B'nai B'rith International kicked off February with a European Union Activism Seminar for college students, co-hosted with B'nai B'rith Europe, DOJAS and EUJS. The 20 participants came from a diverse background and geographic area, traveling from 19 different countries on four continents.
The primary goals of the seminar were providing an overview about how the EU works, building skills of advocacy with EU institutions and discussing issues that matter to the Jewish community.
B'nai B'rith organized panels with civil servants, diplomats, elected members of the European Parliament, lobbyists and staffers to show the participants how policy is made in the EU, from both an inside and outside perspective.
Jeremy Levin was a participant in the week-long seminar and left inspired to do more to advance Jewish causes in the EU.
"Last week was a phenomenal week, and I wanted to thank you for organizing the panels, meals, housing, and more for the EU Activism Seminar," Levin said. "I learned much more than I could have imagined, and have already begun to share my findings with friends and family, both within the EU and all over the world.
"Handfuls of people have contacted me with an interest in learning about our seminar, in addition to the great organizations that put on the event. I am gladly sharing what I gained while in Brussels."
Leeor Groen took advantage of the networking opportunities and is pursuing an internship to delve deeper into the world of Jewish advocacy.
"I am really appreciative of the unique opportunities we had and the things we got to see and do," Groen noted. "I took a particular interest in the work [Head of International Affairs in the Italian Ministry of Economic Development] Pasquale De Micco was doing, given that this is my field of study.
"I am very open to any opportunities and would really value the opportunity to come back."
View a slideshow from the event, below (all photos courtesy of EUJS):
B'nai B'rith celebrated its 171st birthday on Oct. 13, reviewing its first 17 decades at the forefront of Jewish advocacy in the United States and around the world.
Here is an infographic detailing the major achievements in the organization's history:
Nearly 100 Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) brothers from North America, Europe and Israel gathered at B’nai Brith Canada headquarters earlier this month to take part in a Hineni project sponsored by B’nai B’rith International. The brothers ate lunch and socialized with senior citizens as part of an enrichment conference stressing Jewish identity in an intergenerational forum.
B’nai B’rith staff and AEPi brothers facilitated games of bingo, ate pizza and swapped stories with residents from Toronto senior housing facilities.
Connecting the seniors with students created some unique intergenerational bonds. One such encounter occurred for Calgary University brother Shane Hamilton.
“I sat down with a lovely lady named Esther, who was from Lithuania and had survived the Holocaust. My grandmother was also from Lithuania; she escaped the Holocaust and her name was also Esther,” Hamilton said. “I thought that was pretty cool. This project has been a great way to get involved with the community, and I would recommend it for anyone.”
This is the eighth year of their partnership and fifth year that B’nai B’rith teamed with AEPi for a community service project as part of the fraternity’s annual international convention. Previous projects include assembling disaster kits, rebuilding a park in New Orleans destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and repainting a community centre in New York damaged by Super Storm Sandy.
“The ties that bind AEPi and B’nai B’rith are strong. From working together to help communities recover from disasters to walking together to bring Holocaust awareness to college campuses, B’nai B’rith and AEPi share similar goals and values,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said. “We continue to be impressed with the level of dedication to global human rights issues and support of Israel that the AEPi brothers demonstrate on a day-to-day basis.”
B’nai B’rith is the largest Jewish sponsor of government housing in North America, offering 45 facilities and thousands of apartment units in 29 communities between the United States and Canada.
Alpha Epsilon Pi is the largest fraternity of any kind in Canada and carries a mission of helping each student to develop character, responsibility and a proper set of Jewish values.
“I’m thrilled to talk about AEPi’s relationship with B’nai B’rith,” AEPi Executive Director Andy Borans said. “This Hineni program was fabulous, the way that the brothers interacted with the residents. I think both of our groups benefit tremendously from this partnership.”
In the News
B'nai B'rith International is the Global Voice of the Jewish Community.
All rights reserved. Stories are attributed to the original copyright holders.