The B'nai B'rith Europe Lifetime Award of Merit is conferred upon outstanding individuals who have dedicated at least 40 years of service to the wellbeing of the Jewish people and the State of Israel and who have accomplished the following:
Peres received a gold medal and a certificate that read, in part, "You are the face of Israel and of the Jewish people and you bring together the highest Jewish values of ethics, morality, tolerance, culture and the national unity of the Jewish people. The B’nai B'rith fraternity is also committed to these principles."
”In my view every Jew deserves a medal of merit because to be a Jew is to be committed to the spirit of humanity,” Peres responded. “It is not simple and it never was simple to be a Jew. For me being a Jew means keeping the moral foundations of the Ten Commandments, continuous learning and pursuing peace. A Jew today is a person who ensures that his grandchildren are Jewish. That is what B'nai B'rith does, and it does it very well."
B’nai B’rith Europe is represented in 29 countries throughout Europe, with more than 5,000 members. With an office based in Brussels it is represented at the European Parliament, the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, the United Nations in Geneva and UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in Paris.
Also participating in the award ceremony were Simone Hofmann (Germany); Erika van Gelder (Holland), B'nai B'rith Europe senior vice president; Jolle Perelberg (France), former B’nai B’rith International senior vice president; Michael Nathan, president, B'nai B'rith Israel; Robert Levy, B'nai B'rith Europe Committee for Central and Eastern Europe (France/Israel); and Alan Schneider, B’nai B’rith World Center in Jerusalem director.
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