Message from the Chair
How did I end up in Florence? Well, while planning my trip, I figured that after spending three full days of non-stop advocacy meetings with various diplomats in their respective consulates around Geneva, I would need a little rest. So I decided to take some time and enjoy a vacation to Italy, and more importantly, a chance to learn more about civilization.
My first stop in Italy was the city of Venice. Venice is truly a unique city with so many interesting parts to see, and much like other cities in Europe, it has a Jewish history that is full of positive and negative aspects. I decided to visit the Jewish ghettos and take a tour of the synagogues and learn as much as I could on this trip.
My next stop was Florence, where I explored local Jewish community history by going to the Great Synagogue. While I was there, I saw various ritual items, such as tefillin and talleisim. I saw the “Scroll of Fire” monument with the caption reading “Mt. Kesalon, outside Jerusalem,” which was commissioned by B’nai B’rith for its Martyrs Forest on the land of the Karen Kayemeth. This 26 foot bronze monument, by Nathan Rapapport, is a memorial to the 6,000,000 Nazi victims as a celebration of Israel’s rebirth. Seeing this monument made me realize that B’nai B’rith has so many members worldwide and it has had a huge impact on communities near and far.
My trip to Italy ended with a visit to Rome, which included such highlights as the Arc of Titas, a Jewish ghetto and the Great Synagogue of Rome. I also was able to attend a B’nai B’rith Lodge meeting in Rome, which is something that I truly cherished. It showed me that despite the horrors of the past, Jewish life and culture continues with B’nai B’rith International’s worldwide presence.
It is very empowering to know that there are people, despite geographical and national differences, who volunteer their time and energy on behalf of B’nai B’rith International, in order to make a difference in the world. You should too, so join me, and the Young Leadership Network, to find out how you can make a difference. Who knows, you could find yourself in Geneva or Rome next year!
Chair, National Young Leadership Network
B’nai B’rith International
Message from the Vice Chair
Hello everyone! I want to talk about how I got involved with B’nai B’rith and the Young Leadership Network. For me, it all started in Boston, in the spring of 2014. I had been involved with B’nai B’rith in Denver for a short amount of time but didn’t have a love or connection to it, yet. I found out that the Young Leadership Network was organizing a Young Professionals Conference in Boston and decided to take a chance. I signed up!
During that short weekend, friendships were created and my appreciation for B’nai B’rith grew. Since then I have had the opportunity to not only visit a handful of U.S. cities but travel to a few foreign countries. B’nai B’rith is such a special organization in that it offers an international component to everything we do. This past spring, I was invited, by B’nai B’rith, to attend a mission to the U.N. in Geneva. I attended several Human Rights Council meetings. I met with dignitaries from across the world to discuss the many issues Israel and Jews face today. It was a great opportunity to connect with other B’nai B’rith participants from around the world as well, such as the president of B’nai B’rith Europe and others.
The opportunity to travel, meet with people from around the world and perform mitzvot is what makes B’nai B’rith so special. This fall B’nai B’rith is hosting its annual Leadership Forum in Prague. I invite you all to join me there for what will be a once in a lifetime experience that you can only find on a B’nai B’rith trip. This is such a great opportunity to not only get to know other young professionals from the states, but to meet the amazing young professionals we have in Europe, Israel, Latin America, the United Kingdom and more! The weekend will be full of fun activities, opportunities to see the city and learn more about the organization we all love. Attending that first conference in Boston three years ago showed me not only what a great organization B’nai B’rith is, but also the amazing people that are involved in its efforts. I hope that the convention in Prague can provide that same excitement I first had in Boston, and lead you on a similar path.
Vice Chair, National Young Leadership Network
B’nai B’rith International
Guests enjoyed kosher sushi and sake while learning about YLN’s recent trip to Japan and B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman spoke about the organization’s global advocacy efforts. Several leaders from South Florida also participated in the YLN trip to Japan in early March and spoke about their experiences. On July 20, the B’nai B’rith Justice Unit, Broward County Bar Young Lawyers Section and the B’nai B’rith Young Leadership Network-South Florida had a joint happy hour event to benefit Family Central. Attendees were asked to bring school supplies to be donated to Family Central, and enjoyed a night of networking and socializing for a good cause.
To learn more about BBYLN-South Florida, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re curious to know more about Fowling, or upcoming events, email email@example.com.
On June 22nd, Temple Emanuel hosted YLN-Denver Chair Frank Goldman, to present "President Truman, my
grandfather, and a bottle of bourbon". It’s an amazing story of how Frank’s grandfather, a former B'nai B'rith International president, helped influence President Truman to recognize the need for Israeli statehood. Frank has also been in the process of helping to create a young families group in Denver. Stay tuned for more information on our upcoming fall happy hour event in partnership with Jscreen!
For more information on BBYLN-Denver, email BBYLNDenver@bnaibrith.org.
YLN-NY kicked off its spring calendar with a group attending several B’nai B’rith Award dinners, such as the one honoring the CEO of Toys“R”Us, Amalgamated Bank and the B’nai B’rith Diverse Minds Writing Challenge. On March 30, members participated in the second annual Project H.O.P.E. (Help Our People Everywhere) event, hosted at the B’nai B’rith office in New York. More than 40 people came to help assemble more than 100 Passover food packages for the Jewish elderly and needy. On April 28, the group co-hosted a Shabbat Dinner with MJE (Manhattan Jewish Experience) on the Upper East Side. The dinner celebrated the opening of baseball season and the official start of YLN’s spring season. On July 13, members met at B’nai B’rith’s New York office for Sushi Sake Summer Night. Attendees enjoyed kosher sushi and sake, and heard from participants of YLN’s trip to Japan and learned how they can go on future trips.
For more information on BBYLN-NY contact email BBYLNNewYork@bnaibrith.org.
On June 4, YLN-DC hosted a Spring Brunch and Learn event with Einat Weiss, counselor for Political Affairs at the Israeli Embassy; Evelina Petrone, first secretary of the Political Section at the Embassy of Lithuania; and Jennifer L. Feldman, attorney & vice president of Membership for Alpha Epsilon Phi (AEPhi) sorority. National B’nai B’rith Young Leadership Network Chair Eduard Redensky moderated the discussion. The speakers discussed traditional gender role issues many women face in the workplace, as well as in charity work and their social lives, and what they can do to change it. Young leaders also enjoyed attending the B’nai B’rith Healthcare Award dinner the following week.
B’nai B’rith has members all over the world, and so does the Young Leadership Network. There are groups in Australia, Europe, Israel, Latin America, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. On April 28, B’nai B’rith Europe hosted more than 40 young professionals in Luxembourg for the weekend. It was the first young adults forum in many years, and 19 young leaders came from the United Kingdom, 15 were locals from Luxembourg, while 17 came from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and one from Russia.
Attendees enjoyed a Shabbat meal at Luxembourg’s Jewish Community Center, and heard from the chief rabbi of Luxembourg. They also heard from human rights activist and academic Gulia Clara Kessous. Throughout the weekend attendees enjoyed workshops with Benjamin Nagele, B’nai B’rith International director of EU Affairs and Jeremy Havardi, director of B’nai B’rith UK’s London Bureau of International Relations. Participants toured the city and learned about its Jewish history and went to a nightclub. Attendees also toured Vianden Castle and took a boat cruise on the Moselle.
B’nai B’rith also has a very active young professionals group in the United Kingdom. The group launched in July 2015 with a private boat cruise party on the River Thames. Every year they also have a Moroccan style picnic at the Klezmer in the Park Festival, monthly happy hour film screenings in partnership with the UK Jewish Film Festival, comedy evenings and Israeli concerts. The group also hosts an annual Valentine’s Day Wine and Dine Dinner with St. Johns Wood Young Jewish Network, in Golden Green, with a professional matchmaker. The group has also enjoyed breakfast briefings with diplomats from the London Bureau of International Relations, participating law firms and businesses. They have spoken with the high commissioner for the Republic of Austria, the Israeli ambassador, and the Latvian ambassador.
YLN members also enjoyed a Friday night dinner at Marble Arch, London, on July 14.
Their future events include a private viewing of the Amy Winehouse exhibit at the Jewish Museum in Camden (co-hosted by St. Johns Wood Young Professionals) on Sept. 6. On Sept. 10, they will have their annual Moroccan style picnic at Klezmer in the Park, and another Friday night dinner is planned for November in Raleigh Close, with that Synagogue’s young professionals.
Brett Ari Fischer
B’nai B’rith Lodge #2093
Young Leadership Award Recipient
Brett Ari Fischer is a top-producing real estate broker specializing in high-end transactions at Town Residential, a luxury real estate firm in Manhattan. His distinguished track record of success is based on an unmatched work ethic and highly effective communication skills. Well-versed in luxury sales and rentals throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, Fischer is a certified negotiation expert and a certified buyer representative. He is the founder of the “AllPie Alzheimer's Challenge” which seeks to help raise awareness, and raise $18 million for the Alzheimer's Association. He has been working on this charity in cooperation with the B’nai B’rith Young Leadership Network. Fischer holds a B.A. from Drexel University and is a life member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. This past June, B’nai B’rith Unit #2093, honored Brett with the Young Leadership Award for his creation of the AllPieAlzheimer’s Challenge and his participation with BBYLN-NY.
New Membership Dues Available
New membership dues are now available for the Young Leadership Network! Sign up today for preferred member rates at events, travel opportunities, briefings with senior leaders and more!
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