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NEWS - Lodges and B'nai B'rith updates


Yesterday, 1st October 2015, B'nai B'rith Europe held a working brunch in its renovated office with several organisations that were attending the two days colloquium organised by the European Commission on "Tolerance and respect: preventing and combating anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim hatred in Europe" on 1st and 2nd October.

President of B'nai B'rith Europe, Erika Van Gelder and Vice-President of B'nai B'rith Europe Valerie Achache chaired the meeting. Serge Dahan, President of B'nai B'rith France also attended the event.

The idea behind this meeting was for Jewish and pro-Israel European NGOs such as BBE to become familiar with each other's work and ultimately to create leverage through an ad-hoc task force with coordinated efforts on common topics of interest.

The American Jewish Committee/Transatlantic Institute, the European Alliance for Israel, Europe Israel Public Affairs, the European Jewish Association, the European Jewish Centre, the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists and the World Jewish Congress were represented along B'nai B'rith Europe.

Everyone in the assembly introduced themselves and described their organisation's core interests.

Creating a definition of antisemitism at EU level modelled on the US definition seems to have aroused most present organisations interest as a possible way to work together. Another one was to increase antisemitism awareness amongst civil servants and magistrates in charge of implementing hate crime laws.

B'nai B'rith Europe would like to turn this meeting into a regular event, and hopes that working hand in hand with other organisations will make a positive change for Israel and the Jewish community in Europe.

If you wish to join please contact Anouk Abrahams at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
"The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present a food offering to the LORD" Leviticus 23 27(altMaurycy Gottlieb 1878
References provided by Gilberte Jacaret

Amsterdam, 9/9/2015

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

A new year is about to begin. The Jewish people all over the world will be praying for peace , for tolerance, for mutual respect ...They will voice their hopes for a better year to come, a year without violence, a year without suffering, a year that would bring solace to humanity. Then on Yom Kippur, each of us, individually, will make his/her peace with G-D and his fellow man.

We, the members of B'nai B'rith, chose this path because we believe in these high moral standards, we mean to do good, we want to repair the world, make it a better place in which our children and children's children have a future.

We must stay strong and united in a world where anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism have become part of the widely accepted political discourse. We must stay strong and united faced with the ever growing terrorist threats from all corners of the world.

We, who know what it means to be refugee, unwanted and destitute, must never forget the hundreds of thousands of refugees, men, women and children living in appalling conditions behind barbed wire. As a Jew, as a human being, as a member of B'nai B'rith, we must help. Indifference, doing nothing, is not an option.

I wish all of you and your loved ones, a healthy, sweet Rosh Hashanah, peace for Israel and hope for a more humane new year.

Erika van Gelder
B'nai B'rith Europe President
Europe is struggling to deal with the influx of 350,000 refugees — mostly displaced Syrians fleeing the brutality of the Islamic State militants and the ongoing civil war — who have risked their lives crossing the Mediterranean to reach Europe. The trend shows no sign of slowing as war and turmoil across the Middle East and North Africa drive millions of people from their homes.

Humanitarian aid is one of B'nai B'rith core mission, and with the largest influx of refugees in Europe since WWII, B'nai B'rith Europe wants to take a stand. Together with B'nai B'rith International, we collect funds for IsraAID. For over a decade, IsraAID has been helping people all over the world overcome extreme crises and has provided millions with the vital support needed to move from destruction to reconstruction, and eventually, to sustainable living.

IsraAID will send a team that will provide food and supplies, as well as assisting authorities and local organizations to improve the psychosocial well-being of the refugees and assist in absorption efforts, the organization said.

 “As a nation that has suffered the atrocities of the Holocaust, and routinely stands in the face of threats, we can’t not extend a hand to help the tens of thousands of asylum seekers looking for refuge after fleeing the atrocities in the Middle East and Africa,” IsraAid’s founding director Shachar Zehavi said in a statement.

Let's make this statement our one too, as a people that suffered atrocities let's show them we care.

You can help by donating on this special account:

IBAN: BE95732007489158
"Refugee relief"

All of BBE executive committee and members sent their heartfelt condolences to David and his family.

You are in our hearts and in our payers.

VA summer boat party UK

Around 75 young people attended the Launch Event for B'nai B'rith UK's new 'Young Professionals' (2545) group, which was a Summer Boat party on the Thames.

Guests arrived at Tower Pier, to board the Erasmus, a fully-staffed Thames Luxury Charters boat, between 7 and 8pm, on a bright summer's evening.

The guests entered on the lower deck, where they 'signed in' and completed a short survey about themselves and what type of B'nai B'rith events they would like to attend in the future.

Each guest received a complimentary Pimms on arrival and made their way upstairs to the main deck.

At 8pm the boat departed the dock, and Valerie Tesler, B'nai B'rith Events Director welcomed everyone on board, including Valerie Achache from B'nai B'rith Europe (BBE Vice President and BBI Junior Vice-president for Europe) who had come from Brussels, and thanked people for coming to celebrate the launch of BBUK's new initiative for Young Professionals.

A short film about B'nai B'rith was screened to introduce the organization and showcase its work.

The party goers chatted and mingled while taking in the sights of the Thames, from either the top deck, where they could chill out and relax in the rattan furniture, or on the boat's main deck.

The boat's bar staff were on hand for additional drinks, while the DJ played the latest tracks. Some guests ventured onto the dance floor to strut their stuff, while others took photos of eachother, against the backdrop of the Thames' landmarks views as the sun set.

Many guests expressed their interest in B'nai B'rith and its work and asked if future events were planned.

"I had a lovely evening; good food, great music and it was very pleasant to cruise along the Thames, enjoying all that London has to offer", said Natalie. "I look forward to coming to more B'nai B'rith events for Young Professionals in the future."

"I would very much like to get involved in B'nai B'rith and help plan more events for this age group", said Louisa.

The evening finished on a high as the boat returned to the spectacular view of Tower Bridge illuminated in pink against the dark.


VA et Tony Etherton

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