En:B'nai B'rith International
B'nai B'rith International
Courtesy of Phoenixmasonry
Taken from Jewish Orders: B'nai B'rith International complete article.
Originally called the Independent Order of B'nai B'rith, which is Hebrew for the "Sons of the Covenant," the order was established in New York City on October 13, 1843, by twelve German Jewish immigrants. It originally used six degrees, regalia, secret passwords, hand signs and grips, but these have long since been discontinued. Members of the B'nai B'rith participated in fraternal regalia in the funeral procession of President Andrew Jackson in 1845.
The order originally conducted its meetings in the German language, and its founders drew heavily from the Masonic Fraternity and the Odd Fellows in its ritual and lodge meeting system. It no longer conducts its meetings in German or uses degrees, and has discontinued much of its ritual.
The order is organized in lodges for men and also has chapters for women, and has 250,000 members in 55 countries throughout the world. It is now called B'nai B'rith International, and is headquartered in Washington, DC.