Just got back from my West Coast Tour. UNBELIEVABLE!!! I spoke to over 800 people and sold about 120 books. The inspiration was amazing. The hardest part for me was dealing with the Pittsburgh shooting. It came at the end of my tour with only one talk remaining, but it was hard to “get up” for that talk. I wound up incorporating the aftermath of the shooting into my presentation and I think people appreciated that. The outpouring of sympathy and love for the entire Pittsburgh community was truly amazing. I will have some clips of the talks within a few days and will be putting them up on my website and social media. Up next, Austin, TX and Toronto, Canada in December. Stay tuned!
Today I spoke for an organization called the Olga Lengyel Institute who was a Holocaust survivor. The goal of this organization is to teach teachers how to teach about the Holocaust. I had the privilege of addressing 30 teachers today from across the country about my 9/11 experience. What a great experience on all accounts. They are very excited to go back and talk to their students about 9/11. Pictures below.
Next up is Seawane in Hewlett Harbor on June 27 and then credit union conference in Florida at The Breakers in July. Stay tuned.
Just got back from the Mississippi Young Bankers Conference which took place at the Marriott in Point Clear Alabama. What an audience. They were great. The organizers were incredible. Everything that they say about Southern Hospitality is true. I addressed a group of about 150 bankers and their spouses. They were on the edge of their seats the whole time. When I was done I sold 40 books. I would have sold more but that is all that I brought with me. What a great event. Shout out to Bob Glover who brought me out there, Brooke McCoy and Lori Richardson who took care of all of the arrangements, Marc Petro who introduced me at the event and Gordon Fellows who helped me with the book sales and anything else that I needed while I was there. I love you guys and can’t wait to meet up again.
Special Shout Out to Bob’s parents Mary and Cary. I sat next to them at the VIP dinner. Mary is President of the Mississippi Bankers Association and Cary is a cattle farmer and taught me a little bit about raising cattle.
I’m still floating. I was in Philly yesterday and spoke in 2 venues. The first was a boys high school. I still have a hard time dealing with the fact that almost none of the kids that I spoke to were alive on 9/11/2001. But they were totally mesmerized. Great group of kids.
In the evening, I spoke for an organization called Russian American Jewish Experience – RAJE. What an incredible audience. I spoke for an hour and they still wanted more. The program ended at 9:15 but I didn’t leave until 10:30. People kept coming over to me wanting to know more, wanting to hear more. They were so inspired. Needless to say I sold a bunch of books as well.
Therefore I have decided that any organization that books me to speak between now and February 28th, whether it be a for-profit corporation or a non-profit, I will be charging a discounted rate of $1,800.
The Mesivta High School of Greater Philadelphia on Monday, Dec. 11th at 1:15pm. 314 Levering Mill Road | Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004.
If you’re in the Philly area I will be speaking at Beth Solomon Community Center, 198 Tomlinson Road, Philadelphia, PA 19116, on Monday, December 11, at 7:30 PM. Would love to see you there. If you have any questions feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please let him know how you heard about the event.
Also, I am speaking for the Young Mississippi Bankers Association on Monday, March 12, at Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa, Point Clear, Alabama . Can you post that also?
This evening is the beginning of Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. We believe that God judges the entire world on this day. We believe that now is an auspicious time to beseech God and ask that he judge the world favorably and give all of us a life of health wealth and happiness.
If you read my book or heard me speak, you will know that I talk about listening to God’s whispers. If we look at the past year we see that there have been many tragedies. Some man-made, some made by the Supreme Being that controls the world. Terrorist attacks, Earthquakes, Hurricanes, Floods, Famine, The Threat of Nuclear War, the list goes on and on. I believe that God is not whispering to us. He is yelling loud and clear; YOU HAVE TO CHANGE YOUR WAYS. He is not happy with what we are doing. He is throwing brick after brick at us. And what are we doing?
I talk about the definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. And yet that is what we are still doing. We are not making any changes.
It is time for each of us to take upon ourselves to change for the better. Kindness, Smiles, Charity, Helping those that can’t help themselves, good deeds. How hard is it???? It is not hard. Do something for 30 days and it becomes a habit.
Last but not least, there is prayer. There is only so much that we can do. The rest is up to God. That’s why we need prayer.
I pray that God grants all of us a year of Health, Wealth, and Happiness and finally put an end to all the strife in the world.
If you agree with this message please share it.
If this message offends you in any way shape or form, please, please, just disregard it and don’t hold it against me. I am just putting out my thoughts and feelings.
Gmar Chatima Tova,
“On that day 658 of my friends and coworkers were brutally murdered,” Ari Schonbrun said. “Four employees were on their way up to the upper floors, three of them were so severely burned that they spent months and months in the hospital undergoing surgeries and rehabilitations, and one of them walked out without a scratch, and you’re looking at that person.”
Schonbrun, the author of “Miracle & Fate on 78” spoke at the annual Village of Cedarhurst 9/11 memorial at Andrew J. Parise Cedarhurst Park on Sept. 10. He recounted his story of how being late for work that day saved his life, how he helped his badly burned co-worker climb down 78 stories in the north tower of the World Trade Center, and how her refusal to let him go back in to help saved him from the building’s collapse.
The tragedy of the attacks helped Schonbrun reprioritize the balance of work and family in his life. “I did learn a lot that day, my family is the most important thing to me … It was always daddy’s gotta work, that was the refrain, until that day…” he said, “[Now] daddy’s wherever his children need him to be, because my friends that is what is really important in life.”
The message of reflection was present throughout the ceremony. Rabbi Shay Schachter of Young Israel of Woodmere recalled some tragedies of the past year. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, white nationalists gathering in Charlottesville and countless deaths in the Middle East among them. “We’re made to feel almost paralyzed,” he said, “life seems so fickle, we seem so vulnerable and life seems so unpredictable.”
Schachter also thanked the military for their service and stressed the importance of standing together against hatred, terror and bigotry.
Cedarhurst Mayor Benjamin Weinstock led the reading of the 9/11 granite markers which line the walkway to the park’s memorial fountain and describe that day’s events. Trustees Ron Lanzilotta, Ari Brown, Myrna Zisman and Israel Wasser recited the messages, each of which were punctuated with a single toll of a bell.
State Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) spoke mournfully. “It’s always a very difficult time of year and a very difficult day because it brings back memories of the worst day,” he said. However he urged the crowd to also remember Sept. 12, as a day Americans came together. Recalling scenes of onlookers cheering for first responders he said, “I think we were never finer.”
A moment of silence and a rendition of “Taps” was preceded by Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department Chief David Campbell reading the names of seven local residents who were killed that day.
The Lawrence High School acapella ensemble opened the ceremony with their rendition of the national anthem, and helped close it with a performance of “God Bless America.”
Several military veterans also led the LCFD around the memorial fountain with the American and LCFD flags. An emergency call caused most members to leave the ceremony before it ended. Sirens sounded as fire trucks raced down Cedarhurst Avenue as Weinstock ended the ceremony. “As we all know saving a life trumps everything,” he said, after being interrupted by the roar of a fire engine.
Cedarhurst paused to remember the loss, the heroism, and the miracles of 9/11, at the village’s annual commemoration on Sunday.
In his invocation, Rabbi Shay Schachter (top right photo) of the Young Israel of Woodmere said, “we pray that G-d, the Master and Creator of the world, grant us all the strength and the fortitude to stand firm together against all forms of terror, of extremism, of bigotry, of hatred, of racism, and of all evil that can be found in different forms in our world.”
“We have a solemn obligation to those who died or were injured on Sept. 11th to never forget what happened,” said Mayor Benjamin Weinstock (bottom). “We saw evil, but we also saw the best of America.”
Ari Schonburn (middle), a 9/11 survivor and author of “Miracles and Fate on 78,” recalled his experiences that day. He was waiting to change elevators on the 78th floor when the first plane hit.
Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department Chief David Campbell, saluting during the playing of Taps, read the names of local 9/11 victims.
Hard to believe it is 16 years. Just under 3,000 people lost their lives that day. I personally lost 658 friends and co-workers on that day. Only through the Grace of God am I around today.
I spoke to a group of High School students this morning and the oldest one in the room was just a year old when 9/11 happened. Like the Korean war for me, to them, it is just another page in the history books.
They don’t realize that the entire world changed that day. For these kids, life today is normal. It is normal to have security guards in the schools. It is normal that I have to take off my shoes in order to board a plane. It is normal that I have to walk through a metal detector to board a plane or to go to a ballgame or walk into many public places. “If you see something, say something” is normal.
It is unfortunate that kids growing up today live in such a “normal” society. The United States is the greatest country on the face of the planet and yet this is our “normal”.
I pray that the words of the prophet Isaiah will soon ring true: “they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”
May peace reign speedily in our days. Amen.
Ari Schonbrun speaks in Parise Park, Cedarhurst, NY on September 11th, 2017. Ari survived 9/11 and rescued a co-worker down 78 flights to safety. His story has since been told around the world. Listen to his story here: