In a single moment, silence spoke volumes on Long Island Friday.
A synagogue decided to do what the International Olympic Committee could not: Pay tribute to the Israeli athletes who were murdered by terrorists 40 years ago.
The memorial service was incorporated into the regular Friday Shabbat service at in Port Washington, which, like other synagogues and secular organizations around the world, found the IOC's decision incomprehensible.
"I am deeply saddened by the insensitivity of the IOC, which could easily have - and should have - marked the anniversary of this singular terrorist attack at the Olympics in this way," said , the synagogue's spiritual leader.
Friday's service was led by Rabbi Danny Burkeman, Zeplowitz's associate. He read the names of the 11 Olympic athletes, along with the one German police officer who tried to defend them, were read, followed by a moment of silence and prayer.
The gesture by the Port Washington congregation was duplicated in other Long Island synagogues.
In Plainview, , the spiritual leader the , used the service as an opportunity to find understanding and peace among the nations.
"My dear friends, I'm am certain of this: God does not check passports," Rabbi Senter said in his sermon. "If the athletes murdered at the '72 Olympics were Palestinian I would similarly support a moment of silence. Because we are all children of God, created in God's image."
The most recent effort began with a petition spearheaded by Ankie Spitzer, the widow of one of the 11 Israelis killed in Munich by a Palestinian terrorist group known as "Black September."
More than 100,000 people signed the petition. President Obama, Governor Mitt Romney and the U.S. Senate, among many others, also supported the gesture.
The IOC refused, arguing a political statement had no place in the Olympics.
Senter countered with this message of peace and the higher meaning of Olympic competition:
"The attack in Munich was not simply an attack on Israelis who we relate to as Jews. It was an attack on one of the finest manifestations of our humanity, the Olympic spirit of solidarity and peace."
Adina Genn contributed to the reporting.