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Voices of September 11th
9/11 Day of Remembrance Events

Interfaith Service Biographies

Lynne Abeles
Sheila L. Birnbaum
Rev. Chloe Breyer
Deborah E. Greenspan
David Guzman
Rev. Dr. T. Kenjitsu Nakagaki
Rabbi Joseph Potasnik

Lynne Abeles
Lynne AbelesLynne Abeles (Soprano) Favorite roles: Musetta (La Boheme), Nadina in The Chocolate Soldier (Bard Summerscape), Mary Warren in The Crucible - International Opera Debut, Szeged, Hungary. Veronique (The Hotel Casablanca). Soloist: Carnegie Hall, AshLawn Opera.

Other credits include: Sopie (Emmeline), Mary Warren (The Crucible), Clorinda (La Cenerentola), Frasquita (Carmen), Second Lady (The Magic Flute) and Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi). Lynne hails from South Florida. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Miami, with a minor in theatre. She is currently appearing on Broadway in The Phantom of the Opera.

Sheila L. Birnbaum
Sheila L. Birnbaum, head of Skadden Arps' Complex Mass Tort and Insurance Group nationwide, has been national counselor lead defense counsel for numerous Fortune 500 companies in some of the largest and most complicated tort cases in the country. She was chosen as the leading products liability lawyer in the world by The International Who IS Who of Product Liability, one of the 10 most admired product liability attorneys in 2010 by Law 360 and one of the 25 most influential women in New York by Crain's New York Business. She was court appointed mediator in a dispute involving families of 9/11 victims, mediating a $500 million settlement for 92 families of victims of the 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. In 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder appointed Ms. Birnbaum to serve as Special Master of the reactivated September 11 th Victims Compensation Fund program. She will oversee the administration of the $2.7 billion fund created under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.

Rev. Chloe Breyer, Executive Director,
The Interfaith Center of New York

Joining the Interfaith Center in 2007 as The Executive Director, Rev. Breyer is an Episcopal Priest in the Diocese of New York and serves at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Harlem. Rev. Breyer was a volunteer Red Cross Chaplain from October, 2001 through May 2002, working at D-Mort and T-Mort mortuaries. Following 9/11/2001, she worked on an interfaith initiative to rebuild a mosque in Afghanistan destroyed by U.S. bombs. Chloe is the author of The Close: A Young Woman's First Year at Seminary (Basic Books 2000) with chapter contributions to What Can One Person Do? Faith to Heal a Broken World (Church Publishing 2005).

Deborah E. Greenspan
Deborah Greenspan is the co-leader of Dickstein Shapiro's Complex Dispute Resolution Group. Her practice focuses on class action, mass tort and bankruptcy law and procedure with a particular expertise in mass torts and products liability, analysis of damages and future liability exposure, negotiation, alternative dispute resolution, claims evaluation and dispute analysis, settlement distribution design and implementation, claims management and risk analysis, and general litigation. She has represented clients in the most significant complex litigation matters in the United States. Representative clients include Dow Corning Corporation, Pfizer Inc, Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corporation, Armstrong World Industries, Inc., Corning Incorporated, and General Motors.

She has been appointed to serve as a special master and neutral in various matters, including the Agent Orange Product Liability Litigation, and has designed and implemented complex claims resolution procedures systems for both corporate clients and the Federal Government. Ms. Greenspan was the Co-Chair of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution Commission on Facilities for the Resolution of Mass Claims, which has published a book and detailed guide to Mass Claims Resolution Facilities. She served as the Deputy Special Master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001, and she currently serves as the Deputy Special Master appointed by the U.S. Department of Justice for the reauthorized September 11th Victim Compensation Fund which will provide compensation for those who aided in the rescue and recovery efforts after the September 11 attacks as well as residents and survivors in the area of the attacks who have been injured as a result of the attacks.

David Guzman
David GuzmanColombian tenor David Guzman has been highly regarded by critics for his exquisite beauty of tone and impeccable musicianship in opera, oratorio, and zarzuela. Recently he sang Haydn's St. Nicholas Mass with DCINY in Avery Fisher Hall and a solo recital in the Amira de la Rosa Theater in Barranquilla Colombia. Last winter, David created the role of Rafael in the world premiere of To Cross the Face of the Moon by Jose Martinez Barajas at Houston Grand Opera, which also showcased his talents as a dancer. In September, David traveled to the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris for encore performances of To Cross the Face of the Moon.

Also recently, he made his Carnegie Hall debut as a soloist in Misa Azteca by Gonzalez with Mid-America Productions, followed by performances of Mozart's Coronation Mass and Mozart's Vespers with DCINY at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York. Other credits include Rodolfo in La Boheme and Hoffmann in Tales of Hoffmann with Opera in the Heights, Don Jose in Carmen with the Rapides Symphony Orchestra in Louisiana, Nemorino in L'Elisir d' Amore with Divaria Productions, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with the Algonquin Playhouse, Pang in Turandot with Coro Lirico in New Jersey, opera gala concert with Lake George Opera and Opera in the Heights. He also traveled to his native Colombia as a guest artist in De regreso a mi tierra: Three Colombian Tenors at the Teatro Municipal de Cali. David performed as soloist with the Latin American Music Festival Orchestra in Fort Worth, TX; Future engagements include a reprisal of Nemorino with Divaria Productions and Faust with Opera in the Heights in 2012.

Rev. Dr. T. Kenjitsu Nakagaki,
Past President of the Buddhist Council of NY

Community Clergy Liaison for the NY City Police Dept.

Dr. Nakagaki was a volunteer Red Cross chaplain at the City-run Family Center on the Pier, at the morgue, and at a boathouse near Ground Zero. In 2002, he organized the first annual 9/11 floating lanterns memorial ceremony, based on the Buddhist tradition of floating lanterns on a river during the summer festival of Obon to memorialize the dead.

Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Executive Vice President,
New York Board of Rabbis

Co-host, Religion on the Line, WABC Radio
Chaplain, New York City Fire Department

Rabbi Potasnik is the former President and presently the Executive Vice President of the New York Board of Rabbis, the largest interdenominational body of its kind in the world, and is Senior Rabbi at Congregation Mount Sinai in Brooklyn Heights, New York. Rabbi Potasnik is the co-host, along with Deacon Kevin McCormack of Xaverian High School and the Diocese of Rockville Center, of RELIGION ON THE LINE, which airs every Sunday morning on WABC Talk Radio, 770 AM from 7:30 – 10:00 am, WABC's longest running talk radio program. He has been the religious commentator for Radio WINS 1010 for the last ten years, succeeding the late Rabbi Marc Tannenbaum.

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