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Black Tie International:
President Nicolas Sarkozy Honors Rabbi Arthur Schneier
with The Legion of Honor Award


Francois Delattre, (left) French Ambassador to the United States, and Archbishop Timothy Dolan,(center) congratulate Rabbi Arthur Schneier, (right) founder and President of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation and Senior Rabbi of the Park East Synagogue, before he receives the Officer of the Legion of Honor, the most prestigious award given by the French government. The award recognizes Rabbi Schneier's role as a spiritual leader and an advocate for religious freedom and human rights. (Appeal of Conscience Foundation, Diane Bondareff)

Francois Delattre, (left) French Ambassador to the United States, and Archbishop Timothy Dolan,(center) congratulate Rabbi Arthur Schneier, (right) founder and President of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation and Senior Rabbi of the Park East Synagogue, before he receives the Officer of the Legion of Honor, the most prestigious award given by the French government. The award recognizes Rabbi Schneier's role as a spiritual leader and an advocate for religious freedom and human rights.
(Appeal of Conscience Foundation, Diane Bondareff)


Nicolas Sarkozy
Rabbi Arthur Schneier
The Legion of Honor
*** The most prestigious award given by
the French government*****


Rabbi Arthur Schneier, received the insigna of Officer of the Legion of Honor on behalf of theFrench President, Nicolas Sarkozy, in a ceremony held at the French Consulate in New York City and presided over by His Excellency François Delattre, the French Ambassador to the United States.

The Legion of Honor is the most prestigious award given by the French government. It was established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, in recognition for distinguished merit or outstanding service to France. The award while typically bestowed on French nationals is given less frequently to foreigners, usually in recognition of their service to France or other outstanding acts. 

"I am glad and honored to have the opportunity to give you this testimony of friendship on behalf of France,” said French Ambassador to the United states, François Delattre. “It is my pleasure, on behalf of President Sarkozy, to present to you with the Légion d’Honneur in recognition of your tireless efforts to promote and support religious freedom, human rights and interfaith tolerance all over the world". 

“During the Holocaust, I experienced firsthand the consequences of hatred and conflict and have devoted a lifetime to awaken man’s humanity to man, and to advocate my credo, ‘Live and let live’,” said Rabbi Arthur Schneier, Senior Rabbi of The Park East Synagogue and President and Founder of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation. “The high honor bestowed upon me by the President of the Republic of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, encourages me to continue to build bridges in dialogue between civilizations, cultures and religious communities, and further international cooperation.”


The award underscores Rabbi Arthur Schneier’s role not only as a spiritual leader and a human rights advocate but as an “unofficial ambassador” to leaders across the world who have sought to promote religious freedom, human rights and brotherhood between all mankind. Rabbi Arthur Schneier, is the founder and President of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, and since 1962, the senior Rabbi of the Park East Synagogue.


In February of 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lauded the Rabbi when he was honored by the Foreign Service Institute, “for his commitment and partnership for over 30 years in helping foreign affairs professionals better understand the complex issues surrounding religious life and the right to religious freedom in the countries in which they serve.”


Among those in attendance; The Most Reverend Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York. The Most Reverend Khajag Barsamian, Archbishop of the Armenian Diocese of America. Reverend Dr. Fred Anderson, Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church. Commissioner Raymond Kelly, NYPD. Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo, Deputy Chief of Mission, US Mission to the United Nations  and the Hon. Ido Aharoni, Consul General of Israel in New York.


In addition to this honor from the French Government the “Rabbi-Ambassador” has received numerous high honors from world leaders and their governments:


·         2001- Presidential Citizens Medal: Cited by President Clinton 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.”


·         2003-Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary: On behalf of the Hungarian Government, cited as a “Holocaust survivor who has devoted his life to safeguarding human rights, freedom and democracy and for contributing much to strengthening ties between Hungary and the United States.


·         2009-The Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity: On behalf of the Italian Government for “His humanitarian outreach, his efforts to better relations between the United States and Italy and for his leadership as a bridge builder between cultures and religious communities around the world.


·         2009-Knight Commander of the Order of Civil Merit: Knighted by King Juan Carlos I of Spain for “His outstanding work in promoting the objectives of peace and tolerance between peoples of different cultures and beliefs that inspire the Alliance of Civilizations.”


·         2010-Officer's Cross of the Order of the Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany: On behalf of President Christian Wulff – Cited for: “His commitment and dedication devoted to tolerance, justice and humanity.”


·         2010-Commander’s Cross with the Star of the Order of the Republic of Hungary: On behalf of President László Sólyom and Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai – Cited for “His efforts to promote and support religious freedom, human rights and tolerance and his contribution to the strengthening of ties between Hungary and the United States.”


·         2010- High Decoration of the Russian Foreign Ministry on behalf of H.E. Sergey V. Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Russian Federation – Cited for “His continued commitment to strengthen Russian-American relations and help further advance the improved climate of cooperation.”


Since founding the Appeal of Conscience Foundation in 1965, Rabbi Arthur Schneier has successfully worked on behalf of religious freedom and human rights throughout the world. This interfaith coalition of business and religious leaders promotes peace, tolerance and ethnic conflict resolution. The Foundation believes that freedom, democracy and human rights are the fundamental values that give nations of the world their best hope for peace, security and shared prosperity.


Appeal of Conscience delegations have met with religious and government leaders in Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Bulgaria, People's Republic of China, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Cuba, Czech Republic, El Salvador, Germany, Holy See, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Morocco, Panama, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovak Republic, Switzerland, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the former Yugoslavia. The Foundation also hosts delegations from abroad to acquaint them with the diversity of American religious life and its contribution to a civil society.


Rabbi Arthur Schneier has served as U.S. Alternate Representative to the U.N. General Assembly and Chairman of the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad. In 1998, 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 2001, Rabbi Schneier initiated the Resolution for the Protection of Religious Sites, adopted by the U.N. General Assembly. In 2004 he served as a member of the U.S. delegation to the Stockholm International Forum for the Prevention of Genocide.  In 2005, he was appointed to the High-Level Group, Alliance of Civilizations, by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, a distinguished group whose goal is to bridge divisions between societies exploited by extremists and among societies in which prejudices, misconceptions and polarizations threaten international stability and peaceful relations. In 2008, UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon, appointed Rabbi Arthur Schneier Ambassador to the Alliance of Civilizations.


Ordained by Yeshiva University he is the recipient of eleven honorary doctorates. Born in Vienna, Austria, March 20, 1930, Rabbi Schneier lived under Nazi occupation in Budapest during World War II and arrived in the United States in 1947.


Joyce Brooks

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