Lauder, Hoenlein honored at Great Synagogue of Jerusalem
In a cantorial and choral ceremony with the Great Synagogue choir led by chief Cantor Chaim Adler and conducted by Elli Jaffe, Lauder and Hoenlein were honored with the dedication of walls.
By GREER FAY CASHMANUpdated: MARCH 20, 2018 01:07
World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder and outgoing Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein had their names immortalized on Monday at Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue.In a cantorial and choral ceremony with the Great Synagogue choir led by chief Cantor Chaim Adler and conducted by Elli Jaffe, Lauder and Hoenlein were honored with the dedication of walls on either side of the ark.One wall is named the “Ronald and Jo Carole Lauder Prayer for the State of Israel Wall,” and the other, the “Malcolm and Frayde Hoenlein Prayer for The Security and Emergency Services Wall.”Strangely enough, there were no security personnel in the synagogue, other than Lauder’s bodyguards, although there were lots of soldiers in the adjacent Heichal Shlomo.Synagogue president Zalli Jaffe, whose late father Maurice Jaffe was chairman of the building committee of the Great Synagogue and a member of the WJC Board of Governors, said the synagogue was the fulfillment of the dream of Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak Kook and Rabbi Bentzion Meir Hai Uziel, the Ashkenazi and Sephardi chief rabbis of pre-state Palestine.When they looked out across the naked mountains, he said, they could view Christian and Muslim symbols, but no Jewish ones, and it was their great desire that there should be an outstanding Jewish symbol in Jerusalem.This had been brought to the attention of Jaffe’s father in 1968, and with the backing of Sir Isaac Wolfson and other generous donors, the Great Synagogue became a reality.Linking the names of Lauder and Hoenlein with the Great Synagogue was a special privilege said Jaffe, because the two men have brought so much pride to the Jewish people.“It is a small token of gratitude for so much effort, so much time and so much dignity,” he said, in reference to their many accomplishments, not all of which have been made public.Lauder said in his 10 years as president of the WJC, he has visited Jewish communities in some 40 countries, and in every place, people have spoken to him of the importance of Jerusalem in their lives and of the significance of the Great Synagogue in Jerusalem.Hoenlein chose to speak about Lauder, comparing him with the people responsible for keeping the flame alive in the ancient Temple of Jerusalem.Even though Lauder did not come from a religious Jewish background, Hoenlein said, he nonetheless had the vision and the flame after the devastation and destruction of the Holocaust to revitalize Jewish life amongst the Jewish remnants in Europe. Hoenlein admitted that at the time he personally had not shared that vision.Hoenlein remarked, “Ronald, this reflects who you are and what you are.” He also spoke of Lauder’s many projects in Israel, in particular what he is doing to make the Negev flourish.As for the WJC, Hoenlein described Lauder’s achievements there as “incalculable” and praised both the content of what Lauder does and the dedication with which he does it.
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