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Disgraceful decision to remove Star of David from a Holocaust Monument in Greece

Disgraceful decision to remove Star of David from a Holocaust Monument in Greece

Greek Jewish community condemn Mayor of Kavala's decision to have the star of David removed from a Holocaust Monument before its inauguration.

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Centenary of the Armenian genocide

Centenary of the Armenian genocide

BBE  also remembers this...

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We Remember

We Remember

We Remeber: On this day, April 15th, 1945 Bergen-Belsen was liberated. Now, Yom Hashoa is Israel's day of commemoration for the approximately six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust as a result of the actions carried out by Nazi Germany and its accessories, and for the Jewish resistance in that period.

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BB Denmark Popular As Never Before!

BB Denmark Popular As Never Before!

12 men were sworn in as new brothers of Danmark Loge (BBDenmark – one of the few lodges only for men) on February 10th. – BUT it doesn’t stop here, as another two brothers will be sworn in at a meeting in our lodge on April 26th, where the lodge will be honored by a visit of the President of BBE, Erika Van Gelder.…

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B'nai B'rith World Center Hosting Yom Hashoa Ceremony in Jerusalem April 16th

B'nai B'rith World Center Hosting Yom Hashoa Ceremony in Jerusalem April 16th

JOIN US: For the past thirteen years the B'nai B'rith World Center and the Jewish National Fund have co-sponsored a unique Holocaust Day (Yom Hashoah) ceremony, marking the heroism of Jews who saved fellow Jews during the years of torment in Europe. To the best of our knowledge this event is the only one in the world dedicated to recognizing the heroism of those Jews who tried to avert the…

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B’nai B’rith Europe Present at Re-Opening of the Grand Synagogue in Edirne, Turkey

B’nai B’rith Europe Present at Re-Opening of the Grand Synagogue in Edirne, Turkey

B'nai B'rith Europe was present at a historic event – The re-opening of the Grand Synagogue in Edirne. Opened in 1906 after the big fire destroyed the existing dozen synagogues who served one of the largest Jewish communities on the Balkans at the time. About 20,000 Jews used to live in Edirne/Adrianopol and so, Sultan Abdulhamid ordered to…

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Daniel S. Mariaschin, Executive VP of B’nai B’rith International says no to a UN-imposed settlement

Daniel S. Mariaschin, Executive VP of B’nai B’rith International says no to a UN-imposed settlement

Negotiations – tough ones involving give and take – are the only path to effectuate an end to the conflict. The United Nations is hardly a neutral arbiter when it comes to Israel. In fact, the UN's anti-Israel views routinely border on hysteria. In agency after agency at the United Nations, Israel is a pariah, held to an impossible standard; it is judged as no other nation is judged.

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With Ballots Counted, Netanyahu Scores Dramatic, Decisive Victory in Israeli Elections

With Ballots Counted, Netanyahu Scores Dramatic, Decisive Victory in Israeli Elections

With almost all the ballots counted for Israel’s general election held today, the ruling Likud party of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has scored a dramatic and decisive victory over the rival Zionist Union party.

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An Open Letter from Polin Lodge in Warsaw

An Open Letter from Polin Lodge in Warsaw

Please find attached an open letter expressing our opinion on the public debate regarding the monument of the "Saviors of Survivors" to be built in Poland.Best regards. Sergiusz Kowalski President B'nai B'rith Lodge Polin

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B'nai B'rith Delegation Addresses Latest UNHRC Attack On Israel In Visit to Geneva UN

B'nai B'rith Delegation Addresses Latest UNHRC Attack On Israel In Visit to Geneva UN

(Washington, D.C., March 13, 2015)—B’nai B’rith International sent its annual leadership delegation to Geneva to advocate on urgent issues facing the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), including the body’s just deferred “Commission of Inquiry” report on the Israel’s conflict with Hamas during the summer of 2014, the continuing abuse of the Jewish state more generally at the council, Iran's destructive…

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B'nai B'rith France Invited to the European Parliament by the Delegation for Relations with Israel!

B'nai B'rith France Invited to the European Parliament by the Delegation for Relations with Israel!

The President of the Delegation for Relations with Israel at the European Parliament, Mr Fulvio Martusciello, wished, after the terrorist attacks in Paris and Copenhagen, to invite Bnai B'rith France, AJC Global Jewish Advocacy and the European Union of Jewish Students to a delegation meeting on February 26, 2015 in Brussels.  

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Cancellation of the unveiling ceremony of the holocaust monument in Kavala, Greece

Kavala memorial 1

Sunday 17th May was meant to be a day of remembrance for the 1,484 Greek Jews of the town of Kavala who were annihilated by the Nazis. A long-planned Holocaust memorial was to be officially unveiled in the center of the city.

Instead, thanks to the disgraceful decisions by the mayor of Kavala, Dimitra Tsanaka - fuelled apparently by a combination of anti-Semitism and idiocy – the event was cancelled in a fiasco that (rightly) provoked international condemnation.

In an inexplicable and deeply offensive decision, Tsanaka, backed by the majority of the municipal council, decided to postpone the unveiling ceremony because the memorial - a Holocaust memorial to the Jews killed in WWII - bore the star of David. 

According to the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, the mayor of Kavala asked for the star's removal before the monument could be officially presented.

The shocking decision was immediately condemned by both Jewish groups and the Greek central government and was reported on extensively by the international press.

The Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KISE) attacked the decision as “unacceptable, immoral and insulting.” 

Many in Kavala also objected to the decision which was damaging to the reputation of the city.

About 100 people including 4 sisters from Israel whose parents had come from Kavala and Komotini and who had been killed in the concentration camps, marched through the city of Kavala today condemning the cancellation of the memorial unveiling ceremony. Some wore symbolic yellow stars of David during the silent protest.

The group marched on the town hall where they were met by the mayor.

According to Kavala-Portal, Tsanaka reportedly apologized for the incident which she attributed to a ‘huge misunderstanding’. She provided assurances that the memorial would be installed as planned on a date that would be decided on together with KISE – likely to be on June 7th.

 

However while Tsanaka admitted having made mistakes – it is notable that she did not acknowledge that one of those had been requesting the removal of the Star of David from the memorial. “Perhaps” she said, “I was wrong to trust so much the deputy mayor of culture, Michalis Lychounas, who took on entirely planning the event and the memorial. That was my mistake.”

 

But Mr Lychounas himself, in an article written about the incident in the Kathimerini newspaper, indicates that there was something perhaps deeper behind the disgraceful episode. After describing the many delays in actually succeeding in getting the memorial ready (it was actually first approved by the municipality in 2004 but was plagued with foot-dragging and interminable delays), Lychounas writes that:

“The preparations with all relevant organs continued with the goal of a celebration of memory, but also of the future, until the cries of horror were heard: “The symbols of Lucifer (Star of David), indifference over our dead (make a memorial for the Greeks killed of Asia Minor), a global Zionist conspiracy, freemasonry, the new order of things which seeks to destroy the nation and hysteria over supposed protests” were the arguments…The bitter truth is that there remains a segment of the Greek population which has powerful anti-Semitic feelings based on ignorance and prejudice and the education system does not do enough to eliminate the phenomenon.”

It is now up to Tsanaka to prove that such anti-Semitic prejudices have no place in the local government of Kavala.

Source: www.thetoc.gr- The Times of Change

 


Our condolences to Brother Yves Kamami

All the brothers and sisters of B'nai B'rith Europejoin to send their condolences to Yves Kamami for the passing of his father. Barouch Dayan Haemet.

The last of the founding brothers of Norgeslosjen passes away

Sammy Steinman zal




On 1 May 2015 ex-president Samuel "Sammy" Steinmann z''l passed away, 91 years old.

Sammy was one of the founding brothers of Norgeslosjen in 1952, and his passing represents a watershed in that we no longer have any of our founding brothers at our midst.

Of perhaps far more significance, Sammy was also the last survivor of all the Norwegian Jews who were deported to the concentration camps during the Second World War. In all, 772 Norwegian Jews were deported, of which only 34 returned.

After the war, Sammy returned to Oslo where he continued the family clothes business. He married and had three children, and was an active member of the Jewish community in Oslo, amongst other as president and active member of B'nai B'rith. Despite his social and outgoing nature, it was not until the early 1990s that Sammy first started talking about the horrors he endured during the war. Since then, and until the very end, he gave testimony in public, to schools, universities and on TV, not least in the 2012 TV documentary "The Tram to Auschwitz" which focuses on Sammy's story from when he was arrested by Norwegian police and escorted on the tram to the centre of Oslo, until returning to Oslo on 17 May 1945. For his tireless efforts Sammy was awarded the King's Medal of Merit (Gold) in 2012.

As a sign of respect to Sammy, and also to the other Norwegian Jews who perished and to the Norwegian Jewish community of today, Sammy's funeral was attended by H.R.H King Harald, the Prime Minister and other senior Norwegian officials.

Our deepest condolences go out to Sammy's family and friends.

On behalf of B'nai B'rith Norgeslosjen,

Alexander Levi
President

 

Helping Nepal!


nepal 1

B'nai B'rith Europe shares the sorrow  of the people of Nepal in these difficult moments and sends its condolences to the families of the victims.

We wish to express our solidarity by participating in the coordinated  humanitarian aid actions with BBI and IsraAid. Please help the victims and their families by sending your emergency humanitarian aid donations to our Special Actions account under the mention: Relief Fund Nepal
B'nai B'rith Europe
IBAN: BE95 7320 0748 9158
SWIFT CODE: CREGBEBB
RELIEF FUND NEPAL

Centenary of the Armenian genocide




Armenian genocide


Today we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. 24 of April corresponds to the eve of April 24 1915, when 200 Armenian leaders were arrested, and later executed.

 Before the oppression started in 1894, Armenians were around 3 million people in the actual territory of Turkey. Turks were the same number and, the rest of the population was composed of many other nationalities.

From 1879, the Ottoman Empire Grand Vizir, expressed his wish to “make the Armenian people disappear forever.

In 1894, the Turks started the massacres, forced conversions, and gradually the destruction of the Armenian people had become State organised. The destructions reached a peak in 1914.One million and half perished either from massacres, starvation or deportations…

Most non-Turkish scholars of the events regard them as genocide - as do more than 20 states, including France, Germany, Canada and Russia, and various international bodies including the European Parliament.

Turkey rejects the term genocide, maintaining that many of the dead were killed in clashes during World War One, and that many ethnic Turks also suffered in the conflict.


 A 100 years after, we, B’nai B’rith remember and send our thoughts and prayers to the the Armenian people.