A Visit to Park East Synagogue

Last night I had the privilege of visiting Park East Synagogue in New York to assist in the unveiling of a plaque honoring the historic visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Park East Synagogue during his 2008 visit to New York.  It was the first time any pope had visited a synagogue in this country.  My good friend, Rabbi Arthur Schneier, and I then addressed the 400 or so guests who were present at the Synagogue.  I thought you might want to read my brief remarks.

Here’s an excerpt:

Without a doubt, my meetings with the Jewish community of New York have been amongst the most gratifying of all of my activities over this first year in office as Archbishop. At last count, I have met with approximately 40 separate Jewish groups and leaders, allowing me to gain a working understanding of Jewish life and concerns in New York, Israel and the world over. This evening’s gathering comes both at the second anniversary of the Holy Father’s visit to Park East Synagogue, and close to the one year mark of my own installation last April as the tenth Archbishop of New York. There could be no better moment than now for me to offer thanks for the friendship and support which I have received from all of New York, but with special affection from my Jewish colleagues whom I have come to know and admire. My prayers and good wishes are offered to you this evening that we may continue true friendship in the many years ahead.

You can read my whole speech here. Click here to listen to it.

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2 Responses to “A Visit to Park East Synagogue”

  1. John McCarthy says:

    A beautiful message, and a great example for us all…

    Keep up your inspiring leadership…and let us pray for one another…

    John

  2. Sharon Moseson says:

    As a member of the Jewish community which is within the NY Archdiocese, I want to offer my own humble welcome to you. Your presence among us reminds me of the presence of Cardinal O’Connor, of blessed memory, whose outreach to and warm connections with the Jewish community here are legendary. I have just read the entire text of your speech at the Park East Synagogue and it filled my heart with joy to see not only the sentiments which you expressed but the commitments you have made to furthering not only dialogue but interpersonal relationships between people at all levels; from community leaders and officials to simple members of each religious community. I was raised to believe that we should always look for what we have in common with our neighbors, not what differences we may have. My late father was a member of the professional Jewish Communal Service community and growing up I was blessed to have had the opportunity to experience religious beliefs and practices different from my own and come to appreciate them. I hope that your wishes regarding the coming together of people at all levels within our two communities will truly be realized. Thank you for your commitment to this.