Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Case of Rabbi Marc Schneier

Case of Rabbi Marc Schneier

Rabbi - The Hampton Synagogue, Westhampton, NY
Rabbi - New York Synagogue, New York, NY
Founder and President - Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, New York, NY

Marc Schneier, a married orthodox rabbi was caught kissing one of his congregants.   At the time Rabbi Schneier blamed his behavior on his bipolar condition and believed he should not be punished as a result.

At the time Shmuel Goldin, who was the president of the RCA’s, told The New York Jewish Week that at issue is whether Schneier’s actions represent a chillul hashem, or desecration of God’s name, in terms of “behavior of a public or private nature unbecoming a rabbi,” which the group views as grounds for discipline. 

Back in 2010 the RCA chose to suspend the investigation because Schneier was legally barred from testifying by a judicial gag order put in place during the bitter divorce negotiations between him and Rubinstein Schneier. The gag order stymied the efforts of the Vaad Hakavod, an RCA committee tasked with investigating ethical breaches of RCA members. According to Rabbi Shmuel Goldin, “The Vaad Hakavod had been convened — and then we ran into this roadblock."

Many believe that with the evidence that was floating around the internet that the RCA should have immediately revoked Schneier's membership.

FYI:  There are several people by the name of Marc Schneier.  The individual discussed on this page was born June 26, 1959.


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Table of Contents:

  1. Famed Rabbi & Wife Splitting (06/27/2010)
  2. Marc Schneier, rabbi to the stars, caught kissing another woman in Israel; 4th wife wants separation  (08/14/2010)
  3. Spielberg's rabbi in adultry storm (09/16/2010)
  4. Rabbinical Group Poised to Probe Marc Schneier (08/31/2010)
  5. Rabbi Marc Schneier's Opening Comments at the World Jewish Congress (12/06/2010)


  1. Bill Clinton and his daughter participate in an evening of Muslim-Jewish understanding (03/15/2012)

  1. Marc Schneier Gets Married (Again!) — and RCA May Move To Resolve Dispute (11/23/2013)
  2. Rabbi Marc Schneier (12/24/2013)
  3. KosherTravelers.com - Scholars in Residence (12/24/2013)


Famed Rabbi & Wife Splitting 
By Page Six Staff
New York Post - June 27, 2010

Respected Rabbi Marc Schneier has split from his fourth wife and is now spending time with a younger woman.

A source tells us the rabbi and wife Tobi Rubinstein-Schneier are divorcing after splitting a few months ago, and he has since started spending time with an attractive brunette in her 30s named Gitty.

Schneier, founding rabbi of the New York Synagogue and the Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton, is also a spiritual adviser to stars including Russell Simmons and Steven Spielberg. He and Tobi have been married for three years.

Schneier, 51, is also the founder and president of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding. He often jets around the world to improve interfaith relations and met withPope Benedict at the Vatican last year.
Schneier, named by Newsweek as one of the 50 most influential American rabbis, recently told his congregation that he’s suffering from bipolar disorder.

A source told us: “He’s divorcing his fourth wife. He’s a great leader in the Jewish community, he’s just not very good at marriage.

“He met Gitty after he was separated from Tobi and they are spending time together.”

Schneier and his wife have homes in Westhampton Beach and Manhattan. Tobi famously arranged for a 400-pound endangered Asian lion called “Rabbi Marc” to be donated to the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo in Schneier’s honor for his 50th birthday.

A spokesman for Rabbi Schneier, Ken Sunshine, said: “Marc Schneier is a renowned worldwide leader, and a pioneer in Muslim-Jewish relations. He has been dealing with a very serious illness, and we will have no comment on rumor or innuendo.”

Calls to lawyers for Rubinstein-Schneier were not returned.


Marc Schneier, rabbi to the stars, caught kissing another woman in Israel; 4th wife wants separation
New York Daily News - August 14, 2010

Rabbi Marc Schneier kissing Gitty Leiner. Schneier's fourth wife Tobi Rubinstein-Schneier has filed for legal separation from her husband, and claims in court papers that he impregnated his lover.
A rabbi to the stars was busted by his jilted wife for smooching a sexy gal pal on an Israeli getaway, according to blockbuster court papers obtained by the Daily News.

Rabbi Marc Schneier, the founder of the star-studded Hampton Synagogue, was slapped with shocking photographic proof of the affair by his fourth wife as they met for a drink at the Four Seasons.

Tobi Rubinstein-Schneier - whose complaint claims her husband impregnated his lover - this week petitioned a Manhattan court for a legal separation from the high-profile rabbi, who pals around with Russell Simmons and makes the scene in the Hamptons.

"My client did not know things were not good in this marriage until late in the day," said Susan Bender, a lawyer for the rabbi's wife of nearly four years. "This behavior by an Orthodox rabbi is an embarrassment to Orthodox Jews."

A private eye for Rubinstein-Schneier snapped several pictures of the randy rabbi getting up close and personal in Israel with Gitty Leiner, a stunning speech pathologist and a congregant at the Hampton Synagogue.

"The differences Rabbi Schneier has with his wife are private and they should not be a matter of public discussion or public debate," said Don Schuck, a lawyer for the rabbi. "It's been his desire from the start to resolve this amicably."

But in sealed court papers obtained by The News, Rubinstein-Schneier doesn't hold back from slinging mud at her estranged husband.

She claims in a 20-page complaint that he continued living in the couple's upper East Side home from February to April, even as he carried on with another woman.

On Valentine's Day, court papers say, Schneier showed up with a bouquet of roses for his wife and pledged his love to her before departing for a San Francisco tryst with Leiner.

He's also accused in the court papers of putting Leiner up last summer in housing across the street from the Hampton Synagogue. And in July, the suit says, the scorned wife found out her husband had gotten Leiner pregnant.

And Schneier allegedly pitched a fit at an 80th birthday celebration for his dad, Rabbi Arthur Schneier, at Manhattan's Park East Synagogue.

"During the luncheon, defendant became enraged because his father 'is an egomaniac, and I am the great one,'" according to the complaint filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.

Schneier founded his Hamptons house of worship - which is billed on its Web site as "New York's Most Celebrated Synagogue" - in 1990.

He also founded the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, a racial-harmony group whose board of directors is chaired by hip-hop mogul Simmons.

Earlier this year, Newsweek named Schneier one of the 50 most influential rabbis in America.

The complaint seeks to have Schneier maintain his wife's preseparation standard of living, pay for her health care and insurance and cover costs on homes in Manhattan and Westhampton Beach.


Rabbinical Group Poised To Investigate Marc Schneier
High-style rabbi declines RCA offer to resign; says bipolar condition to blame for unusual behavior.
By Gary Rosenblatt
Jewish Week - August 31, 2010

The Rabbinical Council of America, the largest organization of Orthodox rabbis, is likely to initiate an inquiry into alleged moral improprieties of its member, Rabbi Marc Schneier, the high-profile spiritual leader of The Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton, L.I., and New York Synagogue in Midtown, whose success in drawing wealthy and loyal supporters and congregants is matched by his widely reported history of personal romances.

Faced with the choice of resignation or the likelihood of being brought before the RCA’s Vaad Hakavod, a committee to deal with the personal conduct of members, Rabbi Schneier this week chose not to step down.

The impetus for the RCA’s involvement in the matter is a spate of recent stories in local tabloids reporting on an alleged affair Rabbi Schneier was conducting this spring while still married to his fourth wife.

At an RCA executive committee meeting Sept. 1, the officers unanimously recommended the highly unusual step of investigating a member’s actions, with the possibility of disciplining or expelling him.

“This would be a call for an inquiry,” the RCA’s first vice president, Rabbi Shmuel Goldin, told The Jewish Week on Tuesday. At issue, he said, is whether Rabbi Schneier’s actions represent a chillul hashem, or desecration of God’s name, in terms of “behavior of a public or private nature unbecoming a rabbi,” which the group views as grounds for discipline.

The RCA inquiry, should it go forward, is not expected to harm Rabbi Schneier’s standing at The Hamptons Synagogue, which he founded in 1990 and where Shabbat services regularly attract up to 1,000 worshippers. It includes a full schedule of activities during the summer months, from adult education classes and famous authors to Jewish film festivals.

One prominent supporter of the synagogue said it continues to thrive and that most congregants feel a strong sense of loyalty to the rabbi. “He’s a great guy, and we’ve chosen to forgive him,” he said. “He’s just not good at marriage.”

Rabbi Schneier made headlines in The Daily News — “Rabbi To The Stars Caught Kissing Another Woman In Israel,” Aug. 14 — after his fourth wife, Tobi Rubinstein-Schneier, who is seeking a legal separation after four years of marriage, is alleged to have charged in court papers that he is having an affair with a congregant — and that the woman is pregnant with the rabbi’s child.

Supporters of the rabbi insist that the woman, identified as Gitty Leiner, a speech pathologist, is not a congregant and has never been pregnant, offering a letter to The Jewish Week from a physician as proof. They add that the rabbi and his present wife are separated.

Rabbi Schneier is expected to assert to the RCA that his publicly acknowledged bipolar condition is the cause of what friends describe as his “erratic behavior,” and that he should not be punished as a result.

Asked by The Jewish Week for a comment, the rabbi released a statement, through his public relations representative, Matt Dorf, on Tuesday afternoon, saying:

“Rather than support one of its 25-plus-year members in a time of medical need, the RCA has instead embarrassed itself by listening to tabloid smears and innuendo spread by a soon-to-be ex-wife looking to shake down her third husband.

“Rabbi Schneier looks forward to a vigorous defense against this smear campaign that the RCA itself has regrettably given voice to.”

The Vaad Hakavod, should it be convened, would have the latitude to determine whether Rabbi Schneier should continue to function at his synagogue, take a leave of absence until his condition is improved, be expelled from the RCA or decide on another alternative.

The last time the Vaad Hakavod was called into action was in 2004 when it launched a yearlong investigation into allegations of sexual impropriety against Rabbi Mordechai Tendler of Monsey, who was expelled in 2005.

Rabbi Schneier, who congregants say functions as a combination of spiritual leader, celebrity and impresario, has become a national figure over the years.

The Hampton Synagogue’s website calls it “New York’s Most Celebrated Synagogue,” and Rabbi Schneier was ranked by Newsweek as among the 50 most influential rabbis in America. He is also the founder of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, an organization advocating racial harmony and chaired by hip-hop star Russell Simmons. He has championed the cause of Jewish-Muslim dialogue in recent years.

Since The Jewish Week began making inquiries last week about what, if any, response there was among rabbinic groups regarding Rabbi Schneier’s behavior, the newspaper has received calls from a variety of advocates for the rabbi, including his friends, supporters, public relations spokesmen and medical experts.

Two of the rabbinical groups with which Rabbi Schneier was involved seemed inclined to stay out of the fray.

Asked for comment, Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, executive Vice President of the New York Board of Rabbis, which Rabbi Schneier has led as president, demurred, saying, “It’s a private matter.”

Similarly, initial inquiries to the RCA, whose policy guidelines insist that “rabbis must conduct themselves in ways that are exemplary in their religious, moral and interpersonal conduct,” went unanswered for several days.

This was followed up by an e-mail message from the RCA’s executive vice president, Rabbi Basil Herring, who wrote:

“We are saddened to see a member of the RCA in this situation. We will have no further comment at this time.”

The muted response was noteworthy, given the RCA’s swift and outspoken criticism of other members over the years for issues of halachic adherence.

In recent months, the rabbinical group reprimanded Rabbi Avi Weiss of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale for giving a woman associate the title of “rabba,” and at the time of the Obama inauguration, it criticized Rabbi Haskel Lookstein of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun in Manhattan for participating in a prayer service in a Washington church honoring the president.

One RCA official acknowledged that the group felt goaded to take action in the case of Rabbi Schneier, because “how would it look if we ignored this kind of behavior” that has received so much attention. “If left unaddressed, it might cause many to question the high moral standards the RCA expects from its members,” he said.

Another RCA member said the group sought to be sensitive to Rabbi Schneier and his medical issues, but did not want to give the impression that a medical condition provides a rabbi an excuse to act improperly.

“If [Rabbi Schneier) said to us, ‘I have a problem and I can’t serve my congregation until I’m better,’ I’m sure we wouldn’t take action. But he seems to want to continue as if everything is fine.”


Spielberg's rabbi in adultry storm
By Paul Berger
Jewish Chronicle - September 16, 2010

Last year, Tobi Rubinstein-Schneier bought her husband Rabbi Marc Schneier an endangered Asian lion as a 50th birthday present.

This year, it is the high-flying, 51-year-old rabbi's career that is endangered as his wife files for divorce in a bitter lawsuit.

Rabbi Schneier is being accused of an affair with a woman in her thirties, which resulted in her pregnancy. As a result of the allegations, the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA), the world's largest Orthodox rabbinical group, is now considering expelling him from their organisation.

Rabbi Schneier founded the Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton Beach, a high society Long Island retreat, 20 years ago. Known as a "rabbi to the stars", he has given spiritual guidance to billionaire Ronald Lauder and Steven among others.

Newsweek has ranked Rabbi Schneier among the 50 most influential rabbis in America since it began compiling a list three years ago.

Ms Rubinstein-Schneier is the prominent rabbi's fourth wife. The couple broke up earlier this year, after three years of marriage.

Just last year, they were pictured happily together at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, where Ms Rubinstein-Schneier made a donation in return for having an Asian lion named after her husband.

When their marriage dissolved this year, Rabbi Schneier told congregants that his erratic behaviour was a result of bipolar disorder.

That admission caused Rabbi Schneier's third wife, Fay Toby Schneier, to sue for full custody of the couple's 11-year-old son.

Meanwhile, Ms Rubinstein-Schneier accused Rabbi Schneier of cheating on her with Hampton Synagogue congregant Gitty Leiner. Ms Rubinstein-Schneier hired a private detective who trailed her husband to Israel, where he photographed the rabbi and Ms Leiner kissing.

The photographs were submitted to a New York court along with a 20-page written complaint.
Ms Rubinstein-Schneier's lawyer, Susan Bender, declined to comment.

But court papers, obtained by the New York Daily News, accuse Rabbi Schneier of carrying on the affair while he was still living with his wife.

They also claim that Rabbi Schneier arranged a house for his lover opposite his Hamptons synagogue and that he got his lover pregnant.

Some members of Rabbi Schneier's congregation say that they are not alarmed by his behaviour and stand behind him.

Nevertheless, the Rabbinical Council of America has convened an internal ethics committee, known as a Vaad Hakovod, to investigate whether Rabbi Schneier's behaviour warrants expulsion from the RCA.
Rabbi Basil Herring, the executive vice president of the RCA, said he could not comment pending the outcome of the Vaad Hakovod deliberations.

Rabbi Schneier was not available for comment.


Bill Clinton and his daughter participate in an evening of Muslim-Jewish understanding 
By Shlomo Shamir
Haaretz - March 15, 2012

(Left to right) Imam Shamsi Ali, Rabbi Marc Schneier, Chelsea Clinton and Bill Clinton at Muslim-Jewish dialogue moderated by the former U.S. president’s daughter on March 14, 2012.

While the former U.S. president’s daughter advocates interfaith cooperation inside the JCC, protesters gather outside demanding an apology for the creation of programs that bring together members of mosques and synagogues.

A new star has risen in support of efforts to strengthen ties between American Jews and Muslims; Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

Chelsea Clinton moderated a public dialogue on Wednesday night at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan featuring two outspoken advocates of building a Muslim-Jewish alliance, Rabbi Marc Schneier and Imam Shamsi Ali. After speaking before an overflowing audience, which included her proud father, the younger Clinton told Haaretz, "I am honored to have been invited to take part in this event, and to support the work of the rabbi and the imam. I believe deeply in the importance of talking to each other and also in moving beyond conversation to working together."

Referring to several dozen anti-Muslim protestors who turned up outside the JCC with signs denouncing the dialogue and demanding that Schneier “apologize to the Jewish community” for creating programs that bring together members of mosques and synagogues in the U.S. and around the world through the agency he founded, The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, Chelsea Clinton said, "We are being protested, which shows we are having an important conversation."

Referring to series of rhetorical attacks on Muslims here over the past several years in the media and by prominent politicians including the outcry in 2010 against plans to build a mosque several blocks from the World Trade Center, Chelsea Clinton added, "We are very concerned about the anti-Muslim stereotyping. We need to hold our politicians and those of us in the media to a certain level of discourse."

Schneier, an Orthodox rabbi who is the spiritual leader of a large synagogue in the Hamptons and vice president of the World Jewish Congress, told the audience, "I believe that as a Jew and a rabbi I have a responsibility to speak out against anti-Muslim bigotry and discrimination, just as I expect my Muslim brothers and sisters to speak out against anti-Semitism."

Noting that prominent American Muslim leaders have repeatedly denounced Holocaust denial and had issued an appeal to Hamas to free the then-captured Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit two months before his liberation, Schneier said, "I am proud that we have moved beyond dialogue to actually fighting for the rights of the other."

Imam Shamsi Ali, the former spiritual leader of the Islamic Cultural Center of New York, who was chosen by New York Magazine as one of the seven most influential religious leaders in New York, said both Muslims and Jews need to look beyond negative stereotypes of each other to strengthen people-to-people ties. Noting that the term “jihad” is often misconstrued in the media to mean exclusively violence against non-Muslims, Imam Ali said, "In fact we are now engaged in a jihad for peace and for cooperation between people of all backgrounds."

Responding to recent revelations that the New York Police Department has spied extensively on worshippers in mosques and on Muslim student groups, Imam Ali expressed disagreement with widespread calls for the resignation of NYPD chief Ray Kelly; stating, "People in the Muslim community are deeply concerned about this, but instead of demanding (Kelly's) resignation, we need to engage the NYPD to put procedures into place so that it consults with Muslim leaders on an ongoing basis."

Marc Schneier Gets Married (Again!) — and RCA May Move To Resolve Dispute
Forward - November 21, 2013

Rabbi Marc Schneier poses for wedding photos
with his fifth wife, Gitty Leiner (left)

In the past few months, Rabbi Marc Schneier, founder and president of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and leader of a star-studded synagogue in the Hamptons, has been busy. The foundation launched a month-long series of programs in Jewish and Muslim houses of worship, while Schneier has been jetting around the globe engaged in his particular brand of multi-faith dialogue and promoting his new book, “Sons of Abraham,” written with Imam Shamsi Ali.

The Orthodox rabbi also found time to stand under the chuppah for the fifth time.

Schneier married Gitty Leiner, a speech pathologist and his longtime girlfriend, at an unannounced wedding on October 6 at his shul, The Hampton Synagogue, in Westhampton Beach, N.Y.

The wedding may lead to the resolution of one of the more unusual situations to face an Orthodox rabbi who has a worldwide reputation.

In 2010, the Rabbinical Council of America, representing modern Orthodox rabbis, announced that it was launching an inquiry into allegations that Schneier, an RCA member, had committed adultery with Leiner, a congregant, while still married to his fourth wife, Tobi Rubinstein Schneier.

At the time, Shmuel Goldin, then the RCA’s president, told The New York Jewish Week that at issue is whether Schneier’s actions represent a chillul hashem, or desecration of God’s name, in terms of “behavior of a public or private nature unbecoming a rabbi,” which the group views as grounds for discipline. Goldin, interviewed by the Forward on November 20, reaffirmed that statement.

But the RCA chose to suspend the investigation because Schneier was legally barred from testifying by a judicial gag order put in place during the bitter divorce negotiations between him and Rubinstein Schneier. The gag order stymied the efforts of the Vaad Hakavod, an RCA committee tasked with investigating ethical breaches of RCA members. “The Vaad Hakavod had been convened — and then we ran into this roadblock,” Goldin said.

“It would not have been fair for us to hold any kind of hearing without Rabbi Schneier having an opportunity to address [us],” Goldin said. “So we were stuck.”

But the RCA may not be stuck for much longer. Schneier’s recent wedding is a sign that he and his fourth ex-wife have finally agreed upon a divorce settlement, which would mean the lifting of the gag order. Schneier did not return several calls from the Forward seeking comment. According to Raoul Felder, a prominent New York divorce lawyer, ex-spouses are barred under New York state law from remarrying until a divorce settlement is finalized. So Schneier would not have been able to marry Leiner until he reached a settlement with his ex-wife.

Rabbi Mark Dratch, the RCA’s executive vice president, was unaware of any change in the gag order’s status. He said he consulted recently with Schneier’s attorney, who assured him that “the gag order was in place.” (The respective attorneys for Schneier and Tobi Rubinstein Schneier did not return calls for comment.)

Goldin, who now serves as the RCA’s president emeritus, hinted that the gag order’s days might be numbered. “From my understanding, that may be coming to a resolution,” he said.
Goldin declined to comment further, but said he hopes the case moves forward. “It’s not good for the organization to have this hanging over us,” he said. “We would — and Rabbi Schneier would — rather bring this to some conclusion.”

The bad publicity has not diminished Schneier’s star power or slowed his work on interfaith relations. He was named one of the top 50 rabbis in America by Newsweek in 2012 and 2013. His Hamptons synagogue attracts some of New York’s wealthiest Jewish residents, among them Ronald Lauder and Steven Spielberg. Even New York City’s mayoral candidates made the trek to Westhampton Beach last summer, hoping to earn the support of the synagogue’s congregants.

Schneier continues to lead the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding with Def Jam Recordings founder Russell Simmons, working to improve relations between the Jewish community and the Muslim and black communities. The foundation’s recent sixth annual International Weekend of Twinning paired more than 300 synagogues and mosques around the world.

Like her ex, Rubinstein Schneier has not shied away from the spotlight. She once made headlines for buying her then-husband a lion, which remained a resident of the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, but was renamed “Rabbi Marc.”

After her divorce, she tried to take her story public on “The Ex-Wives’ Club,” a TV show about divorced women. But Schneier insisted that his ex-wife adhere to the gag rule on their divorce — the same gag rule holding up the RCA’s investigation into his own behavior. Rubinstein Schneier later received “ordination” from the Jewish Spiritual Leadership Institute Rabbinical School, which operates online.

Though Schneier has no fear of the spotlight, he has not made any public announcement of his recent wedding. His biography on his synagogue’s website makes no mention of his new wife.

But photos of the wedding were posted on YouTube. About 250 people attended at The Hampton Synagogue, according to congregant Joel Cohen, a lawyer who has called himself “an unofficial consigliere” for Schneier.

Cohen brushed aside any suggestion that the congregation felt ill will about its rabbi’s romantic saga. “The members of the congregation that were there were very pleased and happy to be there, and they enjoyed themselves,” he said. “And we wish [the couple] well.”

The slideshow of the affair on YouTube includes several photos of the smiling couple and their guests. Leiner and Schneier also joined an online wedding registry, theknot.com. They requested a variety of serving pieces from Bloomingdale’s, including a matching silver-plated $440 salt-and-pepper set, a $1,050 ice bucket and a $1,900 tray.


Rabbi Marc Schneier
The Hampton Synagogue - December 24, 2013

The Hampton Synagogue is the vision of our Founding Rabbi Marc Schneier. Since 1990, he has led our congregation to extraordinary and unparalleled heights. Today, The Hampton Synagogue is one of the preeminent and most dynamic communities in the Jewish world. Rabbi Schneier is the 18th generation of a distinguished rabbinic dynasty. He is an international figure who is renowned 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 has served at the helm of the World Jewish Congress and the New York Board of Rabbis. Rabbi Schneier is the Founder and President of The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding of which Russell Simmons is Chairman. He is Guest Rabbi of the New Synagogue of Palm Beach. 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.

A trailblazer in the field of Muslim Jewish relations, Rabbi Schneier created and spearheaded the annual Weekend of Twinning’s of Mosques and Synagogues across the globe (2008,2009,2010, 2011, 2012, 2013); 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); 2nd, Gathering of European Muslim and Jewish leaders in Paris, Mission of 28 European Imams and Rabbis to the United States (2009); Mission of European Muslim and Jewish leaders to Washington D.C. (2009) Mission of Latin American Muslim and Jewish leaders to Washington D.C (2012) and the Mission of Muslim and Jewish leaders from the Southern Hemisphere (2013) 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 by King Abdullah in Madrid (2008) and in Vienna (2009,2010,2012). 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). In 2010, Rabbi Schneier served as the keynote speaker at the Doha Conference for Interfaith Dialogue in Doha, Qatar. In 2011, he was the first rabbi to be received in Bahrain, by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

An accomplished author and a foremost voice in interreligious dialogue his latest book co-authored with Imam Shamsi Ali entitled Sons of Abraham: A Candid Conversation about the Issues That Divide and Unite Jews and Muslims was published by Beacon Press/Random House in September 2013. The book elucidates how each of its co-authors overcame the temptations of fundamentalism and religious triumphalism to embrace a pluralistic version of faith and a joint commitment to build a global movement of Muslims and Jews committed to communication, reconciliation and cooperation. His 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. In 2012, Rabbi Marc Schneier became a weekly religion columnist for The Huffington Post.

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); Kristallnacht70th Anniversary Commemoration, European Parliament, Brussels (2008), NAACP Centennial convention (2009); National dinner of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (2008); National convention of the Islamic Society of North America (2009); the King Abdullah Bin Adulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue in Vienna (2012); Doha International Conference on Interfaith Dialogue (2009,2010) and keynote speaker at the Annual Israeli Presidential Conference in Jerusalem (2012).

Rabbi Schneier was 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 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. In 2009, Rabbi Schneier was inducted into the Martin Luther King Jr. Board of Preachers at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

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


KosherTravelers.com - Scholars in Residence
December 24, 2013



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