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A U.S. Orthodox group hopes prayer and lobbying will protect Jerusalem at the upcoming peace parley.

The Orthodox Union is pressuring Congress and urging synagogues nationwide to pray for the preservation of the city as the united capital of Israel in response to statements by American, Israeli and Palestinian leaders that its final status will be open to debate during upcoming peace talks. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will testify Wednesday before the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee regarding the talks. In advance of Rice’s testimony, O.U. public policy director Nathan Diament sent members of Congress information about the history of support by the United States for an undivided city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and a copy of the book “Jerusalem, Eye of the Universe,” by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan. Stanley Weinstein, the chair of the O.U.’s Synagogue Services Commission, is leading the call for synagogues to do more to promote an understanding of the importance of Jerusalem. “Jerusalem is uppermost in all of our minds at all times and we pray on its behalf three times a day,” said Weinstein. “We are extremely concerned about remarks about giving up any part of Jerusalem that we have yearned over for more than 2,000 years.”

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