The Hebrew Order of David International: Making a Positive Impact on The Community
By Anthony Naturman
For the Atlanta Jewish Times
Its roots may be in South Africa, but the Hebrew Order of David, a unique organization which began in 1904, is now a global Jewish fraternity with lodges in the USA, Israel, Canada and England. Its motto is Love your Neighbor as Yourself – ve’ahavta lere’acha kamocha – and in that vein the body of work carried out by the members is impressive.
HOD comprises a global network of like-minded Jewish men, working together to improve the lives of others in their communities. Its members, all volunteers, work mainly within their local communities and, through their international network, support projects around the world. Some local ongoing Atlanta projects include: United Hatzalah (Israel), JNF, Jewish Healthcare International (JHI), JF&CS, and Temima High School for Girls. Other recent local and notable projects include the Zaban Couples Shelter, and Bnai Brith’s Pinch Hitter Program.
The two active Atlanta lodges (Carmel and Bezalel), with a membership of 225 brethren include rabbis, lay leaders, doctors, lawyers, salesmen, -, and everything in between. The explosive growth of Atlanta’s Lodges is due, in large part, to the concept of a Jewish fraternity – something that is not new to Jewish men in the USA. Belonging to a brotherhood of fellow Jewish men, all with the same goals of serving the community and caring for each other, is a concept which has proved extremely successful and this committed group of men have proved time and again that — they are a force to be reckoned with. From SA to the USA, from Israel to South America, what else would you expect from a variety of locally talented Jewish men from all walks of Judaism?
Lodge Carmel’s current president, Douglas Stein, in an effort to create further community awareness, and supported by his members, brought forward the joint HOD-ML4 Project.
Together with Randy Gold of Atlanta, who was recently named 2011’s Jewish Community Hero, Stein joined with Gold to create an event set for April 22nd, 2012, when over 400 participants are expected to attend an evening at Congregation Bnai Torah that aims to raise over $100,000 towards finding a cure. ML4 (mucolipidosis IV) is a genetic disease causing mental retardation, retinal degeneration, and limited lifespan, and occurs mainly in Ashkenazi Jews.
Lodge Bezalel, which was started in 2009 meets at Chabad of Cobb, while Lodge Carmel, which began in 1998 meets at Congregation Bnai Torah. Atlanta is also the headquarters for the HOD’s Governing Lodge of North America, which oversees all the lodges including Lodge Tamir in Boca Raton, Florida, and Lodge Ilan Ramon in Toronto, Canada. With plans for expansion in various states, the HOD will strengthen its mission, which is to relieve suffering and help Jewish communities wherever possible.
In addition to formal meetings, community services and charitable events, there is also a social aspect. Lodges host various social events each year that include wives and family members who are encouraged to participate
Membership is open to adult Jewish males over the age of 21 who must be nominated by a current member. HOD strives to nourish a close bond with its members and the nomination process is designed with that in mind.
Fund raising is not confined to assistance for Jewish causes, and support is given to many deserving organizations in the wider community.
In an environment that seeks to encourage the development of individual flair, creativity, talent and personal, as well as social responsibility, and with over 100+ years of serving communities while looking out for its members, the Hebrew Order of David is an organization that makes a truly positive impact.
All communications in the USA should be addressed to:
The Governing Secretary
6400 Atlantic Boulevard, Suite 220, Norcross, GA 30071
The Hebrew Order of David International is a 501(c)(3)non-profit organization.
Mission Statement: The Hebrew Order of David International is a forum for an ever-growing number of Jewish adult males, operating as a cohesive fraternal unit supporting its members, and serving the community, applying Jewish ideals and values while providing its members the opportunity for personal development. The Hebrew Order of David International raises funds and distributes aid in the pursuit of relieving suffering wherever possible.