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      The Order was founded October 13, 1843, by 12 men in New York who,
under the leadership of Henry Jones, organized at Sinsheimer's Cafe in Essex
Street. The first name chosen was Bundes Bruder which was later changed to
Independent Order of B'nai B'rith. At the 13th quinquennial convention of
the Order in Cincinnati in April 1930, the name was shortened to B'nai
B'rith. The first B'nai B'rith lodge was established in New York, November
12, 1843. On January 1, 1933, there were 403 lodges in the United States and
Canada, and 215 in 26 other countries throughout the world. Although
organized and for a time dominated by the German-Jewish element, it early
became a democratic organization and is today the only group in many
communities where Jews of all shades of belief may foregather. In the early
years the Order confined itself to the establishment and maintenance of
orphanages and homes for widows and the aged, and other eleemosynary
institutions, in addition to the work of Americanizing the flood of east
European Jews then pouring into the country. Recently, however, it has
extended its sphere so that today it supports the B'nai B'rith Hillel
Foundations, the Aleph Zadik Aleph, its junior auxiliary, the
Anti-Defamation League, and the "B'nai B'rith Magazine," a national Jewish
cultural monthly.  Since the depression, the Order is one of the leading
organizations to attack discrimination against Jews in industry. The present
Constitution of the Order was adopted in 1868 at which time Julius Bien was
elected president. He served until 1900 at which time he was succeeded by
Leo N. Levi upon whose untimely death in 1904 Simon Wolf became president ad
interim. In 1905, Adolf Kraus was elected president and held the office for
20 years to be succeeded by the present incumbent, Alfred M. Cohen, who was
elected in 1925 and reelected in 1930.

The secretaries were as follows:

M. Ellinger,  1868-79
M. Thalmessinger,  1879-90
Sol Sulzberger,  1890-1905
A. B. Seelenfreund,  1905-23
Leon L. Lewis,  1923-25
Boris D. Bogen,  1925-29
I.M. Rubinow,  1929

          I. M. Rubinow, M.D., Ph.D
          Sec. B'nai B'rith
          Cincinnati, O.

Source:  "The Encyclopedia of Jewish Knowledge" (in one volume)
Edited by:  Jacob De Haas (in collaboration with more than one hundred and
fifty scholars and specialists)
Publisher:  Behrman's Jewish Book House-New York
Copyright:  1934
Transcribed by Miriam Medina