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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,…

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Invitation to the 8th BBE Convention and BBI International Forum in Prague

Invitation to the 8th BBE Convention and BBI International Forum in Prague

B'nai B'rith Europe a divison of B'nai B'rith International Invitation to the 8th BBE Convention and BBI International Forum in…

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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…

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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…

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Working brunch with fellow Jewish organisations in renovated offices

Working brunch with fellow Jewish organisations in renovated offices

Yesterday, 1st October 2015, B'nai B'rith Europe held a working brunch in its renovated office with several organisations that were…

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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…

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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…

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Bridges of Tolerance

Bridges of Tolerance

A report of the event in Romania 3-5 June 2015

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Welcome to the B'nai B'rith Europe website

B’nai B’rith Commends Pope Francis Visit To Great Synagogue Of Rome


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B'nai B'rith Europe President Daniel Citone was in attendance when Pope Francis spoke at the Great Synagogue of Rome on Jan. 17. Franics is now the third pope to visit the synagogue. The event included speeches by Ruth Dureghello, the president of the Jewish community of Rome, and Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni.

The Pontiff spoke about the Holocaust and strongly urged to "say no to all forms of anti-Semitism, all insults, discrimination and persecution arising therefrom." In October of 1943 the Nazis deported more than 2,000 Jews from Rome. Francis also met with several Italian-Jewish Holocaust survivors and mentioned that his relationships with the Jewish people "are in his heart," and that previous "enemies and strangers" have now become "friends and brothers."

B'nai B'rith is gratified that the Catholic-Jewish friendship continues to grow and hold strong. We are pleased that the pope shares a commitment to create "an authentic relationship of friendship." This visit sends a clear and concise message to the world that the fight to end anti-Semitism cannot stop.

Source: B'nai B'rith International press relase

BBI Vice-President Eric Engelmayer's visit to the Elie Bloch Lodge in Metz

On January 10, BBI Vice-President Engelmayer, joined members of Elie Bloch Lodge and Armand Kraemer Sister Lodge from Metz (Alsace, France) for a full day.

On that day some Brothers and Sisters have been thanked and honoured. Patrick Hirsch, President of the Elie Bloch Lodge, remembered with emotion our regretted BBE President Erika van Gelder, who had inaugurated the new offices of the Elie Bloch's lodge on 15 February 2015. A minute of silence was then observed.

After new Brothers and Sisters were initiated, Eric Engelmayer described with great detail BBI's work. This presentation was of the utmost interest for the assembly who discovered a part of B'nai B'rith they did not know about. As a result Eric has been invited to regularly go and inform the lodge on BBI's work.

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Once all the lodge related activities had been wrapped up, a meal was organised and widows of former brothers had been invited.

A conference opened to all members of the Jewish community ensued and was presided by Ms Corinne Cahen, minister of Family affairs in Luxembourg. The conference touched upon the topic of the Refugees crisis in Europe.

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From left to right: Patrick Hirsch, President of the B'nai B'rith Elie Bloch Lodge, Minister Corinne Cahen, Gerald Rosenfeld, Vice-President of the B'nai B'rith Elie Bloch Lodge

Patrick Hirsch, President of Elie Bloch's lodge concluded it was a great day since the number of Brothers was increased at a time Jewish unity is crucial.

Informations taken from Brother President Patrick Hirsch's report, Elie Bloch's lodge, Metz.

Catholics should not try to convert Jews, Vatican says in landmark document

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Catholics should not try to convert Jews and should work with them to fight anti-Semitism, the Vatican said Thursday in a major new document that drew the Church further from the strained relations with Judaism of the past.

The document, "A Reflection on Theological Questions Pertaining to Catholic-Jewish Relations," was issued by the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, and approved by Pope Francis. It says Christianity and Judaism are intertwined, and that God never annulled his covenant with the Jewish people.

"The Church is, therefore, obliged to view evangelization to Jews, who believe in the one God, in a different manner from that to people of other religions and world views," it said.

"In concrete terms, this means that the Catholic Church neither conducts nor supports any specific institutional mission work directed toward Jews," said the document, adding that there was a "principled rejection of an institutional Jewish mission."

It also said Catholics should be particularly sensitive to the significance to Jews of the Holocaust and pledged "to do all that is possible with our Jewish friends to repel anti-Semitic tendencies."

"A Christian can never be an anti-Semite, especially because of the Jewish roots of Christianity," it said.

The document coincided with the 50th anniversary of a revolutionary Vatican statement that repudiated the concept of collective Jewish guilt for Jesus's death.

Until about 1960, prayers at Catholic Masses on Good Friday, the day commemorating the death of Jesus, labeled Jews "perfidious" and called for their conversion.

That prayer was eliminated from general use after the 1962-1965 Second Vatican Council introduced a new missal, or prayer book used at Masses.

In 2008, former Pope Benedict further reformulated the prayer used by the traditionalists to remove language Jewish groups found offensive, such as "the blindness of that people."

Thursday's document said Catholics should "bear witness to their faith in Jesus Christ also to Jews," but that they should do so in "a humble and sensitive manner, acknowledging that Jews are bearers of God's word..."

Rabbi David Rosen, the International Director of Interreligious Affairs for the American Jewish Committee, welcomed the new Vatican document.

Rosen and Dr. Edward Kessler of Cambridge University were invited to provide Jewish responses to the document following the approval of the document in the Vatican.

They joined Cardinal Kurt Koch and Father Norbert Hoffman, secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, in addressing reporters.

"Nostra Aetate revolutionized Catholic teachings about Jews and Judaism," said Rosen.

"The new 'Reflection' document clearly repudiates replacement or supersessionist theology and expresses an increasing appreciation and respect for Jewish self-understanding, reflected in recognizing the place of Torah in the life of the Jewish people," said Rosen.

However, the rabbi expressed disappointment that the new document fails to acknowledge "the centrality that the Land of Israel plays in the historic and contemporary religious life of the Jewish people," and the groundbreaking role of Nostra Aetate in leading to the diplomatic accord between the Vatican and Israel.

"The establishment of full bilateral relations between the State of Israel and the Holy See – very much guided and promoted by Saint Pope John Paul II – was one of the historic highlights on the road since Nostra Aetate, reflecting more than anything else the fact that the Catholic Church had truly repudiated its portrayal of the Jewish people as condemned wanderers to be homeless until the final advent," Rosen said.

"Without Nostra Aetate, the establishment of these relations would surely not have been feasible," Rosen added.

He praised the new document's emphasis on the responsibility of educational institutions, particularly those that train priests to integrate into their curricula both Nostra Aetate and subsequent Holy See documents pertaining to Jews and Judaism.

"This remains the most notable challenge in taking the achievements from their Olympian heights down to the grassroots universally," he said.

Source:

JEWISH CULTURE 219 by Gilberte Jacaret

Israel unveils 1,700-year-old mosaic

The Roman-era mosaic, discovered during the building of the visitor center in Lod, opened for public viewing mid-November.

A 1,700-year-old mosaic floor uncovered in Lod was opened for public viewing for the first time on Monday. The mosaic was discovered during the building of a visitor center meant to display another mosaic that had been found in the same place 20 years ago.

The discovery is part of a villa that was revealed during excavations undertaken by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) between June and November 2014. The dig took place in Lod's Neve Yerek neighborhood which was originally, according to the IAA's director of the excavation Dr. Amir Gorzalczany, "part of a neighborhood of affluent houses that stood here during the Roman and Byzantine periods.

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A portion of the 1,700-year-old mosaic uncovered in Lod. Photo : Israel Antiquities Authority)

"At that time Lod was called Diospolis and was the district capital, until it was replaced by Ramla after the Muslim conquest. The building was used for a very long time," Dr. Gorzalczany continued .

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Archaeologists working on the mosaic in Lod. Photo : Israel Antiquities Authority)

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A portion of the 1,700-year-old mosaic in Lod. (Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority)

The current excavations exposed the southern part of the complex that Dr. Gorzalczany is referring to. The finds include a large courtyard paved with a mosaic and surrounded by porticos, as well as portions of frescoes. According to Dr. Gorzalczany, "The quality of the images portrayed in the mosaic indicates a highly developed artistic ability."

The 11x13 meter mosaic will be available to view on Tuesday and Wednesday from 8am until 4pm and on Friday from 8am until 1pm.

Chanuka wishes from B'nai B'rith Antwerp

Hanouka sameah bb antwerp

Barouch Dayan Haemet: Our dear President Erika van Gelder has left us

We are deeply saddened to announce the parting of President of BBE Erika Van Gelder. All our thoughts and our prayers go to David, her husband, her daughters, Natalie and Sara, and her grand children.
She was a strong and determined woman, yet kind and very concerned for other people's well being.
She spent her life fighting against anti-Semitism and building bridges
She had a life live to the fullest.
She is, and will be sorely missed.
The funeral will take place on Sunday.

THE SILENCE
It started with some small incidents
"It's nothing, it's just a rogue",
They thought
Broken windows in Synagogues,
"Kids playing ball"
They thought...
Swastikas on Jewish tombs,
"They'll get those hooligans",
They thought...
Old men were beaten, young girls were raped
"It can't get any worst",
They prayed
Then, in the night the sirens blared
their names...
By dawn they were in Dante's flames.
Yet come the morrow,
Nothing was said and nothing was done...
Only the wind and smoke
Broke the silence
of their sorrow.

Erika van Gelder
Amsterdam, 22/5/2015

eulabeling

B’nai B’rith International and B'nai B'rith Europe are highly disconcerted that the European Union has approved and will soon publish guidelines that European countries can use to label Israeli products produced over the pre-1967 lines. The resolution introducing the guidelines was passed by the European Parliament in September and is an affirmation of the discriminatory goals of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

This latest anti-Israel measure rewards the Palestinians for their refusal to engage in constructive dialogue with Israel and puts off the possibility of resolution on this issue. It also encourages and reinforces the Palestinian narrative at a dire time when anti-Semitic incitement is thriving and there have been more than 60 knife, gun and car attacks on Israeli Jews.

The European Union would better spend its time encouraging Palestinians to get to the negotiating table, as these guidelines only prolong the process, rather than resolve it.

Also at play with this issue are the intellectual dishonesty and highly questionable intentions behind this decision. There are many other disputed regions in the world, but there is no movement to label products—making the double standard of this move apparent.

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