Noted Uruguayan scientist and ecologist professor Nestor Mazzeo Beyhaut traveled to Israel as part of winning the B’nai B’rith Uruguay Light and Truth Award.
B'nai B'rith Uruguay has brought acclaimed Uruguayan artists and scientists to Israel for the last 30 years.
The B'nai B'rith World Center – Jerusalem put together an intensive program of professional encounters with government officials, business leaders, academics and members of civil society for Beyhaut, as well as touring historical and environmental sites.
The visit was covered by the Spanish-language site for Jews, Aurora.com. Click below to read the full story.
JTA News featured our reaction to President Donald J. Trump’s speech in Saudi Arabia, challenging the Arab world to fight Islamic terrorism and stand up to Iran.
Scroll down to read the piece or click below to read it on JTA.org.
Jewish groups praised President Donald Trump for calling on Muslim nations to confront Islamist extremism during a speech to Muslim and Arab leaders at a summit in Saudi Arabia.
“Drive them out of your places of worship, drive them out of your communities, drive them out of your holy land and drive them out of this earth,” Trump said Sunday afternoon during a major speech to the Arabic Islamic American Summit in Riyadh, the Saudi capital.
“Honestly confronting the crisis of Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires means standing together against the murder of innocent Muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews and the slaughter of Christians,” the president also said in what was billed as a major address to the Arab world.
David Harris, chief executive officer of the American Jewish Committee, said that “President Trump’s refreshing honesty is welcome and needed in describing the Islamist extremist threat that developed in the Middle East years ago, and spread across the region and around the world. We agree that the fight against Islamist extremism is a battle between the forces of good and decency, on the one hand, and evil and a death cult, on the other, and that victory depends, above all, on what Arab and Muslim nations do to counter and defeat this violent, deadly scourge.”
“And he could not have been clearer in his description of Hezbollah and Hamas as the terrorist groups they most assuredly are,” Harris also said.
Trump in his speech called Hamas a terror group, leading to this response from the group that controls Gaza: “The depiction of Hamas as a terror organization by Trump makes clear the American bias on behalf of the occupation, and is aligned with the enemy’s policies.”
Zionist Organization of America President Morton Klein in a statement issued late Sunday called the speech “historic, important, courageous.”
Klein said his organization was pleased that Trump strongly condemned Iran, that he condemned “ISIS, Hezbollah and Hamas and Iran in the same sentence – for they are all part of the same scourge of Islamist terror.”
“However, the president should have demanded that Muslim leaders and religious leaders should likewise condemn and delegitimize these terrorist groups by name. The president should have insisted that Muslim leaders end the use of the problematic textbooks throughout the Muslim world promoting Islamist extremism and violence and urge that they examine why terrorism emanates from some Muslim societies,” he said.
“It was also disappointing that the president did not mention the refusal of much of the Muslim world to negotiate with and accept Israel as a Jewish state.”
B’nai B’rith in a statement issued Sunday evening praised Trump for calling on Arab nations to join in the fight against Islamic terrorism and for “challenging the Arab world to unite in confronting Iran — the largest state sponsor of global terror.”
Algemeiner: Ahead of Trump’s Israel Visit, US Jewish Leaders Highlight Centrality of Jerusalem, Point to Palestinian Authority Terror Funding as Peace Roadblock
The Algemeiner interviewed B'nai B'rith International CEO Dan Mariaschin on President Donald J. Trump’s upcoming visit to Israel.
“In an interview with The Algemeiner, Daniel Mariaschin — CEO and executive vice president of B’nai B’rith International — said the inclusion of the Jewish state on the president’s itinerary ‘shows the interest that the administration has in cultivating and building the relationship with Israel as an ally.’”
Scroll down to read the piece or click below to read it on Algemeiner.com.
As Donald Trump prepares to leave the current political storm in Washington, DC behind during his first foreign trip as president, American Jewish leaders are offering words of encouragement and advice to the president in advance of his arrival in Israel on Monday.
In an interview with The Algemeiner, Daniel Mariaschin — CEO and executive vice president of B’nai B’rith International — said the inclusion of the Jewish state on the president’s itinerary “shows the interest that the administration has in cultivating and building the relationship with Israel as an ally.”
But concerns over the White House’s position on Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem continue to fester, following National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster’s reluctance at a press briefing on Tuesday to clarify the administration’s view on the matter, merely labeling it a “policy matter.”
McMaster also confirmed that “no Israeli leaders” would accompany Trump on his visit to the Western Wall in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City.
“We’re very appreciative that there will be a visit to the Kotel (Western Wall),” Mariaschin said. But, he added, Netanyahu’s absence would be all the more significant given that Trump’s overseas journey — to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican — is meant to consciously embrace the three Abrahamic faiths.
“Within that context — the importance of the Kotel for the Jewish people, a near-majority of whom now live in Israel — it would be important for the prime minister to accompany the president,” Mariaschin said.
One leading Trump administration official appeared to distance herself from McMaster on the Jerusalem issue. In an interview with the Christian Broadcast Network on Tuesday, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said candidly, “I don’t know what the policy of the administration is, but I believe the Western Wall is part of Israel and I think that that is how we’ve always seen it and that’s how we should pursue it.”
Trump himself spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday about the upcoming visit. No details of the call were released, save for the disclosure that the controversy over Trump’s reported sharing with Russian officials of sensitive intelligence information supplied by the Israelis was not discussed.
Mariaschin spoke positively of Trump’s travel plans in general, expressing optimism that Sunni Arab states and Israel would continue to draw closer together around key issues like Iran. The president’s stop in Saudi Arabia may yield a vital clue about the desert kingdom’s intentions vis-a-vis the Jewish state, he observed.
But Trump’s quest to facilitate meaningful diplomatic negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) without preconditions faces an obstacle in the form of continuing PA incitement and support for terrorism. Trump will meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem on Tuesday.
Rabbi Marvin Hier — the dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) in Los Angeles — told The Algemeiner, “The most important thing to tell the Palestinian leadership is that there will never be peace if Abbas’ idea of peace is that we pay salaries to terrorists and the families of terrorists.”
Hier also highlighted the intra-Palestinian split between the PA in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip as another potentially insurmountable roadblock to peace.
“The people running Gaza want the total obliteration of the State of Israel,” Hier said. “As long as the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Hamas is part, is involved, peace will go nowhere.”
“We have to make it clear that there will be no ‘three-state’ solution,” Hier said, referencing Israel, the PA and Hamas-ruled Gaza. “That means no Hamas.”
Hier — who participated in Trump’s inauguration ceremony in January — expressed his displeasure with the administration’s confusion over Jerusalem in an interview with The Algemeiner on Tuesday, commenting that Trump visiting the Western Wall without Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was akin to “visiting the Vatican without the pope.”
“This (was) an unnecessary blunder on the part of, firstly, low-level officials, and then McMaster,” he said.
B'nai B'rith President Gary P. Saltzman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin spent a week in South America holding high-level meetings with politicians, diplomats, NGOs and religious leaders – including Argentina President Mauricio Macri.
Saltzman and Mariaschin broached a myriad of subjects across their many encounters, including the rise in anti-Semitism, global terrorism, Iran's role in the region, Middle East peace and human rights issues.
Scroll down for a full recap of the visit, including press releases, media coverage and pictures.
B'nai B'rith Leaders Meet With Argentina President
Casa Rosada Press Release: Macri Recibió A Autoridades De B’nai B’rith, Una Organización Judía Defensora Los DDHH
B'nai B'rith International leaders met with Argentina President Mauricio Macri in Buenos Aires to discuss anti-Semitism, terrorism and the case of AMIA special prosecutor Alberto Nisman.
The meeting was widely covered in the Argentine press and was the subject of an official press release from the office of the president, Casa Rosada.
President Macri Meeting Covered In Argentine Press
Saltzman and Mariaschin Meet With Uruguay
Vice President Raúl Sendic
Saltzman And Mariaschin Interviewed By Uruguayan Dailies
B'nai B'rith International President Gary P. Saltzman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin spoke with widely-read Uruguayan dailies El Pais and El Observador. Saltzman and Mariaschin denounced the pervasive anti-Semitism at the United Nations and discussed their meeting with Uruguay Vice President Raúl Sendic.
El Pais: Piden a gobierno revertir sesgo antiisraelí en ONU
El Observador: Dirigentes De La B'nai B'rith Denuncian "Antisemitismo" En La ONU
Tweets From The Week in South America
The Fresno Bee covered the B’nai B’rith Fresno Unit's awarding of Clovis High School senior Graham Hauss with the B’nai B’rith Student Athlete Award this week for his accomplishments as a state champion swimmer and in the classroom – where he boasts a 4.48 GPA. Hauss will receive at $2,500 college scholarship.
The B’nai B’rith Fresno Unit has given out more than 700 scholarships to “students in the Fresno-Clovis area who combine athletic and academic skills.”
Scroll down to read the story or click below to read it on FresnoBee.com.
Clovis High School senior Graham Hauss was presented the 2017 B’nai B’rith Student Athlete Award on Monday night.
“It’s truly an honor,” said Hauss after receiving a standing ovation at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District Building.
In addition to his 4.48 GPA, Hauss is a water polo and swimming standout. In swimming, he is a six-time Central Section champion, three-time state champion and twice was named a Fresno Bee All-Star. Hauss is also member of the California Scholarship Federation, National Honor Society and Inter-School Council.
“I couldn’t be more proud,” said his mother, Jennifer Hauss, as she teared up.
The B’nai B’rith Fresno chapter started in 1951 and since then has awarded over 700 students scholarships. The organization awards students in the Fresno-Clovis area who combine athletic and academic skills.
Each nominee received a $500 scholarships and a $2,500 scholarship was awarded to the overall winner.
All nominees are evaluated on his or her athletic ability (65 percent), scholastic ability (25 percent) and community and school activities (10 percent).
Sasha Solano-McDaniel of Edison High was awarded the Irving Negin Academic Award for the highest GPA among the nominees. McDaniel has a GPA of 4.77. While taking 26 semesters of Advanced Placement classes, she has never received less than an A.
B'nai B'rith Argentina's Donación de Medicamentos y Sillas de Ruedas was spotlighted in La Nacion.
The program provides medicines and wheelchairs to hospitals around the country for those who cannot afford them. It has been active since 2002. This year, medical supplies were distributed to 250 hospitals in vulnerable communities across Argentina.
Scroll down to read or click here to read it LaNacion.com.
La Fundación Osde y B'nai B'rith Argentina llevan adelante desde 2002 el Programa Nacional de Donación de Medicamentos y Sillas de Ruedas, como un aporte solidario a las comunidades vulnerables del país. B'nai B'rith Argentina es la rama local de la organización judía más antigua del mundo, dedicada, entre otras cuestiones, a programas de acción social. Gracias a esta articulación se recibieron medicamentos para tratar enfermedades crónicas y agudas de alta frecuencia en la población, que se distribuyeron en 250 hospitales de todo el país, complementando los programas de salud pública.
B'nai B'rith International CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin wrote an op-ed for JTA, reflecting on his mother, "Ma," ahead of Mother's Day. Mariaschin recounts the impact that Zionism, Israel and Holocaust had on her life, her worldview and what she imparted on her family and friends throughout her life.
Scroll down to read the piece or click below to read it on JTA.org
My sisters and I called her “Ma.”
She stood 4-foot-10, yet was looked up to by everyone who encountered her, regardless of their station in life: rabbis and educators, bankers, customers and neighbors, her lifelong friends and people who just met her one time. To my father, she was a perfect soul mate who shared her interests and view of the world. Her siblings adored her, and her grandchildren, who knew her as “Nana,” loved to be in her presence.
My mother and her brother were brought to America from Lithuania by my grandmother, who was coming to reunite with my grandfather, already here, in Bangor, Maine. She was raised there, and was always a staunch daughter of the Pine Tree State, notwithstanding her subsequent homes in Brooklyn, New Jersey, New Hampshire and North Carolina.
In her early years, she was exposed to some of the transformational events of the 20th century: World War I, women’s suffrage, the Great Depression and the Holocaust. My mother was a fervently patriotic American, often recalling how the family arrived in Bangor on the Fourth of July. One of her favorite books was Mary Antin’s autobiographical “The Promised Land,” about a young immigrant girl’s life and experiences in her adopted country. She loved the music of Stephen Foster, which she sometimes played on the piano, and especially that of Irving Berlin.
But there were two other factors that most influenced her worldview: Zionism/Israel and the Holocaust.
At the age of 12, when the new synagogue was dedicated in Bangor, she was asked to speak, representing the young people of the community. In her remarks, as reported in the Bangor Daily Commercial, on March 10, 1913, she said:
“We look upon our synagogue as our fortress and the pillar of Judaism. Our purpose is to once more uplift the Hebrew flag without wishing in any way to detract from the greatness of, or letting in any way affect our allegiance to, the Stars and Stripes. We hope to make ourselves deservant of the greatness of our ancestors and worthy of taking our place as standard bearers of our nation.”
A voracious reader, she praised Robert St. John’s landmark 1959 biography of David Ben-Gurion, which held a special place in our bookcase. When I met St. John many years later, I was pleased to be able to convey that accolade in person. She was the family correspondent with her lone cousin in Israel, and a photo of her and her kibbutznik family adorned our mantelpiece for years. We had no TV in 1956, so we listened intently each night to CBS Radio reports on the Suez War. In 1967, I remember how impressed she was with Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban’s memorable speech to the United Nations Security Council. And she mourned the loss of her cousin’s 22-year-old son, who fell on the Golan Heights in the Yom Kippur War.
Ma was an inveterate writer of letters to the editor, a few of which were published in the Charlotte Observer, when she lived with my sister and her family in North Carolina after my father passed away. Her letters were invariably focused on the international double standard to which Israel was subjected, and to the Jewish state being surrounded by implacable enemies. After her first visit to Israel, in 1965, the Business and Professional Women’s Club invited her to give a report on the trip. I tagged along to operate the slide projector and vividly remember how proud she was to speak of her experiences.
The Holocaust weighed heavily on my mother. The part of her family that remained in Lithuania was wiped out, most likely in 1941 (save for a cousin who managed to survive and whose existence was not known to us for many years). She would talk often about letters that arrived from Lithuania, probably in 1940 or 1941, beseeching the family to find a way to bring them to the States. That the family was unable to do this troubled my mother greatly for the rest of her life.
All of this made her a fierce fighter against anti-Semitism. Another book in our bookcase was John Roy Carlson’s “Under Cover,” which recounted the activity of the German-American Bund and other pro-Nazi organizations in the United States.
We lived in a small New Hampshire city with a handful of other Jewish families. On occasions when a customer in our store or an acquaintance, not realizing my mother was Jewish, would make a reference to Jews being “cheap” or “greedy,” she’d come back with a quick rejoinder. She often talked about the lynching of Leo Frank, the Atlanta factory superintendent falsely convicted of the murder of a 13-year-old girl, and the impact it had on young Jews of her time. Beyond that, I recall her speaking highly of those, like Pope John XXIII, whose efforts to right past wrongs made them living antidotes to centuries of ingrained anti-Semitism.
Most of all, my mother was not only a proud Jew but praiseworthy of the accomplishments of other Jews. She was a regular viewer of “The Jack Paar Show,” especially enjoying the appearances of entertainers like Alan King and Buddy Hackett, or of raconteurs like Oscar Levant and Milt Kamen. Finding out that an author, scientist or some other public figure was Jewish, she was sure to let me know, if I didn’t already. And though she didn’t live to see Sen. Joe Lieberman nominated for vice president, she would have kvelled to have seen that day.
And while her English was inflected with a Maine accent, she always had a Yiddish expression (usually quoting her mother) that was apt for any occasion. My favorite was “Vos iz oyfn lung, iz oyfn tsung” (“what’s on your lung is on your tongue,” or “the words one says are from what’s really inside”). I wish I had written then all down; they were priceless.
Is it any wonder, then, with a mother like this, that I wound up working in the Jewish community? As they say, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Advocating for Israel, fighting anti-Semitism, worrying about Jewish continuity: My mother cared about each, and though the names and faces — and places — may have changed a bit, the challenges remain the same. Her passion for her country, her people and her family, in my eyes, was unmatched. I’m glad that some of it rubbed off on me.
So Ma, on this Mother’s Day, thank you: for the life you led, and for the inspiration you’ve been.
JTA included B’nai B’rith International in the outlet’s coverage of the Jewish response to the passage of the #AHCA in the House of Representatives, quoting a B'nai B'rith statement.
“We strongly urge the Senate to reject the House plan, which would have a negative consequence for many communities, including low-income seniors.”
Scroll down to read the story or click below to read it on JTA.org.
This story was also picked up by the Cleveland Jewish News. Click here to read it on ClevelandJewishNews.com.
Jewish groups criticized the passage of a health care bill by the House of Representatives to repeal and replace major parts of the Affordable Care Act.
The bill, backed by Republicans and President Donald Trump, passed Thursday in a 217-213 vote almost entirely along party lines. The measure, which is now headed for the Senate, would nix tax penalties for those without health insurance and decrease state programs to insure low-income Americans expanded by President Barack Obama.
Among those that criticized the passage were the Reform movement, the Jewish Federations of North America, B’nai B’rith International, the National Jewish Democratic Council and Jewish Women International. However, the Republican Jewish Coalition praised the bill as “an important legislative victory for President Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan.”
The Reform movement said it was “deeply disheartened” by the bill’s passage.
“This reverses the tremendous progress that has been made in recent years to increase the number of Americans with health insurance,” Rabbi Jonah Presner, director of the movement’s policy arm, the Religious Action Center, said in a statement. “We urgently call on the Senate to reject this profoundly harmful legislation.”
Jewish Federations said it was “distressed” by the approval.
“We are distressed by the House passage of this legislation that would literally gut Medicaid, which provides an essential safety net for millions of Americans,” William Daroff, director of the umbrella group’s Washington office and its senior vice president for public policy, said in a statement.
“Jewish Federations’ network of health and social service agencies depends on Medicaid to care for the vulnerable who rely upon it.”B’nai B’rith said the act would harm senior citizens.
“We strongly urge the Senate to reject the House plan, which would have a negative consequence for many communities, including low-income seniors,” the group said in a statement.
The National Jewish Democratic Council called the bill a “catastrophe.”
“We are not surprised, but still extremely disappointed, that President Trump and the Republican leadership decided to go for a short-term win instead of thinking about the millions of lives that they have negatively affected by jamming this bill down our collective throats,” the NJDC said in a statement. “Mark our words — we will ensure that history will not look kindly on the congressmen who voted in favor of the catastrophe known as Trumpcare.”
The Republican Jewish Coalition in its praise said Trump and Ryan, R-Wis., “worked tirelessly for this victory.”
“As the legislation moves to the Senate, we hope for swift passage so President Trump can sign it and fulfill his commitment to the American people for affordable health care,” RJC’s executive director, Matthew Brooks, said in a statement.
Jewish Women International said the the bill “will harm women, families, the elderly and the poor” and called it “a careless, undisciplined effort by the president to make everyone think he is fulfilling a campaign pledge and it will wreak havoc on our nation, including the very people who supported him.”
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., called on Senate Republicans to reject the bill.
“This bill is going nowhere fast in the United States Senate,” Schumer, the Jewish Senate minority leader, said in a statement. “Rather than trying to pass a different version of the same Trumpcare bill that would mean higher costs and less care, Senate Republicans should refuse to follow their House colleagues over a cliff, reject repeal, and work with Democrats to improve our health care system in a bipartisan way.”
JBS covered UNESCO’s adoption of yet another anti-Israel resolution that rejects Israel’s sovereignty in Jerusalem and affirms past whitewashing of Jews’ ties to their foremost holy places.
B'nai B'rith International President Gary Saltzman and CEO Dan Mariaschin are quoted amongst Jewish leaders condemning the resolution.
Click below to watch. The story begins at the 2:36 mark.
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