Rabbi Arthur Schneier
Rabbi Schneier founded the Appeal of Conscience Foundation in 1965, an interfaith coalition of business, religious and foreign policy leaders that promotes religious freedom, human rights, peace and tolerance.
Recipient of the Presidential Citizens Medal from President Bill Clinton 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” and Department of State Special Recognition Award for “his ecumenical work in favor of mutual understanding, tolerance and peace.” The U.S. Senate honored him for hisworkonbehalfofreligious freedom and interreligious cooperation. Pope Francis conferred on him the papal knighthood of St. Sylvester for “his unceasing work to promote peace and mutual understanding.”
Since 1962, he has been the Senior Rabbi of the 128-year old Park East Synagogue, one of New York City’s historic landmark houses of worship where in 2008 he hosted Pope Benedict XVI, the first Papal visit to a synagogue in the U.S., as well as the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Patriarch of Moscow Alexy.
Convened six international conferences with Catholic, Muslim and Serbian Orthodox religious leaders from the former Yugoslavia to call for an end to the bloodshed and advance conciliation.
Co-sponsored with the Ecumenical Patriarch Peace and Tolerance Conferences on South East Europe, Kosovo, Central Asia. Appointed by U.N. Secretary General to the “Alliance of Civilizations,” ambassador of the U.N. Alliance of Civilizations, U.S. alternate representative to the U.N. General Assembly and chairman, U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad. One of three religious leaders appointed by President Clinton to start the first dialogue on religious freedom with Chinese leaders. Initiated U.N. Resolution for the Protection of Religious Sites.
Recipient of high honors from France, Albania, Austria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Morocco, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, City of Vienna; Guru Nanak Interfaith Prize; Athenagoras Award. Received eleven honorary doctorates from U.S. and foreign universities; his alma mater, Yeshiva University established the Rabbi Arthur Schneier Program for International A airs. Member, Council on Foreign Relations, Asia Society; Vice President, World Jewish Congress; U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Committee on Conscience.
Born in Vienna, Austria, in 1930; married to Elisabeth Nordmann Schneier.