On January 18th, Pope John Paul II will receive twelve of the United States’ top cantors, who will perform for him at the Papal Palace.
The historic event is being held to honor the Pope for his years of good will and hard work toward bridging cultural and religious divides between the two faiths.
According to a press release, the group “will recognize the Pope’s efforts during his 26-year pontificate in bringing down the walls of hate as well as his contribution toward religious reconciliation with the Jewish people and the State of Israel.”
Steve Shor, a New York native and cantor at Temple Shalom in Brooklyn is one of the cantors chosen to perform for the Holy Father. He said that performing for the Pope will be “one of his greatest honors.”
On January 17th, The 12 cantors will also perform a concert at the Great Synagogue in Rome for Vatican delegates and the Roman Jewish community.
During the event, the press release states, “the Rabbis intend to recite a special prayer in his honor…and the cantors will sing a special blessing to commemorate the event.”
The event, which will bring together some 160 Jewish rabbis, cantors and laypeople from the U.S. Europe and Israel, “the largest gathering of Jewish leaders ever to meet with a sitting Pope”, is being praised as a “once in a lifetime event.”
The celebration is being sponsored by the Pave the Way Foundation.