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Rabbi Marc Schneier
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Rabbi Marc Schneier is the 18th generation of a distinguished rabbinic dynasty. He is an international figure who is known for his innovative leadership in the promotion of dialogue and cooperation in intergroup and race relations. As a prominent leader of the Jewish community, Rabbi Schneier has emerged in the forefront of combating anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in the Jewish and Muslim communities around the world. He serves as Vice President of the World Jewish Congress, Honorary Chairman of the World Jewish Congress United States and spearheads its Commission on Intergroup Relations; Founder and President of The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (1990) of which Russell Simmons is Chairman; and Founding Rabbi of The Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton Beach and The New York Synagogue in Manhattan. He has been honored by the United States Congress and the State of Israel as an advocate for human and civil rights and religious and ethnic tolerance. In 2009, Rabbi Schneier was inducted into the Martin Luther King Jr. Board of Preachers at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

A trailblazer in the field of Muslim Jewish relations, Rabbi Schneier created and spearheaded the annual Weekend of Twinnings of Mosques and Synagogues across the globe (2008,2009,2010); 1st meeting of the Coordinating Committee of European Muslim and Jewish Leaders in Paris (2011); 1st Gathering of European Muslim and Jewish Leaders in Brussels (2010); Mission of 28 European Imams and Rabbis to the United States (2009); and the first Summit of Rabbis and Imams in New York (2007). He was appointed to the Steering Committee of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s World Conference on Dialogue, convened in Madrid (2008) and in Vienna (2009). Rabbi Schneier has also been appointed to the Executive Steering Committee of the Multi-Religious Campaign Against Anti-Muslim Bigotry in the United States (2010).

An accomplished author and a foremost voice in the field of Black Jewish relations, Rabbi Schneier’s book, Shared Dreams: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Jewish Community, was published in 2000 which documents Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his relationship with the Jewish community. With accompanying student guide programs, the book tells the tale of Black and Jewish cooperation in the civil rights era to more than 12,000 students in more than 500 high schools, Hillel houses and historically Black colleges across America.

An acclaimed speaker, Rabbi Schneier represented the Jewish community in such events as: Inaugural Interfaith Gathering at the Democratic National Convention (2008); 40th anniversary commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Atlanta (2008); World Conference on Dialogue convened by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia (2008); Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s 50th annual convention (2008); NAACP Centennial convention (2009); National dinner of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (2008); National convention of the Islamic Society of North America (2009); and Doha International Conference on Interfaith Dialogue (2009,2010).

Named one of the 50 most prominent Jews in the United States by The Forward and one of America's top 50 rabbis by Newsweek Magazine, he served as President of the North American Board of Rabbis and the New York Board of Rabbis.

He is recipient of many awards, including The Kelly Miller Smith Ecumenical Award from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, The NAACP Martin Luther King, Jr. "Measure Of A Man Award", The Ellis Island Medal of Honor, The Civil Rights Leadership Award in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., The New York State Martin Luther King, Jr. Medal, the American Civil Rights Education Services Civil Rights Award, and the Interfaith Award from the Islamic Center of Long Island.

Born and raised in New York City, Rabbi Schneier is a graduate of Yeshiva University and currently divides his time between New York City and Westhampton Beach.

Entries by Rabbi Marc Schneier

In the Wake of Paris Terror Attacks, Fight ISIS and Strengthen Ties With Mainstream Muslims

(0) Comments | Posted November 16, 2015 | 11:47 AM


Ever since the ISIS-inspired terrorist attacks in Paris, replete with horrendous media images of remorseless killers remorselessly gunning down scores of concert goers while intoning 'Allahu Akhbar' (God is great), we have heard a growing drumbeat in the media by influential opinion makers...

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Amidst Violence at Home, Israel's Chief Rabbi Finds Kindred Spirits Among Imams in New York

(0) Comments | Posted October 20, 2015 | 2:27 PM

On October 15, even as an ominous wave of violence escalated between Palestinians and Israelis in Jerusalem, I had the honor to host a luncheon at a New York City kosher restaurant at which the Chief Rabbi of Israel, David Lau, met...

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Yom Kippur, Eid al-Adha: Common Faith, Common Fate

(30) Comments | Posted September 21, 2015 | 4:11 PM

As a rabbi and an imam who have been working together for nearly a decade to nurture ties of communication and cooperation between Muslims and Jews worldwide, we find it moving that two of the most important holidays in our respective faiths, Yom Kippur and Eid al-Adha, will overlap this...

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Ramadan and the True Spirit of Islam

(26) Comments | Posted June 29, 2015 | 5:02 PM

Whenever I have the opportunity to attend a Ramadan iftar--the festive meal held every evening at sunset to break the daily fast that Muslims observe for the entire Holy Month of month--I find myself awed by the self-sacrifice and inner discipline of untold millions of individual Muslims who go without...

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On Public Transport: Support Free Speech, Not Hate Speech

(5) Comments | Posted May 1, 2015 | 11:56 AM

I am a strong supporter of the right to free speech guaranteed in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a principle which is at the very heart of the liberties we enjoy in America. Nevertheless, I applaud the April 28 decision by the Board of the New York City...

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Muslims and Jews must speak out when Christians are attacked

(31) Comments | Posted April 5, 2015 | 9:45 AM

As Christians all over the world mark one of the holiest days of their religious calendar, the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU) and the Nusantara Foundation applaud efforts toward communication, reconciliation and cooperation among all faiths.

We are deeply concerned about the wholesale violation of the rights of Christians...

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Muslims DO Speak Out, We're Just Not Listening

(32) Comments | Posted April 2, 2015 | 10:30 AM

On a February evening in Oslo, Norway more than 1,000 Muslims formed a 'Ring of Peace' around the Oslo Synagogue, thereby offering symbolic protection to the Norwegian Jewish community and making clear their utter rejection of the terrorist attack the previous weekend by an Islamist extremist on the main synagogue...

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A Failure To See Why Jerusalem Matters to the Other: Muslims and Jews Need To Understand Each Other's Faith

(3) Comments | Posted December 3, 2014 | 3:15 PM

Originally published in The Jewish Daily Forward 12/01/2014

Muslims and Jews around the world are today facing a fearsome specter, that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is increasingly turning into a war between our two religions. To prevent a global conflagration that would be a disaster for both faiths and...

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Standing Together for Crimean Tartars

(1) Comments | Posted November 5, 2014 | 12:44 PM

By Rabbi Marc Schneier and Mohammed Khan

As an American Jewish and an American Muslim leader dedicated to the principle that Muslims and Jews should stand up for each other whenever the rights of members of either community are violated anywhere in the world, we are speaking out together against...

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A New Paradigm for Muslim-Jewish Dialogue

(1) Comments | Posted August 20, 2014 | 4:42 PM

Originally published in The New York Jewish Week

At least we are finally beginning to understand what we are up against.

As the war in Gaza has taken its toll and the U.S. conducts a sustained bombing campaign against ISIS in...

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50 Years After the Civil Rights Act, Our Journey Continues

(0) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 5:57 PM

Rabbi Schneier with Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-SC) at the Congressional Reception

Two weeks ago, as the nation marked the 50th Anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, a unique ceremony took place in the US Capitol, commemorating the 50th Anniversary...

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In the Ukraine Crisis, Don't Forget the Welfare of the Jewish and Muslim Minorities

(4) Comments | Posted February 20, 2014 | 3:30 PM

Back in May 2011, the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, for which I serve as president, co-sponsored an international conference in Kiev together with the Ukrainian Jewish Committee to fight against anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in Ukraine and around the world. During the conference, I met many wonderful Jewish...

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A Muslim-Jewish Silver Lining in a European Dark Cloud

(1) Comments | Posted January 27, 2014 | 8:40 PM

Last week, I had the privilege of leading a delegation of European imams and rabbis to meet with Council of Europe (COE) Secretary-General Thorbjorn Jagland at COE headquarters in Strasbourg, and to present to him a petition signed by more than 500 European Muslim and Jewish leaders calling for revocation...

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Mandela's Road to Reconciliation: The Next Stop on the Journey

(0) Comments | Posted December 12, 2013 | 12:05 PM

In 2003, I traveled to South Africa with my dear friend, Martin Luther King III, at the invitation of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, where we spoke at their centenary celebration on the state of black-Jewish relations in the United States. During the civil rights struggle, no segment...

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What Muslims and Jews Have in Common

(8) Comments | Posted December 6, 2013 | 9:47 AM

When we tell people that we have written a book together entitled Sons of Abraham: A Candid Conversation About the Issues that Divide and Unite Muslims and Jews, many respond with comments like: "There must be a million things that divide Jews and Muslims. But what could ever possibly unite...

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VIDEO: Muslims and Jews Vow to Stand Up for Each Other, Build Global Movement of Reconciliation

(7) Comments | Posted October 23, 2013 | 4:54 PM

There is a widely accepted belief that Muslims and Jews are enemies and will always remain so. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

For the past six years The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding has not only challenged this narrative, but has facilitated a...

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Yom Kippur and Blaming Others

(14) Comments | Posted September 13, 2013 | 8:37 AM

As we approach Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, it is worthwhile to shed some light on a colorful, but relatively low profile ritual in the Yom Kippur liturgy known as the Azalzel, or the ritual of the two goats. This is a modern explication of a ceremony performed in...

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The March on Washington and the Jews: Past, Present and Future

(32) Comments | Posted August 26, 2013 | 7:27 PM

This Wednesday, August 28 when we commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and the majestic "I Have a Dream" speech, we should reflect on the singular role the Jewish community played throughout the Civil Rights struggle and, in particular, remember with pride Jewish participation in the March...

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With a Single Forefather, Muslims and Jews Can Work Together

(9) Comments | Posted July 16, 2013 | 7:06 PM

Co-authored with Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool

Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool welcomes Rabbi Marc Schneier at the Embassy of South Africa, Washington D.C., June 2013

As Nelson Mandela endures a grave illness with the same courage and dignity he evinced throughout his...

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Muslim and Jewish Leaders Unite to Combat Hatred

(330) Comments | Posted May 31, 2013 | 1:36 PM

FFEU's First Delegation of Muslim and Jewish Leaders from Europe visits the White House in 2009, Photo: Walter Ruby.

Secretary of State John Kerry performed an important public service on May 20 by personally announcing the release of the U.S. State...

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