Bínai Bírith Joseph Niego Lodge was established in 1977 under the jurisdiction
of the B'nai B'rith Grand Lodge for Israel. Today it is one of the most active lodges
among many others working in many different languages and in many towns of the country.
Our name"Joseph Niego" was chosen to honor one of the first and famous directors of
the first Agriculture School"Miqve Israel" in the Holy Land.
"Miqve Israel" Agricultural School was founded in 1870 by "Hevrat Kol Israel Haverim"
(Alliance Israelite Universelle).It was the first settlement in the history of the "Yishuv" in Israel.
"Miqve Israel" school drew Jewish pupils from all parts of Israel, including regions of
towns,cooperative settlements, kibutzim, cities and children of new immigrants, all being
educated within the values of working the land and love of the country.
Graduates of "Miqve Israel" left their mark in history by establishing many
agricultural settlements throughout Israel.
Joseph Niego was born in 1863 in Andrinople, Turkey. He attended the
"Alliance" school and at the age of 15, he was selected to attend the "Ecole Normale
Israelite Orientale" in Paris which he completed in 3.5 years as an outstanding student.
Niego completed his studies in the Faculty of Agronomy in Montpellier,France, among the best students.
The "Alliance" which established the "Miqve Israel" school in Jaffa sent Niego as a
professional agronomist to direct the school-farm in 1886. Appointed as director, he served
that establishment for 18 years.
The saplings of the Eucalyptus trees which are seen all over Israel today, were brought
by Niego from Australia in order to dry the swamps.
Joseph Niego became the founder of Bínai Bírith Grand Lodge District XI,
the Jurisdiction of which covered Egypt, The Balkans and all Ottoman lands including Palestine.
Thanks to his energy, the "Yavne" lyceum was established in Istanbul. The idea of the
establishment of such a school was already there for several years. However, it could
materalize only in 1914 with the determination of Niego.
Joseph Niego assumed the direction of that institution during the first three years
of its existence until the end of 1917.Meanwhile Niego continued his mission of Founding
President of District XI of Bínai Bírith. He departed on December 9,1945 after
59 years in the service of Judaism and the Jewish Community in Turkey.
To this very day, Miqve Israel continues to function as a vital and flourishing agricultural
school, adhering to its original philosophy while preparing its students for the challenges of Israel.
We took the name of Joseph Niego to our lodge in order to honor him for his actions
in the service of the Jewish Community and Bínai Bírith.
One of our activities is to aid Miqve Israel school by granting scholarship to future
agronomists,and provide some of the basic equipment for its 300 students.Furthermore,
we offer an opportunity for the potential donors to plant a tree in the Niego Park near the
school, a project initiated and sustained by our Lodge.
Joseph Niego Lodge has been awarded several "B'nai B'rith "Outstanding Lodge" awards
in its relatively short history.