Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bono, Rock Star and Activist, Visits Park East Synagogue and Day School

Bono, the Irish rock star and activist, paid a visit to the Park East Synagogue and Day School in Manhattan on January 31.

He was invited by Rabbi Arthur Schneier, founder of the synagogue, who, like Bono, has been active in fighting for human rights around the world.

Writing in, a website for the global Irish community, Cahir O'Doherty reported:
The pair developed a friendship through the work of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, which was originally founded by Schneier in 1965. The foundation is an interfaith partnership of leaders from various worlds that is broadly similar to Bono's ONE organization, which has a wide variety of mandates related to international development and relief issues, including slowing the spread of HIV/AIDS and malaria. Bono was last seen with Rabbi Schneier when he attended the Appeal of Conscience Foundation’s Annual Gala Dinner in New York City last September.
“You know Bono as a great rock star,” remarked Rabbi Schneier in his introduction, “but he has made it his mission to fight poverty, hunger, injustice... wherever there is a cause requiring a humanitarian response, Bono is there.”
With a white kippa perched atop his head, Bono seemed overwhelmed by the jubilant welcome and said, looking at Schneier, "you've probably figured out who the real rock star is in this room."  He continued, "I'm so honored to be here.  My work as an activist is based on the idea that everybody is equal.  And this idea of equality -- you guys kind of invented it."

Bono is not the first non-Jewish celebrity to wear a white kippa at the Park East Synagogue.  In April 2008, Pope Benedict XVI made an appearance, also at the invitation of Rabbi Schneier.

After brief remarks reflecting on the Jewish people's flight from Pharaoh in Egypt, he sang a short a cappella version of I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, the U2 hit from the 1987 album, The Joshua Tree.  The audience enthusiastically joined in the chorus.

Here is a video showing Bono's welcome to the shul, remarks by the singer after being introduced by Rabbi Schneier, and the musical ending to the visit.
If the a cappella wasn't enough for you, here's a video of Bono and U2 singing the whole song at a concert in Milan in 2007.

No comments:

Post a Comment