Jews, so the project was close to his heart. As “Unto Every Person” began to take off, Roet established the Committee to Recognize the Heroism of Jewish Rescuers (JRJ) in which the World Center is also a major partner.
“Our principal contribution to the committee, other than popularizing the heroism of Jewish rescuers in Germany and occupied Europe during the Shoah,” Schneider said. “Is an annual ceremony in partnership with Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael.”
The B’nai B’rith Center for Jewish Identity coordinates the program on behalf of B’nai B’rith. The support for this program is made possible by the generous support of Kurt and Tessye Simon, (of blessed memory). The center chair, Nancy Braun, announced that “Unto Every Person” programming for 2014 will be held on Yom Hashoah, April 27, 2014.
The Center for Jewish Identity encourages communities to continue to promote the important task of collecting names of victims of the Holocaust and submitting “Pages of Testimony” to Yad Vashem. These pages are intended to serve as a lasting memorial for the victims and are preserved in the Hall of Names at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. The names are also added to the central database. Time is running out to get first hand information, so it is important to collect as much information as possible from survivors and their families. If you need further information or want to bring the “Unto Every Person There is a Name” to your community or your community’s Yom Hashoah observance, please contact Rhonda Love at email@example.com.
See photos and videos from select events across the U.S. and in Israel:
Shocking testimony about, murder, forced conversion, abductions and other gross human rights violations inflicted on Christian minorities in the Middle East was presented on Nov. 8 at a symposium sponsored by the B'nai B'rith World Center and the Ecumenical Theological Research Fraternity under their joint “Liaison Committee” forum.
The title of the symposium, held in cooperation with the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, was "The Present and Future of Christians in the Middle East".
Over one hundred people attended the session that focused on the dislocation and violence by Muslims targeting Christians in the Middle East – a long-running phenomena that has increased since the Arab Spring.
The symposium exposed the predicament of Christian minorities in Iraq, Egypt, the Palestinian Authority, Pakistan, Lebanon and other countries in the area and the implications for the State of Israel. Raymond Ibrahim, a U.S.-based expert in Islam and the Middle East of Egyptian-Coptic descent and author of "The al-Qaida Reader", said that Christians are suffering unprecedented persecution in the Middle East. Ibrahim spoke of the harassment in Egypt against the Coptic Church which predates Islam, including forced conversions. He noted that in Iraq, for example, there is widespread dislocation based on religious identification against the Christian minority. He referred to the State of Israel as "the one Dhimmi that got away."
Juliana Taimoorazy - an Assyrian Christian and Founder and President of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council – noted that the gruesome attacks taking place against Christian minorities in Iraq and others countries in the Middle East must be brought to world attention. The U.S. government should press the Iraqi regime to prevent attacks against the Christian minority and to protect it, she said, and called on Jews and Christians to strengthen their ties in the face of this danger.
Dr. Mordechai Kedar from Bar Ilan University, an expert on Islam, noted that Moslem hatred towards Jews and Christians has grown in the light of the success of the West.
In an opening statement, B'nai B'rith World Center director Alan Schneider said that human rights organizations must not remain silent in the face of these reports of gross human rights violations against Christian communities in the Arab and Moslem world and should ensure that they reach the attention of the international community and world public opinion. Ecumenical Fraternity Director Rev. Dr. Petra Heldt also spoke at the event which was chaired by Dr. Mordechai Nisan of Hebrew University.
Raymond Ibrahim is a Middle East and Islam specialist, A widely published author best known for The Al Qaeda Reader (Doubleday, 2007), he guest lectures at universities, including the National Defense Intelligence College, briefs governmental agencies, such as U.S. Strategic Command and the Defense Intelligence Agency. Born and raised in the U.S. by Egyptian parents born and raised in the Middle East—has provided him with equal fluency in English and Arabic.
Juliana Taimoorazy - An Assyrian Christian born in Iran. Requested religious asylum at the American Embassy in Germany after fleeing Iran. In the United States she obtained her graduate degree in Instructional Design and worked as a reporter at a local station in Chicago for many years. In addition to owning her own businesses, creating employment opportunities for Iraqi Christian refugees, she has worked since she was 19 years old to elevate the Assyrian Christian cause in the United States.
Dr. Mordechai Kedar - BA in Arabic and Political Science (1982) and a PhD in Arabic (1998) both from Bar-Ilan University, Israel. His areas of research include: Islam, Islamic movements, gender issues in Islam, Arabic mass media, popular culture in the Arab world, and state and society in the Arab world.
Dr. Mordechai Nisan - born in Montreal, earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from McGill University. After moving to Israel, he taught Middle East Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, while lecturing as well at other academic institutions in the country. He has specialized and written books on Israel, Lebanon, Islam, minority peoples in the Middle East and the Arab-Israeli Conflict.
B'nai B'rith World Center co-sponsors consultation on Mainline Protestant Churches and the State of Israel
On Nov. 5-8 the B'nai B'rith World Center in Jerusalem co-sponsored a consultation with twenty Christian pastors, laymen, activists and intellectuals from the Anglican, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Dutch Reform, United Church of Canada and other Christian denominations to discuss anti-Israel attitudes that have infused Mainline Protestant Churches over the past 20 years or more.
The consultation was co-sponsored by the Ecumenical Theological Research Fraternity as part of the activities of the joint World Center-Ecumenical Fraternity "Liaison Committee" forum.
The purpose of the consultation, which has been in the planning for three years, is to create a bridge of understanding between the State of Israel and these denominations and affect the biased positions they have adopted regarding the Israel-Palestinian conflict, in consultation with individuals who have shown their support for Israel in the past.
The participants are currently formulating a joint concluding declaration as a point of departure for future activities. The consultation took place at a significant juncture in the storied relationship between the Jewish community and the Mainline Protestant Churches, just three weeks after seven U.S. leading Jewish organizations – including B’nai B’rith International – canceled a long-planned meeting of a joint dialogue with representatives of these churches in the United States after leaders of their denominations sent a letter to Congress accusing Israel of war crimes and calling for an end to U.S. military aid to Israel. B’nai B’rith International is co-chair of that dialogue.
Participants in the consultation represent churches, movements and institutions in the U.S., Canada, Finland, Norway, the U.K., Uganda, Germany and Holland.
The opening session of the consultation included a keynote address by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Chancellor and Founder of the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation on “The State of Israel as the Fundamental Component in Jewish-Christian Relations Today”. In a brilliant speech, Rabbi Riskin said that Jews and Christians should focus on many things that are common to their religions, particularly teachings about the god of love, morality and peace. “What unites us is far more important than what divides us, especially against fundamentalist Islam whose god is a god of power, not love, and who preaches jihad and war. Islam does not have to be like that, and in the far past it was not. Wahabi Islam that has taken over the Middle East is not monotheism but mono-Satanism. We have to have a united voice that talks about a god of love; then perhaps, with Jews and Christians united in this mission, we can teach it to the world and give strength to the moderate Moslems to join us.” Rabbi Riskin noted that Bethlehem has become a ghost-town for Christians today after most of them were killed or banished.
In his response, Rev. Paul Wilkinson, Ph.D., Associate Minister, Hazel Grove Full Gospel Church, England - a small pro-Israel church - said: “Today there is a propaganda campaign being waged by the Palestinian Authority, the Islamic world and by the Protestant church, including the evangelical church, not only propagating replacement theology and its new manifestations, but the Islamic world is now claiming Jesus for itself – a Jesus of Islam who is coming to destroy every Jew on earth. That is the eschatological end-times teachings of Islam. But there are Christians who know a different Jesus, read a different bible, and understand Israel in a completely different way. The big lie is Christian Palestiniaism, the anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian crusade going on in the church today that will say from one corner of its mouth “we love the Jewish people” and from the other corner of its mouth “we hate Israel.” That is not possible. You cannot love the Jewish people and hate Israel. I am completely pessimistic about our ability to overturn 2000 years of erroneous theology that has manifested itself in all kinds of diatribes and anti-Semitic actions. A Goliath of replacement theology and Christian Palestinianism, taunts, goads, accuses and condemns Israel and those Christians who stand with Israel. That Goliath cannot be felled with a stone and a sling as in the times of King David, because the problem is a spiritual one.”
The consultation included additional sessions on "The Case for Israel", "The Conspiracy Against Israel" and the plight of Christians in the Middle East. Presenters included Israeli academics, legal experts, diplomats and activists. The group also enjoyed an audience with the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem and a presentation by the Custos of the Holy Land, toured the Old City of Jerusalem and Christian sites around the Sea of Galilee, and visited the Neighborhood League Jerusalem youth co-existence project.
News of the event was carried in The Jerusalem Post, The Times of Israel, Arutz 7 , Makor Rishon and The Algemeiner.
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.
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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Former Israeli Ambassador to Vatican: Joint World Center-Ecumenical Fraternity body "spearhead in Jewish-Christian relations in Israel"
The B'nai B'rith World Center in Jerusalem and the Ecumenical Theological Research Fraternity in Israel convened on September 4th the seventh meeting of their joint "Liaison Committee" - an informal Jewish-Christian initiative reconstituted in 2010 to foster better mutual respect and understanding between local Jews and Christians in a congenial atmosphere and as a platform for raising and resolving issues that impact on both communities. the meeting was dedicated to a presentation by Ambassador Mordechay Lewy, ambassador of Israel to the Holy See, who completed his tour of duty - and his 37-year diplomatic career - just two days earlier.
Ambassador Lewy's candid lecture on “Israel-Vatican and Jewish-Catholic Relations Today and into the Future” was followed by a lively Q & A and discussion session led by Ecumenical Fraternity director Rev. Dr. Petra Heldt among the participants who included leading Jewish and Christian academics, municipal officials, journalists and institutional representatives.
Ambassador Lewy opened his presentation by praising the Liaison Committee for serving "as a spearhead in Jewish-Christian relations in Israel." He detailed the trials and tribulations of serving as Israel's representative to the Holy See and the special historic responsibility carried by the ambassador also as a representative of the Jewish people. World Center Director Alan Schneider opened the meeting by condemning the previous day's arson attack against the Trapist Monastery in Latrun near Ramle, attributed to "hilltop youth" protesting the court-ordered expulsion from the settlement of Migron. "Regardless of what is happening around us, there can be no justification for attacking any property, much less a religious institution and house of prayer and contemplation. We must all call for an end to these despicable and deplorable acts of violence that gain nothing but further animosity for the settler movement."
Mordechay Lewy joined the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1975. His appointment as Ambassador to the Holy See in May 2008 followed postings to Bonn, Stockholm, Berlin (as the first Consul General after the Unification), and later as DCM and Ambassador to Bangkok, as well as a 4-year assignment to the Jerusalem Municipality as the Mayor’s Special Advisor for Religious Communities. Lewy is a widely published scholar on Jewish/Israel-Catholic/Church relations and is also an enthusiast on the topic of tattoos of Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land throughout the ages. His personal interest in Christian matters began with a Masters Degree in history, in which he researched the “Rise of monastic orders in the emerging medieval cities in Europe”. He will now pursue a Ph.D. in ancient European history based on medieval maps.
B’nai B’rith World Center coordinates B'nai B'rith International Corporate Leaders Mission to Israel
The first B'nai B'rith International Corporate Leaders Mission to Israel concluded on August 22 after a four-day intensive program of meetings and site-visits in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa.
The meeting was led by B'nai B'rith International president Allan J. Jacobs and executive vice president Daniel S. Mariaschin. Participating corporate leaders included the chief executive officer of a major multinational company, the head of a large medical products firm and the chief executive officer of one of the country's major hospital neworks – all of whom have been honorees of B'nai B'rith. B'nai B'rith World Center chairman Haim Katz, Ph.D., and director Alan Schneider also participated.
Meetings were held with Israeli President Shimon Peres, Minister of Finance Yuval Steinitz, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Nobel Prize laureate Prof. Daniel Shechtman, Teva President and CEO Dr. Jeremy Levin, Jerusalem Venture Partners founder and CEO Erel Margalit, YESHA Council Chairman Dani Dayan, Ministry of Health Director General Prof. Roni Gamzo, Israel Parks Authority Director for International Relations Salman Abu Rukun, IDF Field Hospital Commander Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Ofer Merin and Deputy National Security Advisor Dr. Eran Lerman, among others. Site visits included Yad Vashem, the City of David, Tefen Industrial Park, the Carmel Forest fire area, the Bahai Gardens, IDF elite Yahalom Unit combat engineers base, the community of P'duel in the Benjamin region and the Technion Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.
The mission was crafted and executed by the B'nai B'rith World Center in Jerusalem.
B'nai B'rith International executive vice president Daniel S. Mariaschin said that the mission provided a unique opportunity for leading U.S. business leaders to learn and experience Israel candidly and without the distorting lens of the press. He expressed the hope that the visit would also help to advance business cooperation between those corporations represented and Israeli businesses.
The B’nai B’rith Fire Scouts Clubhouse, located at Haifa's central fire station, was officially opened for activities at a July 30 ceremony.
The clubhouse was built at the initiative of the B’nai B’rith World Center in memory of 16-year-old fire scout Elad Riven, the youngest of 44 Prison Service guards, policemen and firemen killed in the December 2011 Great Carmel Fire.
Participants in the ceremony included Haifa Region Fire Department Chairman Brig. Gen. Rami Dotan, Elad’s mother Tzvia Riven and three representatives of B’nai B’rith Israel: Nitza Niv, Chair, B’nai B’rith Haifa Regional Council, David Sirton, Deputy Chair, and Ilana Sirton, Mentor, Nitzanei Haifa Lodge.
The ceremony marked completion of the outfitting of the clubhouse and its transfer to the use of the fire scouts. B’nai B’rith invested $80,000 in the project from funds raised after the blaze by the B'nai B'rith Israel Emergency Fund and B’nai B’rith Europe. The clubhouse includes space for meetings, training and recreation.
The B'nai B'rith World Center was charged with implementing aid projects following the Carmel Fire. Shortly after Riven’s tragic death, the World Center learned that Haifa Region Fire Scouts officer Captain Avi Cohen had long dreamed of a dedicated clubhouse for the use of the fire scouts in Haifa - a project that allows teenagers to volunteer with fire departments across the country.
The World Center and the Haifa Region Fire Department cooperated closely for a year and a half to steer the project to fruition and realize Captain Cohen's dream.
B'nai B'rith World Center and Jewish Nation Fund 10th Annual Joint Commemoration of the Heroism of Jews who Rescued Fellow Jews During the Holocaust (Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laG'vurah/ Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day
First-Ever Leadership Seminar on Forest Safety in Northern Israel for Druze Teenagers A Success
On Dec. 29, nearly 70 counselors and members of the Druze Youth Organization and the Druze branch of the Zionist Council youth organization "Zameret" (Leadership) ages 14-16 completed the first-ever leadership seminar on forest safety and fire prevention. Co-sponsored by B’nai B’rith International and KKL-JNF (Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael - Jewish National Fund), the three-day seminar, which brought together counselors and youth group members from eight Druze villages in northern Israel, represented the next phase of B’nai B’rith’s Israel Emergency Fund project established in response to last year’s Mt. Carmel Fire. The program was initiated by B'nai B'rith World Center director Alan Schneider.
The seminar was held at KKL-JNF’s Nes Harim Field Center where attendees met with Knesset member Hamad Amar, Chairman of the Druze Youth Organization Zionist Council Yigal Brand, Executive Director of the Zionist Council Yoseph Nassar Aladin and Dr. Ben Zion Bar-Lavie, director of education and ecology at JNF.
“Since 1865, when B’nai B’rith responded to an appeal from Moses Montefiore for the direct relief of plague victims in pre-state Israel, we have remained committed to alleviating victims of natural and manmade disasters worldwide,” said B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs. “We would not be able to co-sponsor this important seminar without our valued members and donors supporting our disaster relief work.”
On the first day of the seminar, participants toured the Carmel Forest collecting flammable tree trimmings from the green part of the forest near the area that was burnt last year. On Dec. 28, the youth took part in educational activities and exercised independent forest navigation. On the final day, Dec. 29, the Druze youth demonstrated what they had learned from the seminar, participating in a fire extinguishing simulation with the help of KKL-JNF's professional team. They also toured the Ben Shemen Forest, heard lectures on sustainable development, fire prevention and forestry, and saw a new film on the tragic progression of events in the Carmel Fire, produced by the Fire Department.
The course concluded at JNF's tree nursery in Kfar Zechariya where the participants received certificates. Plans are being made to extend the impact of the seminar back in the Druze villages through educational programs in the youth movements and schools.
“Though a year has passed since the Mt. Carmel Fire, there are still so many unmet needs. This seminar aims to mitigate that and provide valuable education and skills to the affected community,” said B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin.
“B’nai B’rith sees great importance in educating forest preservation for future generations. This seminar has a national importance, as it is almost one year since the infamous tragic Carmel Fire. The seminar is the outcome of a fruitful partnership between KKL-JNF and B’nai B’rith International,” said Alan Schneider, director of B’nai B’rith International’s World Center in Jerusalem and the initiator of the seminar.
According to KKL-JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler, “The purpose of the leadership seminar is to share forest knowledge with Druze teenagers ages 14-16 in all that has to do with forest maintenance, how to contribute to the forest land and prevent forest fires. The seminar will expand their sense of personal responsibility towards the forest, and over the years they will be our future ambassadors, forest fighters and maybe even cooperate with the KKL-JNF. This seminar is experimental and we intend to expand it throughout the country.”
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