LONG ISLAND, NY–The Islamic Center of Long Island (ICLI) recently bestowed a special honor on Orthodox Rabbi Marc Schneier.
400 Muslim religious leaders and businessman took part in the centerâ€™s annual dinner. Those in attendance welcomed Schneier with much applause as the heads of the ICLI bestowed the special award upon the rabbi.
The award was in recognition of Scheierâ€™s initiative for a unique multi-cultural symposium involving rabbis and imams held recently in New York. Another recipient of the same award was Imam Omar Namus, of New York, who also took part in the symposium.
Rabbi Marc Schneier is President and Founder of The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU), which work toward improving relations between minorities in the United States. He serves as the spiritual leader of Manhattanâ€™s New York Synagogue and was rated number 37 of the top 50 most influential American rabbis by Newsweek magazine in 2007.
In his acceptance speech, Schneier referred to the imminent Middle East peace conference to be held shortly in Annapolis, Maryland, saying that the â€œproblem with the conference is the absence of a senior religious figure who would represent both the Jewish and Muslim faiths.â€
â€œReligion is a powerful factor in the Middle Eastâ€ Schneier said, and added that without the participation of Jewish and Muslim religious leaders, the peace process will likely fail.
Rabbi Schneier is President and Founder of The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and is Chairman of the World Jewish Congress American Section. He is the past President of the North American Board of Rabbis, a federation of presidents and past presidents of rabbinical boards from more than 50 major cities across the United States and Canada, and is past president of the New York Board of Rabbis, the worldâ€™s largest interdenominational rabbinic body representing the Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist movements. Rabbi Schneier is founding rabbi of The Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton Beach and The New York Synagogue in Manhattan. He serves on myriad boards and executive committees, including the Drum Major Institute, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations and the Jewish National Fund.