B’nai Brith Honors Adolf Kraus, Former President of Order

(Jewish Daily Bulletin)

The honorary degree of the Covenant, “Na’asse V’Nishma.” the highest honor of the Independent Order B’nai Brith, was conferred for the first time in the history of the Order upon Judge Adolph Kraus, president of the Order for twenty years, at a banquet last night at the Drake Hotel. The banquet was given in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus on the occasion of their fiftieth wedding anniversary.

The honorary degree was conferred by Rabbi Louis L. Mana, assisted by Rabbis Joseph Stolz, Gerson B. Levi, Julian Gusfield, Felix A. Levy, Tobia Schanfarber, Solomon Freehoff, Harvey R. Wessel. George Fox, S. Felix Mendelsohn, David Rosenbaum, Jacob Singer, Abraham Hirschberg, Samuel Schwartz, Charles Sydney, Saul Silber, Philip A. Laugh, Morris Teller, A. L. Lassen, Abraham Horowitz, B. A. Daskal, David Almond and Joseph H. Margolies.

Mr. Kraus has been a member of the B’nai Brith for fifty-five years, twenty of which were spent as head of the Order. In addition to his activities with the Order, Mr. Kraus was president of the Chicago Board of Education, Corporation Counsel, and advisor to Mayor Carter Harrison during the World’s fair. He was head of the Jewish delegation to the Russo-Japanese Peace Conference at Portsmouth, New Hampshire in August 1905. This delegation, which included Jacob H. Schiff, Isaac N. Seligman, Oscar Straus, and Adolph Lewisohn, placed before Count do Witte a demand for the cessation of the pogroms in Russia and according to the Jews of that country of civil and political rights. He participated in the effort which led to the abrogation in 1911 of the Commercial treaty between the United States and Russia because of the refusal of the latter to honor passports issued to American citizens of the Jewish faith. President Taft presented to Mr. Kraus the pen with which he signed the Order of Abrogation. Mr. Kraus was the founder of the Anti-Defamation League of the Independent Order B’nai Brith.

Alfred M. Cohen, president of the Independent Order B’nai Brith, Dr. Boris D. Bogen, Executive Secretary, and other prominent members of the Order were among those who came to Chicago to attend the banquet and witness the presentation of the degree.

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