Archive for the ‘B’nai B’rith’ Category

The Philly-born talk show host who inspired Trump’s wiretap tweets – Philly.com

On Saturday morning, as reporters scrambled to find sources for President Trumps allegation that his predecessor had wiretapped Trump Tower during the presidential campaign, it seemed all roads were leading to Mark Levin of Cheltenham.

It began,the New York Times reported Sunday, as a conspiratorial rant on conservative talk radio. Levin, a Philadelphia-born, Elkins Park-raised radio host with an enormous following, had spent much of his Thursday show alleging that the Obama administration had surveilled Trump and his associates during the campaign.

The far-right website Breitbart News — where Trump adviser Stephen Bannon previously served as editor-in-chief — picked up the story a day later. That story reportedly circulated around the White House, and on Saturday Trump started tweeting.

Since the presidents explosive tweets, and the media frenzy that followed, Levin has contended that his assertions were based on reporting by the mainstream media –and that he just connected the dots.(An Obama spokesman denied the allegations, and fact-checkers have reported that the evidence cited by Breitbart and others in the conservative sphereis sketchy at best.)

Levin is not a household name outside of conservative circles. The most powerful conservative youve never heard of, theDaily Beast called him in a 2013 profile.But millions of people listen to his show each night.

He has said his conservatism dates to his upbringing in the Philadelphia region. In a 2007 interview with the Inquirer, he said a favorite pastime, as a teenager, was to visit Independence Hall and imagine the founding fathers designing a nation.

Levin graduated from Temple Universitys Ambler campus at 19 and stayed at Temple for a law degree. He served for a time on the Cheltenham school board while in law school, he told the Daily Beast, and formed a tax-reform group called the Committee to Limit Taxation. He was the youngest member the school board has ever had, said Tom Ellis, the solicitor for Cheltenham Township’s Republican organization.

“He created a lot of uproar, arguing for cutting taxes,” Ellis said of Levin’s time on the board. “He’s a real conservative.”

Though Levin, 59, is several years older than Ellis, they were both in the B’nai B’rith Jewish service organization as youths, Ellis said, and once, Levin took him to see Ronald Reagan speak. Levin would later join the Reagan administration, andbecame a familiar voice on talk radio in the waning Clinton years.

“He’s always been an extremely conservative person,” Ellis said. “It did surprise me” that he had moved into a radio career. “I was listening one day and they said, ‘Mark Levin,’ and I thought, is that my Mark Levin?”

Among the major themes of his show: thatAmerica is headed down a dark pathand that liberals are trying to expand the federal government at libertys expense. Hes decried political correctness and accused politicians of downplaying the threat of terrorism. Last January, after a Philadelphia police officer was shot by a man who told police he pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, Levin spent a segment of his show criticizing Mayor Kenneys response to the shooting. Kenney had said the attack had nothing to do with being a Muslim.

A liberal, kook, pathetic, moronic, propagandist demagogue of a mayor, Levin called Kenney. He said he had uncles who had served in the Philadelphia Police Department, and he played God Bless America on the air in honor of them and other officers.

Published: March 7, 2017 4:44 PM EST

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The Philly-born talk show host who inspired Trump’s wiretap tweets – Philly.com

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March 7, 2017   Posted in: B'nai B'rith  Comments Closed

‘Jewish Schindler’ to receive B’nai B’rith citation – Arutz Sheva

The B’nai B’rith World Center and the Committee to Recognize the Heroism of Jews who Rescued Fellow Jews During the Holocaust (JRJ) will confer their joint “Jewish Rescuer’s Citation” upon Naftali Backenroth-Bronicki, who risked his life saving Jews from deportation and extermination during the Holocaust in Drohobych, Poland. The citations will be conferred at a ceremony on March 7 at Beit Hatfutsot Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Backenroth was born in 1905 in Drohobych, Galicia. Heir to an oil family, Backenroth studied agriculture in France as part of his plan to make Aliyah, but returned home after graduating to help his family cope with the severe economic crisis at the time. Between 1939 and 1941, under Soviet rule, Backenroth was appointed as county agronomist by Nikita Khrushchev, then a regional official.

With the German invasion of Drohobych in the summer of 1941 and the beginning of the destruction of the Jewish population in the town and the surroundings, Backenroth started to systematically organize and employ Jewish workers who were conscripted under the Gestapo orders. Recognizing that if the Nazis became dependent on Jewish labor there was less chance that they would be deported and murdered, Backenroth initiated the establishment of workshops, agricultural farms and a horse riding school for the Germans that provided an excuse to employ Jews and save them from death. The status he attained as “foreman” of Jewish labor in Drohobych allowed him to extract Jews who were detained in a major actzia (mass round-ups of Jews during the Holocaust) in 1942 and bring them back to work. When it became evident that the work permits were only a temporary defense from deportation and murder, Backenroth used the means accessible to him in the workshops to build bunkers, which served as a hiding place for dozens of Jews. They survived the war with his assistance.

In 1943, in a clever ruse, Backenroth was recognized by the Gestapo as an Aryan. Despite the danger to him and to his family from the local population he continued to play, befuddle and confuse the Nazis. His position as an Aryan allowed him to move freely and organize a food supply system for the Jews who survived in the bunkers and hiding places he created. However it endangered him as the war came to a close as he could have been viewed by local Jews as a Nazi collaborator.

Thousands of Drohobych Jews were executed at the Bronitza forest nearby. In memory of them, Backenroth changed his name after the war to Bronicki.

When Backenroth-Bronicki was asked why he does not tell stories about that period of his life he said, “what accompanies me all the time, are not the Jews I was able to save, but the memory of all the Jews I could not rescue.”

The committee’s considerations state that “Backenroth-Bronicki is a symbol of Jewish solidarity during the Holocaust, expressed in surprisingly varied initiatives to rescue Jews from deportation and extermination. The resourcefulness, dedication, wisdom and courage demonstrated by Backenroth-Bronicki against the Gestapo from the moment he realized he could save the lives of Jews, is a marvel of risk-taking and limit-testing on a daily basis. His unique personality, authoritativeness and reliability, made him amenable to both his enemies and friendsamong them two Germans who helped with the rescue operations, and later received Righteous Among the Nations. These rescue operations ensured the survival of dozens of Jews. Therefore the committee decided to honor Backenroth-Bronicki with the Jewish Rescuer Citation.”

The heroism of Naftali Backenroth-Bronicki should put to rest once and for all the notion that the Jewish people didnt fight back, which has wrongly tainted Holocaust historiography for more than 70 years, B’nai B’rith World Center Director Alan Schneider said. It is very important for Jewish rescuers to be included among the categories of all who rescued Jews.

The Citation will be presented posthumously to Backenroth-Bronickis son Yehuda Lucien, who as a child was complicit in some of his fathers rescue efforts.

Since its establishment in 2011, the Jewish Rescuers Citation has been presented in order to correct the public misconception that Jews did not rescue other Jews during the Holocaust. To date 162 heroes were honored for rescue activities in Germany, France, Hungary, Greece, Slovakia, Yugoslavia, Russia, Lithuania, Poland and Holland.

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‘Jewish Schindler’ to receive B’nai B’rith citation – Arutz Sheva

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March 6, 2017   Posted in: B'nai B'rith  Comments Closed

Letters to the editor – Sarnia Observer

AN OPEN LETTER TO ELIZABETH DAVIS-DAGG

Re: Setting the record straight on Nuremberg reference, Elizabeth Davis-Dagg, Feb. 18

You missed the point. There is absolutely no excuse for even mentioning Nuremberg. It is disproportionate to use such a comparison. It mitigates any legitimate argument you have regarding the official plan.

The appropriate reply would have been to apologize to those people you offended, people who had family murdered by the Nazis and who saw a very small measure of justice done at Nuremberg. Your justification for using the comparison is as inappropriate and offensive as using the statement is in the first place.

I find it interesting that you say regarding the letter you had have Cohen Highley submit to council: The legal letter…was crafted to be respectful and provide workable steps forward for council to take. I am positive that comparing county council to Nazis is most certainly not respectful. Definitely your comparison disrespects Holocaust victims, survivors and their families.

Victims of the Holocaust should not be used for political point sloganeering… Such ignorant posts only fuel the gross trivialization of the Holocaust, according to the Australia B’nai B’rith.

This is what my father had to say about your statement: There seems to be a kind of frivolous attitude by people for whom tragedy in the past means nothing. They show a complete lack of knowledge regarding historical events. People who say things like this employ events that they do not understand or even have knowledge of to gain attention.

Your entire group’s credibility has been compromised by your trivialization and attention seeking. I was serious in my previous letter. A public apology is necessary.

I do not believe you are a suitable spokesperson for the Concerned Landowners group.

Deborah Kopstein Burr

Plympton-Wyoming

Public information should kept public

On Feb. 22, I wrote a letter to Mayor Mike Bradley, with copies to all council members, transmitting via the city clerk to request this letter be placed on the agenda for the council meeting on Feb. 27.

My request was not only refused but I was asked to go through a Freedom of Information request.

I was asking for full disclosure of all money that had been spent on lawyers, consultants and contractors, during this past year. The response I was given is ludicrous because, prior to the current councils election in November 2014, Mayor Bradley and all previous mayors had always made full financial disclosure available to the public. There was no question about that.

Its offensive that I would be asked to pay money for a Freedom of Information request when my request, in my opinion, shouldnt require an exchange of money or a request for the Freedom of Information. This information has always been public.

Councillors and city management are always quoting: everything you want to know is on our website. You might be lucky to find one total figure, but there are no detailed expenses and billing information from all the individual lawyers, consultants, and contractors.

Never before has a city clerk overridden the higher authority and taken this type of action. I helped remedy the situation by forwarding all correspondence to the mayor and council members.

Whoever heard of having to pay money for information on how the city is spending our money?

If I choose to go ahead with obtaining this information, the city clerk will give me an estimate up front. After some serious thinking, I have decided to go ahead with getting the estimate which, of course, will be very interesting.

At Mondays council meeting, Coun. David Boushy raised the subject of my letter, asking why it had not been added to the agenda, and why a decision had been made by the city clerk without even consulting with the mayor! This was good because my letter is now on the record as having been discussed.

Margaret Bird

Sarnia

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Letters to the editor – Sarnia Observer

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February 28, 2017   Posted in: B'nai B'rith  Comments Closed

Jewish centers across US targeted in 5th wave of bomb threats – BNO News

The latest wave of threats began on early Monday morning when phone calls warning of bombs were received by at least 17 Jewish community centers and day schools across 11 states. Many of the locations were evacuated as a precaution.

Most of the incidents were reported in the state of New York, where bomb threats targeted four Jewish community centers. Three incidents were reported in Pennsylvania and two in North Carolina. One incident each was reported in New Jersey, Delaware, Indiana, Florida, Alabama, Michigan, Maryland, and Virginia.

At the Levite Jewish Community Center in Birmingham, Alabama, it was the third time in just over a month that the center had been the target of a bomb threat. The center was previously targeted on January 18 and February 20.

“When you evacuate preschool-age children or elderly people from a [Jewish Community Center], it’s no hoax. The impact is real. This must end,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), said on his Twitter account.

Monday’s incidents follow four other waves of bomb threats that have targeted Jewish community centers across the United States. At least 67 Jewish community centers were targeted on January 9, January 18, January 31, and February 20. Monday’s threats bring that total to 84.

It is unknown who is responsible for the threats or whether they are part of a coordinated effort. Both the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division have launched investigations but, as of Monday, no arrests have been made.

“The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence, and will ensure this matter is investigated in a fair, thorough, and impartial manner,” FBI spokesman Paul Daymond said on Monday. “As this is matter is ongoing, we are not able to comment further at this time.”

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf condemned the latest wave of bomb threats, as well as recent acts of vandalism at two Jewish cemeteries. “Any anti-Semitic act or act of intimidation aimed at Jewish institutions and people in Pennsylvania is truly reprehensible and we must find those responsible and hold them accountable,” he said.

Also on Monday, Jewish community group B’nai B’rith called on the U.S. Justice Department to appoint a special coordinator on domestic anti-Semitism. “The sheer volume of threats and attacks on Jewish institutions in recent months has reached alarming levels that require swift action at the highest levels of government,” the organization said in a statement.

New Jersey: – Katz Jewish Community Center Cherry Hill in Cherry Hill, NJ

Delaware: – Siegel Jewish Community Center in Wilmington, DE

Pennsylvania: – York Jewish Community Center in York, PA – Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg in Harrisburg, PA – Perelman Jewish Day School in Wynnewood, PA

Indiana: – Jewish Community Center in Indianapolis, IN

Florida: – David Posnack Jewish Day School in Davie, FL

Alabama: – Levite Jewish Community Center in Birmingham, AL

Michigan: – Jewish Community Center of Greater Ann Arbor in Ann Arbor, MI

New York: – JCC of Mid-Westchester in Scarsdale, NY – Harold & Elaine Shames Jewish Community Center on the Hudson in Tarrytown, NY – Mid-Island Y Jewish Community Center in Plainview, NY – Jewish Community Center- Bernikow in Staten Island, NY

Maryland: – Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, MD

North Carolina: – Asheville Jewish Community Center in Asheville, NC – Temple Beth El in Charlotte, NC

Virginia: – Gesher Jewish Day School in Fairfax, VA

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Jewish centers across US targeted in 5th wave of bomb threats – BNO News

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February 27, 2017   Posted in: B'nai B'rith  Comments Closed

AJA Eighth-Grader Wins B’nai B’rith Contest – Atlanta Jewish Times

Eighth-grader Gabriel Weiss got a surprise when the students at Atlanta Jewish Academys Sandy Springs campus gathered for their Friday end-of-week assembly Feb. 17: He was announced as the winner of Bnai Briths 2016 Enlighten America essay contest.

The 14-year-old son of former AJT owner Cliff Weiss and Loretta Weiss of East Cobb received a $100 Barnes & Noble gift card and certificate of achievement, while the AJA library was given a reference book on anti-Semitism by the contest organizer, the Achim/Gate City Lodge of Bnai Brith, and a second book on Jewish life from the bookstore And Thou Shalt Read.

Art Link, who ran the contest, and lodge President Karen Kahn Weinberg made the announcement and the presentation. Bnai Brith also recognized the role teacher Anna Lefkoff played in inspiring Gabes essay.

Bnai Brith International launched the Enlighten America contest in response to school shootings and other violence sparked by racial and religious hatred.

Bnai Brith started this program to encourage respect for the people around them and respect for the individual differences in different people, Link said.

The 2016 Atlanta-area contest, which was open to all seventh- and eighth-graders in Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett and Hall counties and had an entry deadline of Oct. 31, focused on the letter President George Washington wrote to Touro Synagogue in Newport, R.I., in 1790. Thats the letter in which Washington speaks of a government that gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance. Students were asked to apply Washingtons message of tolerance and equality to bigotry and prejudice today.

Gabes winning essay references the Declaration of Independence, the Talmud, the Torah and Martin Luther King Jr.s I Have a Dream speech while commenting on enduring bigotry and innovations such as the Black Lives Matter movement.

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AJA Eighth-Grader Wins B’nai B’rith Contest – Atlanta Jewish Times

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February 23, 2017   Posted in: B'nai B'rith  Comments Closed

Springfield chapter of B’nai B’rith marks 150 years – The State Journal-Register

Steven Spearie Correspondent

Les Eastep got a “gift membership” to the Springfield B’nai B’rith lodge in 1990.

He’s stayed with it ever since.

“It’s about being part of a large group and appreciating what they do on a national and international level,” said Eastep. “B’nai B’rith touches Jewish lives around the world.”

Closer to home, about 100 group members hold an annual chilli dinner fundraiser, provide a monthly meal Chaverim, literally, “friends” for senior citizens and support local causes, like the Jewish School of Religion, a combined effort between Temple B’rith Sholom and Temple Israel.

The Emes Lodge No. 67 (Emes is Yiddish for “true” or “truth”) celebrated the 150th anniversary of its founding with a dinner in December. That makes it one of the oldest B’nai B’rith lodges in central Illinois, the founding dating to a time shortly after Jews started arriving in Springfield.

Lodge histories point out that B’nai B’rith members here were involved in everything from responding to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 to organizing war bond sales during World War II to assisting Russian immigrants in the 1980s and 1990s.

Numbers and activities have declined in more recent times, admitted Patrick Chesley, but, noting the anniversary, “there is certainly an obligation to keep the organization operating because it does a number of good things for the Springfield community and the Jewish community.”

The 19th century was big on lodges, like the Masons, the Loyal Order of Moose and the Elks, said Rabbi Barry Marks of Temple Israel, but some excluded Jews, leading to B’nai B’rith’s international founding in 1843 in New York City.

“This was a fraternal organization,” added Marks, who became a member of the local lodge when he arrived in Springfield in 1973. Auxiliary groups for women, young men and young women eventually developed but faded, added Marks.

Both temples have sisterhood groups and there is a local chapter of Hadassah, an American Jewish volunteer women’s organization that raises funds for community programs and health initiatives in Israel.

While many other B’nai B’rith lodges have allowed women, Chesley pointed out that locally there wasn’t an organization for men at the time of its founding. Chesley said while he isn’t personally opposed to allowing women in the lodge, most other Jewish organizations are facing the same membership decline and “aging out” as B’nai B’rith.

“Most of the Jewish children born in Springfield move out of the city,” said Chesley, a former federal prosecutor. “My wife (Nancy) and I have three children and none of them live in Springfield. Some of the kids stayed, but it’s a fairly small percentage.

“Many (young) Jewish professionals want more of a Jewish community than what we have here (about 1,000 Jews.) The generations that have followed us aren’t joiners. They don’t seem to have the same interests getting involved in groups and providing the next set of leaders. They have their own sets of interests.

“They don’t necessarily want to do what their parents did or be as committed (to these types of groups.)”

Eastep, who lives in Rochester, was part of a congress that looked at the decline fraternal organizations in Illinois.

“The demand that culture puts on people’s time,” said Eastep. “The first thing I do in the morning is look at the calendar. What am I doing today?”

Fraternal organizations, added Eastep, “will never go away entirely.” Some organizations that may be forced to merge may lose part of their identity, he added.

“To be honest and fair, B’nai B’rith is going through what every organization is going through (in terms of membership),” said Jeri Schwarz Atleson, vice-chairman of B’nai B’rith’s Midwest Board, who spoke to the Springfield group at its anniversary dinner. “It’s a big topic of conversation, how to recruit new members.

“Given the current environment, I hope we become as well known as we once were and people can go to in times of need.”

It was B’nai B’rith, pointed out Atleson, that gave birth to the Anti-Defamation League which sought to “stop the defamation of Jewish people,” according to its original 1913 charter.

Any issues of anti-Semitism locally, said Chesley, would be taken up by the Jewish Community Relations Council which is comprised of representatives from all the Springfield Jewish organizations: the Jewish Federation of Springfield; Temple B’rith Sholom and Temple Israel and their sisterhoods and the Springfield Chapter of Hadassah in addition to B’nai B’rith.

Chesley said that one of the activities the local lodge was known for was its Christmas Substitution program. Members would staff especially social service organizations, like the Mini O’Beirne Crisis Nursery and Sojourn Shelter, so workers could spend Christmas Day with their families.

Eastep said B’nai B’rith helped Russian immigrants who came to Springfield in the late 1980s and early 1990s find housing, jobs and education.

“It was done quietly,” he said. “It was like taking care of family and B’nai B’rith is a big family.”

Atleson, who lives in Lake County, near the Wisconsin border, said she was happy to spend time in Springfield helping the lodge celebrated such an important milestone.

“It is remarkable that any organization survives that long,” said Atleson. “What I know about this local lodge is that their generosity, time, money, spirit, service to the community and commitment to the organization is tremendous.

“I hope they don’t change the spirit of who they are.”

Chesley said the purpose of the anniversary wasn’t necessarily to get new members, but several people did ask for applications.

“I get a lot of self-satisfaction from being able to help other people and keep a tradition like B’nai B’rith going here in Springfield,” he said. “I find it fulfilling and worthwhile.”

For more information on the Emes Lodge No. 67 of the B’nai B’rith, contact Patrick Chesley at 210-1920.

–Steven Spearie contact: spearie@hotmail.com or follow on Facebook or Twitter (@StevenSpearie)

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Springfield chapter of B’nai B’rith marks 150 years – The State Journal-Register

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February 18, 2017   Posted in: B'nai B'rith  Comments Closed

Hell Storm Documentary Post Hitler Nazi Germany 1945 — Hiter Nazi Revisionism

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Please contact YouTube and get this video deleted, before someone uses www.ClipConverter.cc to download this video and upload it to all the video sharing web sites on the Internet.

Link: Hell Storm documentary

Please go to IMDB, create an account and write a negative review of this film http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4661358/

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February 4, 2017   Posted in: Abraham Foxman, AIPAC, Anti Racism, Anti-Defamation League, Anti-Jewish, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Semitism Lobby, Anti-Semitism News, Ashkenazi, B'nai B'rith, Censorship, Discrimination News, Hate Crime Hoax, Hate Crimes, Hate Speech, Hitler, Holocaust, Holocaust Denial, Holocaust Remembrance Day, Holocaust Revisionism, Hush Crimes, Israel, Israeli Lobby, Jewish, Jewish American Heritage Month, Jewish Extremism, Jewish Heritage, Jewish History, Jewish Lobby, Jewish Racism, Jewish Supremacism, Jews, John de Nugent, Judaism, Misc, Multicultural News, Neo Nazi, Race Relations, Racism News, Racist News, Simon Wiesenthal, Southern Poverty Law Center, SPLC, White Nationalism, White Power, White Privilege, White Racism, White Supremacism, World War II, Zionism  Comments Closed

Charity Report – B’nai B’rith International – give.org

B’nai B’rith International meets the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.

Year, State Incorporated

1936, District of Columbia

Stated Purpose

“to unite persons of the Jewish faith and to enhance Jewish identity through strengthening Jewish family life and the education and training of youth, broad-based services for the benefit of senior citizens, and advocacy and action on behalf of Jews throughout the world.”

BBI operates 3 centers aimed at strengthening and advocating on behalf of the Jewish community. Through its Center for Human Rights and Public Policy (CHRPP), BBI brings a Jewish voice to international and domestic policy and in defense of Israel. In the United States, CHRPP coordinates the organizations advocacy for the safety, security, and rights of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. In Latin America, it works to build tolerance and to promote social justice. BBI strives to fight against all forms of racism and discrimination, including anti-Semitism. Furthermore, BBIs CHRPP is an advocate for Holocaust restitution in Central and Eastern Europe. BBIs Center for Senior Services (CSS) provides housing and information on aging as well as advocacy and national leadership on issues affecting Jewish seniors. The organization reports being the largest national Jewish sponsor of senior housing in the United States and that it operates more than 50 fixed-income housing facilities worldwide. Through its Center for Community Action (CCA), BBI serves local communities, provides food and clothing, and aids victims of disasters.

Chief Executive

Daniel S. Mariaschin, Executive Vice President

Compensation*

$400,967

Chair of the Board

Gary P. Saltzman

Chair’s Profession / Business Affiliation

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Board Size

46

Paid Staff Size

35

Method(s) Used:

Direct mail, telemarketing, special events, print advertisements, grant proposals, Internet appeals, planned giving, cause-related marketing and membership appeals.

Fund raising costs were 30% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $6,554,000, are donations received as a result of fund raising activities.)

BBI incurred joint costs of $26,172 for informational materials and activities that included fund raising materials. Of those costs $9,815 was allocated to program expenses, $8,724 was allocated to fund raising expenses, and $8,173 was allocated to administrative expenses.

This organization is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is eligible to receive contributions deductible as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes.

The following information is based on BBI’s audited financial statements – consolidated – for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2014.

Note: For the year ended June 30, 2014, BBI reported in-kind medical supplies of $1,194,000.

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Charity Report – B’nai B’rith International – give.org

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January 26, 2017   Posted in: B'nai B'rith  Comments Closed

Wilshire Boulevard Temple – Wikipedia

Wilshire Boulevard Temple, known from 1862 to 1933 as Congregation B’nai B’rith, is the oldest Jewish congregation in Los Angeles, California.[3][4] Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s main building, its sanctuary topped by a large Byzantine revival dome and decorated with interior murals, is a City of Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[2][3][5][6][7] The Moorish-style building, located on Wilshire Boulevard in the Wilshire Center district, was completed in 1929 and was designed by architect Abram M. Edelman (son of the congregation’s first rabbi, Abraham Edelman).

Wilshire Boulevard Temple is one of the largest Jewish congregations in Los Angeles, and has been led by several influential rabbis, especially Edgar Magnin, who has been described as the “John Wayne” of rabbis[8] and who served for 69 years from 1915 to 1984. A second campus, on the Westside, opened in 1998. Despite repeated reports that the congregation might sell its older, landmark building, the temple began extensive renovations of the historic facility in 2008, and the remodeled sanctuary reopened in 2013.

Wilshire Boulevard Temple traces its origins to the first Jewish worship service in Los Angeles, held in 1851. In 1862, a small community of Los Angeles Jews received its charter from the state to found Congregation Bnai Brith. Worship was led by a layman, Joseph Newmark, until Abraham Wolf Edelman was hired as the first rabbi.[9] Long overshadowed by the more prosperous San Francisco Jewish community, L.A.’s Jews managed to erect the congregation’s first building, an impressive brick Gothic Revival style synagogue built in 1873 at the corner of Temple and Broadway in downtown Los Angeles.[10] It was described by the Los Angeles Star as the most superior church edifice in Southern California.[3]

By 1885 much of the congregation was pushing to move away from Orthodox practice, and Rabbi Edelman eventually resigned. Ephraim Schreiber was hired as rabbi in 1885 and adopted some reforms, but soon left. Abraham Blum was hired in 1889, but was forced out in 1895 and replaced by Moses G. Solomon.[9]

In 1896, the B’nai B’rith congregation moved to a larger brick Victorian synagogue at 9th and Hope. It was also designed by A.M. Edelman, and had tall flanking towers capped with large onion domes.

Sigmund Hecht became rabbi in 1899, and in 1903 the congregation joined the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the national organization of the Reform movement. Edgar Magnin was hired as an assistant rabbi in 1915, and took over as senior rabbi upon Hecht’s retirement in 1919. Both Hecht and Magnin implemented the Reform practice of the time, including heavier use of the English language and organ and choir music.[9]

The current Wilshire Boulevard Temple opened in 1929, built among other significant places of worship in the Wilshire Center area. The new temple was the dream of Rabbi Edgar Magnin who, over a career of seven decades, forged a Jewish identity for Los Angeles that joined pioneers and Hollywood moguls. Known as the “Rabbi to the stars”,[8] Magnin came to B’nai B’rith as assistant rabbi in 1915 and from that time on he championed a new synagogue building. The involvement of the Hollywood moviemakers after World War I and Magnin’s promotion to senior rabbi in 1919 allowed the building to go forward. Mostly displaced New Yorkers with marginal religious interest, the Hollywood producers were attracted to Magnin’s image of a popular modern Judaism. Rabbi Magnin also foresaw the movement of the city, and especially its Jewish population, westward. In this, the Wilshire Boulevard Temple was both typical and prescient in anticipating the increased suburbanization of American Jewish life. Because the new synagogue was beyond the “car line,” it presaged L.A.’s near-total dependence on the automobile, an urban-suburban transformation that would affect most Jewish communities only after World War II.[10]

The artistic highlights of the temple include the Biblically-themed Warner Memorial Murals, painted by Hugo Ballin and commissioned by the Warner Brothers (who founded the movie studio of the same name), Jack, Harry, and Albert.[3][5][11][12] Ballins murals consist of 320-foot-long (98m), 7-foot-tall (2.1m) murals depicting key moments in Jewish history.[3][5] The murals are atypical of Judaism’s traditional avoidance of figurative synagogue art.[13] In deciding to include murals in the new temple, Magnin was inspired by his recent visits to great European cathedrals; the particular role of Los Angeles as the capital of the movie industry; and archaeological discoveries of the time that suggested that ancient synagogues used figurative art.[14]

Modeled after Rome’s Pantheon,[8] the immense Byzantine revival dome stands at 100 feet in diameter with its top 135 feet from the street. Its base is flanked by 28 buttresses, or small towers, rising from the ring girder for support. Funding for the dome’s interior decoration was donated by MGM studio production head Irving Thalberg. The prayer inscribed in Hebrew around the Oculus, at the apex of the interior coffered dome, comes from the shm’a prayer, a centerpiece of all Jewish prayer services. The words read: Shm’a Yisroael, Adonoi Eloheinu, Adonaoi Echad; which translates to “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.”

Designed in the Gothic tradition by the Oliver Smith Studios of Pennsylvania, the Temple’s distinctive rose window on the south wall of the sanctuary, and stained glass windows on the east and west walls, have been described as being among the finest examples of this art form in the United States. During the recent renovation, the rose window was removed and repaired at the Judson Studios in Los Angeles. The Rose Window depicts a Torah Scroll and a Star of David in the center and symbols of the Twelve Tribes of Israel in the outer circle. The triple lancet windows on the east and west walls are each made up of some 5,000-6,000 pieces of glass and are the symbolic representation of the 12 tribes of Israel. Funding for the east and west lancet windows was donated by film producer and studio head Louis B. Mayer.

The Temples immense dome immediately became a landmark in Wilshire Center and throughout Los Angeles. Its imposing marble columns were also a form of Hollywood magic: they are hollow columns of plaster painted to mimic marble. And unlike many synagogues, the temple has no center aisle, in part because the temple builders’ wanted it to mimic a movie theater.[8]

The construction of the temple was completed by the Herbert M. Baruch Corporation and cost $1.5 million in 1929 dollars. It was dedicated in a three-day celebration in June 1929 presided over by Rabbi Magnin.

The congregation adopted its present name, Wilshire Boulevard Temple, in 1933. Magnin went on to head the temple until his death in 1984,[9] during which time he was widely considered as a spokesman on community and religious matters.[15] The block of Wilshire Boulevard where the temple sits was named Edgar F. Magnin Square in 1980 by the City of Los Angeles. In 1984, the Temple building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

One year after Rabbi Magnin’s death, Harvey Fields became senior rabbi and led the congregation for 18 years. He reinstituted some more traditional ritual practices that had not been used under Magnin. The use of music was increased and the temple hired its first trained cantor. Fields was also founding chair of the Interfaith Coalition to Heal L.A. and “Hands Across L.A.”, interfaith responses to the 1992 Los Angeles riots.[16]

In response to membership growth on the Westside of Los Angeles, the temple built a second campus at Olympic Boulevard and Barrington Avenue in West Los Angeles. It opened in 1998 as the Audrey and Sydney Irmas Campus, with a new Jewish day school and other educational and community facilities.[17] Despite repeated reports that the temple would leave its historic building, Rabbi Fields restated the congregation’s commitment to the location.[18]

Over the years the temple has hosted many notable speakers, dignitaries and singers including the Dalai Lama, who received the Bodhi Award and addressed the American Buddhist Congress at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in 1999.[19]

In July 2000, the J. Paul Getty Trust awarded a “Preserve L.A.” grant to the temple as part of its effort to preserve the city’s cultural heritage.[20]

Rabbi Fields retired in 2003 and was succeeded by Steven Leder.[21] In 2004, the congregation celebrated the 75th anniversary of the historic structure on Wilshire Boulevard. As the area surrounding its historic building changed dramatically (becoming part of the rapidly expanding Koreatown district), the temple faced the decision whether to sell the property and refocus its operations on the Westside, where most of Los Angeles’ Jewish population had moved. Instead, because of a desire to maintain its landmark facilities and commit to its surrounding community, and also noting a trend for younger Jews to move into neighborhoods further east (such as Los Feliz and Silver Lake), the congregation decided to begin a major restoration of the sanctuary and redevelopment of the surrounding city block.[22] The renovations began in 2008.[23] The temple began working with architect Brenda Levin in 2005, developing an expansive master plan for what was envisioned as a campus, including a renovated synagogue, a new pre-school and elementary school, the Karsh Social Service Center, athletic and community facilities.[24]

After the end of the 2011 High Holy Days, the auditorium was closed for a renovation project that lasted two years.[25][26] In 2013, philanthropist Erika Glazer pledged $30 million through 2028 for ongoing restoration and redevelopment of the synagogue,[27] and the Wilshire Center facility is now called the Erika J. Glazer Family Campus. The sanctuary reopened in September 2013 for Rosh Hashanah services, as the temple stated its intentions to provide services for the non-Jewish, mainly Korean and Hispanic residents of the area, as well for the Jewish community.[22][28] The community outreach has been recognized by local leaders, who hope it will become a model for other organizations as well.

In 2009 the temple and its rabbi, Steven Leder, became participants in the Rabbinic Vision Initiative (RVI), a group of rabbis from large Reform congregations who became vocal critics of the Reform movement’s central organization, the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). In 2011, Wilshire Boulevard Temple resigned from the URJ in what was perceived as a protest of the organization’s perceived ineffectiveness.[29]

In 2015, a committee made up of congregation members, including such prominent philanthropists as Glazer, Bruce Karatz, Eli Broad and Anthony Pritzker, considered more than a dozen architectural firms and commissioned four of them to submit detailed proposals. The subsequently recommended Rem Koolhaas and his Office for Metropolitan Architecture for the project; Koolhaas had proposed a trapezoidal five-story building including office spaces and a large, vaulted ground-level banquet hall.[30]

More here:
Wilshire Boulevard Temple – Wikipedia

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January 25, 2017   Posted in: B'nai B'rith  Comments Closed

The Philly-born talk show host who inspired Trump’s wiretap tweets – Philly.com

On Saturday morning, as reporters scrambled to find sources for President Trumps allegation that his predecessor had wiretapped Trump Tower during the presidential campaign, it seemed all roads were leading to Mark Levin of Cheltenham. It began,the New York Times reported Sunday, as a conspiratorial rant on conservative talk radio. Levin, a Philadelphia-born, Elkins Park-raised radio host with an enormous following, had spent much of his Thursday show alleging that the Obama administration had surveilled Trump and his associates during the campaign. The far-right website Breitbart News — where Trump adviser Stephen Bannon previously served as editor-in-chief — picked up the story a day later. That story reportedly circulated around the White House, and on Saturday Trump started tweeting. Since the presidents explosive tweets, and the media frenzy that followed, Levin has contended that his assertions were based on reporting by the mainstream media –and that he just connected the dots.(An Obama spokesman denied the allegations, and fact-checkers have reported that the evidence cited by Breitbart and others in the conservative sphereis sketchy at best.) Levin is not a household name outside of conservative circles. The most powerful conservative youve never heard of, theDaily Beast called him in a 2013 profile.But millions of people listen to his show each night. He has said his conservatism dates to his upbringing in the Philadelphia region. In a 2007 interview with the Inquirer, he said a favorite pastime, as a teenager, was to visit Independence Hall and imagine the founding fathers designing a nation. Levin graduated from Temple Universitys Ambler campus at 19 and stayed at Temple for a law degree. He served for a time on the Cheltenham school board while in law school, he told the Daily Beast, and formed a tax-reform group called the Committee to Limit Taxation. He was the youngest member the school board has ever had, said Tom Ellis, the solicitor for Cheltenham Township’s Republican organization. “He created a lot of uproar, arguing for cutting taxes,” Ellis said of Levin’s time on the board. “He’s a real conservative.” Though Levin, 59, is several years older than Ellis, they were both in the B’nai B’rith Jewish service organization as youths, Ellis said, and once, Levin took him to see Ronald Reagan speak. Levin would later join the Reagan administration, andbecame a familiar voice on talk radio in the waning Clinton years. “He’s always been an extremely conservative person,” Ellis said. “It did surprise me” that he had moved into a radio career. “I was listening one day and they said, ‘Mark Levin,’ and I thought, is that my Mark Levin?” Among the major themes of his show: thatAmerica is headed down a dark pathand that liberals are trying to expand the federal government at libertys expense. Hes decried political correctness and accused politicians of downplaying the threat of terrorism. Last January, after a Philadelphia police officer was shot by a man who told police he pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, Levin spent a segment of his show criticizing Mayor Kenneys response to the shooting. Kenney had said the attack had nothing to do with being a Muslim. A liberal, kook, pathetic, moronic, propagandist demagogue of a mayor, Levin called Kenney. He said he had uncles who had served in the Philadelphia Police Department, and he played God Bless America on the air in honor of them and other officers. Published: March 7, 2017 4:44 PM EST Over the past year, the Inquirer, the Daily News and Philly.com have uncovered corruption in local and state public offices, shed light on hidden and dangerous environmental risks, and deeply examined the regions growing heroin epidemic. This is indispensable journalism, brought to you by the largest, most experienced newsroom in the region. Fact-based journalism of this caliber isnt cheap. We need your support to keep our talented reporters, editors and photographers holding government accountable, looking out for the public interest, and separating fact from fiction. If you already subscribe, thank you. If not, please consider doing so by clicking on the button below. Subscriptions can be home delivered in print, or digitally read on nearly any mobile device or computer, and start as low as 25 per day. We’re thankful for your support in every way.

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March 7, 2017   Posted in: B'nai B'rith  Comments Closed

‘Jewish Schindler’ to receive B’nai B’rith citation – Arutz Sheva

The B’nai B’rith World Center and the Committee to Recognize the Heroism of Jews who Rescued Fellow Jews During the Holocaust (JRJ) will confer their joint “Jewish Rescuer’s Citation” upon Naftali Backenroth-Bronicki, who risked his life saving Jews from deportation and extermination during the Holocaust in Drohobych, Poland. The citations will be conferred at a ceremony on March 7 at Beit Hatfutsot Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv, Israel. Backenroth was born in 1905 in Drohobych, Galicia. Heir to an oil family, Backenroth studied agriculture in France as part of his plan to make Aliyah, but returned home after graduating to help his family cope with the severe economic crisis at the time. Between 1939 and 1941, under Soviet rule, Backenroth was appointed as county agronomist by Nikita Khrushchev, then a regional official. With the German invasion of Drohobych in the summer of 1941 and the beginning of the destruction of the Jewish population in the town and the surroundings, Backenroth started to systematically organize and employ Jewish workers who were conscripted under the Gestapo orders. Recognizing that if the Nazis became dependent on Jewish labor there was less chance that they would be deported and murdered, Backenroth initiated the establishment of workshops, agricultural farms and a horse riding school for the Germans that provided an excuse to employ Jews and save them from death. The status he attained as “foreman” of Jewish labor in Drohobych allowed him to extract Jews who were detained in a major actzia (mass round-ups of Jews during the Holocaust) in 1942 and bring them back to work. When it became evident that the work permits were only a temporary defense from deportation and murder, Backenroth used the means accessible to him in the workshops to build bunkers, which served as a hiding place for dozens of Jews. They survived the war with his assistance. In 1943, in a clever ruse, Backenroth was recognized by the Gestapo as an Aryan. Despite the danger to him and to his family from the local population he continued to play, befuddle and confuse the Nazis. His position as an Aryan allowed him to move freely and organize a food supply system for the Jews who survived in the bunkers and hiding places he created. However it endangered him as the war came to a close as he could have been viewed by local Jews as a Nazi collaborator. Thousands of Drohobych Jews were executed at the Bronitza forest nearby. In memory of them, Backenroth changed his name after the war to Bronicki. When Backenroth-Bronicki was asked why he does not tell stories about that period of his life he said, “what accompanies me all the time, are not the Jews I was able to save, but the memory of all the Jews I could not rescue.” The committee’s considerations state that “Backenroth-Bronicki is a symbol of Jewish solidarity during the Holocaust, expressed in surprisingly varied initiatives to rescue Jews from deportation and extermination. The resourcefulness, dedication, wisdom and courage demonstrated by Backenroth-Bronicki against the Gestapo from the moment he realized he could save the lives of Jews, is a marvel of risk-taking and limit-testing on a daily basis. His unique personality, authoritativeness and reliability, made him amenable to both his enemies and friendsamong them two Germans who helped with the rescue operations, and later received Righteous Among the Nations. These rescue operations ensured the survival of dozens of Jews. Therefore the committee decided to honor Backenroth-Bronicki with the Jewish Rescuer Citation.” The heroism of Naftali Backenroth-Bronicki should put to rest once and for all the notion that the Jewish people didnt fight back, which has wrongly tainted Holocaust historiography for more than 70 years, B’nai B’rith World Center Director Alan Schneider said. It is very important for Jewish rescuers to be included among the categories of all who rescued Jews. The Citation will be presented posthumously to Backenroth-Bronickis son Yehuda Lucien, who as a child was complicit in some of his fathers rescue efforts. Since its establishment in 2011, the Jewish Rescuers Citation has been presented in order to correct the public misconception that Jews did not rescue other Jews during the Holocaust. To date 162 heroes were honored for rescue activities in Germany, France, Hungary, Greece, Slovakia, Yugoslavia, Russia, Lithuania, Poland and Holland.

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March 6, 2017   Posted in: B'nai B'rith  Comments Closed

Letters to the editor – Sarnia Observer

AN OPEN LETTER TO ELIZABETH DAVIS-DAGG Re: Setting the record straight on Nuremberg reference, Elizabeth Davis-Dagg, Feb. 18 You missed the point. There is absolutely no excuse for even mentioning Nuremberg. It is disproportionate to use such a comparison. It mitigates any legitimate argument you have regarding the official plan. The appropriate reply would have been to apologize to those people you offended, people who had family murdered by the Nazis and who saw a very small measure of justice done at Nuremberg. Your justification for using the comparison is as inappropriate and offensive as using the statement is in the first place. I find it interesting that you say regarding the letter you had have Cohen Highley submit to council: The legal letter…was crafted to be respectful and provide workable steps forward for council to take. I am positive that comparing county council to Nazis is most certainly not respectful. Definitely your comparison disrespects Holocaust victims, survivors and their families. Victims of the Holocaust should not be used for political point sloganeering… Such ignorant posts only fuel the gross trivialization of the Holocaust, according to the Australia B’nai B’rith. This is what my father had to say about your statement: There seems to be a kind of frivolous attitude by people for whom tragedy in the past means nothing. They show a complete lack of knowledge regarding historical events. People who say things like this employ events that they do not understand or even have knowledge of to gain attention. Your entire group’s credibility has been compromised by your trivialization and attention seeking. I was serious in my previous letter. A public apology is necessary. I do not believe you are a suitable spokesperson for the Concerned Landowners group. Deborah Kopstein Burr Plympton-Wyoming Public information should kept public On Feb. 22, I wrote a letter to Mayor Mike Bradley, with copies to all council members, transmitting via the city clerk to request this letter be placed on the agenda for the council meeting on Feb. 27. My request was not only refused but I was asked to go through a Freedom of Information request. I was asking for full disclosure of all money that had been spent on lawyers, consultants and contractors, during this past year. The response I was given is ludicrous because, prior to the current councils election in November 2014, Mayor Bradley and all previous mayors had always made full financial disclosure available to the public. There was no question about that. Its offensive that I would be asked to pay money for a Freedom of Information request when my request, in my opinion, shouldnt require an exchange of money or a request for the Freedom of Information. This information has always been public. Councillors and city management are always quoting: everything you want to know is on our website. You might be lucky to find one total figure, but there are no detailed expenses and billing information from all the individual lawyers, consultants, and contractors. Never before has a city clerk overridden the higher authority and taken this type of action. I helped remedy the situation by forwarding all correspondence to the mayor and council members. Whoever heard of having to pay money for information on how the city is spending our money? If I choose to go ahead with obtaining this information, the city clerk will give me an estimate up front. After some serious thinking, I have decided to go ahead with getting the estimate which, of course, will be very interesting. At Mondays council meeting, Coun. David Boushy raised the subject of my letter, asking why it had not been added to the agenda, and why a decision had been made by the city clerk without even consulting with the mayor! This was good because my letter is now on the record as having been discussed. Margaret Bird Sarnia

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February 28, 2017   Posted in: B'nai B'rith  Comments Closed

Jewish centers across US targeted in 5th wave of bomb threats – BNO News

The latest wave of threats began on early Monday morning when phone calls warning of bombs were received by at least 17 Jewish community centers and day schools across 11 states. Many of the locations were evacuated as a precaution. Most of the incidents were reported in the state of New York, where bomb threats targeted four Jewish community centers. Three incidents were reported in Pennsylvania and two in North Carolina. One incident each was reported in New Jersey, Delaware, Indiana, Florida, Alabama, Michigan, Maryland, and Virginia. At the Levite Jewish Community Center in Birmingham, Alabama, it was the third time in just over a month that the center had been the target of a bomb threat. The center was previously targeted on January 18 and February 20. “When you evacuate preschool-age children or elderly people from a [Jewish Community Center], it’s no hoax. The impact is real. This must end,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), said on his Twitter account. Monday’s incidents follow four other waves of bomb threats that have targeted Jewish community centers across the United States. At least 67 Jewish community centers were targeted on January 9, January 18, January 31, and February 20. Monday’s threats bring that total to 84. It is unknown who is responsible for the threats or whether they are part of a coordinated effort. Both the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division have launched investigations but, as of Monday, no arrests have been made. “The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence, and will ensure this matter is investigated in a fair, thorough, and impartial manner,” FBI spokesman Paul Daymond said on Monday. “As this is matter is ongoing, we are not able to comment further at this time.” Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf condemned the latest wave of bomb threats, as well as recent acts of vandalism at two Jewish cemeteries. “Any anti-Semitic act or act of intimidation aimed at Jewish institutions and people in Pennsylvania is truly reprehensible and we must find those responsible and hold them accountable,” he said. Also on Monday, Jewish community group B’nai B’rith called on the U.S. Justice Department to appoint a special coordinator on domestic anti-Semitism. “The sheer volume of threats and attacks on Jewish institutions in recent months has reached alarming levels that require swift action at the highest levels of government,” the organization said in a statement. New Jersey: – Katz Jewish Community Center Cherry Hill in Cherry Hill, NJ Delaware: – Siegel Jewish Community Center in Wilmington, DE Pennsylvania: – York Jewish Community Center in York, PA – Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg in Harrisburg, PA – Perelman Jewish Day School in Wynnewood, PA Indiana: – Jewish Community Center in Indianapolis, IN Florida: – David Posnack Jewish Day School in Davie, FL Alabama: – Levite Jewish Community Center in Birmingham, AL Michigan: – Jewish Community Center of Greater Ann Arbor in Ann Arbor, MI New York: – JCC of Mid-Westchester in Scarsdale, NY – Harold & Elaine Shames Jewish Community Center on the Hudson in Tarrytown, NY – Mid-Island Y Jewish Community Center in Plainview, NY – Jewish Community Center- Bernikow in Staten Island, NY Maryland: – Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, MD North Carolina: – Asheville Jewish Community Center in Asheville, NC – Temple Beth El in Charlotte, NC Virginia: – Gesher Jewish Day School in Fairfax, VA

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February 27, 2017   Posted in: B'nai B'rith  Comments Closed

AJA Eighth-Grader Wins B’nai B’rith Contest – Atlanta Jewish Times

Eighth-grader Gabriel Weiss got a surprise when the students at Atlanta Jewish Academys Sandy Springs campus gathered for their Friday end-of-week assembly Feb. 17: He was announced as the winner of Bnai Briths 2016 Enlighten America essay contest. The 14-year-old son of former AJT owner Cliff Weiss and Loretta Weiss of East Cobb received a $100 Barnes & Noble gift card and certificate of achievement, while the AJA library was given a reference book on anti-Semitism by the contest organizer, the Achim/Gate City Lodge of Bnai Brith, and a second book on Jewish life from the bookstore And Thou Shalt Read. Art Link, who ran the contest, and lodge President Karen Kahn Weinberg made the announcement and the presentation. Bnai Brith also recognized the role teacher Anna Lefkoff played in inspiring Gabes essay. Bnai Brith International launched the Enlighten America contest in response to school shootings and other violence sparked by racial and religious hatred. Bnai Brith started this program to encourage respect for the people around them and respect for the individual differences in different people, Link said. The 2016 Atlanta-area contest, which was open to all seventh- and eighth-graders in Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett and Hall counties and had an entry deadline of Oct. 31, focused on the letter President George Washington wrote to Touro Synagogue in Newport, R.I., in 1790. Thats the letter in which Washington speaks of a government that gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance. Students were asked to apply Washingtons message of tolerance and equality to bigotry and prejudice today. Gabes winning essay references the Declaration of Independence, the Talmud, the Torah and Martin Luther King Jr.s I Have a Dream speech while commenting on enduring bigotry and innovations such as the Black Lives Matter movement.

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February 23, 2017   Posted in: B'nai B'rith  Comments Closed

Springfield chapter of B’nai B’rith marks 150 years – The State Journal-Register

Steven Spearie Correspondent Les Eastep got a “gift membership” to the Springfield B’nai B’rith lodge in 1990. He’s stayed with it ever since. “It’s about being part of a large group and appreciating what they do on a national and international level,” said Eastep. “B’nai B’rith touches Jewish lives around the world.” Closer to home, about 100 group members hold an annual chilli dinner fundraiser, provide a monthly meal Chaverim, literally, “friends” for senior citizens and support local causes, like the Jewish School of Religion, a combined effort between Temple B’rith Sholom and Temple Israel. The Emes Lodge No. 67 (Emes is Yiddish for “true” or “truth”) celebrated the 150th anniversary of its founding with a dinner in December. That makes it one of the oldest B’nai B’rith lodges in central Illinois, the founding dating to a time shortly after Jews started arriving in Springfield. Lodge histories point out that B’nai B’rith members here were involved in everything from responding to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 to organizing war bond sales during World War II to assisting Russian immigrants in the 1980s and 1990s. Numbers and activities have declined in more recent times, admitted Patrick Chesley, but, noting the anniversary, “there is certainly an obligation to keep the organization operating because it does a number of good things for the Springfield community and the Jewish community.” The 19th century was big on lodges, like the Masons, the Loyal Order of Moose and the Elks, said Rabbi Barry Marks of Temple Israel, but some excluded Jews, leading to B’nai B’rith’s international founding in 1843 in New York City. “This was a fraternal organization,” added Marks, who became a member of the local lodge when he arrived in Springfield in 1973. Auxiliary groups for women, young men and young women eventually developed but faded, added Marks. Both temples have sisterhood groups and there is a local chapter of Hadassah, an American Jewish volunteer women’s organization that raises funds for community programs and health initiatives in Israel. While many other B’nai B’rith lodges have allowed women, Chesley pointed out that locally there wasn’t an organization for men at the time of its founding. Chesley said while he isn’t personally opposed to allowing women in the lodge, most other Jewish organizations are facing the same membership decline and “aging out” as B’nai B’rith. “Most of the Jewish children born in Springfield move out of the city,” said Chesley, a former federal prosecutor. “My wife (Nancy) and I have three children and none of them live in Springfield. Some of the kids stayed, but it’s a fairly small percentage. “Many (young) Jewish professionals want more of a Jewish community than what we have here (about 1,000 Jews.) The generations that have followed us aren’t joiners. They don’t seem to have the same interests getting involved in groups and providing the next set of leaders. They have their own sets of interests. “They don’t necessarily want to do what their parents did or be as committed (to these types of groups.)” Eastep, who lives in Rochester, was part of a congress that looked at the decline fraternal organizations in Illinois. “The demand that culture puts on people’s time,” said Eastep. “The first thing I do in the morning is look at the calendar. What am I doing today?” Fraternal organizations, added Eastep, “will never go away entirely.” Some organizations that may be forced to merge may lose part of their identity, he added. “To be honest and fair, B’nai B’rith is going through what every organization is going through (in terms of membership),” said Jeri Schwarz Atleson, vice-chairman of B’nai B’rith’s Midwest Board, who spoke to the Springfield group at its anniversary dinner. “It’s a big topic of conversation, how to recruit new members. “Given the current environment, I hope we become as well known as we once were and people can go to in times of need.” It was B’nai B’rith, pointed out Atleson, that gave birth to the Anti-Defamation League which sought to “stop the defamation of Jewish people,” according to its original 1913 charter. Any issues of anti-Semitism locally, said Chesley, would be taken up by the Jewish Community Relations Council which is comprised of representatives from all the Springfield Jewish organizations: the Jewish Federation of Springfield; Temple B’rith Sholom and Temple Israel and their sisterhoods and the Springfield Chapter of Hadassah in addition to B’nai B’rith. Chesley said that one of the activities the local lodge was known for was its Christmas Substitution program. Members would staff especially social service organizations, like the Mini O’Beirne Crisis Nursery and Sojourn Shelter, so workers could spend Christmas Day with their families. Eastep said B’nai B’rith helped Russian immigrants who came to Springfield in the late 1980s and early 1990s find housing, jobs and education. “It was done quietly,” he said. “It was like taking care of family and B’nai B’rith is a big family.” Atleson, who lives in Lake County, near the Wisconsin border, said she was happy to spend time in Springfield helping the lodge celebrated such an important milestone. “It is remarkable that any organization survives that long,” said Atleson. “What I know about this local lodge is that their generosity, time, money, spirit, service to the community and commitment to the organization is tremendous. “I hope they don’t change the spirit of who they are.” Chesley said the purpose of the anniversary wasn’t necessarily to get new members, but several people did ask for applications. “I get a lot of self-satisfaction from being able to help other people and keep a tradition like B’nai B’rith going here in Springfield,” he said. “I find it fulfilling and worthwhile.” For more information on the Emes Lodge No. 67 of the B’nai B’rith, contact Patrick Chesley at 210-1920. –Steven Spearie contact: spearie@hotmail.com or follow on Facebook or Twitter (@StevenSpearie)

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February 18, 2017   Posted in: B'nai B'rith  Comments Closed

Hell Storm Documentary Post Hitler Nazi Germany 1945 — Hiter Nazi Revisionism

SHUT IT DOWN, NOW!BIG VICTORY!! We got this video censored in 25% of the world’s countries by relentlessly pressuring YouTube and Governments around the world to Censor and suppress this video. 25% down, 75% to go, help us get this video deleted, blocked and banned everywhere in the world, we have had great success so […]

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February 4, 2017   Posted in: Abraham Foxman, AIPAC, Anti Racism, Anti-Defamation League, Anti-Jewish, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Semitism Lobby, Anti-Semitism News, Ashkenazi, B'nai B'rith, Censorship, Discrimination News, Hate Crime Hoax, Hate Crimes, Hate Speech, Hitler, Holocaust, Holocaust Denial, Holocaust Remembrance Day, Holocaust Revisionism, Hush Crimes, Israel, Israeli Lobby, Jewish, Jewish American Heritage Month, Jewish Extremism, Jewish Heritage, Jewish History, Jewish Lobby, Jewish Racism, Jewish Supremacism, Jews, John de Nugent, Judaism, Misc, Multicultural News, Neo Nazi, Race Relations, Racism News, Racist News, Simon Wiesenthal, Southern Poverty Law Center, SPLC, White Nationalism, White Power, White Privilege, White Racism, White Supremacism, World War II, Zionism  Comments Closed

Charity Report – B’nai B’rith International – give.org

B’nai B’rith International meets the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. Year, State Incorporated 1936, District of Columbia Stated Purpose “to unite persons of the Jewish faith and to enhance Jewish identity through strengthening Jewish family life and the education and training of youth, broad-based services for the benefit of senior citizens, and advocacy and action on behalf of Jews throughout the world.” BBI operates 3 centers aimed at strengthening and advocating on behalf of the Jewish community. Through its Center for Human Rights and Public Policy (CHRPP), BBI brings a Jewish voice to international and domestic policy and in defense of Israel. In the United States, CHRPP coordinates the organizations advocacy for the safety, security, and rights of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. In Latin America, it works to build tolerance and to promote social justice. BBI strives to fight against all forms of racism and discrimination, including anti-Semitism. Furthermore, BBIs CHRPP is an advocate for Holocaust restitution in Central and Eastern Europe. BBIs Center for Senior Services (CSS) provides housing and information on aging as well as advocacy and national leadership on issues affecting Jewish seniors. The organization reports being the largest national Jewish sponsor of senior housing in the United States and that it operates more than 50 fixed-income housing facilities worldwide. Through its Center for Community Action (CCA), BBI serves local communities, provides food and clothing, and aids victims of disasters. Chief Executive Daniel S. Mariaschin, Executive Vice President Compensation* $400,967 Chair of the Board Gary P. Saltzman Chair’s Profession / Business Affiliation Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Board Size 46 Paid Staff Size 35 Method(s) Used: Direct mail, telemarketing, special events, print advertisements, grant proposals, Internet appeals, planned giving, cause-related marketing and membership appeals. Fund raising costs were 30% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $6,554,000, are donations received as a result of fund raising activities.) BBI incurred joint costs of $26,172 for informational materials and activities that included fund raising materials. Of those costs $9,815 was allocated to program expenses, $8,724 was allocated to fund raising expenses, and $8,173 was allocated to administrative expenses. This organization is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is eligible to receive contributions deductible as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes. The following information is based on BBI’s audited financial statements – consolidated – for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2014. Note: For the year ended June 30, 2014, BBI reported in-kind medical supplies of $1,194,000.

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January 26, 2017   Posted in: B'nai B'rith  Comments Closed

Wilshire Boulevard Temple – Wikipedia

Wilshire Boulevard Temple, known from 1862 to 1933 as Congregation B’nai B’rith, is the oldest Jewish congregation in Los Angeles, California.[3][4] Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s main building, its sanctuary topped by a large Byzantine revival dome and decorated with interior murals, is a City of Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[2][3][5][6][7] The Moorish-style building, located on Wilshire Boulevard in the Wilshire Center district, was completed in 1929 and was designed by architect Abram M. Edelman (son of the congregation’s first rabbi, Abraham Edelman). Wilshire Boulevard Temple is one of the largest Jewish congregations in Los Angeles, and has been led by several influential rabbis, especially Edgar Magnin, who has been described as the “John Wayne” of rabbis[8] and who served for 69 years from 1915 to 1984. A second campus, on the Westside, opened in 1998. Despite repeated reports that the congregation might sell its older, landmark building, the temple began extensive renovations of the historic facility in 2008, and the remodeled sanctuary reopened in 2013. Wilshire Boulevard Temple traces its origins to the first Jewish worship service in Los Angeles, held in 1851. In 1862, a small community of Los Angeles Jews received its charter from the state to found Congregation Bnai Brith. Worship was led by a layman, Joseph Newmark, until Abraham Wolf Edelman was hired as the first rabbi.[9] Long overshadowed by the more prosperous San Francisco Jewish community, L.A.’s Jews managed to erect the congregation’s first building, an impressive brick Gothic Revival style synagogue built in 1873 at the corner of Temple and Broadway in downtown Los Angeles.[10] It was described by the Los Angeles Star as the most superior church edifice in Southern California.[3] By 1885 much of the congregation was pushing to move away from Orthodox practice, and Rabbi Edelman eventually resigned. Ephraim Schreiber was hired as rabbi in 1885 and adopted some reforms, but soon left. Abraham Blum was hired in 1889, but was forced out in 1895 and replaced by Moses G. Solomon.[9] In 1896, the B’nai B’rith congregation moved to a larger brick Victorian synagogue at 9th and Hope. It was also designed by A.M. Edelman, and had tall flanking towers capped with large onion domes. Sigmund Hecht became rabbi in 1899, and in 1903 the congregation joined the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the national organization of the Reform movement. Edgar Magnin was hired as an assistant rabbi in 1915, and took over as senior rabbi upon Hecht’s retirement in 1919. Both Hecht and Magnin implemented the Reform practice of the time, including heavier use of the English language and organ and choir music.[9] The current Wilshire Boulevard Temple opened in 1929, built among other significant places of worship in the Wilshire Center area. The new temple was the dream of Rabbi Edgar Magnin who, over a career of seven decades, forged a Jewish identity for Los Angeles that joined pioneers and Hollywood moguls. Known as the “Rabbi to the stars”,[8] Magnin came to B’nai B’rith as assistant rabbi in 1915 and from that time on he championed a new synagogue building. The involvement of the Hollywood moviemakers after World War I and Magnin’s promotion to senior rabbi in 1919 allowed the building to go forward. Mostly displaced New Yorkers with marginal religious interest, the Hollywood producers were attracted to Magnin’s image of a popular modern Judaism. Rabbi Magnin also foresaw the movement of the city, and especially its Jewish population, westward. In this, the Wilshire Boulevard Temple was both typical and prescient in anticipating the increased suburbanization of American Jewish life. Because the new synagogue was beyond the “car line,” it presaged L.A.’s near-total dependence on the automobile, an urban-suburban transformation that would affect most Jewish communities only after World War II.[10] The artistic highlights of the temple include the Biblically-themed Warner Memorial Murals, painted by Hugo Ballin and commissioned by the Warner Brothers (who founded the movie studio of the same name), Jack, Harry, and Albert.[3][5][11][12] Ballins murals consist of 320-foot-long (98m), 7-foot-tall (2.1m) murals depicting key moments in Jewish history.[3][5] The murals are atypical of Judaism’s traditional avoidance of figurative synagogue art.[13] In deciding to include murals in the new temple, Magnin was inspired by his recent visits to great European cathedrals; the particular role of Los Angeles as the capital of the movie industry; and archaeological discoveries of the time that suggested that ancient synagogues used figurative art.[14] Modeled after Rome’s Pantheon,[8] the immense Byzantine revival dome stands at 100 feet in diameter with its top 135 feet from the street. Its base is flanked by 28 buttresses, or small towers, rising from the ring girder for support. Funding for the dome’s interior decoration was donated by MGM studio production head Irving Thalberg. The prayer inscribed in Hebrew around the Oculus, at the apex of the interior coffered dome, comes from the shm’a prayer, a centerpiece of all Jewish prayer services. The words read: Shm’a Yisroael, Adonoi Eloheinu, Adonaoi Echad; which translates to “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.” Designed in the Gothic tradition by the Oliver Smith Studios of Pennsylvania, the Temple’s distinctive rose window on the south wall of the sanctuary, and stained glass windows on the east and west walls, have been described as being among the finest examples of this art form in the United States. During the recent renovation, the rose window was removed and repaired at the Judson Studios in Los Angeles. The Rose Window depicts a Torah Scroll and a Star of David in the center and symbols of the Twelve Tribes of Israel in the outer circle. The triple lancet windows on the east and west walls are each made up of some 5,000-6,000 pieces of glass and are the symbolic representation of the 12 tribes of Israel. Funding for the east and west lancet windows was donated by film producer and studio head Louis B. Mayer. The Temples immense dome immediately became a landmark in Wilshire Center and throughout Los Angeles. Its imposing marble columns were also a form of Hollywood magic: they are hollow columns of plaster painted to mimic marble. And unlike many synagogues, the temple has no center aisle, in part because the temple builders’ wanted it to mimic a movie theater.[8] The construction of the temple was completed by the Herbert M. Baruch Corporation and cost $1.5 million in 1929 dollars. It was dedicated in a three-day celebration in June 1929 presided over by Rabbi Magnin. The congregation adopted its present name, Wilshire Boulevard Temple, in 1933. Magnin went on to head the temple until his death in 1984,[9] during which time he was widely considered as a spokesman on community and religious matters.[15] The block of Wilshire Boulevard where the temple sits was named Edgar F. Magnin Square in 1980 by the City of Los Angeles. In 1984, the Temple building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. One year after Rabbi Magnin’s death, Harvey Fields became senior rabbi and led the congregation for 18 years. He reinstituted some more traditional ritual practices that had not been used under Magnin. The use of music was increased and the temple hired its first trained cantor. Fields was also founding chair of the Interfaith Coalition to Heal L.A. and “Hands Across L.A.”, interfaith responses to the 1992 Los Angeles riots.[16] In response to membership growth on the Westside of Los Angeles, the temple built a second campus at Olympic Boulevard and Barrington Avenue in West Los Angeles. It opened in 1998 as the Audrey and Sydney Irmas Campus, with a new Jewish day school and other educational and community facilities.[17] Despite repeated reports that the temple would leave its historic building, Rabbi Fields restated the congregation’s commitment to the location.[18] Over the years the temple has hosted many notable speakers, dignitaries and singers including the Dalai Lama, who received the Bodhi Award and addressed the American Buddhist Congress at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in 1999.[19] In July 2000, the J. Paul Getty Trust awarded a “Preserve L.A.” grant to the temple as part of its effort to preserve the city’s cultural heritage.[20] Rabbi Fields retired in 2003 and was succeeded by Steven Leder.[21] In 2004, the congregation celebrated the 75th anniversary of the historic structure on Wilshire Boulevard. As the area surrounding its historic building changed dramatically (becoming part of the rapidly expanding Koreatown district), the temple faced the decision whether to sell the property and refocus its operations on the Westside, where most of Los Angeles’ Jewish population had moved. Instead, because of a desire to maintain its landmark facilities and commit to its surrounding community, and also noting a trend for younger Jews to move into neighborhoods further east (such as Los Feliz and Silver Lake), the congregation decided to begin a major restoration of the sanctuary and redevelopment of the surrounding city block.[22] The renovations began in 2008.[23] The temple began working with architect Brenda Levin in 2005, developing an expansive master plan for what was envisioned as a campus, including a renovated synagogue, a new pre-school and elementary school, the Karsh Social Service Center, athletic and community facilities.[24] After the end of the 2011 High Holy Days, the auditorium was closed for a renovation project that lasted two years.[25][26] In 2013, philanthropist Erika Glazer pledged $30 million through 2028 for ongoing restoration and redevelopment of the synagogue,[27] and the Wilshire Center facility is now called the Erika J. Glazer Family Campus. The sanctuary reopened in September 2013 for Rosh Hashanah services, as the temple stated its intentions to provide services for the non-Jewish, mainly Korean and Hispanic residents of the area, as well for the Jewish community.[22][28] The community outreach has been recognized by local leaders, who hope it will become a model for other organizations as well. In 2009 the temple and its rabbi, Steven Leder, became participants in the Rabbinic Vision Initiative (RVI), a group of rabbis from large Reform congregations who became vocal critics of the Reform movement’s central organization, the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). In 2011, Wilshire Boulevard Temple resigned from the URJ in what was perceived as a protest of the organization’s perceived ineffectiveness.[29] In 2015, a committee made up of congregation members, including such prominent philanthropists as Glazer, Bruce Karatz, Eli Broad and Anthony Pritzker, considered more than a dozen architectural firms and commissioned four of them to submit detailed proposals. The subsequently recommended Rem Koolhaas and his Office for Metropolitan Architecture for the project; Koolhaas had proposed a trapezoidal five-story building including office spaces and a large, vaulted ground-level banquet hall.[30]

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January 25, 2017   Posted in: B'nai B'rith  Comments Closed


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