TOKYO (May. 11)
For the first time in B’nai B’rith International’s 139-year history, an entire Jewish community has decided to affiliate with BBI.
As a result of the efforts of B’nai B’rith International vice president Steve Rudman and honorary president Jack Spitzer, the Jewish community of Tokyo — some 90 families — has joined the world’s largest and oldest Jewish service organization.
The new group will be called “The Jewish Community of Japan,” the name of the Tokyo Jewish community center that houses a synagogue, Judaica library, kosher kitchen and mikvah. “The officers of the community will also be the officers of the B’nai B’rith group, ” said Seymour Reich, BBI membership chairman. “This will help ensure the continuity of their relationship with B’nai B’rith.”
The mass affiliation has its roots in a trip to Japan that Rudman made some two years ago. Then B’nai B’rith membership chairman, Rudman enrolled several members-at-large, including Leslie Blau, who soon became president of the Jewish community. Rudman reported that the Jewish community center was “a beehive of activity,” Last December, Spitzer visited Tokyo and with the assistance of Blau, “signed up” the remainder of the community.