Shalom Life | May 29, 2015

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.”

Pope Francis: Whoever Doesn't Recognize the Jewish People and the State of Israel are anti-Semitic Pope Francis: Whoever Doesn't Recognize the Jewish People and the State of Israel are anti-Semitic TrendingSite Exposes Pro-Palestinian Students to "Ensure" that "Today's Radicals are not Tomorrow's Employees" Site Exposes Pro-Palestinian Students to "Ensure" that "Today's Radicals are not Tomorrow's Employees" TrendingToronto Teens Launch Summer Camp 'Tikkun Olam' Project Toronto Teens Launch Summer Camp 'Tikkun Olam' Project Trending
 

Israel and China Boost Trade with New Tax Agreement

May 29, 2015 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Israel and China Boost Trade with New Tax Agreement

"The mutual recognition program streamlines and simplifies trade between two countries, while maintaining a high level of enforcement"

Read More

The Alchemist Releases New Instrumental Album Called 'Israeli Salad'

May 29, 2015 | By Nathan Burley
The Alchemist Releases New Instrumental Album Called 'Israeli Salad'

Song titles of note include "Shalom Alechem," "Yalla Yalla", "Yehudi El Yehudi" and "Bone Thugs N' Haifa"

Read More

WATCH: Jon Stewart Slams FIFA For Corruption Charges

May 29, 2015 | By Ashley Ramnarain
WATCH: Jon Stewart Slams FIFA For Corruption Charges

"To put this in perspective, this FIFA corruption started Jennifer Lawrence ago," the comedian said on the latest episode of The Daily Show

Read More

France Pays Tribute to Four Nazi Resistance Fighters

May 29, 2015 | By Nathan Burley
France Pays Tribute to Four Nazi Resistance Fighters

Emotional ceremony held to honour 70th anniversary of the end of World War II

Read More

'Rabbi' is Suing Ice Cube for $2 Million After Alleged Assault Fuelled by Anti-Semitism

May 29, 2015 | By B. Shane Morganstein
'Rabbi' is Suing Ice Cube for $2 Million After Alleged Assault Fuelled by Anti-Semitism

The man, claiming to be a rabbi, says he was assaulted outside an elevator in a Detroit casino

Read More

New Ben and Jerry's Flavour to Tackle Climate Change

May 29, 2015 | By B. Shane Morganstein
New Ben and Jerry's Flavour to Tackle Climate Change

The new flavour, called 'Save our Swirled', is just one way the company hopes to support saving the environment

Read More

Tori Spelling: Happy Gay Pride, Tel Aviv. I Love You

May 29, 2015 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Tori Spelling: Happy Gay Pride, Tel Aviv. I Love You

WATCH: 'Beverly Hills 90210' actress films video teaser thanking her Israeli fans in anticipation of the 7th annual Donna Martin Party in Tel Aviv

Read More

More Headlines