B’nai B’rith UK is actively engaged in helping Ukrainian citizens facing the most brutal conditions. The BBUK Ukraine Emergency Appeal Funds raised are being put to immediate use.
The Ukraine Emergency Appeal Fund is supporting the Orach Chaim Foundation, which is busing residents out of the city and hopefully into safer destinations. Many of our B’nai B’rith lodge members in Kyiv are sheltering in cellars in fear for their lives and their future.
Funds are being sent to the Moldovan Jewish Community to help it cope with the massive volume of refugees which is quickly overwhelming the local capacity to help. B’nai B’rith UK is coordinating through Moldovan members of the Raoul Wallenberg Lodge.
Vadim Kolotushkin, the president of the Chernivtsi Lodge, is working tirelessly with members of his community and his lodge to provide relief to the vast numbers sheltering in this city in southwestern Ukraine.
Funds are being utilized by the B’nai B’rith Lodge of Bucharest to buy food and other essential items.
Treasurer of B’nai B’rith Romania Marko Katz is driving to Ukraine delivering essentials in a cargo van full of supplies including seven generators, warm clothing, fire extinguishers, lighting equipment, food and medicine.
BBUK is helping evacuate children from the Tikva Children's Home to safety in Romania. Many of the children have been moved out of the region but due to legalities and the fact that some of them still have parents in Odessa, their future remains uncertain. BBUK has provided shoes to this home for 20 years, making this aspect of aid especially personal.
The Levitas Family
The president and secretary of the B’nai B’rith Kyiv Lodge, along with their daughter, Svetlana, last week escaped to Moldova.
B'nai B'rith Hosting Refugees in the UK
We now have a list of 24 B’nai B’rith members and friends who are prepared to consider hosting refugees in their homes. Lodge members are working through a complex process to make this happen.
JNS included B'nai B'rith International's statement welcoming the show of global unity and solidarity with Ukraine and sharing concern about a potential humanitarian crisis.
(February 24, 2022 / JNS) Jewish organizations from across the spectrum are condemning Wednesday’s military invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
The Republican Jewish Coalition called for the Biden administration to accelerate the implementation of “punishing sanctions” on Russia and its leaders and for Congress to pass legislation to broaden the sanctions authority.
“Vladimir Putin aims to destroy the nascent democracy in Ukraine, to threaten the former Soviet republics in eastern Europe, and to weaken the NATO alliance,” RJC said in a news release on Thursday. “The free world must stand up to this violent expansion now, and the U.S. must lead the effort from a position of strength and in solidarity with our allies.”
The Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) called Russia’s actions “unconscionable aggression” and said it supported further sanctions.
“Jewish Dems strongly support another round of punitive sanctions implemented by the Biden administration against Russia, including cutting off Russia from the U.S. financial system. Vladimir Putin must face harsh and painful consequences for his belligerent and violent actions,” the group said.
Addressing the nation on Thursday, U.S. President Joe Biden said that Russian President Vladimir Putin “chose this war” and laid out a set of measures that will “impose severe cost on the Russian economy, both immediately and over time.”
Hadassah’s President Rhoda Smolow and CEO Naomi Adler, agreed with U.S. President Joe Biden’s characterization of the invasion as “unprovoked and unjustified Russian military aggression.”
The women’s Zionist organization expressed concern for the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian Jews and other Ukrainians, facing the most lethal military action in Europe since World War II.
“We stand with them in full solidarity and pray for their safety,” Smolow and Adler said in a news release. “Too many civilians have already been killed. Many are fleeing for safety in neighboring countries, and some have found refuge farther afield—in Israel. We applaud the government of Israel, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), Jewish Agency for Israel and other nongovernmental organizations risking their lives to provide support for Jews still in Ukraine and working to bring new Ukrainian olim to Israel. As Jews, we believe that whoever saves one life saves the entire world, and we are grateful for the bravery of those working to do so on the ground today.”
Similarly, The American Jewish Committee condemned the “flagrant violation of international law” by Russia and that the organization stands “in solidarity with the Ukrainian people and remain committed to supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
However, not all international Jewish groups have weighed in on the conflict so far. The World Jewish Congress and its president Ronald Lauder has yet to issue a statement on the invasion or condemnation of Russia’s actions.
‘Putin’s justification to invade is totally without merit’
The National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry (NCSEJ) wrote in a news release that the invasion violated the territorial integrity of Ukraine and that it stands in solidarity with the Ukrainian people.
The organization also took issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin statements that Russia was going to “de-Nazify” the Ukrainian government.
“Putin’s justification to invade is totally without merit and his assertion that Ukraine is a fascist or Nazi state has no basis,” NCSEJ said. “The Ukrainian Jewish community is fully integrated and enjoys all the rights and privileges as any other Ukrainian citizen.”
“NCSEJ is deeply concerned about the onslaught of an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Ukraine,” NCSEJ’s statement continued. “All appropriate steps must be taken to ensure the safety and well-being of Ukrainians.”
In a joint news release, B’nai B’rith’s President Seth J. Riklin and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin welcomed the show of global unity and solidarity in the Western world’s condemnation of Russia’s actions and said it was concerned by the prospect of a humanitarian crisis.
B’nai B’rith Europe is involved in an effort to assist the Jewish communities in Ukraine and collect funds to allow for the purchase of medicines and provide financial aid to the community. B’nai B’rith in Italy has launched its own relief campaign and the release stated the B’nai B’rith Disaster and Emergency Relief Fund is open to accept donations.
NBC-Dallas/Fort Worth (KXAS-TV) highlighted our relief efforts in Texas as part of its roundup of organizations helping those impacted by the Texas winter storm, Who is Donating to Texas Storm Relief Efforts?
Many companies and groups across the nation are rushing to provide aid to Texans after last week's winter storm left millions without power, food, water and access to other resources.
The range of establishments providing donation efforts is large, and the list of helping hands continues to grow.
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) took to Twitter last week and, through Sunday, had raised more than $5 million for relief in Texas. The money raised is going to 12 organizations including the Food Bank of West Central Texas, Central Texas Food Bank, Southeast Texas Food Bank, Feeding Texas, The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center, South Texas Food Bank, Corazon Ministries, Houston Food Bank, Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley, ECHO (Ending Community Homelessness Coalition), North Texas Food Bank, and Family Eldercare.
The Dallas Mavericks donate $1.25 million to the Mayor's Disaster Relief Fund and other sources, such as the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, Our Calling, Austin Street Shelter, the Stewpot, the Family Place, Genesis Women’s Shelter, the Wilkinson Center, Housing Crisis Center, Voice of Hope, and 14 YMCA locations. Players such as Dwight Powell, Luka Doncic, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Maxi Kleber, etc., owner Mark Cuban, and CEO Cynt Marshall all chipped in to provide for the city. Committee members and The Dallas Foundation have begun discussions for distributing the money to help as many residents in need as possible, city officials said.
One million meals, bottled water, and other supplies will be donated by Tyson foods for its' employees and other Texans impacted by the recent storm. The 10 Texas cities receiving the donation are Amarillo, Carthage, Center, Dallas, Haltom City, Houston, North Richland Hills, Seguin, Sherman, and Vernon. The food company said it will contact local authorities to coordinate distribution details.
Chobani donated $100,000 to Operation Homefront to support Texan military families impacted by the dangerously cold weather last week. The funds come from Chobani's Hero Batch greek yogurt and are given to the national nonprofit's Critical Financial Assistance program. The program provides assistance with home repair, food insecurity, rent and mortgage payments, auto repairs, and other critical family needs. The company has also opted to give 100,000 cups of greek yogurt to Tarrant Area Food Bank, after delivering water to Fort Worth residents over the weekend.
CarParts.com is donating 1% of revenue generated through their website from Monday, Feb. 22, through the end of February, having already advanced $100k for immediate relief to Texans in need.
With the help of Lowe's volunteers, the home repair store is giving away 500 buckets stuffed with flashlights, trash bags, DampRid moisture absorber and other items at two stores in DFW (while supplies last), one in Arlington and one in Dallas. The buckets can be picked up at the Lowe's along Arbrook Boulevard, facing Interstate 20, in South Arlington and at the store on 8520 S. Hampton Road in Dallas beginning Monday morning. In addition, the home repair store will offer repair tips for repairing burst pipes, gutters, and damaged lawns and can make recommendations for professional help in removing wet carpet and drywall, tarping and replacing damaged roofs, and replacing water heaters and HVAC systems.
The city of Garland is partnering with Inspected.com, a company that offers remote virtual inspections with city officials via their phones, to pair residents with a professional who can walk them through repairs. "For some homeowners in Texas it's a leaky valve or their pipes have burst from the cold weather," Founder of Inspected.com Anthony Perera said. "Through Inspected.com, they are given access to stay in their homes and fix it themselves with the knowledge of professionals talking to them through the app via video." In addition, Garland residents will be able to video chat with city officials for any home concerns they may have.
The Coca-Cola Company donated 100 pallets of bottled water to the city of Waco -- that was enough water to fill six tractor-trailers.
B'nai B'rith will be accepting donations from the public and will match up to $10,000 from their Disaster and Emergency Relief Fund to help Texans attempting to recover after the weather. The company will assess the needs of different communities in the state and will work with partners to provide solutions. Donors can give through the B'nai B'rith website or by calling 800-573-9057.
Jewish Scene Magazine covered our donation, together with members of the Sam Schloss Lodge, of 100 COVID-19 relief kits to Wendy and Avron B. Fogelman Jewish Family Service (FJFS) at the Memphis Jewish Community Center (MJCC) and Plough Towers.
Members of the Sam Schloss Lodge #35 of B’nai B’rith presented Wendy and Avron B. Fogelman Jewish Family Service (FJFS) at the Memphis Jewish Community Center (MJCC) and Plough Towers with 100 COVID-19 relief kits. The kits, provided by B’nai B’rith International, contained a cloth face mask and travel-sized hand sanitizer both imprinted with the B’nai B’rith logo.
“Sam Schloss Lodge and B’nai B’rith have a long history of helping people in need,” said Harold Steinberg, a member of the B’nai B’rith International Executive Board of Directors. “This is just the latest example of our organization’s disaster relief efforts that began over 150 years ago.”
Memphis was one of only a dozen cities selected.
Recipients include seniors who are part of the FJFS home-delivered kosher meals program and those who ride the FJFS Shalom Shuttle, as well as seniors in the Memphis Jewish Community Center/Memphis Jewish Federation’s Scheidt-Hohenberg Hot Meal Program and participants of other MJCC programs.
“We’ve been so very careful in planning for our MJCC members for the past 11 months, especially our seniors,” said Marcy Stagner, program director for Cultural Arts & Senior Services at MJCC. “This is another great way to help protect them.”
“Anything we can do to help ease the stress of this global pandemic is important,” said Leigh Hendry, executive director of Plough Towers. “We would never have dreamed it would still be going strong 10 months later! Support from B’nai B’rith and others in our community has meant so much.”
This donation is one of many made as part of B’nai B’rith’s project to provide 3,000 COVID-19 relief kits to communities around the United States.
“Every community in America is facing the challenge of responding to the needs of vulnerable populations,” said Rebecca Saltzman, senior vice president and chair of the B’nai B’rith Disaster and Emergency Relief Committee. “We want to be part of the solution and help make sure everyone stays safe.”
The Memphis Hebrew Watchman covered our donation, together with members of the Sam Schloss Lodge, of COVID-19 relief kits to local organizations in the Memphis area.
The Texas Jewish Post covered our donation of COVID-19 relief kits to local organizations in the Texarkoma Region of the United States.
A donation of COVID-19 relief kits will help local organizations combat coronavirus. Alex Nason, B’nai B’rith community coordinator and president of B’nai B’rith in the Texarkoma Region, presented local organizations with COVID-19 relief kits provided by B’nai B’rith International.
Jewish Family Services of Tarrant County, the Tarrant County Molly and Max Barnett B’nai B’rith Apartments, and Strengthening After-School Programs through Advocacy, Resources and Collaboration (SPARC) received kits containing a cloth face mask and travel-sized hand sanitizer, both imprinted with the B’nai B’rith logo.
These kits, made possible by B’nai B’rith International, will help ensure that recipients stay safe during the pandemic.
Jewish Family Services of Tarrant County, a program that provides transportation for seniors to bring them together for activities and meals, received 25 kits. Hedy Collins, senior program director, accepted the kits from Nason.
The Tarrant County Molly and Max Barnett B’nai B’rith Apartments house 95 low-income seniors. Each resident received a COVID kit, accepted on behalf of the residents by Board President Dan Sturman and Property Manager Tiffany Bell.
SPARC provides after-school programming and training to serve all Fort Worth schools. Tobi Jackson, executive director of SPARC and first vice president of the Fort Worth Independent School District board of trustees, accepted the kits.
“Seeing the appreciation from the kit recipients who are familiar with B’nai B’rith International was very nice,” Nason said. “And hearing how surprised and appreciative people were who didn’t know about B’nai B’rith International and its disaster relief doings was priceless. It made me very proud to be a part of B’nai B’rith.”
These donations are some of many made as part of B’nai B’rith’s project to provide 3,000 COVID-19 relief kits to communities around the United States. B’nai B’rith community coordinators around the country are donating kits on behalf of B’nai B’rith to local agencies dedicated to serving their community.
“Every community in America is facing the challenge of responding to the needs of vulnerable populations. We want to be part of the solution and help make sure everyone stays safe,” said Rebecca Saltzman, senior vice president and chair of the B’nai B’rith Disaster and Emergency Relief Committee.
As the U.S. experiences a high level of transmission of the virus, this project will help people follow the CDC recommendation for the “consistent and correct” use of face masks, as well as guidance to use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not readily available. Since it began in March 2020, the B’nai B’rith COVID-19 relief campaign has supported projects around the world to help keep people safe and alleviate the effects of the pandemic.
The B’nai B’rith Disaster and Emergency Relief Fund has responded to man-made and natural disasters around the world since 1865.
JNS mentioned our statement on the COVID-19 relief package deal reached by Congress.
(December 22, 2020 / JNS) Jewish and pro-Israel groups expressed appreciation to Congress for passing a 5,593-page spending package on Monday night that includes $1.4 trillion to fund the government, in addition to annual U.S. assistance to Israel, and as much as $900 billion in relief for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The bill now goes to U.S. President Donald Trump to sign it into law.
Relief includes $600 stimulus checks per adult and child. Single people earning up to $75,000 will receive $600, while married couples earning up to $150,000 will receive $1,200. Checks will be reduced by $5 for every $100 in income for those above those thresholds. Single people who earn more than $87,000 or married couples who earn more than $174,000 will not receive money.
The relief also allocates $300 per week in enhanced unemployment insurance for 11 weeks, more funds for vaccine distribution and COVID-19 testing.
It also consists of $319 billion for small businesses, including $284 billion in loans for the Paycheck Protection Program from the Small Business Administration (SBA). This included $20 billion through the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program and $15 billion for theaters, live venues and museums.
The bill allocates $82 billion in education funding, including $2.75 billion to support Jewish, Catholic and other nonpublic schools.
The spending bill includes $180 million in funding for security for nonprofit institutions.
In a statement applauding the legislation ahead of it being passed, the Jewish Federations of North America said—citing a record number of anti-Semitic attacks in the United States in 2019— that “this bolstered funding will help to secure thousands of synagogues, Jewish community agencies and organizations, as well as other faith and communal groups who have too frequently been the victims of deadly attacks.”
The bill also includes the seventh year of funding for Holocaust survivors and older adults with a history of trauma and their families. JFNA said that its “Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care, which benefits from federal funding, will be able to continue to its work.”
In a statement ahead of the legislative package being passed, B’nai B’rith International expressed gratitude for the economic relief and extension of the Paycheck Protection Program, though said it was “disappointed that there were no provisions made for low-income senior housing in this stimulus bill.”
“As the largest national Jewish sponsor of low-income, nonsectarian housing for seniors in the country, we are focused on the urgent needs of this population,” continued the organization. “We would have appreciated funds for more supplies, staffing, service coordinators and Wi-Fi accessibility for subsidized housing for seniors.”
Ahead of it being passed, the Orthodox Union also applauded the government spending and relief package, especially for K-12 schools.
In the American Jewish community, almost 1,000 Jewish day schools educate approximately 300,000 students and employ many thousands of teachers and other staff. As with so many other institutions, the impact of the COVID-19 crisis has been terribly disruptive and costly to these schools, it explained.
“That is why it is essential for this latest federal relief package to include a great amount of support for these schools and, among them, America’s Jewish, Catholic and other nonpublic schools,” said OU executive director for public policy Nathan Diament. “We are all in this together. We cannot beat back the pandemic, much less educate children, in some schools but not others. Thus, we are very thankful that congressional leaders set aside $2.75 billion to help our schools in this emergency.”
‘Ensuring critical support for Israel’s security’
Moreover, the bill includes legislation protecting victims of terrorism and restoring Sudan’s immunity from terror-related lawsuits in the aftermath of the Northeast African nation recently agreeing to normalize ties with Israel.
The legislative package includes the annual $3.8 billion in assistance to Israel in accordance with the 2016 10-year $38 billion memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the United States and Israel. It consisted of $3.3 billion in security assistance and $500 million for U.S.-Israel missile defense cooperation authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which passed earlier this month.
The bill also allocates $47.5 million in anti-tunnel technology and $25 million for counter-unmanned aerial systems, two burgeoning areas of cooperation in addressing threats from tunnel attacks and drones.
Additionally, the legislation includes $2 million to fund a new U.S.-Israel cooperative initiative on COVID-related and health technologies research; $2 million to fund a new Israel-U.S. Agency for International Development international development cooperative program to support local solutions to address sustainability challenges; $4 million for the U.S.-Israel Center of Excellence in Energy and Water; $2 million for the Israel Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation supporting U.S.-Israel energy cooperative programs; and $2 million for U.S.-Israel cooperative efforts related to border security, maritime security, biometrics, cybersecurity and video analytics.
Finally, the bill allocates $2 million to fund a new strategic dialogue of the Eastern Mediterranean Partnership among the United States, Israel, Greece and Cyprus; and $50 million to fund and authorize the Nita M. Lowey Middle East Partnership for Peace Fund aimed at investing in economic and people-to-people partnerships between Israelis and Palestinians, named for Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), who is retiring and has been known as a stalwart ally of the Jewish state in Congress.
Following the legislation’s passage, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee heralded Congress “for ensuring critical support for Israel’s security and strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship.”
Diario Judío México covered B'nai B'rith's joint project with the Instituto Cultural México Israel that sent youth to the region of Tabasco to support the community there, which has suffered from flooding.
Diario Judío México – Una delegación integrada por jóvenes de Israel y México organizada por la B’nai B’rith México y el Instituto Cultural México Israel realizan una misión especial de apoyo a los damnificados en Tabasco.
El equipo integrado tanto por jóvenes judíos como no judíos realizó primero una investigación de las necesidades de la gente en la zona afectada, para así eficientar la entrega, que se realiza actualmente mamo a mano para así apoyar a los afectados de la zona.
Sin duda deseamos a los damnificados que pronto puedan recuperar sus casas y su vida cotidiana en salud y bienestar.
(English) A delegation made up of young people from Israel and Mexico organized by B’nai B’rith Mexico and the Mexico Israel Cultural Institute made a special mission to support the flooding victims in Tabasco.
The team, made up of both Jewish and non-Jewish youths, first figured out the needs of the people in the affected area in order to streamline the delivery, which is currently being carried out by hand to support those affected in the area.
We hope the victims can soon recover their homes and return to their daily lives in good health and well-being.
Responding to this week's heavy flooding in central Texas that killed at least 19 and caused millions of dollars in damage, B'nai B'rith International opened it's Flood, Tornado and Hurricane Disaster Relief Fund to assist the victims and rebuild.
News of the announcement was covered by JNS.org and the Baltimore Jewish Times. Read highlights from the news coverage, below:
B'nai B'rith International was quick to respond to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, dedicating donations from the Disaster Relief Fund to our partner IsraAID, already on the ground.
Working with IsraAID, the First Lady of Sierra Leone Sia Nyama Koroma hosted a two-day workshop on stress management and self-care, chronicled on her official Facebook wall.
Participants were drawn from all sectors, including governmental and non-governmental health organizations, education, social and children's welfare, inter-faith entities and other non-profits. For many, it was an introduction to proven practices in psycho-social support and self-care in the aftermath of Ebola.
The workshop focused on self-care and secondary trauma, because those who give help often forget to take care of themselves and suffer in silence. IsraAid pledged to bring in 60 specialists from Israel over the next two years to train Sierra Leoneans to give psycho-social support.
According to a statement on the First Lady's Facebook page, Koroma has a background as a psychiatric nurse and felt personally connected to those suffering:
"Ebola is not only a health issue...for a young girl orphaned by the disease, Ebola means grief, stigma and discrimination at the hands of her neighbors. For a survivor, weakened and scared, but alive, Ebola means pain and a life of guilt, shame and rejection.
"For the thousands of survivors and health workers especially nurses, doctors, lab-technicians, drivers, cleaners, contact tracers, burial teams and community workers Ebola means betrayal and sadness, flashbacks and nightmares.
And for all those who have lost family members and friends and who worry everyday about a disease that they cannot see, Ebola means fear and anxiety."
Click here to support our Disaster Relief efforts against Ebola!
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:
Following the tragedies of Sept. 11, 2001, B'nai B'rith International published a statement condemning the attacks, consoling the families of the victims and announcing the opening of the disaster relief funds.
In the words of then B'nai B'rith President Richard D. Heideman:
"Our prayers are with the victims of Tuesday's unthinkable acts of terrorism. We send our condolences and prayers to the families and friends who have lost loved ones in these murderous attacks against the United States.
"This is horrible beyond belief, and we must band together to do all we can to help. We have begun an immediate effort to aid those directly affected by these devastating acts. This tragedy is such that people want to do anything they can to help."
Read more from the press release, scanned and posted in its entirety, below:
Shalom TV Daily News featured B'nai B'rith International's Disaster Relief Fund as one recipient of Alpha Epsilon Pi's new $1 million philanthropy initiative.
B’nai B’rith was one of ten organizations selected during the Jewish fraternity's annual international convention, and will invest the generous grant in humanitarian aid efforts around the globe.
The story begins at the 3:48 mark in the video:
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