(Washington, D.C., May 6, 2019)-- The B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem honored the legacy of Jewish Holocaust-era rescuers in Belgium at two major events held on May 2nd - Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah). The events were dedicated to rescue efforts undertaken by members of the Jewish Defense Committee in Belgium (CDJ, for its initials in French).
The phenomenon of Jewish rescue and the instructive stories of thousands of Jews who labored to save their endangered brethren throughout Europe have yet to receive appropriate public recognition. Many who could have tried to flee preferred to stay and rescue others; some paid for it with their lives. With great heroism, Jews in every country in occupied Europe employed subterfuge, forgery, smuggling, concealment and other methods to ensure that Jews survived the Holocaust, or assisted other Jews in escaping to safe havens, and in doing so foiled the Nazi goal of total genocide against the Jews. The organizers of the ceremony view it as especially important to expose Jewish youth to these narratives as a model for Jewish solidarity and courage.
The first event was a unique joint Holocaust commemoration ceremony held for the 17th consecutive year together with Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael/Jewish National Fund - the only event dedicated annually to commemorating the heroism of Jews who rescued fellow Jews during the Holocaust. Held at B’nai B’rith Martyr’s Forest “Scroll of Fire” Plaza”, over 1,000 Jerusalem-area school pupils and pre-army preparatory academy students attended the ceremony together with Jewish rescuers, survivors and Border Patrol cadets.
Speakers at the ceremony were Mr. Danny Atar, world chairman, Jewish National Fund; Dr. Haim V. Katz, chairman of the B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem; Brigadier General Yehuda Yehoshua, commander of the Border Guard Combat Training Center; H.E. Olivier Belle, ambassador of Belgium to Israel; and Michel Werber, son of CDJ founding members Abusz and Shifra Werber.
During the ceremony, a “Jewish Rescuers Citation” was conferred on 11 leading members of the CDJ - David Ferdman, Hertz Jospa, Hava Jospa, Abraham Manaster, Chaim Pinkus Perelman, Fela Perelman, David Trocki-Muscnicki, Paulina Avstritski, Josef Sterngold, Abusz Werber and Shifra Werber - and four other rescuers who were active in Poland - Shraga Dgani, Miriam-Mania Zeidman, Yaacov Segalchik and Bela Yaari-Hazan. A joint project of the B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem and the Committee to Recognize the Heroism of Jewish Rescuers during the Holocaust, nearly 270 heroes have been honored with the citation since its establishment in 2011 for rescue activities in Germany, France, Hungary, Greece, Slovakia, Yugoslavia, Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Italy, Holland and Belgium.
The second event was an international conference entitled “Historical Perspectives on Jewish Rescue in Belgium During the Holocaust”. Held before an overflow crowd at the official residence of Ambassador Belle, speakers included B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem Director Alan Schneider; Paul Jospa, son of CDJ leaders Hertz and Hava Jospa; B’nai B’rith Antwerp President Willy Kahan (who is married to the daughter of CDJ rescuer Josef Sterngold, Rachel); Olivia Mattis, granddaughter of CDJ founders Prof. Haim and Fela Perelman; and Alain Blitz, the son of a Belgian deportee to Auschwitz and an educator and author of the first Hebrew-language book on the Holocaust in Belgium. Lectures were presented by Dorien Styven, researcher and archivist at the Kazerne Dossin Museum of Deportation and Resistance in Mechelen, Belgium, on "Unlikely Allies - Diversity in the Ranks of the Jewish Defense Committee," and by Joel Kotek, professor at the Free University in Brussels and at Sciences Po University in Paris entitled, “Reception of the Holocaust and Jewish Resistance in Belgian Historiography”. Closing remarks were offered by David Inowlocki, honorary vice president, Belgian Association for Hidden Children. The conference was co-sponsored by the Committee to Recognize the Heroism of Jews who Rescued Fellow Jews during the Holocaust (JRJ); B’nai B’rith Joseph Wybran Lodge; OBI – Organization of Belgians in Israel (l'Asiociation des Originaries de la Belgique en Israel) and Amilies Israel Belgique Luxemburg – Tel Aviv.
Two Jewish Rescuers Citations – in memory of CDJ activists Leopold Flam and Israel Tabakman - were presented at the close of the conference.
Reports on the events were carried in the Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel, Swiss National Radio, Belgian National Radio, I24 news, Jwire, Israel Radio, JTA, KAN 11 Television – Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation and Maariv, among others.
The Jewish Defense Committee in Belgium was founded in September 1942 in reaction to the start of the deportation of Jews by the Gestapo in August 1942 in Brussels and Antwerp. The goal of the CDJ was to operate clandestinely to save as many Jews as possible. The CDJ united Jews from a broad ideological spectrum (including communists, revisionists, General Zionists and members of "Left Zion Workers” and "Zionist Youth") and from different swathes of society (among them Belgian citizens and foreigners, secular and religious Jews and even some non-Jews, such as the teacher Andree Geulen) to engage in joint rescue operations. The CDJ urged Jews to disregard the orders of the local Judenrat – the AJB - and go underground instead, and also endeavored to win the support of the general public for persecuted Jews. Some of the CDJ members held positions in the AJB and secretly passed on vital information to foil the German's nefarious plans.
The committee managed to rescue 3,000-4,000 Jewish children – half of all the Jewish children who survived the Holocaust in Belgium – and provided life-saving assistance to 10,000 adults, including hiding places and forged documents. This activity endangered the lives of the CDJ members; some of them were captured, tortured and deported to concentration camps. Some did not survive. The CDJ operated as an adjunct of the "Independence Front" – the most significant resistance organization, founded in Belgium in March 1941, that united 17 different ideological and religious groups lead by the Communist Party in response to the German invasion of the USSR. At the time of the German invasion of Belgium – May 10, 1940 – 66,000 Jews lived in the country, of whom only 10 percent were Belgian citizens; 34,801 were arrested during the Holocaust (among them 5,092 children under the age of 16); 28,902 were murdered – 44 percent of the entire Jewish population in Belgium; 24,906 were imprisoned - usually for several days – at the transfer camp Mechelen-Malines and deported from there on 28 transports to Auschwitz beginning in summer 1942. Only 1,337 survived the camps.
The number of CDJ members reached 300. It operated an impressive administrative network to handle finance, forged papers and food coupons, clandestine press and concealment of children and adults. The department for forged papers was so successful that it also provided papers for non-Jews trying to avoid forced labor. The principal feature of CDJ – cooperation between groups across the ideological and political spectrum - was the basis of an organization unique in Western Europe. The main chapter of the committee was in Brussels. Other chapters were in Charleroi and Liege. In Antwerp, the committee was founded in 1943, when three independent groups started to collaborate. 55 percent of Belgian Jews survived thanks to the swift response of individuals who went underground independently, to the heroic operation of members of the CDJ and to the support of the local Belgian society at large, including many clergy. It should be noted that Jews also operated outside the CDJ in various resistance organizations in smuggling, intelligence, sabotage and clandestine press. The unequivocal conclusion resulting from the events in Belgium during the war is that passivity of the Jews facing the horrors of the Holocaust is a myth.
The B'nai B'rith Martyr’s Forest is the largest joint B’nai B’rith and KKL-JNF project, which memorializes the victims of the Holocaust with 6 million trees planted in the picturesque Jerusalem mountains near Moshav Kesalon. At the pinnacle of the forest stands the “Scroll of Fire,” created by renowned sculptor Nathan Rapoport, which invokes the destruction.
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit www.bnaibrith.org
B’nai B’rith International has issued the following statement:
B’nai B’rith is outraged by the torching of Joseph’s Tomb, a holy site in the ancient city of Shechem in the West Bank, by Palestinian rioters. As of yet, no injuries or deaths have been reported.
While Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces managed to disperse the crowds and douse the fire, significant damage has been reported in the women’s section of the site. The arson came shortly after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the Palestinian leadership to stop a wave of attacks on Jews. After a week of silence, PA President Mahmoud Abbas finally issued a statement condemning the group’s actions and announcing plans to create an investigatory committee.
While vicious attacks have left seven dead and more than 30 wounded—Abbas issued no condemnation while other PA officials have been busy inciting this kind of violence. B’nai B’rith is appalled that the PA ignored multiple violent deaths before finally denouncing this act of wanton arson.
B’nai B’rith International is disappointed the European Parliament has passed a resolution that will allow European governments to label products made in the West Bank, a policy that will cause great economic and political harm to the Jewish state.
The resolution, which passed by a vote of 525-70, is an affirmation of the discriminatory goals of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Such a misguided policy is destructive to the peace process and gives momentum to opponents of Israel who seek to delegitimize the Jewish state by weakening its economy and isolating it politically.
We call on European governments to reject this biased and counterproductive resolution.
B’nai B’rith International has issued the following statement:
B’nai B’rith International is pleased with Amazon’s swift action, removing the blood-stained Israeli flag merchandise from its website. The repugnant merchandise, ranging from phone cases to umbrellas, was sold by a third party retailer and was pulled from the website after it was discovered by Israeli news outlets.
In June, Amazon joined other major retailers in removing all Confederate flag related items from its online store. By following up the banning of Confederate flag merchandise with a quick removal of these anti-Semitic devises, Amazon has shown it will not stand for bigotry and will forcefully dispel hateful items from its store.
That being said, B’nai B’rith hopes Amazon will increase its vigilance in making sure these hateful objects do not materialize for purchase on its website.
B’nai B’rith International has issued the following statement:
B’nai B’rith International condemns the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) for its disgraceful endorsement of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and is repulsed by its accusations against Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide.”
BDS is a campaign to isolate Israel economically and politically through boycotts and other discriminatory tactics. Its aim is to delegitimize and ultimately cripple the Jewish state. Its focus on one and only one state— Israel—demonstrates the highly sinister intentions of the movement, which ignores human rights violations committed by the world’s worst abusers while raining fusillades on the Jewish state.
At UE’s national convention in mid-August the union adopted a resolution making it the first union in the United States to take a pro-BDS position. In the resolution, UE called on the United States to end its aid to Israel and aligned itself with overseas labor unions that also oppose the Jewish state.
The resolution goes on to make absurd claims, fraudulently asserting that Palestinian citizens of Israel “survived ethnic cleansing,” and that members of the government, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have called for the stripping of citizenship and expulsion of Palestinians. The text further characterizes Israel’s defensive military operation in the wake of Hamas’ attacks on Israeli civilians in 2014 as “genocide.”
While leveling outlandish falsehoods at the only democracy in the Middle East, the resolution does not once mention the terror organization Hamas and the violent fanaticism Israel faces everyday. The UE is perpetuating a one-sided, distorted view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In doing so, it is spreading hatred, endangering the security of the Middle East’s only democracy and harming the cause of peace in the region.
B’nai B’rith International has issued the following statement:
B’nai B’rith International is disappointed by Israeli-born actress Natalie Portman’s questioning of Holocaust education’s emphasis within a Jewish education, especially in comparison to other genocides.
In a recent interview with Britain’s The Independent, Portman said she was shocked to learn there was genocide occurring in Rwanda while she was in school, yet, only the Holocaust was taught inside the classroom.
An emphasis on the Holocaust in a Jewish education is extremely important as it is tied to our identity as a people. Furthermore, the memory of the Shoah must continue to be perpetuated, especially as the number of survivors continues to diminish. The focus does not come at the expense of learning about other tragedies, such as those in Rwanda and Bosnia. The Holocaust is a necessary cornerstone in Jewish education because of its unique nature, and the universal message that untrammeled evil can lead to immense tragedies.
B’nai B’rith agrees with Portman’s sentiments that we must not be silent or turn a blind eye to contemporary genocides, and that we should empathize with others facing hatred and violence. However, questioning the prominence of Holocaust education within a Jewish education is not the way to increase overall awareness of these heinous crimes.
After careful study, B’nai B’rith International has concluded that the Iran nuclear agreement is unlikely to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. We therefore call on Congress to reject the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
As we noted when the deal was announced on July 14, it is impossible to look at Iran’s track record and trust the regime to adhere to the terms of this pact.
The JCPOA requires an unprecedented suspension of disbelief that Iran has only peaceful intentions for its nuclear program. Given its decades of dissembling, it is infeasible to conclude that Tehran will honor its obligations under this agreement.
To be sure, the P5+1 (the United States plus China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and Germany) worked hard during the long negotiating period to secure a deal. The goal of preventing an Iran with nuclear weapons is one shared by much of the world. But this deal is unlikely to fulfill that ambition.
B’nai B’rith appreciates the opportunities given us to meet with administration officials, to hear their explanation of the plan's details and to understand the reasoning behind some of the provisions of the agreement.
How to respond to Iran's nuclear weapons program is one of the most significant national security questions to face the United States in the past decade. It is unsurprising, therefore, that the issue has aroused such passion among so many. We respect that both Democrats and Republicans have approached this issue with great seriousness and have reached varying conclusions that sometimes cut across party lines. We further acknowledge that those who share the goal of blocking Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons may differ about the policy most likely to achieve that outcome.
Still, our reading of the agreement and our understanding of the political and historical context in which the JCPOA would be implemented have heavily influenced our decision to oppose it.
“We listened, we read, we analyzed and we have concluded that we cannot support this deal with Iran,” B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs said. “We have doubts about elevating the international status of Iran, which has done nothing to prove it will keep its word.”
Even in the days leading up to the agreement, on “al-Quds Day,” government supported crowds shouted, “death to America” and "death to Israel," as U.S. and Israeli flags were burned across the country. These are not the actions of a nation ready to find common ground with the world’s democracies.
Our concerns about the lifting of sanctions also have not been adequately resolved. Iran is the largest state-sponsor of global terror with its proxies such as Hezbollah the world over. Tehran is likely to use the cash that will flow from the absence of sanctions to fund the regime's ongoing terrorist ambitions. The specter of "snapback sanctions" provides little comfort, as measures that took the international community years to coalesce around are unlikely to be rejuvenated once they have been dismantled.
Nor are our questions about the verification process satisfied by the JCPOA. Verification remained a sticking point throughout the labored negotiating process and, in the final document, is still not addressed to our comfort. In light of the deal's significant verification loopholes and Iran’s history of concealing its nuclear program and turning away inspectors, it is logical to conclude that inspectors will never obtain the unmanaged, unfettered or spontaneous access necessary to monitor Iran’s nuclear sites.
“There is no middle ground here. Iran’s credibility is illusory. The stakes are far too high to ignore Tehran’s history of deception by accepting this deal,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said.
At no point during the nearly two years of negotiations has Iran lessened its support for terrorist organizations, its goals of hegemony in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East or its continued abuse of human rights.
Just days after the deal was announced, Iran again invoked its practice of deception. News reports indicate that Qassem Soleimani, the leader of the secretive, terror-orchestrating Iranian Quds Force, met with senior Russian leaders in Moscow, even though he was barred from leaving Iran by a U.N. Security Council resolution. The Quds Force reports directly to Iran’s supreme leader and has exported terror throughout the Middle East and beyond.
These are not the actions of a regime capable of demonstrating the transparency and cooperation required of it by the terms of this deal.
We firmly reject the notion that the only alternative to this agreement is war. We have long advocated that the best means of ensuring Iran's compliance with international demands is pressure—in the form of ever-tightening sanctions, combined with diplomatic isolation and the credible threat of military force. The international community should respond to Iran's continued pursuit of nuclear weapons by increasing, rather than relieving, pressure on the regime until it has produced meaningful results.
B’nai B’rith International urges Congress to vote next month to disapprove of the agreement.
B’nai B’rith International has issued the following statement:
B’nai B’rith renews its long-held concern about the feasibility of a nuclear deal with Iran. The latest deadline overrun demonstrates once more Tehran’s inability to commit to some of the most important issues in any deal, including intrusive inspections of all of its nuclear facilities, especially military sites.
We reiterate our long-standing skepticism of Iranian intentions.
B’nai B’rith continues to call on the White House and the P5+1 (United States plus China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and Germany) to stand firm on addressing such issues as plutonium enrichment, intrusive inspections and the possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s nuclear program.
It is difficult to overstate the global impact of Iran’s access to nuclear weapons. With Tehran-controlled proxies effectively running so much of the collapsing Middle East, an Iran with nuclear weapons is an alarming prospect.
As we noted months ago when an initial framework was reached: “Skepticism of Iran’s true nuclear intentions is natural, in light of the regime’s own words and actions.”
At the time of the initial framework, we noted that Iranian General Mohammad Ali Jafari had recently said: “The range of (our) missiles covers all of Israel today. That means the fall of the Zionist regime, which will certainly come soon.”
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has also sharpened his rhetoric, saying in recent months: “whether a nuclear agreement is achieved or not, Israel will be more insecure each day.”
Is this a regime ready to allow full and unfettered access to its nuclear sites? Is this a regime that has peaceful intentions for its nuclear research? Its history as the largest state-sponsor of global terror would indicate the answers are no.
B’nai B'rith Speaks Out At United Nations Human Rights Council Against Biased Report On 2014 Gaza Conflict
B’nai B’rith International was responsible for delivering two statements on June 29 at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, both relating to the council’s recent report on the 2014 Hamas-initiated Gaza conflict.
The first, delivered by B’nai B’rith representative to the United Nations in Geneva Klaus Netter, admonished the council for its refusal to even acknowledge the terrorist group Hamas by name in its resolution launching the investigation, let alone fully recognizing its true intentions to destroy Israel. Netter said: “Human rights mechanisms such as this Council often see their role as to name-and-shame human rights abusers. Unless the abuser is Hamas. In that case, the Council will ignore-and-obscure. We must ask: What it will take for this Council to pronounce the name ‘Hamas?’”
Netter noted: “There is no moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas. As recently confirmed by a group of international military experts, Israel far exceeded the obligations of International Humanitarian Law in its counter-terrorism operations last summer. Hamas, on the other hand, dug tunnels into Israeli territory with the sole aim of carrying out horrendous terrorist attacks against Israeli farming communities near the border.”
In his statement, Netter focused on the lack of acknowledgement that Israel was defending itself against the “ruthless terrorist organization” that is Hamas.
Click here to read Netter’s intervention: http://bit.ly/1g2xdHs
Separately, in cooperation with JINSA (the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs), Geoffrey Corn, a professor of law and the U.S. Army’s former senior expert on the Law of Armed Conflict, spoke under Agenda Item 7 about the flaws inherent in the report on the Gaza conflict.
In his intervention, Corn raised a number of objections to the validity and accuracy of the report. At one point, he focused on how Hamas terrorists hid fighters and weapons among the civilian population of Gaza: “Specifically, it omits assessment of how an enemy’s systemic failure to distinguish himself from civilians, and in fact deliberately exploit the perception of civilian status, impacts the reasonableness of attack judgments.”
Click here to read Corn’s intervention: http://bit.ly/1InXBGL
To watch these interventions, see Chapter 49 (02:03:18, Netter) and Chapter 53 (02:11:55, Corn) here: http://webtv.un.org/watch/item7-general-debate-34th-meeting-29th-regular-session-of-human-rights-council/4328108187001
B'nai B'rith International President Allan J. Jacobs (Right) and Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin (Left) present Pope Francis (Center) with a framed 1965 edition of The Jerusalem Post with coverage on Nostra Aetate, the Second Vatican Council document that helped to transform Catholic-Jewish relations.
A multinational delegation of B’nai B’rith leaders met privately with Pope Francis on June 25 at the Vatican, the first international Jewish audience with the pope since the Vatican announced an agreement on church issues with “the State of Palestine” and the pope separately acknowledged non-recognition of Israel as amounting to anti-Semitism. The meeting came during the 50th anniversary year of Nostra Aetate, the Second Vatican Council document that helped to transform Catholic-Jewish relations.
B'nai B'rith International President Allan J. Jacobs celebrated the pope's commitment to “advancing the path of your predecessors in signaling the Church’s commitment to the Jewish people, its respect for Judaism, its denunciation of persisting anti-Semitism, and its due recognition of the State of Israel.” At the same time, he told the pontiff that “tragically, no enduring Palestinian-Israeli peace can be possible as long as powerful forces deny the right of a Jewish state to live within any boundaries in Jews' only ancestral homeland. It is in light of this that it is so important that Palestinians not be afforded incentives to pursue political aims outside of meaningful and direct negotiations, compromise and comprehensive bilateral agreement with Israel."
On the eve of the current June 30 deadline for international negotiations with Iran over its illicit nuclear program, Jacobs also emphasized that "if it weren’t enough that Iran openly pledges Israel’s destruction and lethally empowers foremost terrorist groups—responsible for carnage as far away as Buenos Aires, whose unresolved 1994 AMIA bombing you have consistently highlighted—this rogue government has aggressively pursued the ability to acquire the most dangerous of weaponry... [M]ore attention needs to be paid to the telling fact that Iran’s actions have broadly united its neighbors—Arabs and Israelis alike—in urgent, and unprecedented, alarm."
The B'nai B'rith statement said that the “continuing, extraordinary transformation in the relationship between our faith communities can serve as a source of inspiration and optimism for so many others around the world, not least at a time of tensions and conflicts too often influenced by religion... We must make the deepening Christian-Jewish kinship further known among our own adherents around the world—from clergy to educators to young people—and we must progress from dialogue to concrete partnership in tackling the array of challenges that confront our constituencies and all members of the human family. Among these are the protection of our shared environment, care for the poorest and most vulnerable in society, the advancement of quality education for all, the encouragement of international peace, and the combating of all forms of extremism and bigotry.”
B’nai B’rith expressed support “to our Christian friends worldwide—and we specifically offer our immense concern, and abiding solidarity, as Christians in so many parts of the Middle East are now faced with discrimination, threats and outright persecution. We have them in our thoughts and our prayers."
Since Israel, a rare Middle Eastern democracy where Christians and other minorities have continually increased, itself represents a threatened minority presence in the region, the B'nai B'rith delegation decried "an economic warfare movement, present even in some religious denominations, that singles out the Jewish state for punitive campaigns."
This is not B’nai B’rith’s first time meeting with Pope Francis: In 2013, B’nai B’rith International Director of United Nations and Intercommunal Affairs David Michaels attended the installation of the pope and the first interreligious meeting with him at the Vatican. In 2014, Michaels also greeted Francis at the Western Wall in Jerusalem during the papal visit to Israel. And before he was known around the world at Pope Francis, then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio hosted B’nai B’rith’s Kristallnacht commemoration in Buenos Aires in 2012.
“Our meeting with Pope Francis provided us an opportunity to directly reaffirm the bond between the Jewish community and Catholics worldwide, on the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate. It also gave our delegation an important chance to discuss urgent issues in the Middle East that affect both faiths in the region,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said.
The B’nai B’rith delegation additionally met, or is scheduled to meet, with Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni; Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin; Bishop Paul Gallagher, Vatican Secretary for Relations with States; Emanuela D'Alessandro, diplomatic advisor to Italian President Sergio Mattarella; Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and its Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews; Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace; Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue; Zion Evrony, ambassador of Israel to the Holy See; Kathleen Doherty, chargé d'affaires at the United States Embassy in Rome; and leaders of the Italian Jewish community and B'nai B'rith Rome.
In addition to Jacobs and Mariaschin, among the other members of the B’nai B’rith delegation were Chairman of the Executive Board of Directors Gary Saltzman (Denver, Colo.); B’nai B’rith Europe President Erika van Gelder (The Netherlands); Chairman of the B’nai B’rith International Center for Human Rights and Public Policy Joseph Harari (Panama); Haim Katz, Chairman of the B'nai B'rith World Center in Jerusalem (Israel); and President of B’nai B’rith Argentina Mario Wilhelm (Argentina).
See where B'nai B'rith International stands on the issues.