by Meredith Jacobs, Managing Editor
Whenever there was a major world disaster, Bruce Pascal's grandmother would say, "I have to send a check to B'nai B'rith." But for Pascal, who served as B'nai B'rith International Senior Vice President, this 170th year brought potential disaster to the doors of his beloved organization...more.
by Abel Flores
El 16 de octubre se realizó en la sede de la Fraternidad Hebrea B’nai B’rith de Venezuela un homenaje al filósofo Juan Nuño, quien fuera profesor de la Universidad Central de Venezuela. Durante el evento también se presentó el libro de su autoría, Escritos judíos, una recopilación de diversos artículos de este destacado catedrático y pensador en los que aborda la temática judía, Israel y el sionismo...more.
A lawmaker for Greece's neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party reportedly read out in parliament a passage from the anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Ilias Kasidiaris read out Protocol 19 from the book: "In order to destroy the prestige of heroism we shall send them for trial in the category of theft, murder and every kind of abominable and filthy crime," according to Panayote Dimitras of the Greek Helsinki Monitor...In a written statement last Friday, the Foreign Affairs Network of B'nai B’rith Europe called the manuscript’s reading in an EU parliament “a sign of moral corruption and degradation which must not be overlooked.” The silence with which the reading was received was “doubly worrisome,” the network wrote in its statement...more.
by Chris Leppek
Gary Saltzman began his B’nai B’rith journey in the most humble and unremarkable of ways – on the bowling alley.
The Denver native who grew up on the East Side, prayed at Beth Joseph and graduated from George Washington, liked to bowl. He also thought that B’nai B’rith Lodge 171’s bowling league might be a good path by which to connect socially and professionally with other members of the Denver Jewish community.
The bowling part was a natural.
By 1975, when his membership in B’nai B’rith began, Saltzman had already been a high school and college competitive bowler. He was good enough to win a state high school championship.
The social connection part turned out to be an understatement.
“Within five years I not only had become the president of the bowling league but eventually ran for office of B’nai B’rith,” Saltzman says...more.
Featuring Harold Shulman, JD, CPA
Congratulations to Partner Harold Shulman who is being honored by B’nai B’rith International, a humanitarian, human rights and advocacy organization, for his 43 years of dedication and leadership.
The Banking & finance Unit of B’nai B’rith is honoring Harold Shulman with its Distinguished Achievement Award for his long term achievements in the financial and accounting fields and his leadership and devotion for so many years in the growth and development of the B’nai B’rith worldwide.
Read the story here.
Actualidad 1020 AM (Miami, FL): Dr. Eduardo Kohn, analista internacional, especialista en Medio Oriente, director para América Latina de B’nai B’rith (SPANISH)
by Susan Gittelman
Housing is a fundamental human need. Apartment rents in the Boston area have reached record highs, following the economic pressures and housing finance crisis that drove many people from ownership to become renters.
Massachusetts has been a leader over the last 15 years in fostering the creation of affordable and mixed-income housing for working families through a progressive state housing tax credit program. And it can help even more families if the volume of state housing tax credits, a small part of the overall budget, is increased, as the housing community has recommended.
There’s no question that the last few years of economic difficulty have impacted the state’s budgets. The governor and Legislature have had to make difficult choices and set priorities. But given the continuing high cost of housing and the need to accommodate working families as well as the need to ensure the economic strength of our region, we believe the state housing tax credit program is an investment that more than carries its cost.
A little background: In a high-cost region like Eastern Massachusetts, programs that provide affordable housing have become essential.
And the need for this housing outpaces the supply in almost every community.
Contributing To Social Good
The affordable housing tax credit is one of the pillars of affordable-housing development for nonprofit development corporations, private companies and others who specialize in building affordable housing. Created by Congress under the administration of President Ronald Reagan in 1986, the federal program essentially allows companies that owe federal taxes to fund construction of affordable housing. What they get back in return is a tax credit – a reduction in the amount of taxes that they would otherwise owe on their profits over the next few years.
Several states – like Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Georgia – followed suit and created their own affordable housing tax credit programs. All states can administer the federal tax credits, but the state programs provide further incentive for the creation of needed housing.
Those who purchase the tax credits – banks, life-insurance companies and other profit-making entities – still pay their taxes, but the tax reductions they receive contribute to the social good by making housing affordable for more families and individuals.
And these state tax credits have made the difference in valuable development efforts around the state. State tax credit awards in 2011 made possible successful developments in Beverly, Boston, Chicopee, Easton, Salem, Springfield, Tyngsborough, and Wareham.
But the value of tax credits extends well beyond just providing more housing.
A study of the use of tax credits in New Hampshire from 2009 through 2011 concluded that, even at the limited scale of only 202 affordable housing units built in that state, the direct and indirect fiscal impacts in a single year totaled $29 million in income for residents, $3.7 million in taxes and other revenue for state and local governments and 433 jobs created
Need For Affordable Housing
Massachusetts followed the federal model and created its own housing tax credit program in 1999. It started small but was considered a good investment and was increased to a total of $10 million in 2008. Last year it was increased to $20 million a year – but only for the years 2013 and 2014.
Advocates of affordable housing would like to keep the state’s tax credit level at $20 million for at least three more years. There is currently an estimated demand for $4 of tax credits for every $1 available.
There are hundreds of new apartments being built now in the Boston area, following five years of stagnation; however, many are expensive, market rate homes. They will not solve the need for housing for many working people, families and retirees in our state.
The money the state leverages through its affordable housing tax credit program is a solid investment in communities and in the future of our state.
Susan Gittelman is executive director of B’nai B’rith Housing, a nonprofit, nonsectarian developer and operator of affordable and mixed-income housing serving families and elders in communities of Greater Boston. BBH is currently working on developments in Sudbury and Sharon.
Children going through a crisis need the comfort of a friend, someone like a stuffed B’nai B’rith Buddy Bear of their own to hug.
This need inspired the America Unit 901 of B’nai B’rith in Northwest Indiana to initiate its Buddy Bear program to help children dealing with extreme stress and upheaval in their young lives.
St. Jude House, which serves more than 200 children annually at its Crown Point facility, is one of the first beneficiaries of the program...more.
The Algemeiner: Anti-Semitic Image Posted to Occupy Wall Street Facebook Page, Jewish Group Calls for Removal
by Zach Pontz
A highly offensive photo [shown at left] posted Saturday to a Facebook page associated with Occupy Wall Street shows two arms— one of which is tattooed with the Star of David— placed in a sink, hands covered in blood, a bar of soap embossed with “UN” in the left hand. A Jewish group has called on Facebook to remove the image, and an official Occupy Wall Street representative denied affiliation with the page, which appears to be the second largest of its kind boasting over 237K “Likes.”
Eric Fusfield, director of legislative affairs at global Jewish group B’nai Brith International, starkly condemned the image in an interview with The Algemeiner in calling for its removal. “This cartoon is blatant anti-semitic trash. It’s a play on ancient stereotypes on Jewish bloodlust. It’s part of a larger campaign by Israel’s enemies to delegitimize the Jewish State by portraying Israelis as persecutors,” he said, “This is a way of isolating Israel, making it a pariah state. Facebook should take it down immediately. It should not play a role in the dissemination of hate speech...more.
by Ron Kampeas
Jewish groups that care for the elderly are looking forward to the election, and not because they favor a candidate or a party -- they want Washington’s fractious establishment to get back to figuring out how best to fund programs the groups say are essential.
Between the Nov. 6 election date and Jan. 1, Congress and the Obama administration – whether lame duck or reelected – are set to head off “sequestration,” when massive across-the-board cuts go into effect with the new year...Rachel Goldberg, who directs aging policy for B’nai B’rith International, outlined a number of sources of funding for elderly care that would be subject to the across-the-board 8.5 percent cuts.
Cuts to housing payments administered by the Housing and Urban Development department, she said, could within a year see homes for the elderly close units. “People could be evicted,” she said...more.
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