Holocaust Survivor Rabbi Romi Cohen Delivers Opening Prayer In Congress [VIDEO]

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Congressman Max Rose, Member of the Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Antisemitism, hosted Staten Island resident and longtime New York City Rabbi Avraham Hakohen “Romi” Cohn, a Holocaust survivor, to deliver the Opening Prayer before the House of Representatives today.

“I’m especially honored to welcome Rabbi Cohn this week as we remember the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz. Rabbi Cohn’s career is merely the continuation of a life spent fighting for the Jewish faith,” said Rose in a speech on the House floor, “Rabbi Cohn saw how a democracy can be corrupted into a fascist dictatorship, and what happens when anti-Semitism is allowed to fester. Sadly, across the country we see rising hatred and anti-Semitism. Rabbi Cohn’s legacy reminds us to never accept bigotry, not when we see it in the street, and not in the halls of Congress.”

“At the age of 13, as a young boy, I was condemned to death along with my entire family by the evil of one man,” said Rabbi Cohn in his Opening Prayer. “I was saved by my Father, the Father of the Universe, who brought me to the shores of this beautiful country, the United States, the land of the free which provided me with a new safe home. Blessed be You, Master of the Universe, who has granted me life and sustenance to this day. Accept with mercy our prayers for our land, our President, Vice President and Congress. And pour out your blessings upon the United States of America.”

“It was poignant to have Reb Romi delivered the opening prayer on the very same week that the world commemorated the 75 years of the liberation of Auschwitz with ‘The Lord, the Father of the universe who brought me to the shores of this beautiful country, the United States of America, the land of the free, where I found a safe and new home.

As I stand before you, on the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, praise and gratitude to the almighty, blessed are you, King of the universe, who has granted life to thousands to this day.’ – sentiments that leave a lasting impression and Kiddush Hashem”, said Ezra Friedlander, CEO of The Friedlander Group who helped the coordinate of the delegation of prominent rabbinic and community leaders who travelled to Washington to witness Rabb Cohen’s prayer from the House Gallery.

Rose, the first Jewish Member of Congress from Staten Island, gave a speech before the House of Representatives earlier this month on the rising levels of anti-Semitic attacks and hate crimes across New York City, as well as his continued efforts to address this crisis. Last summer, Rose traveled to Israel as part of a bipartisan Congressional delegation which visited prominent holy sites and the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and Museum.

Rabbi Cohn’s Biography HERE.

Transcript of Rabbi Cohn’s Opening Prayer:

Almighty. May the words from my mouth declare your praise.

Our profound humility and deep appreciation is here before you.

As a young boy of thirteen years, I was condemned to be dead, to be murdered, and with my entire family, including my three year old little sister.

By one evil man, may his name be erased forever. But my life was spared, I was saved by my Father.

The Lord, the Father of the universe who brought me to the shores of this beautiful country, the United States of America, the land of the free, where I found a safe and new home.

As I stand before you, on the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, praise and gratitude to the almighty, blessed are you, King of the universe, who has granted life to thousands to this day. Amen.

May your Lord accept my mercy and our prayers for our country, for our President Donald Trump, our Vice President Mike Pence, my Congressman Max Rose, and all my noble colleagues.

Almighty King of the universe, as your humble servant, I bestow this blessing over your children. May the Lord bless you and protect you, Amen. May the Lord deal kindly and graciously with you, Amen.

May the Lord bestow his favor upon you and grant you peace. Thank you.

Transcript of Rose’s speech honoring Rabbi Cohn:

Mr. Speaker,

I rise today to recognize Rabbi Romi Cohn, a leader on Staten Island, and a dear, dear friend.

Rabbi Cohn has dedicated his life to Jewish culture and heritage, and built a renowned career as a mohel in New York City for over 25 years

I’m especially honored to welcome Rabbi Cohn this week as we remember the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz.
Rabbi Cohn’s career is merely a continuation of a lifetime of fighting for the Jewish faith.

His early life was uprooted by the rise of the Nazi Party, their invasion of Czechoslovakia, and the outbreak of World War 2.
Under Nazi rule, he saw the Hitler Youth attack his father in the street.

When war broke out, he joined the partisans fighting Nazi tyranny.

At 15 years old, Romi was the youngest member of the Czechoslovakian partisan forces. Among other feats, he helped save 56 Jewish families escape the horrors of the Holocaust.

He fought with the partisans until the end of the war, and then went in search of his own family. Of his parents and six siblings, only his father and two sisters had survived.

Rabbi Cohn saw how a democracy can be corrupted into a fascist dictatorship, and what happens when anti-Semitism is allowed to fester.

Sadly, across the country we see alarming increases, an alarming rise in anti-Semitism and hatred.

Rabbi Cohn’s legacy reminds us never to accept bigotry, not we see it in the street, not when we see it in the halls of Congress, not when we see it anywhere.

Our freedoms are not free. We must fight for them, or risk losing them.

Rabbi Cohn is a model and example for all of us to follow, and I thank him for his extraordinary life of service.