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Pope Benedict XVI concluded his visit to the United States, which included a meeting with Jewish leaders and a historic visit to a Manhattan synagogue.

His April 13 visit to Park East Synagogue marked the first time a pope has visited a synagogue in the United States.

The pope gave brief remarks, lauding the importance of “building bridges of friendship” between different faiths. Rabbi Arthur Schneier presented the pope with gifts, including a seder plate.

“Your presence gives us hope and courage for the road we still have to travel together,” Schneier told the pope.

At the meeting in Washington with Jewish officials and at the synagogue, the pope did not refer to the Good Friday Latin prayer that seeks the conversion of Jews. Benedict’s decision to reinstate the prayer has roiled Jewish-Catholic relations in recent months.

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