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Congressman Gus Bilirakis

Representing the 12th District of Florida

Palm Harbor Rabbi Delivers Opening Prayer Before U.S. House of Representatives

June 27, 2017
Press Release
Congressman Bilirakis sponsored Rabbi Klein to serve as guest chaplain

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) welcomed Rabbi Gary Klein of Temple Ahavat Shalom in Palm Harbor, Florida, to the nation’s capital today as Rabbi Klein served as guest chaplain before the House of Representatives. Rabbi Klein delivered the opening prayer on the House floor, and Bilirakis then gave remarks honoring the Rabbi’s 30 years of service to his Palm Harbor congregation.

Please see below for Bilirakis’ full speech. 

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today to welcome my dear friend, Rabbi Gary Klein, who has led Temple Ahavat Shalom of Palm Harbor, Florida, for the past 30 years.

“Temple Ahavat Shalom is a congregation that serves nearly 500 households in my district.

“Since coming to Pinellas County in 1987, he served on the Board of the St. Leo University Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies, and currently serves on the National Council of AIPAC.

“Rabbi Klein is a long-time activist on behalf of the US-Israel alliance. As Co-Chair of the Congressional Hellenic Israel Alliance, I welcome his continued advice and counsel, especially as it relates to security in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“For several years now, I have joined Rabbi Klein and the congregation for Passover Seder, and I very much look forward to continuing this tradition.

“I am thankful for his friendship, and I wish him many more years of blessed leadership.”

For nearly two decades, Members of Congress have sponsored local religious leaders from their home districts to be guest chaplains. The tradition celebrates the freedom of religion enjoyed across our nation, and the diverse backgrounds of our religious leaders.