English versionFrench version
BBE sponsors portable school shelter for elementary school in Israel

BBE sponsors portable school shelter for elementary school in Israel

During last summer’s Gaza conflict, the BBE executive committee organized a Solidarity trip to Israel. As part of the program,…

Unveiling Ceremony of the plaque in memory of Erika van Gelder z"l

Unveiling Ceremony of the plaque in memory of Erika van Gelder z"l

On Sunday 3rd July, on the occasion of a reunion of the BBE Executive Committee and a visit from BBI executive, BBE…

B’nai B’rith Meets with European Commission Coordinator to Combat Anti-Semitism

B’nai B’rith Meets with European Commission Coordinator to Combat Anti-Semitism

B'nai B'rith Europe President Daniel Citone, B'nai B'rith Europe Vice-President Valerie Achache and B'nai B'rith International Director of EU Affairs…

A delegation of B'nai B'rith leads MEPS on a mission to Israël

A delegation of B'nai B'rith leads MEPS on a mission to Israël

B’nai B’rith International led several members of the European Parliament on a five-day visit to Israel. This trip promoted the…

B'nai B'rith Young Professionals' Trip to Luxembourg

B'nai B'rith Young Professionals' Trip to Luxembourg

B'nai B'rith Europe and B'nai B'rith Young Professionals (BBYP) UK took a group of over 40 people to Luxembourg from…

President of B’nai B’rith Europe visit in Auschwitz

President of B’nai B’rith Europe visit in Auschwitz

President of B'nai B'rith Europe visit in AuschwitzSerge Dahan, President of B'nai B'rith Europe and Member of the Executive Committee…

Press Release B’nai B’rith Europe

Press Release B’nai B’rith Europe

B'nai B'rith Europe co-organised a conference in the European Parliament for the International Women's Day. B’nai B’rith Europe co-organised with…

Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2015 JoomlaWorks Ltd.

Welcome to the B'nai B'rith Europe website


The New International Don Isaac Abravanel Lodge opens in Israel



Bratislava, Slovakia, 2nd December 2013

by Eva Salnerová, President of B'nai B'rith Tolerancia Bratislava
On December 2, B´nai B´rith Tolerance in Bratislava, Slovakia hosted the Bridges of Tolerance (MOSTY TOLERANCIE) project. The event took place in the old historic building of Pisztory Palace which was confiscated in the past by the Communist government and turned into Lenin´s Museum. Among the invited guests was the Senior Vice-president of B'nai B'rith Europe, Erika van Gelder. The first event was a discussion entitled „Bridges of Tolerances versus Antisemitism". The guests were prominent personalities from Slovak political and cultural life. Member of Parliament and head of the Foreign Affairs Committee, František Šebej; a historian specializing on the war-time Slovak State, Ivan Kamenec, and a political analyst and director of the Institute of Public Affairs, Grigorij Mesežnikov. The moderator of the debate was Ľuba Lesná, a writer and journalist, member of B'nai B'rith Tolerance.

                                             SEBEJ               KAMENEC

                                                         Frantisek Sebej                                                        Ivan Kamenec

The discussion focused on the increasing number of antisemitic incidents across Europe, its manifestations, causes, consequences. Kamenec quoted pieces of legislation and statements during the Holocaust in Slovakia and drew parallels with the situation in Slovakia. Mesežnikov offered results of a survey dealing with attitudes to the Jews, stressing that hatred and intolerance of Jewish people has had a growing tendency all over the Europian Union. Šebej highlighted the fact that intolerance of Jews often hides behind anti-Israel sentiments.

In the evening a monodrama written by BB Tolerance member Ľuba Lesná was based on the story of Mahler´s niece Alma Rose who was a prisoner in Auschwitz concentration camp. It was followed by a presentations by two leading experts, Ján Vyhnánek and Adrian Rajter. Vyhnánek presented photographs and stories about Jewish musical life in Bratislava and Rajter, musician and son of a well known Slovak musician recalled the work and life of his father and his Jewish contemporaries.

The audience included many personalities from Bratislava cultural and social life. They showed great interest and took an active part in our event.

We would like to thank B'nai B'rith Europe, but especially Erika van Gelder for initiating the project. We would also like to express our appreciation to our sponsors the Hilleel Lodge Amsterdam and the Lodge from Copenhagen.



B'nai B'rith is saddened by the loss of former South African President Nelson Mandela, who will be remembered as one of the 20th century's leading figures and the man who led the transformation of his country from one of apartheid to majority rule.

Mandela, 95, died after years of failing health. Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and was the first democratically elected president in post-apartheid South Africa, holding the position from 1994 to 1999.

As president, Mandela worked to create a multicultural society after years of minority rule. His new government in post-apartheid South African wrote a new constitution, investigated human rights abuses by the previous regime, tackled the issue of racism in his country and focused on helping the poor and disenfranchised.


European Day of Jewish Culture 2013 in Belgrade

Article by Branko Snap, President of the B'nai B'rith Lodge Serbia

For the seventh time, the B'nai B'rith Lodge of Serbia organized and funded the celebration of the European Day of Jewish Culture. This year it was a concert given by the Jewish Chamber Orchestra and the Serbian-Jewish Choral Society of Baruch Brothers.

The Jewish Chamber Orchestra was founded in 2012 by Professor Ladislav Mezei in cooperation with the B'nai B'rith Lodge Serbia of which he is a member. The orchestra members are Jewish professional musicians and their friends. The orchestra is established with the aim to show to its environment the music of Jewish and non-Jewish composers who wrote on Jewish themes. Performances are related to the tradition, culture and history of the Jewish community of Serbia as part of Jewish Europe.

The Serbian-Jewish Choral Society Baruch Brothers from Belgrade was founded by the Jewish Community of Belgrade in 1879 as the Serbian Jewish Choral Society. After the Second World War, in 1952, the society renewed its work, adding to its name the memory of the three brothers from the Baruch family from Belgrade who perished in the Holocaust. It is believed to be the oldest active Jewish choir in the world, constantly performing both at home and abroad.

This year's concert was given at the Kolarac University, Belgrade's most prestigious concert hall. It was attended by over 800 people including the representatives of the Republic of Serbia, City of Belgrade, foreign embassies, celebrities and other public figures. All of the concerts have been free of charge.

Members of other lodges of B'nai B'rith Europe can enjoy this concert by watching the video hereunder



In close cooperation with the Frankfurt B'nai B'rith Schönstädt Lodge B'nai B'rith Europe organised the first Young Leadership Seminar this year from 18th to 20th October. Some 50 young people from many parts of the world participated (France, Turkey, Switzerland, Israel, Russia, Germany and even 4 delegates who came specifically from Argentine.)

One of the major reasons for the success of this seminar was the all-round support provided by our Treasurer Brother Kurt de Jong, and the organising team expresses its sincere thanks to him.

The proceedings began on Erev Shabbat in Frankfurt's main synagogue, followed by a Kabbalat meal in the rooms of the Frankfurt Lodge, where the participants were welcomed by Ralph Hofmann, John Reeves and young lodge members Sister Dr. Toni Singer, Jewgenij Singer, Vice-President of the Frankfurt Lodge and Dr. Adrian Strack, Lodge Council member. Participants were welcomed in every one of their languages, leading to a good deal of laughter. Allan J. Jacobs, President of B'nai B'rith International was present throughout the seminar. Sacha Stawski, Director of Honestly Concerned and organiser of this year's Israel Congress in Berlin, addressed the group on the subject of press reporting on Israel.

A Shabbat morning service was organised in the lodge premises, led by Rabbi Soussan, Rabbi Friberg and Beni Marokko. The serious part of the seminar began after the Kiddush with a discussion on "How do you build up the interests of young people in the lodge?" led by the younger lodge members Dr. Adrian Strack, Jewgenij Singer and Kirill Boguslavski. Lunch was followed by a discussion on the anti-Semitism prevalent in the various countries, in Russia, in Turkey and in France. Rabbi Soussan spoke of the difficulty encountered by many young Jews in finding a suitable partner.

A Question and Answer session, involving Allan Jacobs and Ralph Hofmann, produced some interesting questions such as:
• What was your route to the Presidency?
• How do you think lodges can attract young people?
• Do you think that lodges should have quotas on matters of gender?
• Should lodges have age limitations for their Council members?
• What is your view of Jewry in the diaspora?
• How do you see the relationship with the State of Israel?

Jewgenij Singer had put these questions together. The two Presidents gave their views which showed up some of the different standpoints between USA and Europe.

Participants were particularly impressed by the talk by Stephan Kramer, General Secretary of the Central Committee of Jews in Germany. His subject was "Lobbying" and he emphasised the vital need for Jews to speak with one voice if one wished to achieve results.

The Havdala ceremony, led by John Reeves, and accompanied on the piano by Marina Lebenson, was particularly moving. Dinner was followed by party time on a party boat, "King Kameah Boat", with all sorts of music, including Israeli music, and entertainment, lasting well into the early hours. Despite the late night, everybody turned up next day at 11-30 for the concluding discussion which contained one important message: the number of participants for such a seminar – 50 people – is absolutely right to enable people to get to know each other and to establish worthwhile contact.

The weekend concluded with a fascinating sightseeing tour led by Rabbi Andrew Steinmann visiting old Jewish Frankfurt. The old ghetto of Frankfurt was the oldest of Europe and traces remain to this day.

                                 A Happy Sightseeing Group

This was a seminar for young people, run by young people, who found the whole experience very worthwhile. The Frankfurt team has decided to repeat the exercise next year, again limiting the numbers to about 50. They deserve our appreciation and congratulations.

Summary of a report by Simone Hofmann


B'nai B'rith pauses to recognize the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht—the Night of Broken Glass.

Across Germany and Austria on Nov. 9-10, 1938, at least 96 Jews were murdered; more than 1,000 synagogues were set on fire, nearly 7,500 Jewish-owned businesses were destroyed, and countless community centers, libraries and homes were attacked, looted and destroyed. About 30,000 Jews were rounded up and sent to concentration camps.

These horrific acts marked the beginning of the Nazi genocide against the Jews of Europe.

We must work to ensure the passing of time never undermines the memory of what occurred.


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). 

Valeriu Zgonea
There is a DVD about the whole event you can watch hereunder.


Page 33 of 36