New York’s Lower East Side. 1843. It's dirty. It's crowded. Conditions are not great for Jewish immigrants. Into that scene arrives 12 German Jews who meet at a beer hall — Sinsheimer’s Café — to discuss ways to make their lives and the lives of their families and the greater Jewish community, better in their new country.
They establish B’nai B’rith on Oct. 13, 1843.
During the next 175 years, B’nai B’rith International has grown this mission. As the Global Voice of the Jewish Community, B’nai B’rith focuses on global human rights, advocating for Israel; eradicating anti-Semitism and the pernicious Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement; providing humanitarian relief to communities in need; and supporting seniors through advocacy on vital health issues. We are also the largest national Jewish sponsor of low-income housing for the elderly. B’nai B’rith has had a vocal and engaged presence at the United Nations since the world body’s inception. We meet with global leaders at U.N. headquarters in New York, speak out against the vicious treatment of Israel at the Human Rights Council in Geneva and work to protect the Jewish connection to Israel at UNESCO in Paris.
Though our scope is vast, our work and results are rarely matched.
“In both longevity and impact, B’nai B’rith has more than just years on our side. The organization forever evolves and grows, recognizing changing community needs as well as broader global issues, all while holding fast to our core founding principles and values,” B’nai B’rith President Gary P. Saltzman said.
We date back longer than many major institutions still around today. The New York Times, Major League Baseball, The Coca-Cola Company and the Red Cross are all B’nai B’rith’s junior.
“B’nai B’rith continues to expand, building on a solid foundation,” B’nai B’rith CEO and Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said. “Our history is one of innovation. Our founders would still recognize this organization for its passion for caring and helping. Today’s B’nai B’rith is a global leader in advocating for global human rights, Holocaust education and combating anti-Semitism, among our most unfaltering endeavors. With our broad reach, and depth and breadth of skills and expertise, our global impact is unparalleled.”
B’nai B’rith will celebrate its founding, its roots and its future at the 2018 Leadership Forum and Gala dinner, Oct. 14-16 in New York.