Two men, two destinies, one ideal "The Man through the Cause"
On September 24th, over a hundred people attended our traditional Sukkot evening that, since 2007, has become the "tribute evening " of the Henry Dunant Lodge of B'nai B'rith in Geneva.
Integrated in the 65th anniversary of the State of Israel, the evening was dedicated to the similar destinies of two great men who moulded the future of Israel : Baron Edmond James de Rothschild and David Ben Gourion. Prepared and hosted by our Brother David Nahmany with the participation of Mrs. Elizabeth Antébi, historian and author, it enabled us to learn how these two great men, with the same ideal, achieved, one his mission and the other his dream.
Bucharest, Romania - 20-22 October 2013 By Erika Van Gelder
The project Bridges of Tolerance was extremely well received by the Romanian public (Jews and most importantly by non-Jews), by the government, by the Romanian Parliament, by the Press and by National Television. None of this would have been possible without our brother, colleague and friend Jose Iacobescu, President of the Forumul Dr. Moses Rosen, Bucharest. His extensive network helped to open the doors of the Parliament, of the Ministry of Culture, of the Institute of Romanian Culture, of the Mayor of the city of Bucharest, of the General Director of the Romanian Athenaeum and of many others, too numerous to mention. These were the co-sponsors of the project. I must also mention the two Jewish organizations, the Federation of the Jewish Communities, Romania and the Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania "Elie Wiesel" who assumed the responsibility of organizing and sponsoring one workshop each.
The opening ceremony
The opening at the Romanian Athenaeum was amazing. If you are interested in a virtual tour you could go to: http:// tour.fge.org/ro. It seats 800 people and it was completely full. After opening speeches by Jose Iacobescu, by myself and by the President of the Chamber of Deputies of the Romanian Parliament, Valeriu Zgonea, the Romanian Doctors Symphony Orchestra and the Choir of the Romanian Symphony performed for more than one hour. After the concert, champagne and hors d 'oeuvres were served for 800 people. The TV was also present and took interviews. The realization of such a grandiose event was made possible through the sponsorship of the Romanian Parliament, the Philharmonic Orchestra George Enescu, the Institute of Romanian Culture (among others).
There is a DVD about the whole event you can watch hereunder.
As a signal of close friendship between Christians and Jews, "the Menorah for outstanding humanitarian achievement" was presented to the Archbishop of Vienna.
Vienna, 23rd October 2013. On Tuesday evening, the Palace of Vienna's Archbishop saw the festive presentation of the B'nai B'rith Europe "Menorah for outstanding humanitarian achievement" to Cardinal Christoph Schönborn. The Archbishop was greatly moved by this honour from a Jewish organisation. "There are many things which we want in common," he said, "such as the respect for freedom, the respect for the religious beliefs of every person". In this context Schönborn said that the discussions concerning circumcision had perplexed him greatly since this was a matter of freedom of religion and therefore one of the pillars of every democratic state. There are also many things which Christians and Jews together do not want" the Cardinal stressed. "We do not want to see anti-Semitism raising its head again, we do not want to see people being despised, we do not want to see the spread of violence and intolerance and we do not want to see a repeat of what happened on 9th November 1938 when synagogues were burning in Vienna." His links to the Jewish community are a part of his family history, explained Schönborn. His mother brought him and his siblings up "with a great love of Judaism and of Israel". That is why he now wants to continue the work started by his predecessor Cardinal Franz König in his efforts to build bridges between the two religions. In conclusion, the Archbishop of Vienna recalled the words of the prophet Isaiah: "From Zion goes out the law" (Isa. 2,3). In the Ten Commandments the Menorah lights the way for all people.
B'NAI B'RITH CELEBRATES 170 YEARS OF GLOBAL SERVICE
B'nai B'rith has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. Now in our 170th year, B'nai B'rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a leader in disaster relief, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a staunch defender of the State of Israel. With a presence in more than 50 countries, B'nai B'rith is the Global Voice of the Jewish Community.
Rosh Hashana 5774 Message from Ralph Hofmann, President of B'nai B'rith Europe
Dear Sisters, Dear Brothers
We have once again arrived at that point in the year when we need to ask ourselves what good deeds we have fulfilled in keeping with the objectives of our order and what steps we have taken to remember those Sisters and Brothers who have passed away.
As many of you are certainly aware, the entire B'nai B'rith family mourns the recent passing of our dear Brother Joseph H. Domberger S'L, Honorary President of BB Europe. His work of rebuilding B'nai B'rith in Europe was without equal. All who knew him and worked closely with him will miss his advice and his amazing gift of being able to find a peaceful solution to the most difficult problem. May Joe and his beloved wife Jacqueline rest in peace.
On behalf of my colleagues of the B'nai B'rith Europe Executive Committee I thank you for the work which you are doing in your Lodge, a decisive contribution to maintaining our beloved B'nai B'rith active and alive.