KKL-JNF and B'nai B'rith World Center Honor Holocaust-era Educator Samuel (Sally) Bein Who Was Murdered in Sobibor
(Washington, D.C., June 17, 2020)--The B'nai B'rith World Center-Jerusalem and the Jewish National Fund unveiled a plaque at a ceremony Wednesday honoring Samuel (Sally) Bein, outstanding educator and founding principal of the first boarding school for Jewish children with special needs in Germany. The ceremony took place at the B’nai B’rith Cave at the B’nai B’rith Martyrs Forest.
In his remarks at the event, Director of the B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem Alan Schneider said, “The innovative and dedicated principal Sally Bein opened the doors of the first boarding school for Jewish children in Germany – established by B’nai B’rith and the German-Israelite Community in 1908 – and shut them on June 13, 1942, when he, his wife and daughter and the last 47 wards and staff were deported to the Sobibor death camp in German-occupied Poland via Berlin, and murdered. The school was just one of hundreds of charitable projects undertaken by the 100 B’nai B’rith lodges in pre-war Germany [and] was the first Jewish organization targeted by the Nazis. This explains why B’nai B’rith together with the Jewish National Fund established the first Holocaust commemoration site in Israel – the Martyrs Forest – where the Bein family and the staff and students of the school are now being memorialized, for the first time in Israel.”
During the ceremony, David Etzioni, vice chairman of KKL-JNF, also spoke: “In his death as in his life, Sally Bein served as an example to the students he believed in and with whom he marched to their bitter end. The commemoration of Sally Bein, his family, students and staff here in the Martyrs Forest established by B’nai B’rith that was partner to the founding of the boarding school in Germany, is the least we can do for them,”. “The historical thread that connects the boarding school, the Martyrs Forest, the Scroll of Fire at the crest of the mountain and many other projects in Israel, is B’nai B’rith. B’nai B’rith has marched with KKL-JNF since before the establishment of Israel, when land was acquired on which two communities were established under the Tower and Stockade method – Moledet B’nai B’rith and Ramat Zvi, named for B’nai B’rith President Henry Zvi Monsky.
KKL-JNF is honored to partner with the B’nai B’rith World Center in commemorating Jews who rescued fellow Jews during the Holocaust in a joint annual event that has taken place for the past 18 years. I am happy to announce that to mark 70 years since the founding of the Martyrs Forest, we will continue our cooperation with B’nai B’rith and begin a process of turning the forest into a source of knowledge about the Holocaust for youth. In the spirit of Sally Bein’s legacy we will make the forest accessible, through technological means, also for children with special needs, so that they will be equals among equals.”
Other speakers at the event included: Ronny Dotan, researcher and initiator of the memorial; Lihi Lapid, author; Shay Cucuy, representative of the families; Major General (Res.) Doron Almog, chairman, Aleh Negev-Nahalat Eran; Holocaust survivor Major General (Res.) Yossi Peled; and Amikam Raz, representative of Akim Israel.
B'nai B'rith has partnered with JNF on many projects, beginning with land acquisition in the 1930s, on which two collective communities - Moledet B'nai B'rith and Ramat Zvi (named for B'nai B'rith President Henry Zvi Monsky) - were established. The largest joint project is the Martyrs Forest, which dates from the early 1950s and was the first site built in Israel to commemorate the six million Holocaust victims. For the past 18 years, KKL and the B'nai B'rith World Center have partnered in a Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day ceremony – the only annual event dedicated to honor the heroism of Jewish rescuers during the Holocaust.
B’nai B’rith has been active in Germany since 1882. It was the first Jewish organization targeted by the Nazis, who obliterated 100 active lodges in Germany alone and some 100 more across vanquished Europe. B’nai B’rith is represented today again in Germany and throughout western and eastern Europe.
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.