It is with great pride that I present to you our 2014 annual report. This report provides an opportunity to update you on the vital and vibrant work of our organization.
The pillars that support B’nai B’rith are as solid as ever. Our global presence, our policy expertise, our personal contacts at seats of government all combine to ensure we speak out for human rights, we support and defend Israel, we advocate for seniors—through our low-income housing program as well as by ensuring fair legislation—and we help communities recovering from natural disasters.
As the Global Voice of the Jewish Community, we embrace the trust you have placed in us to speak out when Israel is marginalized and to ensure world leaders know our cause. We have members and supporters in more than 50 countries all working together on the problems facing Israel and Jews throughout the world.
As president, I have the distinct privilege of being present in so many places to speak out against anti-Semitism. Travelling with B’nai B’rith leaders as well as colleagues from other Jewish organizations enables B’nai B’rith to show solidarity with the Jews of the world.
Again and again, I am reminded that our internationality is our strength. We had members, supporters and friends join us in the spring at the formal gathering of the United Nations Human Rights Council, where Israel is a permanent agenda item of scorn and derision. And with each meeting with governmental leaders and council members, I gain a renewed sense of purpose for why we attend these events: to remind the global community that someone is looking, watching and speaking out against injustice.
In August, through our annual Policy Forum (held this year in Panama City, Panama), I was able to see first-hand the issues our global B’nai B’rith constituents face. And I was reminded, again, that we are an unparalleled recognized and respected global voice for Jews the world over, when the president of Panama addressed our forum—his first remarks to his nation’s Jewish community since he took office.
I know as you review this annual report, you’ll appreciate our perseverance and dedication to our mission—a commitment that has not wavered in our more than 17 decades of service.
Allan J. Jacobs
The opportunity to reflect is one I cherish at the end of each year. In order to move forward successfully, we must understand where we came from, the obstacles we faced and the ones we overcame.
Over the course of more than 17 decades as a service organization, our dedication to Jewish issues, to human rights causes, to the welfare of senior citizens and to helping those in need hasn’t wavered.
B’nai B’rith is a bulwark against those who seek to delegitimize and demonize the State of Israel. From the halls of the United Nations to the offices of world leaders, B’nai B’rith is a constant, vocal presence, condemning the unjust treatment of Israel at global institutions and offering solutions for the fair treatment of Israel and parity on the world stage.
With dedicated staff members and volunteers around the world, we combat anti-Semitism and other human rights abuses, while promoting interfaith tolerance and acceptance.
From our groundbreaking work establishing housing for low-income seniors starting in 1968, we have become a recognized authority on issues vital to seniors’ well-being, such as lifelong access to medical care.
We step up to aid victims of disasters. This year alone, we allocated funds from our Disaster Relief program to help establish care and education projects in Africa to treat Ebola patients and curtail the spread of the deadly virus. And we launched a fund to help Israelis in the wake of the deadly Hamas rocket attacks into Israel.
We work every day for Jewish unity, security, continuity and tolerance. This work can only be achieved with the dedication of our remarkable volunteers, exceptional professional staff as well as the support and encouragement of so many within the Jewish community and beyond.
I know as you read this report, you will understand why I am immensely proud of B’nai B’rith’s role as the Global Voice of the Jewish Community.
Daniel. S. Mariaschin
Executive Vice President and CEO