Message from Scott Knapp, Chair of the Young Leadership Network
Since 1843, B'nai B'rith has served as the global voice of the Jewish community. Whether championing human rights and tolerance, defending the State of Israel, advocating and providing affordable housing for seniors, assisting with disaster relief around the globe or promoting service at the local level, our members have been at the forefront. We have innovated and created opportunities like the Anti-Defamation League, BBYO and Hillel.
We have raised millions of dollars to support those in need. We have sponsored social activity and fostered camaraderie. And we have done everything together, as Jews, in a non-partisan and non-sectarian manner. B'nai B'rith has impacted many, and I challenge you to ask your grandparents, parents and even your peers about their experiences with B'nai B'rith. Our efforts continually gain notice and respect from the world. Indeed, it is no surprise how many ambassadors, heads of state and other dignitaries joined us at our gala this past October in New York City to celebrate our 175th anniversary.
While B'nai B'rith has achieved tremendous success and its members have given even more to society, it is now time to seize upon our rich 175-year history and build our future. I am truly humbled to serve as the chair of our network and privileged to shepherd this cause. It is our network's goal to connect the next generation of Jewish leaders with each other and surround ourselves with each other's talent. It is our hope to connect each of you to the world. It is our challenge to connect you with causes that fuel your passions. It is our pleasure to connect you with opportunity.
As you will see in the updates below, we are flourishing with activity; some local, some across the United States and some throughout the world. In several weeks, our fourth cohort will participate in the Kakehashi (building bridges) mission to Japan. Next month, we have leaders traveling to participate in our annual advocacy efforts as the only Jewish NGO at UNESCO in Paris and the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. In June, we have an upcoming council event with leaders from B'nai B'rith Europe in Portugal. Finally, our annual policy conference will convene later this year in Washington, D.C. Just as important, as young leaders, we continue to host Shabbat dinners, participate in events at our senior housing facilities, conduct professional educational opportunities and promote other events in our local communities.
To that end, I invite each of you to connect with our network, share your passions, involve yourself and make an impact. We are currently forming our network board and are in the process of filling committee roles. I encourage you, if we have not met, to reach out to me and introduce yourself - Scott.Knapp@nelsonmullins.com. Even if we have met before, connect with me and let me know how you want to help support our mission. Together, as the leaders of the next generation, it is not only our duty to keep the B'nai B'rith menorah lit, but to make it shine brighter than ever!
B'nai B'rith Retreat
Over the weekend of Feb. 1 – Feb. 3, B’nai B’rith Young Leadership Chair and Senior Vice President Scott Knapp brought the next generation of B’nai B’rith leaders to Fort Lauderdale to unite and build for the future. Scott coordinated an amazing young leadership retreat; from Shabbat with a sommelier, to guest speakers, a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, strengths) analysis, planning for the future, and enjoying the evenings together, participants were kept busy. But the activity became even more fulfilling when they stopped to serve breakfast to seniors at the B’nai B’rith’s Deerfield Beach affordable housing complex. After all of that, they celebrated with some R&R on the beach and a rooftop Super Bowl watch party.
This year, B’nai B’rith Colorado threw the first annual Jewbilee Bash Denver on Christmas Eve. The event was a huge success, drawing in 350 people for a night of fun and dancing. The night included two DJs, a photo booth and many new great connections. The goal of the event was to introduce young professionals to B’nai B’rith International and to give the community a great opportunity to come together for a night of fun. B’nai B’rith Colorado is looking forward to making this an annual event and seeing it grow throughout the years.
B’nai B’rith Young Leaders from around the world celebrated 175 years of service at the 2018 B’nai B’rith Leadership Forum in New York City. Young Leaders gathered for brunch on Sunday, Oct. 14, for a virtual global roundtable discussion in our offices in New York City. After a productive roundtable meeting, they enjoyed a full day of activities in the city that never sleeps before the start of the Leadership Forum that evening.
On September 5th, B'nai B'rith Young Leaders from New York gathered for a fascinating discussion with 87-year--old Isaac Shapiro at law firm Skadden, Arps in Times Square to discuss his book. Ike shared stories from his remarkable memoir, Edokko: Growing Up a Stateless Foreigner in Wartime Japan, including his family's experience as Jewish refugees in World War II Japan and his visit to Hiroshima shortly after Aug. 6, 1945. We also heard from Young Leader Laura Hemlock on her experience traveling to Japan with B’nai B’rith’s Kakehashi Project. Afterwards, the group enjoyed drinks in Times Square!
On Sunday, Nov. 11, BBYLN-NY committed a full day to helping rebuild a home in Brooklyn that was destroyed during Hurricane Sandy. The home had been shattered 6 years ago and many parts were still unlivable! Young leaders Laura Hemlock, Randi Sabbagh and Jared Hakimi teamed up with the non-profit SBP: Disaster Resilience & Recovery and accomplished a ton in just one short day. The B’nai B’rith Young Leadership Network supports the Disaster Relief Fund by raising money for disaster campaigns and volunteering for rebuilding projects. Want to get involved? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to help us fight the good fight!
On Jan. 5, B'nai B'rith Young Leadership Network - New York enjoyed dinner and a fascinating conversation with Almog Elijis, spokesperson and consul for media affairs at the Consulate General of Israel at an Israeli restaurant in New York City. The dialogue focused on issues relating to Israel and millennials, Israel in the media, and the relationship between Diaspora Jews and Israelis. It was a captivating exchange of ideas which led Ms. Elijis to invite the group to brief Consul General of Israel Dani Dayan, Deputy Consul General Israel Nitzan and Public Diplomacy Consul Galit Peleg and rest of their staff at their offices in New York City on Feb. 11.
In October and December, B’nai B’rith Young Leaders and Kakehashi alumnae, Benisa Levin and Kay Rubin celebrated their cultural experiences traveling to Japan with two events. The first event, held in October, “Yum & Drum,” was an evening of Japanese dinner followed by a Japanese drumming class. Levin and Rubin discussed their experiences traveling to Japan. The second event, another celebration of their amazing experiences in Japan, was a “Shogun Shabbat” held in December. The young leaders gathered at the home of South Florida Chair Jessica Kreger, to enjoy samurai movies, Japanese food and sake tasting for a festive and meaningful B'nai B'rith Young Leadership Shabbat! The shabbat enjoyed a great turnout.
On Dec. 6, our young leaders in Washington, D.C., celebrated the festival of lights together at our D.C. headquarters with latkes, sufganiyot & a special themed cocktail. Proceeds from the event went to B'nai B'rith's Disaster Relief Fund for the Pittsburgh tragedy.
On Jan. 17, B'nai B'rith young leaders gathered at the Japanese embassy in Washington, D.C., for dinner and a group discussion with Japanese political officers. Among the young leaders in attendance were participants in B'nai B'rith's upcoming Kakehashi Project Mission to Japan in February 2019 as well as Kakehashi alumni.
Kakehashi Project Mission 2019: New B’nai B’rith Young Leaders from all over the country will be traveling to Japan for our fourth consecutive year for a cultural exchange program sponsored by Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The 2019 trip is scheduled for Feb. 25th-March 5th.
Where: Mid Island YJCC, 45 Manetto Hill Rd. Plainview, New Jersey, 11803
Contact: email@example.com to get involved!