The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Rabbi Irwin N. Goldenberg

Temple Beth Israel
York, PA

Sponsor: Rep. Todd Platts, (R-PA)
Date of Prayer: 11/07/2007

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

The SPEAKER. Without objection, the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Platts) is recognized for 1 minute.

There was no objection.

Mr. PLATTS. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

I rise here today to welcome as guest chaplain on the floor of the House of Representatives Rabbi Irwin N. Goldenberg, a constituent, friend, well–liked and well–respected religious leader in my home community. Rabbi Goldenberg has served at Temple Beth Israel in York, Pennsylvania, since 1973.

With Rabbi Goldenberg's retirement set for June 2008, numerous members of Temple Beth Israel approached my office and suggested he be invited as a guest chaplain. I was very pleased to have forwarded the request along to Father Coughlin and am grateful that Rabbi Goldenberg was able to give the opening prayer this morning.

Rabbi Goldenberg is a graduate of Rutgers University and Hebrew Union College. He is married to Joyce Meschmar and has two grown children, Rachel and Dahlia.

In addition to his general rabbinic duties, Rabbi Goldenberg has taught countless adults, children and teens at Temple Beth Israel and its religious school. He has also taught at York College and Gettysburg College, both located in the 19th Congressional District. Rabbi Goldenberg has also been extensively involved in his community, from being a member of the board of the York Jewish Community Center to teen pregnancy mentoring at the YWCA to serving on the task force on domestic violence.

It is a true honor to have Rabbi Goldenberg with us here today. I thank him for the prayer that he offered and I wish him the best for an enjoyable and relaxing retirement in the years to come.

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

God of all humanity,

We live in a time when we are tempted to regard our fellow with suspicion.

My predecessor at Temple Beth Israel in York, PA, Rabbi Alexander D. Goode, was among the Four Chaplains who sacrificed their lives for sailors on the sinking troop–ship, Dorchester during WWII. They died because they regarded all as created in God’s image.

In another time, a ship –– occupied by people, seeking a land of freedom –– set out on a wide river. Rough seas demanded reducing the number of passengers to save the rest.

Instead of throwing anyone overboard, everyone took turns swimming beside the boat until it reached shore. Everyone survived!

Oh God, may we see one another as sisters and brothers –– Americans all, citizens of this blessed country and humans all –– inhabitants of the same beautiful world –– rather than as competitors for a place on a lifeboat. Thus, we may hope that all might live in freedom and dignity.


To learn more about Members who have sponsored a Guest Chaplain, please visit the Congressional Biographical Directory