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Rabbi Arthur Schneier and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.
Rabbi Arthur Schneier and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.

Dr. Ruth Westheimer and Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, head of the New York Board of Rabbis
Dr. Ruth Westheimer and Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, head of the New York Board of Rabbis
Rabbi Mark Schneier and father, Rabbi Arthur Schneier
Rabbi Mark Schneier and father, Rabbi Arthur Schneier
Abraham Foxman, ADL national director; Sigmund Rolat, chairman of the Museum of the History of Polish Jewry, and Ewa Junczyk-Ziombecka, consul general of Poland
Abraham Foxman, ADL national director; Sigmund Rolat, chairman of the Museum of the History of
Polish Jewry, and Ewa Junczyk-Ziombecka, consul general of Poland
Elisabeth Schneier, Archbishop Demetrios and Rabbi Arthur Schneier
Elisabeth Schneier, Archbishop Demetrios and Rabbi Arthur Schneier
PARK EAST SYNAGOGUE
Dr. Ruth To Rabbi Schneier:
ĎRewire, Donít Retireí

P
ARK EAST Synagogue on the Upper East Side celebrated its 120th anniversary and the 80th birthday of Rabbi Arthur Schneier who has served since 1962.

Rabbi Israel Lau, former chief rabbi of Israel, said that "80 is just a beginning. Moses began his mission as leader of the Jewish people at 80. So donít give up."

Schneier said heís not slowing down, especially after Dr. Ruth Westheimer urged him, "Rewire, donít retire."

That kind of advice from Dr. Ruth resonated with the 800 dinner guests at the Waldorf-Astoria. The audience included 20 diplomats and religious leaders, among them Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington, D.C.; Archbishop Demetrios, primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin who presented Schneier with a medal from the ministry of foreign affairs.

Cardinal McCarrick spoke of Schneierís countless trips on behalf of the Appeal of Conscience. The rabbi founded the foundation to promote religious tolerance in the world.

The cardinal compared the rabbi to Elijah in that "he is never afraid to talk to the powers of this world. But there is a difference.

"Elijah fled when Ahaz sought to kill him. Schneier stays around and tries to change things."

Ronald Lauder, chairman of the World Jewish Congress, recalled when, as U.S. ambassador to Vienna, he had dinner with Schneier in Vienna. "The rabbi convinced me that the future of the Jewish people in Eastern Europe was through education."

As a result Lauder opened Jewish schools, community centers and camps in several locations, including Vienna, Budapest, Prague and Warsaw. "More than 70,000 Jewish children have gone to our schools in the past 25 years, due to Rabbi Schneier," Lauder said. "It was an expensive dinner."

Schneier, a native of Vienna who was liberated in Budapest by the Red Army, came to the United States in 1947.

"I came with a heavy German/Hungarian accent," he said. "Iím sorry I lost it. Henry Kissinger, with his accent, became secretary of state."

 


 

 

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