Category: "Interfaith Matters Blogs"

“A Place to Embrace Our Common Humanity” – Dr. Kusumita Pedersen on ICNY’s first 20 years

May 18th,2017 ICNY Interfaith Matters Blogs

______________________________________________ NOTE: Please consider showing your support for ICNY's 20 years of accomplishments: Purchase tickets to our June 12 Awards Gala #FundTheNext20 with your donation ______________________________________________ "A Place to Embrace Our Common Humanity" Reflecting on ICNY's First Twenty Years Devoted to Turning a City of Strangers into a City of Neighbors by Dr. Kusumita Pedersen, ICNY Co-Chair Dr. Pedersen (pictured, center) among Indigenous leaders at a recent panel discussion on climate change co-sponsored by ICNY All my life I have been drawn to traditions other than my own, although I was raised in the 1950s and 60s in Connecticut in ...Continue Reading

Ana Patel, E.D. of Outward Bound Peacebuilding, on “Listening as Peacebuilding”

  “Listening as Peacebuilding” Active Listening as a Way to Respond to Another Person and Improve Mutual Understanding   by Ana Patel, Executive Director of Outward Bound Peacebuilding   Last year, while facilitating an experiential peacebuilding workshop, I invited the participants to try a listening exercise. Simple idea – simple activity. Participants were asked to divide into pairs, one listener and one speaker.  The listeners were asked to spend three minutes listening to the speaker on climate change - keep eye contact, make encouraging gestures and sounds, but don’t interrupt. Then switch.   At the end, an older man returned to the group with tears running...Continue Reading

“Let’s Lean on Each Other to Stand Against Hate” – by Iman Boukadoum

  "Let’s Lean on Each Other to Stand Against Hate"   by Iman Boukadoum, ICNY's Director of Community Partnerships   “I believe that the arsenal of a lasting faith in a better future is love between human beings; a love that is capable of outlasting anxieties and disillusionments, desperation and depression.” ­- Rabbi Marshall T. Meyer (1930-1993)   Human Rights Activist, and Spiritual Leader   of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun   I don’t know about you, but since November’s election it’s been hard for me to feel the love described so movingly here by Rabbi Marshall Meyer – a love that gives us “lasting faith in a better future,” despite inevitable “anx...Continue Reading

The Rev. Kristen Looney: “Status Quo is Not the Answer” – The Value of Training Educators to Teach About Religious Diversity in American Schools

February 1st,2017 ICNY Interfaith Matters Blogs

  by Rev. Kristen Looney, Project Director, Religious Freedom Center, Newseum Institute As protesters fill the streets across the country, clog airports, and march down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House, many other Americans – on both sides of the partisan divide – take to social media denouncing President Trump’s recent executive order on immigration and refugee policy as un-American.  Religious leaders, civic leaders, and elected officials are calling for a reversal of the “Muslim ban,” claiming that it is unconstitutional and against our core values as a nation.  But what about our nation’s educators?  In this charged political context, what are young American...Continue Reading

BLOG: “A Voice of Assurance & Hope in Turbulent Times” by Kevin Childress

December 6th,2016 ICNY Interfaith Matters Blogs, Latest News

by Kevin Childress, Social Media Manager of The Interfaith Center of New York In the days following the Presidential election, The Interfaith Center of New York’s website and social media channels saw a significant uptick in visitors.  People seemed to be seeking out a specific type of content, with posts like these attracting the most attention: “NYC will sue if Trump implements Muslim registry: de Blasio” “What to do if You Encounter Someone Racially Abusing Someone Else” “ICNY is Improving Public Safety for all New Yorkers with a Religious Diversity Training film for the NYPD" This response is something I have witnessed repeatedly as the social media manager at ICNY.  ...Continue Reading

ICNY is Improving Public Safety for all New Yorkers with a Religious Diversity Training Video for NYPD Officers

Policing in Today’s Multi-Faith New York: Working with the NYPD to Improve Public Safety for All New Yorkers by Dr. Henry Goldschmidt Imagine you’re an officer in the New York City Police Department.  It’s Friday night, and you’re working on a block that’s closed for police activity.  A young woman wearing a long, modest skirt and full-sleeved blouse says she lives on the block, and needs to get past the police line.  You ask for identification to check her address, and she tells you bluntly, “I can’t carry ID on Shabbos – it’s against the Torah.”  Is she for real, or maybe up to something?  The next day, you’re providing first aid for a young man with a full b...Continue Reading

BLOG: “We Are Tomorrow’s Adults” – An ICNY Youth Intern on the Importance of Interfaith Engagement for Young New Yorkers

October 17th,2016 ICNY Interfaith Matters Blogs

    by Dominique Da Silva, a senior at Avenues: The World School   This summer I had the pleasure of working with The Interfaith Center of New York (ICNY). During the week, I would walk up to the office along Riverside park to attend a staff meeting. Everyone in the office (five or six people) would come together and discuss what they were working on — redesigning the website, fundraising efforts, organizing trainings or panels. After the meeting everyone was immediately back to work and incredibly busy planning the next important event at ICNY. On Thursdays, I would go to the Harlem Community Justice Center to volunteer, with ICNY's executive director, The Rev. C...Continue Reading

BLOG: Five NYC Faith Leaders Look Back on 9/11, Fifteen Years Later

September 6th,2016 ICNY Interfaith Matters Blogs, Latest News

   Looking Back on 9/11, Fifteen Years Later A press conference filmed 2 days after 9/11 prompts five NYC Faith Leaders to reflect, assess, and offer direction for the future Edited by Kevin Childress Fifteen years ago, just 2 days after the shocking tragedy of 9/11, The Interfaith Center of New York hosted a press conference where dozens of leaders from diverse New York City faith communities expressed interfaith and multicultural unity in the face of terrorism.   We recently showed an archival recording of that press conference to five faith leaders who spoke at it, asking them to share their memories of 9/11, to weigh in on how racial, cultural and religious intolerance has changed...Continue Reading

BLOG – The Human Repair Business: The Restorative Justice Interfaith Panel

July 28th,2016 ICNY Interfaith Matters Blogs, Latest News

by Tylor-Maria Johnson, Princeton Undergraduate Student studying Public Policy “God did not hire me to judge people, but called me to be a part of the human repair business,” Pastor Benny explained to Harlem Community Justice Center’s Youth Court members at an interfaith panel on restorative justice last Friday [June 22]. The panel, organized by the Harlem Youth Court and Interfaith Center of New York, explored the intersectionality between restorative justice, faith communities, and the larger criminal justice system. The Harlem Youth Court trains 14- to 18-year-olds to become jurors, advocates, and judges for cases involving their peers who are diverted from the family court and cr...Continue Reading

BLOG: “Education to Action” – Catholics and Muslims Working Together for Positive Change by Dr. Sarah Sayeed and Tom Dobbins Jr.

April 18th,2016 ICNY Interfaith Matters Blogs, Latest News

  "Education to Action"  Catholics and Muslims Working Together for Positive Change by    Dr. Sarah Sayeed, Senior Advisor, NYC Mayor’s Office Community Affairs Unit [Note: Dr. Sayeed's contribution to this blog is based on her previous work as ICNY's Director of Community Partnerships]   Tom Dobbins, Jr., Justice and Peace Coordinator/ Producer: JustLove Radio – Sirius/XM Catholic Channel, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York   From Sarah Sayeed: In 2010, ICNY began its Catholic-Muslim Joint Action Initiative, a pioneering, large-scale and sustained interfaith collaboration among Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, Catholic and Mus...Continue Reading