B’nai B’rith Europe is playing a vital role in Jewish communities around Europe. It offers access to safe and affordable housing for low-income seniors and advocacy on vital issues concerning seniors and their families. B’nai B’rith Europe also offers diversity education and helps improve the situation within communities in crisis.
“Tzedaka” is one of the core values of Judaism. Helping the less fortunate, the sick, the elderly and fellow human beings in times of calamities, is indeed our way of life. The concept of solidarity was and is the “raison d’etre” of our organization, B’nai B’rith.
In 1999, the Dutch government, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, offered support from the Nazi Persecutee Relief Fund to survivors of the Nazi persecution in Central and Eastern Europe. B’nai B’rith Europe applied for a grant and got US $1.2 million for humanitarian aid projects in six countries: The Ukraine (Kiev and Lviv), Romania, Russia (St. Petersburg), Latvia and Lithuania: in these countries we subsidized food supplies and medical care. In Hungary the project was devoted to the renovation of the Centre for mentally challenged adults.
A solidarity trip to Israel
During last summer’s Gaza conflict, the B’nai B’rith Europe executive committee organized a Solidarity trip to Israel. As part of the program, organized by Alan Schneider, Director of BBI World Center Jerusalem, the participants visited several small towns and Kibbutz closed to the Gaza Strip. They met with Yair Farjun, the Mayor of Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, who advises them of their needs, one of them being the portable school shelters.
Upon their return, the participants recommended B’nai B’rith Europe to follow up this worthy project.
In May 2015, during the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism in Jerusalem, the President of BBE, Erika van Gelder, together with other members of BBI, met the Mayor of Hof Ashkelon, Yair Farjun in order to discuss the details of the project.
BBE is proud to announce that a donation of 10.000 euro, for a portable shelter, was sent to the Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, Hofim elementary school which is situated at less than 2 miles from the border with the Gaza Strip.
B’nai B’rith Leopolis Charitable Fund, Lwow and B’nai B’rith Kiev Programme
Since 2001, B’nai B’rith Kyiv and B’nai B’rith Leopolis successfully holds the project of giving high quality food and medication to the elderly, lonely, poor, disabled, socially unprotected Jews, Nazi Victims, as well as the Righteous Among the Nations (people who saved Jews during the Holocaust).
The pensions of Ukraine are at such a low level, it often can lead to extreme poverty, and many of these people could physically survive only thanks to food parcels and pills provided by this lodge. The main aim of the project is to satisfy basic human needs of these people by giving them food, health support and to preserve their human dignity.
Supporting education and sports
The Norway Norgeslosjen Lodge has provided financial support to the Jewish kindergarten in Oslo, as well as to the Pierre Gildesgame football tournament for a few years now. This year, 2018, the tournament was hosted in Oslo. The tournament is an annual event, and attracts participation from Jewish football teams from the Nordic countries, Israel and, this year, Estonia.
The project ‘Foster GrandParent Plan, Romania’
This project has been running since 2002. Two volunteers from the Bucharest B’nai B’rith Lodge (Forum Dr. Moses Rosen), together with the local Jewish social services, made a list of needy, old and sick Jewish people. These people live alone at home and do not get assistance from other organizations. Their monthly income is 30-50 euro. From this they cannot pay the rent, electricity, food, medicine and the needed help in the house. Each of them is physically and or mentally disabled. The local volunteers visit each of the people on the list in Bucharest and the provinces and put together a social-medical dossier that is up-dated twice a year, each time just before they get the financial aid from us. We send the aid in two parts: once during the summer and once during the winter.
The Jewish Medical Center, Bucharest, has the same financial problems as the Old Age Home. We helped them by sponsoring some equipment for the department of ophthalmology and stomatology as well as medicines and vitamins.
The B’nai B’rith lodge, Forum Dr. Moses Rosen, Bucharest, got some financial help from the B’nai B’rith lodge of Netherlands (Amsterdam) and from France for helping the needy during the Pesach holiday (food packages) and to organize picnics for the ambulance residents of the Old Age Home.
New furniture for the Jewish old age home in Sofia
In the late nineties we sponsored new furniture for the Jewish old Age home in Sofia. In 1998-99 we helped finance a bone marrow transplant for a child who suffered from leukemia. The transplant was done in Jerusalem at the Hadassah Medical Center. For the last few years we help sponsor a project done by the B’nai B’rith loge Carmel Sofia, for Holocaust Education for high schools.