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NEWS - Lodges and B'nai B'rith updates

Article by Henry L. Newton

In 1872 a cousin of my great grandfather of my maternal family – his name was Mark Sokolosky – was a member of the Vicksburg Lodge (Missouri, USA). He received the B.B. Gold Medal for his "heroic and humane work" during the yellow fever epidemic at that time.

My paternal grandfather and my father were founder members of the Maimonides Lodge in Nuremberg. My maternal grandfather Wilhelm Sokolosky, was a member of the Montefiore Lodge in Berlin.

Isle and I joined the B'nai B'rith in 1951, later my son Anthony and my daughter Irene joined, so did then our daughter-in-law, our son-in-law and our sister-in-law.

We are proud that our B'nai B'rith connection goes back to about 122 years or more. In the 1979 issue of the B'nai B'rith Journal, photos were illustrated of four generations of Neuburger-Newtons. We wonder if this is a record of B'nai B'rith membership.

One year after B'nai B'rith was founded in New York, Moritz Neuberger was born in Nuremberg in 1844. In due course he became a founder member of the prestigious Maimonides Lodge and a great benefactor of many Jewish causes.

His son Julius Neuberger, also born in Nuremberg, joined his father's Lodge, but Moritz's grandson Henry in England, joined the Leo Baeck Lodge with his wife Ilse in 1952.

And now, a fourth generation B'nai Brith, Anthony Newton is very much involved Past Vice President of the Leo Baeck Lodge, member of the Finance Committee and Hon. Secretary of the Leo Baeck Housing Association Limited.

Congratulations Brother Anthony on your B'nai B'rith family tree. Can anyone beat it?



Senior Vice President B'nai B'rith Europe

Participating: Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia

A bridge is built in order to extend your world, in order to explore the other side...

On a bridge, we may walk in opposite directions and yet we are walking towards each other...

This multi-purpose project is made necessary and gains in urgency with each racist manifestation, each act of discrimination and intolerance, each anti-Semitic incident, each tolerated extreme right parade through the streets of Europe!!!


(Nov. 29, 2012) - B’nai B’rith International and B’nai B’rith Europe condemn the Nov. 29 vote at the United Nations General Assembly to grant non-member observer “state” status to the Palestinians. The Palestinians’ unilateral effort to upgrade their status is a violation of signed agreements with Israel. Furthermore, it defies insistence by the international Quartet for Middle East peace, of which the U.N. itself is a member, that progress be made through direct negotiations between the parties.

The vote was 138 in favor and 9 against in the 193-seat General Assembly, with 41 abstentions. This could further allow the Palestinians to advance their goal of “internationalizing” the conflict with the Jewish state and initiating judicial scrutiny of Israel’s efforts at self-defense in the face of relentless terrorism. The Palestinians will be accorded the same degree of recognition as the Vatican.

B’nai B’rith especially commends the United States for its consistently strong position on this issue, and the other countries that voted against: Canada, Czech Republic, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Panama. These nations clearly recognized that this is not an appropriate way for the Palestinians to create a new state. In bypassing negotiations the Palestinians are making it clear they have no intention of dealing directly with Israel in good faith.


(Nov. 28, 2012)

B’nai B’rith is outraged over a Hungarian politician’s proposal to compile a list of Hungarians with Jewish ancestry to be evaluated for what he describes as their level of threat to national security. This is a new low for the Jobbik party, a group that is already rife with anti-Semitism. Hungary and the rest of Europe should look at this as a serious matter and take action against this political entity that endorses ultra-nationalist policies.

A leader of the far-right Jobbik party, Marton Gyongyosi, suggested on Nov. 27 to the Hungarian parliament that those of Jewish descent be listed and evaluated as to whether they pose a national security threat. His comments were made during a debate on the Israel-Gaza situation, in which he claimed the Hungarian government was continually siding with Israel.

“This blatant anti-Semitic effort is an unacceptable outrage,” B’nai B’rith International Allan J. Jacobs said. “Gyongyosi must resign from parliament. His actions reveal the bigoted intentions of the Jobbik party. Mainstream politics and responsible political actors in Europe must take this seriously and denounce it.”

The Jobbik party is the third largest party in the Hungarian parliament. It is known for making controversial statements on the Holocaust and displaying vehement anti-Israel hatred.

“It is flatly unacceptable that there are members of the Hungarian parliament who demonize Jews,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said. “The Jobbik party is an embarrassment to Hungarian politics and should be repudiated.”

During the Holocaust between 500,000 and 600,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered.

BBE Secretary General gives well-presented round-up of European activities

(written by Wally Sacks)

So what’s going on in Europe? B’nai B’rith Europe, that is. Twenty-one miles of water may separate us from the continent but it can seem like an ocean apart when it comes to knowing about the activities of BBE.  All of which made Wednesday 31st October rather special in BBUK terms. That’s the evening  Leo Baeck Lodge had the privilege of welcoming BBE Secretary General Yves-Victor Kamami who, in wide-ranging PowerPoint presentation, managed to detail a most impressive round-up of BBE activities.


“Your help is urgently needed” says Erika van Gelder.

70% of the children of the Athens Jewish community are pupils of the Jewish school.  For 50 years the school has been providing Jewish education and is the community’s central point for disseminating Jewish identity to children between the ages of 2.5 and 12.


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