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With B’nai B’rith International’s milestone 175th anniversary occurring this year, we are reminded of what an amazing story we have to tell. Below read about member Jerry Jacob’s most meaningful moments as a B’nai B’rith member. Jerry Jacobs has been a member of B’nai B’rith since 1980.

Please provide three meaningful memorable events that capture the best of B’nai B’rith. The events may be recent or historic.

Project H.O.P.E. Passover food distribution – every year.  Sometimes the recipients are really needy, often Russian immigrants.  They are very appreciative and it is instructive talking to them.  The food really makes a difference to these people.

Unto Every Person There is a Name – reading the names of Holocaust victims at annual Yom HaShoah observances every year.    I supervise the readings in Northern Virginia.  The readers include local politicians, interfaith representatives, B’nai B’rith leaders, audience, and even teenagers.   One reader each year wears an authentic Yellow Star, which belonged to his Aunt who survived a concentration camp.  It is especially moving when he tells the audience about her, and how he continues her memory by reading names annually.  The teenagers are also especially moved by the readings.

Please name three individuals in your area who made a powerful impression on you for the work they did in B’nai B’rith. They may be living or esteemed leaders from the past. Explain your choices.
Arlene O. Smolar z”l and Marilyn Bargteil were professional District Five and Chesapeake Bay Region regional directors during the 1990s and early 21st Century. They had great ideas, vim and vigor, dedication, and were indispensable in assisting our lay leaders to accomplish their programs.  Our District and Region thank them for our successes.

If you would like to share your thoughts about memorable B’nai B’rith milestones and influences on your B’nai B’rith experience, please email them to Steve Smiga, 175th anniversary chair, at or to B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman at