Tags: United Nations | rabbi | holocaust | tolerance

UN Honors Rabbi Schneier on 90th Birthday

UN Honors Rabbi Schneier on 90th Birthday
Pope Benedict XVI shakes hands with Rabbi Arthur Schneier, senior rabbi at Park East Synagogue in New York, on July 7, 2010. (Andreas Solaro/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 12 March 2020 10:45 PM

Rabbi Arthur Schneier, a Holocaust survivor who became one of the world’s leading human and religious rights advocates, was honored at the United Nations on Thursday for his 60 years of selfless leadership.

Noted diplomats and religious, civic and business leaders gave the beloved humanitarian a standing ovation on the occasion of his 90th birthday.

“Rabbi Schneier is an inspiration for the world and for the United Nations,’’ U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said.

Among some 200 dignitaries feting Schneier — the senior rabbi of the Park Avenue Synagogue in New York City and head of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation — included Timothy Dolan, cardinal of the Archdiocese of New York,;Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, permanent observer of the Holy See to the U.N.; Archbishop Elpidophoros, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America; Miguel Ángel Moratinos, high representative of the U.N. Alliance of Civilizations; Sheikh Musa Drammeh; Ashok Kumar Chhabra; and Irinej Dobrijevic, bishop of Eastern America for the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Schneier is internationally known for his leadership on behalf of religious freedom, human rights and tolerance, and for playing a major role in addressing humanitarian issues in Central Europe, Latin America, China, the former Soviet Union and Russia, and the Balkans.

He has also served as U.S. alternate representative to the United Nations, member of the U.N. Alliance of Civilizations High Level Group and ambassador of the Alliance.

In messages read from around the world, current and former world leaders thanked Schneier for groundbreaking work that earned him a U.S. Presidential Citizens Medal for “service as an international envoy for four administrations’’ and honored him “as a Holocaust survivor, devoting a lifetime to overcoming forces of hatred and intolerance.”

“Throughout your distinguished life, you have been a great leader in the Jewish community and a tireless champion of peace and religious liberty around the world,” President Donald Trump wrote. “Your efforts continue to inspire generations of young people and promote cooperation and understanding between people of every race, religion and creed."

Pope Francis said in a congratulatory note, ”I take this occasion to renew my gratitude for your efforts to promote inter-religious dialogue and understanding for the building of an ever more reconciled, peaceful and just world."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel wrote, "You continue to work tirelessly and with great dedication in the service of interfaith dialogue and to build bridges between religions and nations.”

And Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "You survived the horrors of the Holocaust and you became an inspirational leader to your community. You have used your platform to advocate for our Jewish brothers and sisters around the world, as well as to promote interfaith dialogue.”

In an interview with Newsmax, Schneier said he greatly appreciated the accolades.

He also addressed the coronavirus pandemic, saying it would take a global effort to tame it.

“The idea now is no nation and no individual is self-sufficient and we need each other. We need united action to end this crisis,’’ Schneier told Newsmax.

Born in Vienna on March 20, 1930, Schneier lived under Nazi occupation in Budapest during World War II and arrived in the United States in 1947.

He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Yeshiva University in 1951, went on to earn a master’s from New York University in 1953 and received his rabbinical Ordination from Yeshiva in 1955.

Over the years, he was awarded 11 honorary doctorates from American and European universities.

In 1965, he founded the Appeal of Conscience Foundation as an “interfaith coalition of business and religious leaders” dedicated to promoting “peace, tolerance and ethnic conflict resolution.”

Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said that through his founding of that foundation, the rabbi had had "a major impact since 1965, in championing religious freedom, human rights and peaceful coexistence.”

Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy — a longtime friend of Schneier's and a supporter of his efforts to tackle anti-Semitism, racism and bigotry — said,“Rabbi Schneier is an exceptional individual whose tireless efforts to promote religious freedom and human rights have made America a stronger and better nation while making the world a much better place to live.”

Schneier is married to Elisabeth Nordmann Schneier and is the father of Rabbi Marc Schneier and Karen Schneier Dresbach.

© 2020 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


   
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Rabbi Arthur Schneier, a Holocaust survivor who became one of the world's leading human and religious rights advocates, was honored at the United Nations on Thursday for his 60 years of selfless leadership. Noted diplomats and religious, civic and business leaders gave the...
rabbi, holocaust, tolerance
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2020-45-12
Thursday, 12 March 2020 10:45 PM
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