Leon Birbragher of Bogota, Colombia, was elected senior vice president of B’nai B’rith International, the world’s oldest and most widely known Jewish humanitarian, human rights and advocacy organization, by the Board of Governors at its annual meeting.
In this leadership position, Birbragher takes an active role implementing B’nai B’rith’s policies and programs during a three-year-term.
Birbragher has remained dedicated to B’nai B’rith International’s activities in Latin America for many years, first through his local lodge. He was elected twice to serve on the board of District 23, a 12-country region that includes Mexico, Columbia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru, among others. During his time on the board, Birbragher travelled to all of the district’s countries twice each year. He then ascended to the presidency of B’nai B’rith Latin America for two years, traveling all across the region.
As a B’nai B’rith representative, Birbragher chaired and organized an event in June 2010 in Bogota where B’nai B’rith honored then-President Alvaro Uribe with the Presidential Gold Medallion for Humanitarianism.
Outside of B’nai B’rith, Birbragher also works with other organizations to further the goals of the Jewish community. He was a member of Maccabi Colombia and a co-founder of the Colombian Maccabean Games. For 12 years (nine as president) he served as a member of the board of Centro Israelita de Bogota, the largest Jewish community in Colombia.
Birbragher received his bachelor’s degree in geo-economics from Boston University and his masters in the same field of study from the University of Chicago. A native Colombian and son of a Romanian father and Czechoslovakian mother, Birbragher is married to Celia Sredni de Birbragher. The couple has three daughters, all of whom are art professionals.
Joining Birbragher in B’nai B’rith’s leadership administration under re-elected President Allan J. Jacobs are senior vice presidents Ira Bartfield, Arlington, Va.; Daniel Citone, Rome; Haim Katz, Jerusalem; Charles Kaufman, Austin, Texas; Rosalind Klein, Northridge, Calif.; Chairman of the Executive Committee Gary P. Saltzman, Centennial, Colo.; Treasurer Seth. J. Riklin, Sugar Land, Texas; and B’nai B’rith International Court of Appeals Chief Justice William K. Peirez, Great Neck, N.Y.