B'nai B'rith, founded in New York in 1843, is the oldest, largest, and most representative membership movement in Jewish life. The original aim of the founders was to establish a society which would integrate all Jewish immigrants into American life.
By the early twentieth century, B'nai B'rith had become an organization of international scope and stature. Programs dealing with immigration, adult education, disaster and human rights are all part of B'nai B'rith. Since 1843, B'nai B'rith has grown from a single lodge in New York to representation in over 40 countries but its ideals and principals are the same as those of its founding fathers, "...to unite in the work of promoting the highest interests of humanity and the Jews: of developing and elevating the mental and moral character of our people..."
In 1951, a small group of B'nai B'rith members from the Fresno Chapter conceived the concept of an Annual Student Athlete Award. This idea was discussed with local school officials and the local clergy, and all the interested parties felt that such an award would go a long way towards promoting brotherhood among the various religious groups in our community. It was also felt that this award would give our high schools the opportunity to showcase the importance of combining athletic skills with academic excellence. This event is to honor the student-athletes and their families for all of their hard work and dedication required to accomplish all they have done. This year marks the 69th anniversary of the Student Athlete Award Dinner.
Since 1952, B'nai B'rith has honored over 800 outstanding young men and women who have gone on to various careers and professions. B'nai B'rith cannot think of a better way to recognize the future leaders of our community.