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New York City mayor in Rome: Faith builds ‘strong beliefs in oneself’

“This is a trip I'm always going to remember and reflect on,” he said.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams visits the Jewish Quarter, Great Synagogue and Jewish Museum in Rome, Italy, on May 12, 2024. Credit: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams visits the Jewish Quarter, Great Synagogue and Jewish Museum in Rome, Italy, on May 12, 2024. Credit: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams visited the Great Synagogue of Rome and its museum in Rome’s Jewish Quarter on Sunday.

“It was unbelievable there for over 300 years that Jewish area was a wall around the area and Jews were not allowed to move back and forth,” he said of the ghetto, which Pope Paul IV established in 1555.

“They had to be back in the ghetto by sundown for over 300 years. They built a very prosperous community there, and the synagogue was a beautiful place,” Adams said.

He told reporters that he met “a few New Yorkers” on the trip.

“New Yorkers are everywhere, but a few New Yorkers were there, and we were able to interact with them,” he said. He also visited the Islamic Center of Italy and the Grand Mosque of Rome.

“You really have to see how impressive this mosque is. It’s one of the largest mosques in Europe,” Adams said. “They have everything from classes to prayer services, and teaching young people how to speak Arabic, and also, how to just build strong young people for the future.”

“Rome is the center of religion, and today, I shared sacred moments with the Catholic, Jewish and Muslim brothers and sisters,” he said. “This is a trip I’m always going to remember and reflect on.”

Adams told a reporter that he deliberately sought to interact with Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Eric Adams Rome
New York City Mayor Eric Adams visits the Jewish Quarter, Great Synagogue and Jewish Museum in Rome, Italy, on May 12, 2024. Credit: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office.

“People of faith is needed as much as we need government,” he said. “I believe that we spend a great deal of money and time building cities’ infrastructures, buildings, bridges, but we also need to build the infrastructure of people because to have a strong brick and mortar and iron, and not have strong people, it’s not going to move your city forward.”

“Faith has a way of building those strong beliefs in oneself,” he added.

He found in the houses of worship of the three faiths that “there was the same underlining theme—be kind to your fellow man, be there to assist them as they move forward, and let your faith be shown through you as you move about your daily lives.”

“That’s what I saw when I spoke to those at the mosque, the synagogue and at the Catholic church,” Adams said.

He added that he was wearing a blue pin, which symbolizes ending antisemitism and hate, from Robert Kraft’s Foundation to Combat Antisemitism.

“That was my constant theme as I moved around. Hate has no place in our city. It has no place on the globe,” Adams said. “I just really want to commend him for his real belief of using his platform to really raise antisemitism … throughout our city and country, if not the globe.”

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