The Jewish Exponent covered our donation of COVID-19 relief kits to communities struggling with the effects of the pandemic in the Philadelphia area.
COVID-19 Relief Kits Donated
B’nai B’rith Community Coordinator Samuel Domsky of Huntingdon Valley presented Rabbi Sandy Berliner, chaplain and service coordinator for Federation Housing locations in the Philadelphia area, with 150 COVID-19 relief kits provided by B’nai B’rith.
Residents and staff of the Arthur and Estelle Sidewater House in Philadelphia and Florence E. Green House in Trevose received kits containing a cloth facemask and travel-sized hand sanitizer, both imprinted with the B’nai B’rith logo.
These kits will help ensure residents and staff stay safe during the pandemic.
The donation is one of many made as part of B’nai B’rith’s project to provide 3,000 COVID-19 relief kits around the U.S. Individual B’nai B’rith community coordinators will donate kits on behalf of B’nai B’rith to local agencies dedicated to serving the community.
The B’nai B’rith COVID-19 relief campaign has supported projects around the world since it began in March.
The B’nai B’rith Disaster Relief Fund has responded to manmade and natural disasters worldwide since 1865.
In 1876, when B'nai B'rith was only 33 years old, it commemorated America's centennial celebration by commissioning a statue, Religious Liberty, in Philadelphia that represented tolerance and religious freedom.
Nearly 140 years later, some things never change, as the statue remains a landmark in Philadelphia and B'nai B'rith International continues to promote education, religious freedom and tolerance for all groups.
With Pope Francis scheduled to visit Philadelphia this weekend, and address religious freedom in the vicinity of the statue, Religious Liberty was the subject of an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Read excerpts from the paper, below:
A statue representing religious freedom and immigration stands at the site where Pope Francis will deliver a speech on those themes.
It stood in Fairmount Park for more than 100 years before being moved to the grounds of the Jewish history museum in 1986. In 2010, the statue was moved again, down the block to the museum's current location on Fifth Street and Market.
The statue was crafted by prominent Jewish sculptor Moses Jacob Ezekiel, a Confederate soldier during the Civil War. He was the first Jewish cadet to attend the the Virginia Military Institute.
Ezekiel carved the sculpture from Carrara marble - Michelangelo used the same marble for his Pieta.
"The place to go to study was Italy, even [for] Moses, who was the first big American Jewish sculptor," said Cheryl Kempler, B'nai B'rith's archivist.
Immigration is an important topic for both the Pope and B'nai B'rith, according to Daniel Mariaschin, B'nai B'rith international executive vice president.
Mariaschin said B'nai B'rith sent a delegation to the Vatican in June to discuss with the pope religious liberty and the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.
"Our organization grew in this country as a result of immigration," Mariaschin said. "The pope's visit, with all this coming together, it is important."
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