UN HQ – UNESCO Combating Violent Extermism on July 21, 2016

Rabbi Yakov Dovid Cohen on Capital Hill Washington DC 2014

Rabbi Yakov D Cohen talks in UN HQ ICD conf 2017

Universal Noahide Conf in UN HQ Nov 29, 2016

Imam Shamsi Ali on Peace

Universal Noahide Code at UN HQ

Universal Noahide Code at the UN

One man had a dream once, that his children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. This dream was born out of the ashes of a crumbling belief that one man was worth more than another. This misguided idea, that a free man was still subject to the will of his former masters, was and still is a microcosm of a problem that is facing the world today.

The prejudice, bigotry, violence and wickedness that infects every nation is the result of a lawlessness born out of our tendency to forget our past. The nations of our planet face daily battles between people whose only real fault is ignorance of the laws given to mankind since the time of Adam. These forgotten laws are known as the Universal Noahide Laws and are ostensibly a paragon of ethical behavior meant to guide mankind to perfection through good deeds and to propagate knowledge and understanding of the Divine.

It should be the dream of all people that our children should not only live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, religion or social status, but that they should live in a nation that adopts these Universal Laws as the foundation of the existence of that nation.

In 1945, the United Nations was established to promote international co-operation as well as to create and maintain international order. The original 51 member states began with a vision that all nations, great and small, would benefit from a conglomerate of working together in their efforts to foster social and economic development, provide humanitarian aid, promote human rights and maintain peace between all nations. Today, over 190 countries have joined this international body in hopes that the infrastructure of peace lies within.

One of the principal organs of the UN is the Economic and Social Council, or ECOSOC. This 54 member council serves as a forum for discussing international economic and social concerns, as well as delivering recommendations regarding policy to be addressed to the entire UN body. ECOSOC deliberates with many non-governmental organizations , or NGO’s, that participate in the day to day activities of the UN. The Institute of Noahide Code-UN is an accredited NGO with consultative status promoting peace through the values set in place by the seven Universal Laws. These laws are the Key to opening up a dialog between people of all nations, regardless of creed, religion or social class. They represent the common bond of all people across the globe, the backbone of peace. These laws are the framework for building a bright future for our children.

The foundation for establishing these Universal Laws at the UN is already in place due to the tireless efforts of Rav Yakov D. Cohen, executive director of the Institute of Noahide Law. As our generation witnesses the moral decay of the society around us, like what the world recently witnessed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, it becomes a moral issue whether or not to become proactive in stopping this burning hate that is festering in regions all over the world. We are beginning to forget the lessons that we learned from the Holocaust, which included the greatest lesson, that even discrimination against one group of people will result in the unraveling of the fabric of our entire society.

If we forget those lessons, if we forget our past, if we forget the Universal Laws, then our dreams of a utopia world for our children will fade away and be forgotten. These lessons, laws and future go hand in hand. In order to make peace between all nations, then all nations must realize that it is time to stop dreaming and embrace our reality. All of our lives depend on the choices we make from moment to moment. Each new moment provides us opportunities to change who we are. Now is the time to make the Universal Noahide Laws a priority.

When enough people recognize the importance of the Universal Laws, people and nations can truly begin the healing process all over the world with a common goal of providing our children with their own moments and chances to build a future for their children, our grandchildren. If we lose sight of our responsibility to pass on the knowledge of these laws to the next generation, we forfeit our future.

By: Craig R. Lodice

Purim 2020 UN HQ

Based on the teachings of the Rebbe of righteous memory ; adapted by Eli Touger

He saw him coming. Everyone else knelt to prostrate himself, but Mordechai sat upright. As Haman approached, his eyes met Mordechai’s. They didn’t see anger or rebellion, but rather the calm, resolute gaze of someone who knows what he stands for and chooses whom he stands with.

At that moment, Haman decided that he would try to rid the kingdom of Mordechai and his people.

A little lesson in history: Haman was the Persian viceroy, the most powerful man in the empire that ruled the world. Mordechai was the leader of the Jewish people; he “sat at the King’s gate,” serving as one of the royal counselors.

Haman had the king agree that all the people in the empire should worship him. Mordechai refused to comply.

Now why didn’t Mordechai bow down to Haman? Mordechai was a realistic person. He could have foreseen the consequences of his refusal. Why was he willing to risk everything – not only his own life and position, but that of the entire Jewish people?

So Haman was asking to be worshipped like a god. Big deal. Bow down to him and go further. Why waste more time about it? It definitely doesn’t make sense to give up one’s life – and risk those of one’s entire people – not to bow down.

But that’s the point. There are some things that are above making sense. There are immutable rules which G‑d wove into the very fabric of the universe. There is no way they can be broken. If a man tries, he will break himself against them.

Acknowledging G‑d and refusing to acknowledge any other power are the two most fundamental of these laws. Mordechai saw bowing down to Haman as a challenge to the fundamental core of his existence. Of course, he was not going to believe in Haman’s divinity. But no one was asking him a philosophical question. It was the deed that was most important.

Would he bow down to Haman and thus show his acceptance of the Persian empire as the most powerful force in his life? Or would he defy Haman’s decree and incur his wrath, but demonstrate his connection to G‑d?

For Mordechai, it wasn’t a question. Mordechai didn’t separate his faith from his live, or his principles from his day-to-day modus operandi. He lived what he believed in; he believed in what he lived. There was no dichotomy.

And this wasn’t true only of Mordechai. The entire Jewish people stood behind him. Even when Haman passed a decree calling for every Jew in the empire to be executed, they did not try to hide their Jewishness. On the contrary, they intensified their adherence to the Torah and its commandments.

Abstract idealism? An impractical approach?

Well, let’s see what happened. Haman was killed, Mordechai was given his position, and instead of the Jews being slain by their enemies, they annihilated all those who rose against them.

Not bad for idealism.

Because this was not just idealism, it was an awareness of the reality of our existence. It’s G‑d’s world. And when Mordechai and the Jewish people affirmed that, they were successful.

One further point: When Mordechai and the Jewish people affirmed of their Jewish identity and faith in G‑d, they did not retreat into isolationism. Mordechai became the viceroy; he – and his people – took a far wider role in Persian affairs than before. And while doing so, he proudly emphasized his Jewish identity; everyone referred to him as “Mordechai, the Jew.”

The two aren’t contradictory. Since one Judaism and one’s connection to G‑d are inherent facts of one’s existence, affirming them makes one more in sync with His order for the world, and more able to play a significant role within it.

UN HQ Chanukah party 2019- 2020

This Chanukah lighting a Menorah made by the late Mr. Harry Hirsch a World War I soldier that fled the flames of Russia to USA ( (born March 1884 USSR -died in Florida USA 1996) and melted his gun and  bullets to make this historic Menorah transforming of Isaiah 2 :4  “They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore” The Menorah signifies triumph, freedom, and light, all universal symbols. The United Nations would be our choice for this historic Menorah to light the Menorah light on the nights of our celebration. The origin or lighting a Menorah stems from the moment when just a few people were able to confront a huge and well-trained army that wanted to do away with religious freedom, and be victorious over that army.  It is also a symbol of freedom, of the yearning of people to exercise their religious beliefs without any external imposition.  And finally, the Menorah also incorporates the notion that there should ever be more light in the world, as one candle is added each night to be lit at the darkest period of the year. In all countries of the world, leaders have been seen lighting the Menorah at their Jewish communities. As the Rabbi Director of the Institute of the Noahide Code, I am heartened coming into the United Nations Headquarters with the Isaiah Wall right across the UN in which the day is mentioned that no nation will wage war against another nation, and the swords will be transformed into plowshares.  The Seven Universal Laws of Noah are means by which humanity strives to live in unity and peace.  These laws for peace and unity encompass respect for G-d, for human life, respect for the Family, for other people’s property, the creation and respect of a judicial system, and respect for all creatures and environment. The United Nations acknowledges human rights as well as humanity’s right to freedom, including that of religion.  It would be a celebration of all that unites us as human family that we are:  our yearning for ever more light at a time that humanity hopefully emerges victorious with light over darkness, the forces of human rights and freedom successful over intolerance, and the ideals of the Universal Noahide Code (UNC) prevailing throughout the world. 

In the press 2 24, 2020

Winds of change blowing at the UN?

161 countries now have diplomatic relations with Israel, which is the highest number that it has ever been for the Jewish state.  Increasingly, the community of nations cares less about Palestinian objections and more about what Israel has to offer.Rachel Avraham, 24/02/20 13:16 | updated: 12:59Share

Rachel Avraham

Rachel Avraham is the President of the Dona Gracia Mendes Nasi Center for Human Rights in Middle East (under formation) and is a political analyst at the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research and Public Relations.   She is the author of “Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab Me

Last week, the Palestinian Authority sought to pass a UN Security Council Resolution condemning Trump’s “Deal of the Century.”  In the end, they failed because the UN Security Council resolution did not garner enough international support.  For this reason, they were forced to be content with the UN High Commissioner for Human rights publishing a blacklist of businesses that do business in Israeli settlements and nothing else. 

While the PA hailed the UN Human Rights Council resolution as a “victory for international law,” in reality, the PA did not get the huge victory that they dreamed of for such a blacklist does not carry the same legal weight as a UN Security Council Resolution.  For the State of Israel, which naturally condemned the list, this is actually a major diplomatic achievement, which one could not dream of happening at an earlier date, when the only thing preventing such anti-Israel UN Security Council resolutions from passing was the American veto.

There clearly has been a systematic change in how the nations of the world view the State of Israel.  After the Sudanese leader accepted the idea of establishing diplomatic relations with the Jewish state and Chad’s President announced his nation’s renewed relationship with Israel, more and more countries are seeking to follow suite.    

Now, 161 different countries have diplomatic relations with Israel, which is the highest number that it has ever been for the Jewish state.  Increasingly, the community of nations cares less about Palestinian objections and more about what Israel has to offer.

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu related: “There is a lot we can do together [including] security, agriculture, food, water, energy, health and much more.   We’re making new inroads into the Muslim world.  This is the result of a great effort during the last few years.  We’re making history and we’re returning Israel into a rising world power.“  All of these developments greatly influence what happens at the United Nations.  

However, the State of Israel did not work alone in seeking to change the systematic bias against Israel at the UN.  They were helped by various organizations. One of the most unusual of these is the Institute of Noahide Code, a Jewish organization based in New York that has been actively working to fight against systematic anti-Israel bias at the UN.  Over the last several years, the Institute of Noahide Code has been working in order to educate the international community about the Jewish belief system.  They have spoken about Jewish beliefs on various panels at the UN and partook in events that also raised awareness about the plight of Jews in Arab countries. 

Rabbi Yakov David Cohen, who founded the Institute of Noahide Code, believes that his work raising awareness about the seven laws of Noah’s sons among prominent members of the international community has helped lead to a change in “how the UN views the Jewish people and this has affected their policies especially on anti-Semitism.” He feels “the Universal Noahide Code is a means to obtain peace, unity and redemption for the entire world.”  He stressed that his work has led to the initiation of events at the UN commemorating the Holocaust and a Hanukkah party for prominent members of the international community.   

Rabbi Cohen believes creating positive publicity about the Jewish belief system is the best way that Israel can fight against prejudice and bias, for the best defense is a good offense.  This means that we should highlight at every opportunity how positive we are and how horrible our enemies are, thus taking away the focus from the media frames that our political enemies set up for us.  

These events hosted by the Institute of the Noahide Code, which teaches non-Jews how they can live an ethical life according to the Jewish belief system, has had an effect.  According to the Institute for National Security Studies, “In mid-October 2019, against the background of increasing anti-Semitic incidents – demonstrated most vividly in the shooting in Halle, Germany on Yom Kippur – Ahmed Shaheed, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, presented a report to the UN General Assembly entitled “Elimination of All Forms of Religious Intolerance,” focusing on anti-Semitism. The 19-page report, a comprehensive effort to deal with anti-Semitism on a global scale, warrants attention not only because it carries importance for Israel and for Jewish communities around the world, but also because it is surprisingly professional and research-based.”   In the end, the UN took a huge stance against anti-Semitic hatred in the West.     

And now, the State of Israel is starting to benefit from this new sentiment at the UN as well by the recent withdrawal of the UN Security Council resolution against Trump’s ‘deal of the century.’  Of course, the UN is still systematically biased against Israel, as the recent blacklisting of businesses that do business in Israeli settlements demonstrates.  However, the winds in New York City are starting to blow in a friendlier direction for the Jewish state.  

We are no longer living in an era where the entire UN system believes that Zionism is a form of racism.  Therefore, in the end, if things continue in this direction, one day we can potentially succeed to transform the UN from being a bastion for anti-Israel hatred into a place promoting tolerance and respect for the Jewish people.   

As the Prophet Isaiah envisioned and the UN once believed, “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, nor shall they learn war anymore.”      

Rachel Avraham is a political analyst working at the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights.  She is the author of “Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab Media.”