Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Independent Order of B'nai Brith (Hebrew: "Sons of the Covenant") is the oldest continually-operating Jewish service organization in the world. It was founded in New York City by Henry Jones and 11 others on October 13, 1843. The organization is engaged in a wide variety of community service and welfare activities, including the promotion of human rights, assisting hospitals and victims of natural disasters, awarding scholarships to Jewish college students, and opposing racism and anti-semitism through its controversial organization, the Anti-Defamation League.
Besides its welfare activities, B'nai Brith is also a vocal supporter of the state of Israel. Its has created in 2002 a initiatives called 'BBYO 4 Israel' joinly the the AIPAC.
Also, until 2001, B'nai Brith sponsored the B'nai B'rith Youth Organization (BBYO), which is now BBYO, Inc. BBYO is the oldest Jewish youth group (for high schoolers), and is parent organization to the Aleph Zadik Aleph (AZA), a fraternity, and B'nai B'rith Girls (BBG), a sorority.
B'nai Brith Canada
The Canadian section of B'nai Brith was founded in 1875 and is the country's oldest Jewish service organization. In recent years it has competed with the Canadian Jewish Congress as "the voice" of Canada's Jewish community and is considered to be the more outspokenly conservative body of the two, particularly in its publication Jewish Tribune which is more openly right-wing than the more moderate Canadian Jewish News, which is more closely linked to the CJC. B'nai Brith Canada (BBC) is also considered to be closer to the Likud in its view of Israel and Zionism than CJC which is officially non-partisan when it comes to Israeli politics. In Canadian politics, though both groups are officially non-partisan, several former senior officials in the CJC, such as former President Irwin Cotler have run as candidates for the Liberal Party of Canada while Frank Dimant , executive director of B'nai Brith, considered running as a candidate of the right wing Canadian Alliance in the 2000 Canadian election.
B'nai Brith was widely criticized after its Ontario chairman for B'nai Brith's Institute of International Affairs in October 2004 made a statement on The Michael Coren Show in Canada, saying Israel's use of state-sponsored terrorism is justified to protect its citizens. Additionally, the groups has also been critisized for demonizing militia groups.
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