New York City Rabbi Who Hosted Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI During His First Ever Visit to a United States Synagogue Remembers the Pope Emeritus Outreach to the Jewish

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.

Pope Benedict XVI visits the Park East Synagogue, Friday, April 18, 2008, in New York, during the Pope’s first visit to an American synagogue. The Park East Synagogue is led by Rabbi Arthur Schneier, who lived under Nazi occupation in Budapest and emigrated in 1947 to the United States.

“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

Contact Howard Cannon (973) 985 9845 [email protected]

NYPD Commissioner Shea and FBI Assistant Director Sweeney Speak Out Against Anti-Semitic Crimes During Shabbat Visit to Park East Synagogue

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, and William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director in charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office, addressed the increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes in New York when they spoke to congregants at Park East Synagogue at Shabbat services on Saturday, June 26th.

“As a Holocaust Survivor, I am distraught by the widespread virus of anti-Semitism and the increase of hate crimes directed at the Jewish community,” said Park East Synagogue Senior Rabbi, Arthur Schneier. “Unlike what I witnessed more than eighty years ago I am grateful that those responsible for protecting all citizens are standing with Jewish New Yorkers and are committed that anti-Semitic acts will not be tolerated and the perpetrators of those crimes will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

The NYPD has never, and will never, tolerate hate in our city in any form,” Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said. “One incident is one too many, and the recent rise in anti-Semitic crimes only strengthens our resolve to work hand-in-hand with our Jewish communities across the five boroughs. As we combat all forms of prejudice, we will continue to build trust and strengthen relationships to ensure that everyone, in every New York City neighborhood, is safe – and that they feel safe, too.”

“Hate crimes have no place in our society,” stated William Sweeney, Assistant Director in charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office. “Everyone needs to know that they can help us confront new and emerging threats by sharing information through the trusting relationships we share, to include our close relationship with the NYPD. Working with the communities we serve helps us fully appreciate your needs and maintain awareness of the challenges you face.”  


The First Ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom ‘Sends a Message to the World’

Rabbi Arthur Schneier who witnessed the burning of his synagogue on Kristallnacht in Vienna, on November 10, 1938 met with Nicodemus Daoud Matti Sharaf, the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Syriac Orthodox Archdiocese of Mosul and Kirkuk who’s Church was devastated by ISIS.


Park East Synagogue

Teresa deWilde
[email protected]

For Immediate Release

Rabbi Arthur Schneier Addresses the U.S. State Department’s
First-Ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom

New York, N.Y. (July 27, 2018)
 – Rabbi Arthur Schneier; President and Founder of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, Senior Rabbi of Park East Synagogue, addressed the U.S. State Department’s first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. The Ministerial included participants from eighty countries including faith leaders, foreign ministers and ambassadors who addressed the need to combat religious persecution and discrimination and to respect religious freedom for all.

“Those who burn churches, mosques, synagogues and temples will also burn human beings,” said Rabbi Arthur Schneier. “Our aim should not be tolerance but mutual respect and acceptance of each other. I don’t want to be tolerated; I don’t want to be a second-class citizen.”

Rabbi Schneier who witnessed the burning of his synagogue on Kristallnacht in Vienna, on November 10, 1938 met with Nicodemus Daoud Matti Sharaf, the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Syriac Orthodox Archdiocese of Mosul and Kirkuk who’s Church was devastated by ISIS.

Vice President Mike Pence warned of rising anti-Semitism in Europe, singling out Britain, France and Germany for increased incidents. “Last year, hate crimes against Jews hit a record high in the United Kingdom. In France and Germany, things have gotten so bad that Jewish religious leaders have warned their followers not to wear kippahs in public for fear that they could be violently attacked, and in too many cases, that’s exactly what’s happened.”

Rabbi Schneier lauded the United States efforts on behalf of Pastor Andrew Brunson, an Evangelical Presbyterian Pastor from North Carolina, who was arrested in 2016 during a government crackdown on journalists, academics, and Christian minorities.


About Rabbi Arthur Schneier: 
Rabbi Arthur Schneier, Senior Rabbi of Park East Synagogue in New York City and founder of its Day School, (Rabbi Arthur Schneier Park East Day School), has served this leading modern Orthodox congregation for over fifty years.  As Founder and President of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation (1965) he is internationally known for his leadership on behalf of religious freedom, human rights and tolerance was the first Rabbi to be awarded the U.S. Presidential Citizens Medal for “his service as an international envoy for four administrations” and “as a Holocaust survivor, devoting a lifetime to overcoming forces of hatred and intolerance,” and was recognized by the US Senate for his lifelong advocacy of inter-religious cooperation and peace.

About The Appeal of Conscience Foundation: 
The Appeal of Conscience Foundation, founded by Rabbi Arthur Schneier in 1965, has worked on behalf of religious freedom and human rights throughout the world. The Foundation believes that freedom, democracy and human rights are the fundamental values that give nations of the world their best hope for peace, security and shared prosperity. The Appeal of Conscience Foundation has long held that “a crime committed in the name of religion is the greatest crime against religion.” The struggle for human rights and religious freedom is ongoing and can be achieved by promoting open dialogue and mutual understanding.