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Arthur Schneier

Rabbi Arthur Schneier is the Spiritual Leader and Senior Rabbi of Park East Synagogue. He is internationally known for his leadership on behalf of religious freedom, human rights and tolerance, with specific interest in China, Russia, Central Europe and the Balkans. He is the Founder and President of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation (1965). Rabbi Schneier was born in Vienna, Austria, on March 20, 1930. He lived under Nazi occupation in Budapest during World War II and arrived in the United States in 1947. He is married to Elisabeth Nordmann Schneier. A Holocaust survivor, Rabbi Schneier is known for his pioneering role in the struggle on behalf of Soviet Jewry and the rebuilding of Jewish religious life in Russia, the Ukraine and Eastern Europe. He successfully negotiated the return of the Moscow Synagogue to the Jewish community and was instrumental in the restoration of the Ohel Rachel Synagogue in Shanghai. Rabbi Schneier was privileged to present the expatriate Jewish community of Shanghai with the first Torah scroll in more than 50 years, donated by Park East Synagogue. Rabbi Schneier was one of three American religious leaders appointed by President William J. Clinton to start the first dialogue on religious freedom with President Jiang Zemin and other top Chinese leaders (1998.) Rabbi Schneier initiated the Resolution for the Protection of Religious Sites, adopted by the U.N. General Assembly (2001) and was a member of the U.S. delegation to the Stockholm International Forum for the Prevention of Genocide, Sweden (President George W. Bush, 2004). He was appointed a member of the High-Level Group, United Nations, Alliance of Civilizations, by the Secretary General Kofi Annan and Ambassador of the AoC by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The Rabbi is a member of Council on Foreign Relations; Asia Society; United Nations Development Corporation; United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Committee on Conscience; Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations; Joint Distribution Committee; HIAS; Honorary Chairman, World Jewish Congress American Section; Honorary President Religious Zionists of America. Rabbi Schneier was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by President William J. Clinton, citing him 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.” He was the recipient of U.S. Department of State Special Recognition Award for “…his ecumenical work in favor of mutual understanding, tolerance and peace….” The Rabbi has received eleven honorary doctorates from U.S. and European universities. His alma mater, Yeshiva University, honored him by establishing the Rabbi Arthur Schneier Center for International Affairs in 2004. He is Officer of the Legion of Honor, recipient of The Grand Decoration of Honor in Gold with Star for Service to the Republic of Austria; Order of the Republic of Hungary; Dr. Karl Renner Prize of the City of Vienna; Order of St. Daniel of Moscow (Moscow Patriarchate, Russian Orthodox Church); Religious Liberty Award.

Articles by Arthur Schneier:

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  • Book Reviews Personalities How a Jewish Leader With 3 Months to Live Created a ‘Seminar’ on Life

    How a Jewish Leader With 3 Months to Live Created a ‘Seminar’ on Life

    JNS.org – What would you do if you found out that you had only three more months to live? Gordon Zacks was a successful businessman, a leader of Jewish life, and a confidante and adviser to President George H.W. Bush. He knew that he had prostate cancer, but doctors advised him that it was very slow-growing and nothing to worry about. Then came the day when the doctors told him his cancer metastasized to his liver, and that he had [...]

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  • Blogs Theater 10 Things I Learned From My Play About Holocaust Denial

    10 Things I Learned From My Play About Holocaust Denial

    Last month, my one-man show Hoaxocaust! Written and performed by Barry Levey with the generous assistance of the Institute for Political and International Studies, Tehran ran in the New York International Fringe Festival, where it won an Overall Excellence Award. The play has now been selected to run in the Fringe Encores Series at Baruch College’s Performing Arts Center, for four performances which started on Thursday, September 11. Getting the play to the stage was not easy, however. Here are [...]

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  • Arts and Culture Israel Israeli Music Producer Racks Up Over 535,000 YouTube Hits – in Two Days

    Israeli Music Producer Racks Up Over 535,000 YouTube Hits – in Two Days

    Phenomenon: Tel Aviv-based musician and “sampler” extraordinaire, Kutiman (aka Ophir Kutiel) has hit another one out of the park with “Give It Up,” a fully-functioning song in its own right, assembled from hundreds of ameteur and instructional music videos. The Jerusalem-born musical prodigy is best know for his diverse online musical projects. In the latest video, uploaded to YouTube on Sept. 12th, Kutiel thanked most of the musicians and individuals he chose to include in the meticulously-edited clip, which opens with [...]

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  • Theater US & Canada Behind-the-Scenes Reel of Ridley Scott’s Moses Epic Shows Scenes Using 4000 Extras (VIDEO)

    Behind-the-Scenes Reel of Ridley Scott’s Moses Epic Shows Scenes Using 4000 Extras (VIDEO)

    A recently released behind-the-scenes reel of Ridley Scott’s upcoming film Exodus: Gods and Kings shows just how far the director has gone to portray one of the Bible’s most famous narratives. In the clip, which shows scenes involving up to 4,000 extras, the visionary director discusses what drew him to the biblical tale of Moses. “The Moses story was a massive challenge, which I really love. I wanted to explore the complexity of his character and I was stunned by [...]

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  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Turner Classic Movies Showcases ‘Broad Sweep’ of the Jewish Experience on Film

    Turner Classic Movies Showcases ‘Broad Sweep’ of the Jewish Experience on Film

    JNS.org – Since 2006, the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) cable and satellite TV network has hosted “The Projected Image,” a month-long showcase examining how different cultural and ethnic groups have been portrayed on the big screen. At last, after previously covering African Americans, Asians, the LGBT community, Latinos, Native Americans, Arabs, and people with disabilities, the annual series is delving into Jewish film this month. “The Projected Image: The Jewish Experience on Film,” whose first segment aired Sept. 2, runs [...]

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  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity An Inside Look at the Hasidim (REVIEW)

    An Inside Look at the Hasidim (REVIEW)

    The sight of young girls in pinafores and young boys wearing peyos – sidelocks – dangling over their ears is a sure sign that you have entered the enigmatic precincts of the Hasidim – the pious ones. Veteran New York Times journalist Joseph Berger’s new book, THE PIOUS ONES: The World of Hasidim and their Battles with America, takes the reader on a journey into the enclaves where various sects of Jews live a seemingly outmoded way of life in [...]

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  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity How Jewish Television Pioneer Milton Berle Inspired Modern Comedy Stars

    How Jewish Television Pioneer Milton Berle Inspired Modern Comedy Stars

    JNS.org – Today’s comedy superstars, especially those whose careers are driven by television, may very well owe their success to pioneering Jewish entertainer Milton Berle. Born Mendel Berlinger in Manhattan in 1908, Berle became America’s first small-screen star. Aptly nicknamed “Mr. Television,” he influenced and helped promote the work of hundreds of younger comics. “Milton Berle was deceptively successful and very Jewish,” says Lawrence Epstein, author of The Haunted Smile: The Story of Jewish Comedians in America, published the year [...]

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  • Jewish Identity Sports Jewish ‘Hoops Whisperer’ a Secret Weapon for NBA Stars

    Jewish ‘Hoops Whisperer’ a Secret Weapon for NBA Stars

    JNS.org – Idan Ravin’s friends chipped in to buy him a humble but life-changing bar mitzvah gift—a basketball hoop his father attached to the roof of his garage. Little did his friends know that years later, he would be the personal trainer of National Basketball Association (NBA) stars Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, and Stephen Curry. Ravin’s new book, “The Hoops Whisperer: On the Court and Inside the Head of Basketball’s Best Players,” details his rise from a Jewish upbringing [...]

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