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NEWS - Lodges and B'nai B'rith updates

B'nai B'rith Europe strongly condemns the boycott of the waterpolo game in Spain and regrets the lack of respect of the Olympic spirit
Serge Dahan belle image


A women's water polo match between Israel and Spain scheduled for Tuesday was left without venue due to pressure from anti-Israel boycott activists. This match which is part of a European championship is a preliminary to the world water polo league. The Municipality of Barcelona backed down under the pressure of BDS boycott movement, and decided first to cancel the competition before relocating it.

Originally, the match was to be held in Molins de Rei, near Barcelona, but due to pressure from the CUP party and BDS activists, it has been decided to hold the Match in Barcelona. Ms Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona refused to host the competition.

B'nai B'rith Spain and the Licra actively contributed to ensure the game goes ahead and backed up Israel's Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev in the efforts to prevent the BDS movement from blocking the game. The match was finally held on Tuesday 6th of November in Sant Cugat in secondary level premises.

"This is totally unacceptable" said Elie Azancot, President of B'nai B'rith Spain. "The situation in Spain is critical, we have witnessed many anti-Semitic decisions in our city, including the invitation of Leyla Khalid, a Palestinian terrorist".

B'nai B'rith Europe stronlgy condemns the decision of the municipality of Barcelona, infuenced by the BDS movement which opposes the very existence of the State of Israel, a member of the United Nations.

Furthermore, at this occasion the Municipality of Barcelona was not aligned with the Olympic philosophy and its fundamental principles. Olympism says that "the enjoyment of rights and freedoms to practice sport should take place without discrimination of any kind, such as race, colour, sex,sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status". Olympism is based on the non-discrimination principle.

Serge Dahan, President of B'nai B'rith Europe congratulates B'nai B'rith members in Spain and the LICRA for ensuring the match is held despite the illegal boycott.
Dear Mentors, dear Presidents, dear Members of B'nai B'rith Europe,

As President of B'nai B'rith Europe I warmly congratulate the new executive board of B'nai B'rith International, in particular Charles O. Kaufman for becoming the 32nd president of B'nai B'rith International.
In the name of B'nai B'rith Europe Executive Committee I wish him and his board much success in our common mission.

I have the pleasure to send you the press release celebrating 175 years of B'nai B'rith, reporting on the International Leadership Forum in which B'nai B'rith Europe was represented by a delegation.

Serge Dahan,
President of B'nai B'rith Europe

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A SALUTE TO 175 YEARS OF HISTORY, ACTION AND ADVOCACY

B'nai B'rith Concludes Leadership Forum in Honor of 1843 Founding

(New York, Oct. 16, 2018)—One-hundred-seventy-five years of action, advocacy and service were on full display during the B'nai B'rith International Leadership Forum in New York. Over three days, leaders, members, supporters and donors looked back at the indelible history of the organization that traces its founding to the Lower East Side of New York, on Oct. 13, 1843.

At this year's forum, Charles O. Kaufman of Austin, Texas was elected president for a three year term. Kaufman, with decades of service to B'nai B'rith at the local, national and international levels, noted: "Organizations that celebrate 175 years — and there aren't that many of them — have a strong mission, great resolve for success and an impressive ability to innovate. B'nai B'rith has built a proud history because we've shown that being nimble, bold and committed are keys to longevity."

Seth J. Riklin of Sugar Land, Texas was appointed Chairman of the Executive. B'nai B'rith also installed new senior vice presidents: Brad Adolph, Hawthorn Woods, Illinois; Scott D. Knapp, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Roberto M. Nul, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Rebecca Anne Saltzman, Centennial, Colorado; Stéphane Teicher, Paris, France; Morris Tobias, Melbourne, Australia; re-elected Treasurer A. Michael Gellman, Potomac, Maryland; re-elected Chief Justice William K. Peirez, Great Neck, New York. Gary P. Saltzman, the outgoing president who chaired the forum, was elected Honorary President.

A featured event of the celebration was a gala dinner held on Oct. 15 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. There, B'nai B'rith honored pillars of the Jewish community and celebrated our dedication and commitment to the community at the grassroots and global levels over the last 175 years.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres sent special greetings to the gala: "Thank you for being such strong and long-standing supporters of the United Nations. You were present at the San Francisco conference in 1945; you have been an accredited non-governmental organization since 1947; and today you remain a dynamic presence as we strive to build a world of peace, prosperity and dignity for all." And the secretary-general later noted: "Often been called 'the oldest hatred' anti-Semitism should have no place in the 21st century. Indeed, the origins of the United Nations itself are rooted in the need to learn the lessons of the Holocaust. Being true to our Charter means combatting anti-Semitism across the world, and I am strongly committed to being in the forefront of the fight against it and against all forms of discrimination."

Corporate and community leaders honored with the Jewish Heritage Award during the gala, were prominent attorney Kenneth J. Bialkin; Andrew Borans, former executive director of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity and executive vice president of the Alpha Epsilon Pi Foundation; Susan Goldberg, editorial director of National Geographic Partners and editor in chief of National Geographic Magazine; Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman and CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations; active philanthropists and community leaders Adam and Gila Milstein; and David Yarus, founder of mllnnl and JSwipe.

Chip Kahn, president and CEO of the Federation of American Hospitals and the recipient of B'nai B'rith's 2016 National Healthcare Award, which has recognized exceptional trailblazers in the health care industry for more than 30 years, was the evening's emcee.

The evening examined B'nai B'rith's founding 175 years ago, and showcased how the organization was an incubator for many of today's Jewish communal groups.

"B'nai B'rith is a unique and pivotal organization," B'nai B'rith CEO and Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin, who also delivered a key note address during the forum, said. "We meet with leaders in the fields of diplomacy and religion, at the U.N. and elsewhere around the world. We've evolved and expanded our mission over our 17-and-a-half decades, but our founders would still recognize our commitment to Tikkun Olam — making the world a better place."

B'nai B'rith also hosted a conversation with Ambassador Dani Dayan, the Consul General of Israel in New York, at a luncheon discussion, part of our on-going Diplomatic Encounter Series. "Israel is stronger, more prosperous and has a better relationship with the world than we've ever had," Dayan said. He went on, "Strength is a necessity," but noted it isn't an Israeli aspiration.

At the same diplomatic encounter event, we conferred an award for Outstanding Contributions to Holocaust Memory upon Kimberly Mann, chief of the Education Outreach Section of the United Nations Department of Public Information.

A panel discussion on The Crisis of Zionism in "Progressive Spaces" looked at the challenges facing Zionists today, where too often, they are denied a voice on issues of equality and justice. Panelists Ann Lewis, Democratic Party strategist; Amanda Berman, president/CEO, Zioness; and Emily Shire, journalist, talked about how we can work to overcome those who seek to dehumanize and alienate Zionists. "The word 'Zionist' is so sullied we have to reclaim it," Berman said. "If we had challenged the narrative all along, we wouldn't be so far behind."

B'nai B'rith also recognized the incredible energy of top young leaders who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and commitment to the work of B'nai B'rith. Five outstanding individuals received the Label A. Katz Award, given to exemplary individuals under the age of 45 who have demonstrated exceptional service to the totality of B'nai B'rith and have worked to achieve the goals of the B'nai B'rith Young Leadership program. Frank Goldman, Denver, Colorado; Scott D. Knapp, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Jessica Kreger, Plantation, Florida; Roni Sarfati, Petah Tikvah, Israel and Tali Schwartz, New York City, were recognized for their leadership skills and dedication to the organization.

With a depth of expertise and knowledge, B'nai B'rith Subject Matter Experts held an interactive dialogue on some of B'nai B'rith's top advocacy efforts: fighting for global human rights; advocating for Israel; promoting tolerance, finding inter-religious commonalities; combating anti-Semitism and the odious BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) movement; supporting seniors; and providing humanitarian aid around the world.

Credit text B'nai B'rith Media Relations
Serge Dahan President of B'nai B'rith Europe supports the position of Bulgarian Lodge regarding the honors confered by Bulgarian Ministry of Defense to former member of pro-facist Union of Bulgarian National Legions

Statement from B'nai B'rith Bulgaria

Sofia Lodge "Carmel" B'nai B'rith 335 strongly objects to the decision of the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense to confer honors on Dianko Markov former member of the pro-fascist Union of Bulgarian National Legions.
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The officials at the ministry seem to have forgotten the obligations of our country as stipulated in Part II, Article 4 of the Paris Peace Treaty of 1947 which states: "Bulgaria, which in accordance with the Armistice Agreement has taken measure for dissolving all organizations of a Fascist type on Bulgarian territory, whether political, military or paramilitary, as well as other organizations conducting propaganda hostile to the United Nations, shall not permit in future the existence and activities of organizations of that nature which have as their aim denial to the people of their democratic rights.

"This act of official recognition bestowed on a member of the Union of Bulgarian National Legions is in complete violation of the aforementioned article. The awarded recognition institutionalizes the glorification of persons with proven past and present Nazi affiliations and adds the Republic of Bulgaria to the shameful list of countries where Nazism and Fascism are favored at government level.

We are grieved to admit that this conduct comes as no surprise for it was only a year ago when the Prime Minister Borisov ordered that Ivo Antonov, an outspoken supporter of Adolf Hitler, be dismissed, nevertheless, the latter is still holds his post as government official at the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense.

Sofia Lodge "Carmel" B'nai B'rith 335
one of the oldest Jewish organisations in Bulgaria
Serge Dahan President of B'nai B'rith Europe supports the position of Bulgarian Lodge regarding the honors confered by Bulgarian Ministry of Defense to former member of pro-facist Union of Bulgarian National Legions

Statement from B'nai B'rith Bulgaria

Sofia Lodge "Carmel" B'nai B'rith 335 strongly objects to the decision of the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense to confer honors on Dianko Markov former member of the pro-fascist Union of Bulgarian National Legions.
dia
The officials at the ministry seem to have forgotten the obligations of our country as stipulated in Part II, Article 4 of the Paris Peace Treaty of 1947 which states: "Bulgaria, which in accordance with the Armistice Agreement has taken measure for dissolving all organizations of a Fascist type on Bulgarian territory, whether political, military or paramilitary, as well as other organizations conducting propaganda hostile to the United Nations, shall not permit in future the existence and activities of organizations of that nature which have as their aim denial to the people of their democratic rights.

"This act of official recognition bestowed on a member of the Union of Bulgarian National Legions is in complete violation of the aforementioned article. The awarded recognition institutionalizes the glorification of persons with proven past and present Nazi affiliations and adds the Republic of Bulgaria to the shameful list of countries where Nazism and Fascism are favored at government level.

We are grieved to admit that this conduct comes as no surprise for it was only a year ago when the Prime Minister Borisov ordered that Ivo Antonov, an outspoken supporter of Adolf Hitler, be dismissed, nevertheless, the latter is still holds his post as government official at the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense.

Sofia Lodge "Carmel" B'nai B'rith 335
one of the oldest Jewish organisations in Bulgaria
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"On the tenth day of this seventh month you shall have a holy convocation..."


Dear Sisters, dear Brothers, dear Friends,

A few hours before Yom Kippour, surrounded by your families and your closed ones,
I you wish you Hatima Tova.

May you be registered in the book of life
May this year bring to you happiness and health.

Serge Dahan
President of B' nai B' rith Europe




« Le dixième jour du septième mois, ce sera pour vous une sainte convocation... »

Chères Sœurs, chers Frères, chers Amis,

A quelques heures de Yom Kippour, entourés de vos familles et de vos proches,
je vous souhaite Hatima Tova

Que vous soyez inscrits dans le livre de la vie
et que cette année vous apporte bonheur et santé.

Serge Dahan
Président du B'nai B'rith Europe
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From left to right: Angelos Kolokouris, Theologos Symenonidis, Evangelos Valiotis,
Alkiviadis Stefanis, Adamantia Tzanetea, Stavros Argitakos, Dan Mariaschin, Victor Batis

B'nai B'rith Philon Lodge in Greece co-organised the conference
"SPARTA-ISRAEL – RENEWING AN ANCIENT FRIENDSHIP"

An international conference titled "Sparta-Israel: Renewing an Ancient Friendship" has successfully taken place in Sparta, Greece, on September 2 & 3 2018. The conference was organised by the Municipality of Sparta, B'nai B'rith Philon Lodge and the Greek-Israeli Cooperation Institute. In a broader sense, the Sparta-Israel Conference aimed at a deeper acquaintance and mutual understanding between Greeks and Israelis, following the historically recorded friendship between ancient Sparta and the People of Israel.

The participants were welcomed on behalf of the organisers by Dr. Angelos Kolokouris, President of the Greek-Israeli Cooperation Institute. The Mayor of Sparta, Mr. Evangelos Valiotis officially opened the conference. A welcoming address was delivered by the Deputy Regional Governor and one of the conference sponsors, Mrs Adamantia Tzanetea. The keynote speaker on the first day of the conference was Mr. Dan Mariaschin, Executive Vice President and CEO, B'nai B'rith International, Washington, DC.

Distinguished speakers from Greece and abroad presented the archeological findings and historical research that confirm the existence of an ancient friendship between ancient Sparta and the People of Israel. Ensuing discussions explored modern day issues such as the possibilities for further cooperation between Greece and Israel and the future of Greek-Israeli relations.
Among the speakers were the Former Chief of the Greek Air Force, ret. General Theologos Symeonidis, Dr. Angelos Kolokouris, CEO of the AI Initiative, Professor Sophia Zyga from the University of Peloponnese, George Zisimatos, Managing Director of the Directorate for the Hellenic Armed Forces Real Estate Development, Dr. Anna Lambropoulou, Director, Institute for Historical Studies, National Institute for Research, Dr E. Lianos-Liantis, Special Secretariat for Cultural Diplomacy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Professor Noah Hacham from Hebrew University, and Professor Panagiotis Liargovas from the University of Peloponnese.
The conference ended with 2 interesting panel discussions facilitated by Dr. George Tzogopoulos, Senior Fellow, Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies. The two panels addressed (a) key aspects of geopolitics in the Eastern Mediterranean and (b) cooperation parameters and potential towards development and growth between for the two nations. These ground-breaking panels included Professor Spyros Litsas from the University of Macedonia, Professor Theodoros Tsakiris from the Unniversity of Nicosia, Professor Panagiotis Liargovas from the University of Peloponnese, Dr. Angelos Kolokouris, President of the AI Initiative, and Dr. Stergios Katichoritis, Architect-Civil Engineer.

The Army Chief of General Staff, Lieutenant General Alkiviadis Stefanis, honored with his presence the conference. The conference was also attended by representatives of the Peleponnese Regional Government, the Municipality of Sparta, and all the professional institutions of the area.
Conference sponsors were the Hellenic Post, the Greek National Tourism Organisation, and the Municipality of Peloponnese. Communication Sponsors were ERT2, ERT World, ERT3, First Program, the Voice of Greece, and ERT Tripoli.

Serge Dahan, President of B'nai B'rith Europe congratulates Victor Batis President of the Philon Lodge for co-organizing this distinguished conference.

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