Sunday marked B'nai B'rith World Center's 22nd annual Award for Journalism ceremony, with a trio of Israeli journalists noted for their work in covering the Israeli-Diaspora.
One of the three, David Horovitz, Times of Israel's founding editor, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his three decades of service to Israeli journalism.
The other two, Matan Hodorov and Judy Maltz, were given awards for excellence in Diaspora Reportage.
Media coverage of the event can be found below:
The prizes were awarded by the B’nai B’rith World Center in memory of Dr. Wolf Matsdorf, a journalist and social worker, and his wife, Hilda, who was a leading social worker.
Maltz was a former economics reporter for The Jerusalem Post; Horovitz, who started out as a reporter for the Post, later became the paper’s editor-in-chief, and before that was editor-in-chief of its sister publication, The Jerusalem Report.
Although it was claimed by Government Press Office director Nitzan Chen and several other people at the recent Jewish Media Summit that the Israeli media does not deal with the Jewish Diaspora unless there is a crisis or tragedy, this has proven to be untrue in the case of the annual BBWC competition – where the number of entries grows from year to year. This year, there were 33 applicants who submitted 82 news and feature stories.
Schneider paid tribute to the school’s staff for reopening the school just two weeks after the typhoon in a valiant effort to begin the return to normalcy, despite the difficult conditions at the school that is still in need of significant investment in order to repair all the damage caused by Yolanda.
He also recognized the role of the Philippines in serving as a refuge for Jews escaping the Holocaust and in voting in favor of the U.N. Partition Plan in 1947. Schneider referenced other B’nai B’rith-supported IsraAID aid activities that began just two days after Yolanda made landfall with a medical mission that treated over 5,000 patients in Tacloban, Ormoc, Kananga and Albuera municipalities and provided over two tons of medical supplies.
B'nai B'rith International led a chorus of Jewish organizations denouncing the recent vote by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to divest from three corporations that do business with Israel.
The news was covered internationally, picked up by the Jerusalem Post, which quoted B'nai B’rith on the issue.
Read an excerpt of the article, below:
Numerous Jewish organizations have denounced the actions of the Presbyterian Church (USA) following its Friday vote to divest from companies that do business with Israel in the West Bank.
Though the Presbyterian Church has maintained that it is not in support of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement, Jewish agencies agree that the divestment is in clear alignment with the BDS movement.
“It is not possible to single out companies doing business with Israel for divestment and not be complicit in the BDS orbit,” B’nai B’rith stated.
Renowned Israeli musician Nurit Hirsh will receive a special citation from the B’nai B’rith World Center in Jerusalem at its 22nd annual Awards for Journalism.
Hirsh has spent decades spreading the message of the Israeli Diaspora through her music, and has received widespread acclaim throughout the global Jewish community.
In addition to the initial Times of Israel piece, here are other stories on the award.
The awards ceremony will be held on Sunday, June 29, at the B'nai B'rith World Center in Jerusalem.
B'nai B'rith International was featured on Shalom TV Daily News, condemning the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on its recent vote to divest business from three corporations that do business with Israel.
Announced at the PC (U.S.A.)'s 221st biennial General Assembly, the move supports a partisan, anti-Israel approach to the peace process.
As a humanitarian organization that has invested tremendous hope and extensive efforts worldwide in building Christian-Jewish friendship for 170 years, B'nai B'rith International remains confident that such an approach does not reflect the values and perspectives of the vast majority of American Christians.
Read our full press release.
The story begins at the 3:55 mark in the video:
The citation will be presented at the B’nai B’rith World Center’s 22nd annual awards Recognizing Excellence in Diaspora Reportage that will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem.
Hirsh, B’nai Brith noted, has represented the State of Israel around the world for over 50 years through more than 1,500 of her songs “and many moving performances in which she brought great honor to the State of Israel.
Her songs have been published in a collection of six books and 13 CDs. Many of her songs are popular in Diaspora communities and serve as a bridge, a language and a source of shared identity between Israel and Jewish communities around the world, between the communities and within the communities themselves.”
Hirsh, the citation went on, “chooses the lyrics to her songs from the Bible, prayer and Israeli poets in addition to personal songs reflecting universal themes. Her songs have been translated to many languages including English, Spanish, Japanese, Greek, Turkish, and Korean, and are sung all over the world.”
In accepting the award Döpfner said: “This award has made me extremely happy. We, the publishing company and its journalists stand firmly on the side of freedom, of democracy and of the Jewish people. My guiding principle is never to tolerate intolerance.”
At the conclusion of Dopfner’s remarks, he was greeted with a standing ovation.
Among the numerous dignitaries at the gala dinner were the Ambassador of Israel Yakov Hadas-Handelsman, the General Consul of the United States of America Kevin Milas, President of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi and Charlotte Knobloch, for many years president of the Central Committee of Jews in Germany.
In the closing speech, Israel’s ambassador, noting the current football fever, nominated Mathias Döpfner the captain of Germany’s Friends of Israel team.
B'nai B'rith Real Estate was the top story in Monday's New York Real Estate Journal's Daily Newsletter, highlighting the unit's June luncheon.
Jonathan Yormak, president of East End Capital, served as the keynote speaker and discussed “How to Compete and Win Deals in New York City.”
Proceeds from the luncheons go to benefit the B'nai B'rith Real Estate Unit in New York City.
For more information on the luncheon series and to reserve your spot for the future, please contact Ms. Aracelis Kuilan:
Telephone: (212) 885-7239
El Club de Amistad para No Videntes, que patrocina el Centro de Acción Comunitaria de B’nai B’rith Argentina, celebró sus primeros 55 años de existencia el pasado lunes 26 de mayo, durante una de sus reuniones quincenales regulares que se realizan de marzo a diciembre.
Fundado por las mujeres miembros de la Filial “Tradición”, brinda un marco de pertenencia socio-cultural y recreativa, sin discriminación étnica, social ni religiosa y en forma totalmente gratuita, a un importante grupo de no videntes, que en número de 30 a 50 participan de cada una de las actividades.
En l980 y en l987 esta entidad de B’nai B’rith fue premiada por el Consejo de Mujeres Argentinas con el premio "María Catalina Marchi”.
Ilse Swatch, una de las más antiguas voluntarias que colabora activamente en la organización de la actividades de este club y Mirta Shejter, coordinadora del mismo, explicaron, en diálogo con la Agencia Judía de Noticias/Iton Gadol, que las actividades que se llevan a cabo son las que los propios miembros del grupo deciden y que B’nai B’rith, además de su sede, brinda una merienda y un espectáculo musical. También dijeron que normalmente asisten a cada una de las reuniones quincenales, que se efectúan los días lunes de 16 a 18 hs.
Durante la celebración, en la que los no videntes acompañaron a un conjunto musical cantando y luego alguno de ellos bailaron conocidas piezas musicales, Daniel Sport, Director del Centro de Acción Comunitaria de B’nai B’rith Argentina y recientemente designado Secretario General de la institución, manifestó que es un orgullo para la B’nai B’rit que en su casa funcione el Club de Amistad para No Videntes.
“Este es un grupo probablemente único dentro de las actividades de la comunidad judía de la Argentina y posiblemente también del país, este club de no videntes que cumple 55 años ininterrumpidos de tarea y está promovido y abierto a toda la comunidad y la sociedad en general pues no hay distinción de religión ni de ninguna otra característica, vienen de todas las edades. Es un grupo variado que tiene una actividad recreativa musical, bailable y también de formación intelectual. Es algo muy atractivo y de crecimiento para todos. La B’nai B’rith, en sus orígenes, tenía filiales que sostenían a sus propias organizaciones, pero con el paso del tiempo muchas de esas organizaciones, como el Club de No Videntes, paso a ser responsabilidad de la institución madre".
A low rumble permeated the hall, and as the door opened, the whine of hair dryers and loud chatter blasted out.
It was prom day, and everywhere you looked, volunteers were at work. They were armed with blow dryers and curling irons, with makeup brushes and mascara wands.
While her nails dried, Darlene Flaherty, 66, told the women around her that she would be dressed to kill in an outfit she bought in Mexico.
She also just had her second knee replacement done, “so I’m ready to dance tonight.”
The fuss was all about the third annual senior prom June 1 at Covenant Place, a senior living complex in Creve Coeur.
Rosy Weinstein, 93, tested lip colors and decided she needed a flashier tone, maybe berry tart.
A stylist pinned Sonjia Williams’ hair into a French roll. Sonjia, 70, said she could dance better than everyone else, and that made her nervous. She didn’t want to look like a show-off.
Not Anita Stevens. As a volunteer curled her hair, Anita, 83, bragged about a bra that would give her extra oomph that night.
She stood up and gave a preview of her Elvis-like swivel. She was excited to show off her moves that night. But first, she needed to go home to her husband.
She described Eric, 83, as a quiet man who is always by her side.
The B'nai B'rith Great Lakes' 32nd Annual Golf Classic was another big success this year, drawing in dozens of golfers hoping to win a grand prize of an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas, or a 2014 Chevrolet Equinox for a hole-in-one shot.
Proceeds from the event went to benefit B'nai B'rith International, Hillel, BBYO, and the B’nai B’rith Great Lakes Region College Scholarship Fund, which awarded four scholarships at the reception.
Here is a look back at some of the highlights from the festivities [Photos by Jerry Olson]:
In preparation for the 2014 New Jersey Diverse Minds Youth Writing Challenge, Mary Kate Donahue from Cherokee High School spent a month writing and illustrating her masterpiece.
The finished product, "If No One Was Different," won first place in the New Jersey contest, earning her a $5,000 college scholarship and her very first published title.
The Diverse Minds Youth Writing Challenge is an education and awareness initiative created by B'nai B'rith International as one of its programs that promote tolerance and communicate a message of equality among all citizens, regardless of race, religion, national origin, gender or sexual orientation. The New Jersey event was sponsored by Atlantic City Electric.
Speaking to the Burlington County Times, Donahue said that the story took about one month to create, from conception to finished product.
In addition to the scholarship and certificate she received at the B'nai B'rith Awards Ceremony, Donahue has also been honored by the Camden County Board of Freeholders, Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Borough of Avalon and the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly for her published piece.
During an awards ceremony in Boston on Tuesday night, B’nai B’rith Housing and B’nai B’rith International presented the 2014 Distinguished Achievement Award to Pam Goodman, president of Beacon Communities Development LLC.
Goodman oversees operations at Beacon Communities Development and supervises transactions from initial conception through rent-up and occupancy.
She is a former member of the Board of Directors of B’nai B’rith Housing, whose mission is to produce nonsectarian housing, for low-income and mixed-income residents in communities located in and around Greater Boston.
While at Beacon Communities Development, Goodman has been responsible for construction or rehabilitation of more than 4,000 rental apartments and 200 for sale units in more than 70 communities in New England, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland.
“Beacon Communities Development has achieved great things under Pam’s stewardship,” said Susan Gittelman, executive director of B’nai B’rith Housing. “As we put the finishing touches on our newest project in Sudbury, I’m grateful that we have leaders like Pam within our organization to guide our successes. Her commitment to building a more equitable society and her ongoing support and wise counsel are so valuable to B’nai B’rith Housing and to our entire community.”
B'nai B'rith director of Latin American Affairs Eduardo Kohn represented the organization during the 44th General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS), held last week in Asuncion, Paraguay.
During a three-hour session between OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza and the Civil Society, Kohn spoke on a number of issues on behalf of B'nai B'rith, including the adoption of 100 orphaned Syrian children into Uruguay, acceptance of prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, civil unrest in Venezuela and the need for OAS to ratify the Inter-American Convention Against Discrimination, which was approved by last year's assembly.
In addition to his work in the General Assembly, Kohn met with various leaders, including Paraguay Foreign Minister Eladio Loizaga; U.S. Ambassador to the OAS Carmen Lomellin; OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza; Israeli Director of the Foreign Ministry for Latin America Itzhak Shoham; Milton Romani, Uruguay Ambassador to OAS; DCM Alejandro Rosas; Uruguay Foreign Minister Luis Almagro; Egyptian Observer and Ambassador to Uruguay Salim Ali Salem; the Jewish community and B'nai B'rith members.
In a recent Q&A appearing on the B'nai B'rith Europe website, Senior Vice President Erika Van Gelder shares some interesting insight into her life, her time with B'nai B'rith and what she sees ahead.
Van Gelder was born in a displaced person's camp in Linz, Austria, shortly after World War II. After her mother passed away following childbirth, her father moved to Israel, leaving her in a children's home in Linz.
Her experiences in the children's home helped shape a lifetime of service to others, particularly in the Jewish community. Learn more about her story:
Q: Can you tell us something about your early life?
Van Gelder: My very early life was spent being taken from Linz by the Red Cross and brought to Budapest to friends of my future parents, and later being smuggled in a suitcase across the border into Romania. I must have been about one year old when I arrived in Arad, a city in Romania near the Hungarian border, in the region of Transylvania.
I remember a very happy childhood. My (new) parents, my mother's sister and her husband adopted me. They had no other children and they were the most fantastic parents one could wish for. I grew up with lots of love, warmth, understanding, a safe environment, with parents that stimulated me in my endeavors and, above all, believed in me.
Q: When and why did you join B'nai B'rith?
Van Gelder: "Because I never forgot my origins I started helping the Jewish Old Age Home in my home town, Arad, Romania. The Amsterdam BB lodge asked me to become a member in1994 and to continue my project through the lodge. Of course, I agreed."
Q: What have been your main areas of interest in B'nai B'rith so far?
Van Gelder: "The more involved I got, the more I realised that humanitarian aid projects were needed in all the ex-communist countries and that good communication and coordination was essential for any modicum of success. With this in mind, I proposed the creation of a permanent committee for Central and Eastern Europe (at the BB Convention in 1997).
"I chaired this committee from the beginning until 2004. That year I was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer, non-Hodgkin's. I had chemotherapy for one year and it took me another two years to function normally. I am extremely lucky, so for me "la vita e bella". After this intermezzo, I became more active again. I never stopped the fund raising for the projects in Eastern Europe, but I could not do more."
Congratulations to Monica Keszler, who was awarded first place in the 2013-14 Delmarva Peninsula Diverse Minds Youth Writing Challenge.
Her winning entry, "Kira Kiwi, How Will School Be?" embodies the purpose of the challenge: promoting tolerance and articulating a message of equality among all citizens, regardless of race, religion, national origin, gender or sexual orientation.
The finished product was a tale of overcoming anxiety and the unknown, arriving at the conclusion that diversity should be celebrated so that everyone can realize his or her own strengths. For her efforts, Keszler received a $5,000 college scholarship and held her first official book signing at the Delmarva Power Conference Center.
Here is a gallery of photos from the awards ceremony:
Shalom TV Daily News featured B'nai B'rith International's condemnation of the newly sworn in Fatah-Hamas unity Palestinian government, emphasizing the organization's call for Congress to review Palestinian aid that will now fund a known terrorist organization.
B'nai B'rith International has stood alongside Israel in denouncing the inclusion of Hamas in Israeli-Palestinian relations, stating that it "creates an irreconcilable obstacle to restarting negotiations."
Read the full statement here.The story begins at the 4:00 mark in the video:
Together, with the help of the Young Professional Division of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, Covenant Place created a night to remember that put the "senior" in Senior Prom.
Photo gallery courtesy of YPD:
Congratulations to Mary Kate Donahue, who was awarded first place in the 2013-14 Southern New Jersey Diverse Minds Youth Writing Challenge.
Her winning masterpiece, "If No One Was Different," embodies the purpose of the challenge: promoting tolerance and communicating a message of equality among all citizens, regardless of race, religion, national origin, gender or sexual orientation.
The finished product was a story that imagines life without variety, arriving at the conclusion that "you are you" for a reason. For her efforts, Donahue received a $5,000 college scholarship and held her first official book signing at the Stockton College Kramer Hall Art Gallery.
Here is a gallery of photos from the awards ceremony:
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