Field Guide

B'nai B'rith

The Independent Order of B'nai B'rith (Children of the Covenant) is one of the few Jewish fraternal organizations. It was formed in New York in 1843, partly because Jews were denied membership in the more mainstream fraternal organizations like the Freemasons. Eventually Jews were admitted into organizations like the Freemasons and the Odd Fellows, and those organizations are surprisingly well represented in Jewish cemeteries. B'nai B'rith has evolved into a huge charitable organization, giving out and receiving significant donations. Today B'nai B'rith is best known through its Anti-Defamation league, which serves to combat anti-Semitism.

Taken from Stories in Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography written and photographed by Douglas Keister, published by Gibbs Smith, Salt Lake City, 2004. This book is a must for every cemetery enthusiast!!!