We are thrilled to announce the Park East Synagogue Annual Dinner Guests of Honor, Dr. Larry and Ann Neuman! Join us on Tuesday, June 6 for our Annual Dinner as we honor Larry and Ann in support of our Synagogue and Jewish Education.
Dr. Larry and Ann Neuman have devoted the last 40 years to treating the medically underserved community and to supporting the spiritually underserved Jewish community. With a subspecialty in the field of geriatrics, Dr. Neuman operates a large practice in upper Manhattan. Currently he is also the Medical Director of a chain of assisted living facilities in New York City and Long Island, responsible for the medical care of 2,000 senior citizens.
Ann is a Nurse Practitioner who has worked in the field of renal dialysis, oncology, and psychology. Later on she joined her husband in the medical practice where she serves as a nurse and also as the Medical Director of the multi-specialty medical practice.
Larry is a child of parents who were both Holocaust survivors who rose from the ashes of Auschwitz and came to this country with no language skills or means of support but succeeded in raising three generations of Torah-observant descendants. Larry holds a MD from SUNY Downstate medical school and interned at Long Island Hospital in Brooklyn and did his residency at Stamford Hospital at Yale-New Haven.
Dr. Neuman is past President and Baal Koreh of Congregation Brothers of Israel in Westchester. He has been honored by Aish Hatorah, Project Inspire, Chabad, and various Yeshivas for his work in the field of kiruv and for sponsoring Talmudic scholars to ensure the preservation of the Jewish faith for generations to come. No one reads the Torah at a moment’s notice as beautifully and as brilliantly as Larry. He is often called upon at Park East Synagogue and the Hampton Synagogue to read the Torah and Haftorahs.
Larry and Ann have two children. Jonathan is a graduate of Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary where he majored in Psychology, English, and Judaic Studies. Jonathan is presently setting up various entrenpreneur businesses involving medicine and mobile medical diagnostics throughout the city. Larry and Ann’s daughter, Alexandra, received her BA degree in Fine Arts from Washington University in St. Louis and her MA degree in Fine Arts from the University of California in San Diego. She is an accomplished artist, working in the field of film, video, and performance art. Her work has been shown in various countries throughout Europe. She has also taught Hebrew at Park Avenue Synagogue Day School for the past five years.
In honoring Larry and Ann, Park East Synagogue and its Day School are delighted to reflect their admiration for such a leading couple who have added so much to the quality of the shul and its unique services.
We are thrilled to announce the Park East Synagogue Annual Dinner Guests of Honor, Louis & Eva Galpern! Join us on Tuesday, June 6 for our Annual Dinner as we honor Louis and Eva in support of our Synagogue and Jewish Education.
Louis & Eva, married for 50 years, are proud parents of four children; David, a doctor in Richmond, VA whose wife Robyn is an occupational therapist, Elliot an attorney who is getting married to Ali on June 17th, Michelle who cares for her two young children and whose husband, Shir Abramov, is an investment banker, and Ariel, an RN who now works in finance in the family business and is married to Jonathan Stern, a realtor who also serves as a cantor. The Galperns’ grown children attended Yeshiva of Flatbush from nursery school through high school. Louis & Eva have nine loving grandchildren.
Louis’ parents survived the Holocaust in Lithuania. He and his brother Robert were born after the War and soon afterwards the family moved to Israel. In 1960, the family came to the U.S. where Louis’ parents started a ladies wear manufacturing company. Louis and Robert took over the business when their parents became older and later expanded into real estate ownership and mortgage financing.
Eva’s parents survived the Holocaust in Poland. Living as Jews in Poland, the effects of discrimination permeated their lives. Eva’s family immigrated to the U.S. in 1967 with the help of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. Louis met Eva, the love of his life, when he was 18 and she was 15. They shared the same values, both worked and studied at Brooklyn College at night and married in 1973.
Chesed has always been a big part of Louis & Eva’s lives. Louis was on the Board of Directors of Yeshiva of Flatbush. He was on the board of Congregation Sons of Israel in Brooklyn where he built, financed and restored the synagogue into a thriving institution. Louis created Friends of Israel Fire Fighters (FIFF) and sent fire trucks to Israel, and later, under the umbrella of JNF, helped build Fire Stations in new developments in Israel. Louis serves on the board of JNF. He is also a board member of the Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre. Louis assumed responsible positions in and is involved with Hadassah, AIPAC, RJC, UJA and various other Jewish charitable organizations. Eva is actively involved with UJA Women’s Philanthropy. She is a past Chair of UJA Federation of New York in charge of five boroughs and was formerly honored by UJA Women’s Division. She serves on the board of UJA. Eva is also involved with various other philanthropies.
Louis and Eva formed a Foundation to assure the endowment for their children and grandchildren to continue in their footsteps.
The Galperns moved from Brooklyn to Manhattan in 2020 when they joined Park East Synagogue. Louis is inspired by and admires Rabbi Arthur Schneier and is very glad to have joined this wonderful institution – Park East Synagogue.
Rabbi Arthur Schneier, Senior Rabbi of Park East Synagogue and the founder and president of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, who hosted Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI during his first ever visit to a synagogue in the United States lauded the former leader of the Catholic Church for his efforts to build meaningful relationships with the Jewish community and to build ecumenical bridges between faith communities.
“I was privileged to welcome Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at Park East Synagogue, the first papal visit to a Synagogue in the United States on April 19, 2008. Symbolic of his outreach to the Jewish community. He applied his wisdom, intellect and heart, in pursuit of peace and inter-religious cooperation. I offer my condolences to His Holiness Pope Francis and the worldwide Catholic community on the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.”
Rabbi Arthur Schneier has had a longstanding relationship with the Vatican as president of the interfaith Appeal of Conscience Foundation on behalf of religious freedom in the Soviet Union and communist Eastern Europe that dates back to Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II, this relationship continued with Pope Benedict.
Rabbi Arthur Schneier stated, “Pope Benedict and I lived through World War II. I was a holocaust survivor he was drafted into the German army. Both of us experiencing man’s inhumanity to man. We were blessed with the privilege of working together in pursuit of peace, religious freedom and human rights while battling anti-antisemitism, xenophobia and all forms of hatred that continue to divide humanity.”
Rabbi Arthur Schneier and Pope Benedict met on numerous occasions in Rome, Jerusalem, and Naples. As well as the Inter-Religious prayer for peace gathering in Assisi, commemorating 25 years since the first inter-religious gathering convened by Pope John Paul II, promoting peace among the world’s religions. Rabbi Arthur Schneier also visited Pope Benedict at the The Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican during his retirement.
“Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI will be remembered for his humility and commitment to promoting peace and understanding among all people and all religions. May Pope Benedict rest in peace, and may his memory is a blessing,” said Rabbi Arthur Schneier.
From: Park East Synagogue and Appeal of Conscience Foundation
Park East Synagogue, New York City Shabbat November 12, 2022
Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen,
My dear friend Rabbi Schneier,
Dear members and friends of the Park East Synagogue,
I am truly grateful that you invited me to speak to you this morning. It is incredibly meaningful for me to commemorate Kristallnacht in a synagogue filled with life, community and inspiration.
As the representative of the free and democratic Germany, I feel honored and at the same time humbled whenever I meet people who witnessed these times, when I meet Holocaust survivors. I feel honored and humbled because they graciously show their willingness to reconcile, they express their trust in my and often their home country as it exists today. And I am grateful to hear their life-stories of suffering and loss but also of resilience and incredible achievements, powerful new beginnings – about their compassion for the common good and their commitment to connect people and nations in order to build a peaceful world.
It is their experience and that of every single life affected by the unspeakable crimes of the Nazi regime which underline every-time we hear it, our responsibility that: We will and shall never forget.
This morning we remember “Kristallnacht”, November 9, 84 years ago, when synagogues in Germany were burned to the ground. Jews from all classes and professions were imprisoned in the aftermath, were put into concentration camps and lost their jobs and businesses and some even their lives. Kristallnacht’s burnings and beatings, the persecution of defenceless and innocent people in the public eye sent a shockwave throughout the world. It was the forerunner of the so-called Final Solution, the Shoah, of Auschwitz, the most horrific atrocity and therefore the symbol for the Shoah.
When we remember the Holocaust, we do it in order to ensure that such heinous crimes, such outrageous deviations from our core values can never happen again. Therefore, a culture of remembrance is indispensable in our times. In other words: we, our children, and our children’s children must never forget! It is our responsibility to keep the memories alive. We owe it to the victims to remember the horrors of National Socialism. And we owe it to future generations as well.
I will talk about what Germany is doing to ensure that the knowledge about the Holocaust is preserved and is an integral part of the fight against antisemitism. But before that I want to tell you about – or remind those of you, who have heard it before of – a wonderful development that has occurred over the last three decades in Germany – a revitalization of Jewish life in our society.
When I, as a young student of theology, moved to East Berlin in the summer of 1988, I lived in the borough of Mitte, in a neighborhood which used to be a Jewish quarter. Two blocks from my apartment, there was the beautiful Neue Synagoge (New Synagogue), or at least what was left of it. A very small congregation still existed but it was more of a museum and memorial for the Kristallnacht. That has changed dramatically in an unexpected and wonderful way, like the city of Berlin changed so vividly from a divided city and a symbol of the cold war to an open and colorful, international and diverse place. Today this synagogue, built on and within the ruins left from Kristallnacht, is a meeting place for hundreds of Jews who came to make their lives in the German capital and meet at this very place.
In the last three decades, more than 200,000 people have come to Germany as Jewish immigrants, mostly from the former Soviet Union. Jews from all over the world settled in numerous cities of Germany, many of them young Israelis who moved to Berlin, because they enjoy the creative atmosphere and the cultural energy and opportunities there.
More than 100 synagogues are dispersed throughout the country, beautiful new architectural gems or renovated originals, in one case a 300 years old church was transformed into a synagogue. Jewish kindergartens and schools have emerged in the larger cities, Rabbis are trained and ordained in Germany, and new community centers and houses of worship have been built in many German towns. The German government on all levels is committed to supporting the Jewish communities, including safeguarding their places of worship and community. A contract between the federal government and the umbrella organization of the Jewish congregations, the Central Council of Jews in Germany, guarantees an annual financial support of several million Euros.
This renaissance of Jewish life, culture, visibility and – yes – trust in my home country, is, by no means, something that we take for granted. But we are also proud that Jews have again placed confidence in Germany. Jewish life belongs in our country and will forever be part of our culture. The Federal President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier called this rebirth of Jewish life once “ein unermessliches Glück für unser Land”, “an immeasurable fortune for our country”.
And we want to reach out further, for instance to young Jews with German family roots or not, to offer them an independent, own and inside view of our country. One example for this is the most successful exchange programs “Germany close up”, which gives 250 Jewish North American students and young professionals the opportunity to experience contemporary Germany firsthand annually.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The immeasurable fortune, as president Steinmeier called it, is an obligation for my country as well, to be clear, in the fight against antisemitism. Yes, antisemitism and the exclusion of minorities in general are by no means a matter of past history. They are still spreading in our societies today – in Germany, in Europe but also here in the US.
The German government is aware of the problem of rising anti-Semitism and of the threat, this development means for society. And I can assure you that the political leaders of my country – with the exception of some of the representatives of the right wing AfD – stand up unanimously against racism, antisemitism, xenophobia, and extremism. We will make sure that the curricula in schools and universities, training programs for professionals in the private and public sector, a wide variety of places of remembrance and Holocaust-education will address these issues and raise awareness for this important fight.
But this is not just a task for politicians. Equally important is the clear voice of civil society, of the arts and the religious communities, of culture and even sports. Especially in times like these, when right-wing extremist pressure is more noticeable globally, we have to ensure that we take a courageous and decisive stand against all forms of racism, xenophobia, antisemitism and against those who advocate hatred in our societies.
Institutionally the fight against antisemitism was intensified in Germany too. About four years ago, Dr. Felix Klein was appointed as the first Federal Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Antisemitism. By now all German states have installed similar commissioners.
The rise of antisemitism is something that we unfortunately have to observe in many parts of the world. Therefore, it is ever more important that we stand together. Therefore Germany is a very active member of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which is committed to strengthening, advancing, and promoting Holocaust education, remembrance, and research worldwide.
We work together in this important endeavor also as German-American partners. Last year our country’s foreign ministers pledged to take an active stand against Holocaust denial and trivialization, against rising antisemitism and conspiracy theories. How we educate future generations and how we can keep a meaningful remembrance is a central focus of this dialogue as well as Holocaust education during the training of civil servants and military personnel, among others. Together we want to face today’s challenges, including those in which hatred results in social strife and demonization or persecution of those perceived as “the other.”
We are and will be a reliable partner and friend of Israel, on many levels. The presidents as well as Chancellor and PM meet and talk regularly, we have strong economic relations and a broad variety of cooperation in science and research. We have a long tradition of intensive youth exchanges and ties between the the civil societies of our countries. And more than 100 sister city affiliations exist between Germany and Israel.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Last year Germany and descendants of European Jews all over the world celebrated an amazing anniversary. It was in the year of 321, 1700 years ago, that Emperor Constantine the Great granted Jews of Cologne the right to hold public office. His edict, which subsequently extended this right to the Jews in all provincial towns of the empire, is the oldest document which references Jewish life in Europe north of the Alps.
What an incredible story of more than one and a half millennia we can tell. It is an exciting and powerful story of Jewish influence and involvement in the arts and sciences, philosophy and religion, politics and economy. There were periods of great success in Jewish entrepreneurship as well as German-Jewish patriotism, resilience and vibrant Jewish life. Countless names stand for German-Jewish creativity and ingenuity, like Zedekias, who, in the 9th century, served as personal physician to the Roman Emperor Charles I or his colleague, Paul Ehrlich, who centuries later won the Nobel prize for his scientific achievements. Many German-Jewish Nobel Laureates followed him, including, of course, Albert Einstein. Caroline Herschel, a 19th century astronomer, was the first woman to receive a salary as a scientist. The entrepreneur Emil Rathenau was crucial to use electricity on an industrial scale and his son, the liberal lawmaker Walther Rathenau, served as German Foreign Minister during the Weimar Republic. Indeed, Germany was gifted with German-Jewish artists, philosophers, politicians, and inventors as well as with hundreds of thousands of non-famous fellow citizens who, through their lives and participation, shaped Germany in a unique way.
But it is also true that the German-Jewish history was throughout the centuries a very dark one. Jews were scapegoated and the focus of conspiracy theories, they were threatened by pogroms and persecution, culminating in one of humanity’s lowest points: the Holocaust.
Therefore, the rich and long German and European Jewish history is also an obligation to continuously assure the trust of Jewish citizens and communities – a responsibility for which society as a whole is called upon to uphold. And Constantine’s edict can serve as a reminder to initiate cultural, political, and interreligious debates within our societies on both sides of the Atlantic.