Kids Kicking Cancer’s founder Rabbi G had the opportunity to travel to Italy to participate in a conference and meet Pope Francis.

Photos courtesy of Rabbi G

Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg, fondly known as Rabbi G and founder of Kids Kicking Cancer, was given the opportunity to not only attend a conference in Italy, but to also meet Pope Francis himself at the Vatican.

Rabbi G attended the “Promoting Digital Child Dignity — From Concept to Action” conference organized by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS) on Nov. 14-15. The conference brought together world leaders for an interfaith discussion on child safety, slavery and trafficking.

Rabbi G’s friend, Rabbi David Rosen, International Director of Interreligious Affairs of the American Jewish Committee, encouraged Rabbi G to participate in the conference.

“David was actually a speaker at the conference,” Rabbi G said. “Since this was about protecting vulnerable children, Rabbi Rosen made a point that if children develop adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), they are more likely to be preyed upon by predators.”

“But teaching children how to be resilient and deal with their own trauma and stress empowers the child and makes them less vulnerable to their own trauma but also to other people. And that’s what we are doing with Kids Kicking Cancer — empowering kids to become teachers and breathe in the light and breathe out the darkness.”

When meeting with Pope Francis, Rabbi G taught him the Kids Kicking Cancer ‘power, peace and purpose’ bow.

Rabbi G teaching Pope Francis the ‘power, peace and purpose’ bow.

“Pope Francis was very genuine and was sincerely inspired by the children,” Rabbi G said.

“I think that people who live in the world that emphasizes light, appreciate that sometimes the greatest conveyors of that light can be children who may have been introduced to darkness but have learned that they can break through it.”

During the conference, Rabbi G spoke with other world leaders like Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates and Queen Silvia of Sweden.

“This conference gave me the opportunity to speak with world leaders who share my passion of strengthening children,” Rabbi G said. “Teaching children to go beyond their own pain and trauma enables them to teach the world.”

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