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NEWS - Lodges and B'nai B'rith updates

Organisé par la Loge Sigmund Freud du B'nai B'rith France qui s'est tenu les 1 et 2 décembre à la mairie du 3ème arrondissement de Paris
 
 « Tout d'abord merci à tous ceux qui se sont déplacés pour venir participer au colloque "Universels ?" qui a eu lieu les 1 et 2 décembre derniers à la mairie du 3ème arrondissement de Paris. La loge Sigmund Freud est heureuse d'avoir accueilli plus de 120 personnes en cumulé, et de leur avoir proposé de penser et d'échanger sur la question de l'Universel.
 
Il faut fraternellement remercier nos soeurs et frères qui ont proposé et mené ce projet, pour faire de ce colloque une réussite.

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B'NAI B'RITH CELEBRATES CHANUKAH AT THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT IN STRASBOURG
 
B'nai B'rith was one of the co-organizers of EuroHanukah in the European Parliament in Strasbourg during the fourth evening of Hanukah. The event was sponsored by Mr. Boris Zala, Socialist member of the European Parliament from Slovakia and co-organized by the European Jewish Public Affairs, the Slovakia-Israel Chamber of Commerce and the American mobile company at&t. After the lighting of the Menorah there was an exhibition about the Jewish lost city of Bratislava. The gathering counted with more than 50 members of the European Parliament and diplomats from the Israeli Mission and other Embassies. The Honorary Consul of Israel, Mr. Gilbert Roos, a member of B'nai B'rith International, lighted one of the candles.

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ProfessorSimonLauerWhen and where were you born?
My parents felt very happy at the birth of their only child, in March 1929, in Mannheim (Germany), although just at this time men in brown shirts first marched in town.
 
Tell us something of your early life and the history of your family
My mother was the eldest daughter of Rabbi Dr. Simon Eppenstein who for the last decade of his short life served as a lecturer at the Berlin Rabbinerseminar. My father, Rabbi Dr. Chaim Lauer, was called, in 1924, to work with the elderly Rabbi of the Klaus, Dr. Isac Unna, one of Germany's leading orthodox rabbis. When, in 1935, Dr. Unna retired and joined the majority of his children in Palestine, my father remained the sole rabbi of this congregation. So, I best remember life in the Klausapartement in the complex of the Klaus. No doubt, my father would have remained with his congregants to the bitter end; they were deported to terrible camps in Southern France and further on. However, as we already were citizens of Switzerland, the Swiss consul urged us, right after the night of pogrom on November 9th, 1938, to return immediately to Switzerland; which we did. Already a fortnight before, I was woken very early in the morning by steps and voices from the staircase: Students of the yeshiva of Polish origin but paperless were arrested to be deported to the no-man's land at the German-Polish border. One of the German students gave me regular private lessons in chumash with Rashi. Moshe Perlmann eventually joined Kibbutz Tirath Tzevi and achieved some fame as a musicologist. It so happens that just a little while ago I met his son, a well-known producer and teacher of Israeli theater. As from 1935, even before the ill-famous racial laws were promulgated, Jewish children had to attend Jewish schools only. I have no positive recollection at all from my ways to and from school.

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B'nai B'rith's challenge to find a successful path in the 21st century
 
WallySacksRealWorkBeginsThe Sixth Young Jewish Adult Forum came and, in that indefinable manner that all exciting events - large or small - are predetermined to experience, it has passed into glorious history. That it was a success, both from the academic and social point of view, is undeniable. Held in a hotel in Hampstead, the venue proved to be a good choice from the size point of view - it gave the 180 delegates from 20 countries just the right amount of space without losing the essentially intimate nature necessary in an event of this kind. Its Hampstead setting was also a wise choice for engendering the necessary city atmosphere so essential if the event was not to end up more like a rural weekend break.
 
The hard work in organising the event - a close contender for the best organised forum so far - certainly paid off. The programme was comprehensive: a panel discussion, a BB workshop, a gala dinner dance with a live band, the opportunity to attend Shabbat service at the nearby South Hampstead Synagogue plus a fitting finale of a coach tour of London's sights before departing.

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Ralph-HOFMANN-ChanukahDear Sisters
Dear Brothers
 
Several days ago Simone and I had the privilege of dining with our Frankfurt Community Rabbi Menahem Halevi Klein and his wife Chedva. We discussed a number of worrying problems. Rabbi Klein made the point, as we bid each other good bye, that the history of our people and our very survival is based on miracles. Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah 90 when Isaac was born. Since that time our people has constantly been threatened with destruction and has not only survived but now has the State of Israel of which we can be proud.
 
The year 2012 has not been a good year for the Jewish people. Anti-Semitism in Europe and in the whole world has gathered pace in the most frightening manner, something which nobody could have expected. The discussions in Germany about circumcision have sent a false signal to other countries, and the general attitude in France has helped to foster anti-Israel outbursts.
 
One of the highlights of this year has been Gilad Shalit's participation at the recent Young Jewish Adult Forum in London, organised by BBE and BBUK. Look at the BBE website for the full story. One of the reasons why we run the YJAF in a different city each year is to make B'nai B'rith better known locally and to attract young people as BB members. This year's result in the UK has been most satisfactory since a good number of young people expressed interest in becoming members of a UK Lodge. Many of the participants of our Forum are young, busy professional adults, around 30 years old, and some of them living with a non-Jewish partner. It is clear that the Forum presents an excellent opportunity to find a Jewish partner. This whole question of mixed marriages is a worry to many parents. Hopefully, B'nai B'rith can do something to reduce the number of mixed marriages, both as a result of this type of Forum but also through the work which we should be doing in our communities.
 
I ask you also, Sisters and Brothers, to think of Tzedaka (of charitable endeavour) in your daily lives and in your work within B'nai B'rith. Jews are obligated to help those less fortunate than themselves. Chanukah is a good time to bear that in mind.
 
Together with my colleagues on the Executive Committee of B'nai B'rith Europe, I send you and your family my best wishes for Chanukah. We wish you good health, a happy Chanukah festival and we pray for peace in our beloved Israel.
 
With my fraternal greetings
 
Ralph HOFMANN
President B'nai B'rith Europe
 

Théo Tobiasse, member of the Côte d'Azur Lodge in Nice passed away on Sunday November 5th at the age of 85. Born in Israel, he had moved to Nice and at the liberation to Saint-Paul-de-Vence.

He was famous for his artwork in painting, sculpture, carborundum engraving, pastel, drawings, pottery and stain-glass windows. He became a member of the Lodge in 1969 and donated a special artwork made for the Lodge representing the emblem of B'nai B'rith, the Menorah. The last piece he made for the Lodge in 1996 is also a painting representing a Menorah indicating that it has been specially made for the 50th anniversary of our Lodge.

He will be remembered for his kindness, his devotion to the Jewish cause and will be missed by all.

As we were about to issue this publication, we were informed of the sad passing of Brother Piero Cassuto, President of the Isidoro Kahn Lodge in Livorno on Tuesday November 27th. Piero Cassuto was the first President of this Lodge that was installed mid-March 2009.

He was born in 1934 and many were his commitments to the Jewish Community of Livorno, from his role as a young member of the board when the new synagogue was inaugurated until he became President in the early eighties. He was also continuously active in the defence of the State of Israel

We present our deepest condolences to his wife, to his family and to the members of the Isidoro Cassuto Lodge, may the Almighty comfort them with all the other mourners for Zion and Jerusalem.

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