Shalom Life | November 28, 2014

60 Rabbis From Across North America Come Together at Manhattan’s 9/11 Memorial

Rabbis Advocate for Israel and Address Today’s Jewish Community

By: Jessica Pallay

Published: June 22nd, 2012 in News » World

60 Rabbis From Across North America Come Together at Manhattan’s 9/11 Memorial

On the lawn of the new 9/11 Memorial in lower Manhattan, dozens of rabbis stood facing east, davening together on a recent June afternoon. The group included rabbis young and old, women and men, from all denominations and types of congregations from across North America. In a place where spirituality pervades, the rabbis added their own prayers, offering a Mourner’s Kaddish for those that perished there more than 10 years ago.

Rabbi Neil Sandler of Atlanta led the Mincha service next to the miraculous "Survivor Tree," one of the site’s original pear trees that continues to sprout life. “As a rabbi who officiated at the memorial services of two 9/11 victims, it was both an honor and an uplifting experience,” he said.

The visit was part of The Jewish Federations of North America’s Annual Rabbinic Cabinet meeting in New York City, which brought together 60 rabbis for three days of informative presentations, thought-provoking discussions, and intimate meetings with political, religious and community leaders.

“The annual meeting really touched upon and combined the full spectrum of what it means to be a rabbi in North America in the 21st century,” said Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt of Washington, D.C., chair of JFNA’s Rabbinic Cabinet.

The meeting began with visits to the United Nations, where the rabbis split into groups and met with ambassadors and representatives of a dozen countries, including the Vatican’s mission to the UN. Ambassador Richard Schifter, who served in the UN and as ambassador to the Human Rights Commission, provided strategic guidance on which missions the rabbis might best influence.

At meetings with leaders from Canada, Estonia, Poland and others, the rabbis urged action on topics including the unjust treatment of Israel at the UN, the delegitimization of Israel, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and the threat of a nuclear Iran.

“An astonishingly high number of nations – 12 – agreed to meet with us,” said Weinblatt. “We were extremely well received, and they were happy to hear from us. Time will tell what impact our meetings will have.”

During their visit to the 9/11 Memorial, the rabbis spoke to Michael Arad, the Israeli-American architect who designed the site, and Salvatore Cassano, commissioner of the NYC Fire Department. The group also toured the 9/11 Tribute Center with its president and co-founder, Lee Ielpi, and heard about response to tragedy from Rev. Chloe Breyer, executive director of the Interfaith Center of New York; Rabbi Simkha Weintraub of the National Center for Jewish Healing; and Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, executive director of the New York Board of Rabbis.

Over the three days, rabbis studied with Yehuda Kurtzer, president of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, and conversed with Jewish leaders including Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations; Ambassador Ron Prosor, Israel’s permanent representative to the UN; and Jerry Silverman, president and CEO of JFNA.

“We need your wisdom at Federation tables across North America,” said Silverman during his presentation. “As rabbis, you remind us that we are rooted in the powerful gift of Torah. As leaders, you guide us and ensure we weave its teaching into our work.”

Chief IDF Rabbi: Most Arabs Don't Know What's in the Quran Chief IDF Rabbi: Most Arabs Don't Know What's in the Quran TrendingOrthodox Jews Denounce American Rabbi for anti-Arab Speech Orthodox Jews Denounce American Rabbi for anti-Arab Speech TrendingHolocaust Survivor Reunites With Her Rescuer Before Thanksgiving Holocaust Survivor Reunites With Her Rescuer Before Thanksgiving Trending
 

The Ten Most Famous Jewish Porn Stars

November 28, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
The Ten Most Famous Jewish Porn Stars

A look at those Jewish actors and directors that have left their mark on the porno industry

Read More

Jewish Students Have the Right to Feel Safe on Campus

November 28, 2014 | By Melanie Goldberg, JNS.org
Jewish Students Have the Right to Feel Safe on Campus

Academia should be the place where students feel safest to speak their minds; instead, we have Jews afraid to wear their yarmulkes in public

Read More

North Korea Believes Seth Rogen and James Franco Deserve "Stern Punishment"

November 28, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
North Korea Believes Seth Rogen and James Franco Deserve "Stern Punishment"

A North Korean website released a statement condemning upcoming comedy 'The Interview'

Read More

Kate Hudson and Cara Delevinge Have Thanksgiving Dance Battle [VIDEO]

November 28, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Kate Hudson and Cara Delevinge Have Thanksgiving Dance Battle [VIDEO]

Hudson posted a series of funny videos to her Instagram account.

Read More

'Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens' Gets First Trailer [VIDEO]

November 28, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
'Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens' Gets First Trailer [VIDEO]

J.J. Abrams' upcoming Star Wars installment will release it's first trailer this weekend.

Read More

Haim and Bastille Team Up for 'Bite Down' [VIDEO]

November 28, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Haim and Bastille Team Up for 'Bite Down' [VIDEO]

The new song will be featured on Bastille's upcoming mixtape VS. (Other People's Heartache Pt. III).

Read More

Jewish Comedy Festival Hits London This Weekend

November 28, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Jewish Comedy Festival Hits London This Weekend

Headliner David Baddiel discusses the upcoming festivals and taboo comedy topics with a Jewish audience.

Read More

The Essential Hanukkah Gift Guide 2014: Painted Baby Names [GIVEAWAY]

November 28, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
The Essential Hanukkah Gift Guide 2014: Painted Baby Names [GIVEAWAY]

See inside for your chance to win a hand-painted baby name courtesy of the talented Jewish artist/entrepreneur

Read More

More Headlines