Guru Nanak Prize Awarded
To Schneier And
HIS is the
year when Holocaust survivor Arthur Schneier turns 80 and
leaders around the globe scramble to heap praise and kudos for a
lifetime of accomplishments. Hofstra University of Hempstead, N.Y.,
is the latest of countless institutions to recognize the spiritual
leader of Park East Synagogue on New Yorkís Upper East Side for such
- Led the first interfaith delegation to the Soviet Union in
- Led the first interfaith delegation to China in 1981
- In 1992 he convened a meeting in Switzerland of Serbian
Orthodox, Croatian Roman Catholic and Muslim leaders to address
the crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which produced the Berne
Declaration: "A crime committed in the name of religion is the
greatest crime against religion."
- Led a seminar for 26 years at the State Departmentís Foreign
Service Institute on religion and culture.
- Founded the Appeal of Conscience Foundation to promote
religious freedom and interfaith cooperation.
- The first rabbi to receive the Presidential Citizens Medal,
second highest civilian award inn the U.S.
At a dinner at Garden City Hotel, in
Garden City, N.Y., Hofstra president Stuart Rabinowitz
awarded the 2010 Guru Nank Interfaith Prize to Rabbi Schneier and to
Religions for Peace, a worldwide multireligious coalition,
represented by Dr. William F. Vendley, its secretary general.
The $50,000 prize, named for the founder
of the Sikh religion, was established four years ago by Ishar
Bindra and family. The Bindra family owns the Jeetish Group of
Companies, a major distributor of apparel.
"We must show mutual respect, be faithful
to our identity and unite in service to humanity," Rabbi Schneier
Dr. Vendley said that in his travels to
different parts of the world he was impressed how the Sikh community
"has reached out to people in need, offering assistance and
Tarlochan Singh, a member of the
parliament of India, said that Sikhism believes in the equality of
men and women. "We are all named Singh, from the prime minister down
to the sweeper. We pray for humanity every day inn the Sikh temple.
We donít ask God to help us; we ask God to help humanity."