Friday, February 03, 2006

Coleman first Jew to lead prayer breakfast

02/03/2006

WASHINGTON (AP) - An Orthodox Jewish group praised today's National Prayer Breakfast for its inclusive tone, following concerns the event has become too Christian in recent years.

This year's breakfast was co-chaired by Senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota, marking the first time in memory that a Jew had led the gathering.

Nathan Diament, director of public policy for the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, said the program should be held up as a model for future events.

The breakfast included Hebrew prayers delivered by Coleman and Representative Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and a speech by King Abdullah the Second of Jordan, who is Muslim. President Bush commented that in the United States citizens are free to profess any faith they choose, or no faith at all.

The breakfast is staged without government funding every year by the Fellowship Foundation, an evangelical Christian group.

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