B’nai B’rith

By Deane Barker

This is a Jewish non-profit service organization founded in 1843 that promotes Jewish rights and identity, and fights anti-Semitism.

It’s pronounced “bi-nay brith” (like “breath”, but with an “i” sound). The name comes from the Hebrew “benē brīth,” which means “Sons of the Covenant.”

From their website:

B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens, and a leader in disaster relief.

The organization is devoted to promoting various Jewish causes around the world. Some notes from their website in December 2021.

Their 2020 annual report showed revenues of $6 million. This seems low, given that I found NY Times articles from the late 60s and early 70s showing budgets in the high teens ($16.7 million in 1971, for example).

The annual report showed that 80% of revenue came from “contributions and other support.” Less than 10% came from “member dues.”

The organization can be controversial. They are an unapologetic defender of Israel and Jewish identity, which means they commonly come into conflict with pro-Palestinian and Arab organizations. They commonly issue official statements condemning people and actions they consider anti-Semitic.

B’Nai Brith created the Anti-Defamation League in 1913, but the two organizations split and the ADL became an independent organization.

Why I Looked It Up

I don’t remember. I think I saw it in a news article. I knew it was a Jewish organization, but I never knew how to pronounce it, much less what it did.

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