PARK EAST SYNAGOGUE
Dr. Ruth To Rabbi Schneier:
ĎRewire, Donít Retireí
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
Schneier said heís not slowing down,
especially after Dr. Ruth Westheimer urged him, "Rewire,
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
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
Schneier, a native of Vienna who was
liberated in Budapest by the Red Army, came to the United States
"I came with a heavy German/Hungarian
accent," he said. "Iím sorry I lost it. Henry
Kissinger, with his accent, became secretary of state."