Daily Almanac for Thursday, October 13, 2022

On this date in 1843, The Jewish organization B’nai B’rith was founded

FROM WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

B’nai B’rith International (/bəˌneɪ ˈbrɪθ/, from Hebrew: בְּנֵי בְּרִית, romanizedb’né britlit.‘Children of the Covenant‘)[1] is a Jewish service organization. B’nai B’rith states that it is committed to the security and continuity of the Jewish people and the State of Israel and combating antisemitism and other forms of bigotry.

Although the organization’s historic roots stem from a system of fraternal lodges and units in the late 19th century, as fraternal organizations declined throughout the United States, the organization evolved into a dual system of both lodges and units. The membership pattern became more common to other contemporary organizations of members affiliated by contribution in addition to formal dues paying members. B’nai B’rith has members, donors and supporters around the world.

HISTORY

B’nai B’rith was founded in Aaron Sinsheimer’s café in New York City‘s Lower East Side on October 13, 1843, by 12 recent German Jewish immigrants led by Henry Jones. The new organization represented an attempt to organize Jews of the local community to confront what Isaac Rosenbourg, one of the founders, called “the deplorable condition of Jews in this, our newly adopted country”. The new group’s purpose, as described in its constitution, called for the traditional functions performed by Jewish societies in Europe: “Visiting and attending the sick” and “protecting and assisting the widow and the orphan.” Its founders had hoped that it soon would encompass all Jews in the United States, but this did not happen, since other Jewish organizations also were forming around the same time.

The German-speaking founders originally named the organization Bundes-Brüder (German for “Brothers of the Covenant”) to reflect their goal of a fraternal order that could provide comfort to the entire spectrum of Jewish Americans. Although early meetings were conducted in German, after a short time English emerged as the language of choice and the name was changed to B’nai B’rith. In the late 20th century, the translation was changed to the more contemporary and inclusive Children of the Covenant.

Despite its fraternal and local beginnings, B’nai B’rith spoke out for Jewish rights early in its history and used its growing national chain of lodges as a way to exercise political influence on behalf of world Jewry. In 1851, for example, it circulated petitions urging Secretary of State Daniel Webster to demand the end of Jewish disabilities in Switzerland, during on-going trade negotiations. Into the 1920s the B’nai B’rith continued in its political work by joining in Jewish delegations and lobbying efforts through which American Jews sought to influence public policy, both domestic and foreign. B’nai B’rith also played a crucial role in transnational Jewish politics. The later spread of the organization around the world made it a nerve center of intra-Jewish communication and mutual endeavor.

AWARDS

The Presidential Gold Medal is awarded by B’nai B’rith every few years to honor the recipient’s commitment to the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Recipients have included David Ben-GurionJohn F. KennedyGeorge H. W. BushStephen Harper and Golda Meir. The Gold Medal has been given to former Austrian chancellor Franz Vranitzky,[74][75] Australian Prime Minister John Howard, former German Chancellor Willy Brandt and former U.S. presidents Harry S. TrumanGerald R. Ford and Dwight D. Eisenhower. In 1969 Edwin Palmer “EP” Hoyt, as Editor and Publisher of the Denver Post for 25 years, was given the B’nai B’rith Man of the Year award for his tireless humanitarian work against bigotry in defense of Jewish people.

The B’nai B’rith book award was established in 1970. The first recipient was Ronald Sanders for his work The Downtown Jews.

Other awards include the “Jewish Heritage Award” and “Award for Outstanding Contribution to Relations with the Jewish People”.

B’nai B’rith membership certificate (1876), the predecessor organization to B’nai B’rith International. By Louis Kurz 1833-1921, for the American Oleograph Company, Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org

TODAY’S ALMANAC

Question of the Day

When were zippers invented?

First referred to as the clasp locker, or unlocker for shoes, the zipper was patented in 1893 by Judson Whitcomb.

Advice of the Day

Every cock is proud on his own dunghill.

Home Hint of the Day

If a hinge is set too deep, remove the hinge, insert a piece of paper or cardboard, and reinstall the hinge plate over the paper.

Word of the Day

Moon rides High/runs Low

The Moon is highest above or farthest below the celestial equator.

Puzzle of the Day

On what kind of ships do students study?

Scholarships.

Born

  • Mary McCauley (Molly Pitcher) – 1754
  • Theodore Gilmore Bilbo (politician) – 1877
  • Art Tatum (jazz pianist) – 1909
  • Herbert Lawrence Block (editorial cartoonist) – 1909
  • Cornel Wilde (actor) – 1915
  • Lenny Bruce (comedian) – 1925
  • Margaret Thatcher (former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom) – 1925
  • Paul Simon (musician) – 1941
  • Sammy Hagar (musician) – 1947
  • Lacy J. Dalton (singer) – 1948
  • Marie Osmond (singer) – 1959
  • Nancy Kerrigan (figure skater) – 1969
  • Ashanti (singer) – 1980

Died

  • Milton Hershey (American manufacturer and philanthropist) – 1945
  • Ed Sullivan (television personality) – 1974
  • Stephen Ambrose (historian) – 2002

Events

  • Cornerstone of the White House was laid– 1792
  • The Jewish organization B’nai B’rith was founded– 1843
  • Several countries adopted the Greenwich longitude as the prime meridian– 1884
  • The copyright for the melody Happy Birthday to You” was registered”– 1893
  • Boston Americans (now Red Sox) won first World Series– 1903
  • The Boston Red Sox beat the Philadelphia Phillies to win the World Series– 1915
  • William Golding’s novel, The Lord of the Flies, was published in New York– 1955
  • Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? opened on Broadway– 1962
  • Expo 86 ended in Vancouver, British Columbia– 1986
  • The United States Navy Memorial was dedicated, Washington, D.C.– 1987
  • Stock market dropped 190.58 points in what was called the Friday the 13th mini-crash– 1989
  • Thirty-three miners trapped underground for more than 2 months were rescued, Copiapo, Chile– 2010
  • A 5.1-magnitude earthquake struck central Oklahoma– 2010
  • Actor William Shatner became the oldest person, at age 90, to travel to space– 2021

Weather

  • A snowstorm hit New York City– 1937
  • Project Cirrus: 80 lbs. dry ice released onto hurricane– 1947
  • Up to 2 feet of snow blanketed Buffalo, New York, and surrounding areas– 2006

COURTESY www.almanac.com

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