United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who recently returned from a trip to Auschwitz, joined Rabbi Arthur Schneier at Park East Synagogue's annual U.N. Holocaust Commemoration Shabbat service on Jan. 18.
The Secretary General spoke to the E. 67th Street congregation about his recent trip. "I stood on the ramp where the transport trains unloaded their human cargo, where the awful moment of selection took place ? where the quick flick of an SS commander's index finger meant the difference between being killed immediately in the gas chambers and being kept alive only to be worked to death," he said. "I was profoundly saddened by what I saw."
The service was in advance of United Nations Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27. Holocaust survivors and their families were in attendance. Ambassador Ron Prosor, Permanent Representative of Israel to the U.N, and members of the diplomatic corps representing over 50 countries also participated.
The commemoration began with Rabbi Arthur Schneier's speech "Hear the Cry of the Oppressed." The Shabbat Service was also led by Chief Cantor Yitzhak Meir Helfgot accompanied by Maestro Russell Ger and the Park East Synagogue Choir.