Shalom Life | October 31, 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.”

This Israeli Prison Hosted a Fashion Show for its Inmates This Israeli Prison Hosted a Fashion Show for its Inmates TrendingHaaretz Publish Cartoon Depicting Netanyahu as Pilot Behind 9/11 Attacks Haaretz Publish Cartoon Depicting Netanyahu as Pilot Behind 9/11 Attacks TrendingGerman Teens Share Their Love for Hitler, A "Fantastic" Guy, on WhatsApp German Teens Share Their Love for Hitler, A "Fantastic" Guy, on WhatsApp Trending
 

Dry California Welcomes Israeli Water Expert

October 31, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Dry California Welcomes Israeli Water Expert

'As an issue of national security, Israel has successfully made itself water independent,' says California Natural Resources Agency Secretary John Laird

Read More

Op-Ed: CUNY Is No Place For BDS Movement’s Hate

October 31, 2014 | By Jacob Baime, JNS.org
Op-Ed: CUNY Is No Place For BDS Movement’s Hate

Last week, the doctoral students council of CUNY once again considered a hateful resolution, calling for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions

Read More

Lieberman to Sweden: Middle East Relations More Complex Than Assembling IKEA Furniture

October 31, 2014 | By Ynet News
Lieberman to Sweden: Middle East Relations More Complex Than Assembling IKEA Furniture

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom disagrees

Read More

Lena Dunham and Celebrity BFF’s Raise Awareness For Planned Parenthood

October 30, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Lena Dunham and Celebrity BFF’s Raise Awareness For Planned Parenthood

The 'Girls' creator has designed a shirt for the women's rights organization

Read More

Seth Rogen Will Play Steve Wozniak in New Steve Jobs Bio Pic

October 30, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Seth Rogen Will Play Steve Wozniak in New Steve Jobs Bio Pic

Rogen is in negotiations to star as the Apple co-founder alongside Christian Bale

Read More

A New Pee-Wee Herman Movie Has Been Confirmed

October 30, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
A New Pee-Wee Herman Movie Has Been Confirmed

Paul Reubens told Jimmy Fallon that Judd Apatow will be producing the reboot

Read More

Breakthrough Jew - Joshua Meier

October 30, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Breakthrough Jew - Joshua Meier

18-year-old Meier won the Best in Category Award in cellular and molecular biology at the 2014 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for his work in harnessing the aging process to treat diseases.

Read More

Startup Club: Cat2See

October 30, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
Startup Club: Cat2See

The Israeli company has created an app that lets you play with your cats, monitor them, and even feed them when you're not home

Read More

More Headlines