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Rabbi Arthur Schneier

President and Founder, Appeal of Conscience Foundation


Rabbi Schneier is president and founder of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation and is the senior rabbi at Park East Synagogue in New York City. He is internationally known for his ecumenical work on behalf of religious freedom, human rights, peace and inter-religious dialogue.

A recipient of the Presidential Citizens Medal from President Bill Clinton in 2001, he was cited as "a Holocaust survivor who has devoted a lifetime to overcoming forces of hatred and intolerance and set an inspiring example of spiritual leadership by encouraging interfaith dialogue and intercultural understanding and promoting the cause of religious freedom around the world."

He was one of three American religious leaders appointed by President Clinton to start the first dialogue on religious freedom with President Jiang Zemin and other top Chinese leaders in 1998. In 2008, he hosted Pope Benedict XVI at Park East Synagogue, the first visit of a Pope to a synagogue in the United States. Also in 2008, he was the keynote speaker at the Interfaith Conference convened by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in Madrid. In 1994 and 1995, he co-sponsored with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew the Peace and Tolerance Conferences I and II in Istanbul, Turkey, and the World Summit of Religious Leaders convened by Patriarch Aleksey II of Russia in 2006.

Born in 1930 in Vienna, Austria, he immigrated to the United States in 1947. At his alma mater, Yeshiva University, he established the Rabbi Arthur Schneier Center for International Affairs. He is the recipient of 11 honorary doctorates. In 2009, he was knighted by King Juan Carlos I with the Knight Commander of the Order of Civil Merit from the Kingdom of Spain. He has received many more awards and honors. He is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations, the Asia Society, and the U.S. Holocaust Museum Committee on Conscience.

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