Benedict XVI 1st Pope to Visit American Synagogue

Benedict XVI became the first Pope to visit an American synagogue when he visited New York's Park East Synagogue in Manhattan just before the beginning of Passover.
by Zenit Staff Writer | Source:
Addressing leaders of the Jewish community Friday, the Holy Father spoke of his desire to express his "respect and esteem for the Jewish community in New York City."

"I find it moving," he said, "to recall that Jesus, as a young boy, heard the words of Scripture and prayed in a place such as this."

After thanking Rabbi Schneier for his words of welcome, Benedict XVI said: "I know that the Jewish community make a valuable contribution to the life of the city, and I encourage all of you to continue building bridges of friendship with all the many different ethnic and religious groups present in your neighborhood."

The Pope renewed his Passover greetings to the community and assured them of his prayers "at this time, as you prepare to celebrate the great deeds of the Almighty, and to sing the praises of him who has worked such wonders for his people."

Park East Synagogue was built in 1889 and is one of the city's historic landmarks.

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