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NEWS of the Lodges

This text was written by Erika Van Gelger,  Daniel Citone, Solomon Bali and Tomas Kraus, after they attended the meeting organized in Berlin for the 10 year anniversary of the Berlin Declaration

Berlin plus 10

The high-level conference on Anti-Semitism took place in Berlin on 12-13 November, 2014. The goal of this conference was to evaluate the progress made in the last 10 years since the Berlin Declaration in fighting Anti-Semitism in Europe. Unfortunately the continuous increase in Anti-Semitism, especially since the conflict in Gaza, made it necessary to remind governments of their commitments.


These very personal words of tribute were spoken by Tony Etherton, B'nai
B'rith UK National Treasurer, at the funeral of his wife, Jean (nee Spitz
B.Sc., Dipl. Inf. Sc.), Honorary Life President of B'nai B'rith UK. We are most
grateful to Tony and his family for allowing B'nai B'rith to use them as a most
fitting obituary to Jean.

Jean Etherton

Next March Jean and I would have been married for 50 years. This may sound like a
long time but it has gone in a flash. Jean came from the small mill town of Glossop
in Derbyshire. Her parents were refugees from the Anschluss in Austria and found a
safe haven in Glossop where they were offered work and acceptance.


These words were written by B'nai B'rith Europe President Erika Van Gelder, after the terrorist attack that took place in Antwerp against a Rabbi.


B'nai B'rith Europe would like to convey to our brethren in Antwerp the outrage we all feel for yet another barbaric act of terrorism against the Rabbi in Antwerp.

We are with you in our prayers for the Rabbi's speedy recovery.

More then ever we should all stand united and voice our condemnation and ask all our governments for safe guarding and upholding the universal values of human rights, a life lived in dignity and safety for all citizens.

We wish all of you strength in this difficult times.

Be safe,

Erika van Gelder
B'nai B'rith Europe president
This is a report by Jan Lerbletier, President of the B'nai B'rith Renaissance - Praha lodge in Czech Republic


It all started back in 2008 in Bratislava and since then BB lodges from Bratislava, Kosice, Prague and Budapest decided to take turn in organizing such annual event. When we learned the unfortunate news that Budapest cannot take care of the meeting this year (originally scheduled for June), we took a fast decision and invited the above lodges to get together and meet 24-26 October in the city of Mikulov (Southern Moravia). We appreciated that more than 70 brothers and sisters arrived and it was a great pleasure that also our good friend Erika van Gelder, the new B'nai B'rith Europe President, confirmed her presence. At the same time, we were very glad that representatives of the Polin Lodge from Warsaw came and joined us at this occasion.


This is a text by Sergiusz Kowalski, the President of the Polin Lodge in Warsaw.


On Friday and Saturday, the 24-26 of October, Zosia Jankiewicz, Frank Helling-Saphar and Sergiusz Kowalski from our lodge took part in a B'nai B'rith "Visegrad" convention (or one might say a BB "Habsburg" convention – since there were attendees from Austria and Hungary, and thanks to Kraków, Poland would qualify) in Mikulov, Moravia, not far south of Brno.
Our party could not stay for Sunday's activities, since we had to return to Warsaw for the opening of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, and our counterparts were kind enough to move the working meeting of the Lodge presidents with Erika van Gelder to Saturday.



The Benè Berith Giovani Rome - Stefano Gaj Tachè Lodge, which President is Mister Angelo M. Di Nepi, regained vitality over the 10 last months and is very active in the field of Tzedakà, training and interfaith dialogue:
To encourage the experience of studying and working in the State of Israel, the Lodge promoted a grant of € 500.00 for young deserving people between 18 and 30 years old with few economic opportunities. This scholarship was dedicated to Stefano Gaj Tachè.
During the last holidays of Purim and Pesach, the Lodge has been active in giving Torah classes and collecting funds for the construction of fod parcels intended for Jewish families in economic difficulties.
At the end of June, the Lodge sent its representatives to the interreligious meeting, the El Conference.
In July, it organized, together with other associations, a lecture at The Great Sinagogue of Roma with the Chied Rabbi of Rome, Riccardo Di Segni and Rav Colombo in memory of the three young Israeli boys killed by terrorism : Eyal, Gilad and Naftali.
Recently the Lodge purchased some siddurim for the sinagogue of Tel Aviv on Rehov Ben Yehuda, subject to a fire that destroyed everything, including many prayer books.

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