History of B’nai B’rith

History of B’nai B’rith

In 1843, Henry Jones and 11 other German-Jewish immigrants gathered in Sinsheimer’s Café on New York’s Lower East Side to confront what Isaac Rosenbourg, one of B’nai B’rith founders, called “the deplorable condition of Jews in this, our newly adopted country.” Thus, B’nai B’rith (children of the covenant) was born. B’nai B’rith is the oldest Jewish organisation in the world.

The original members’ first concrete action was creating an insurance policy that awarded members’ widows $30 toward funeral expenses, and a stipend of one dollar a week for the rest of their lives. Each child would also receive a stipend and, for male children, assurance he would be taught a trade. It is from this basis of humanitarian aid and service that a system of fraternal lodges and chapters grew in the United States and, eventually, around the world.

B’nai B’rith is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people around the globe. It is a national and global leader in advancing human rights; Israel advocacy; ensuring access to safe and affordable housing for low-income seniors and advocacy on vital issues concerning seniors and their families; diversity education; improving communities and helping communities in crisis. 

Since 1843, B’nai B’rith has played a vital role around the world, making the world a safer, more tolerant and better place is the mission that still drives our organization.

In 1999, District 19 Continental Europe (all European countries and B’nai B’rith France) merged with District 15 United Kingdom to become B’nai B’rith Europe. B’nai B’rith Europe, as part of the worldwide Jewish organization B’nai B’rith International is dedicated to combating anti-Semitism as well as promoting tolerance and intergroup understanding around the globe according to its motto «Benevolence, Brotherly & Sisterly Love and Harmony».

B’nai B’rith Europe is actively represented in 25 European countries.