Multi-Faith Alliance for Syrian Refugees
The Interfaith Center of New York is a member of the Multi-faith Alliance for Syrian Refugees (MFA), which is the United States leading interfaith response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis. The project aims to mobilize global support to alleviate the Syrian humanitarian crisis, heighten awareness of its growing dangers, and advance future stability in the region. We engage with various secular and faith-based organizations to support civilians suffering as a result of what has been called “the worst humanitarian conflict on earth.” We attend meetings at the United Nations and arrange drives to send needed items to Syria with partners.
JPM International Visiting Fellows Sister Cities Program (2009 – 2012)
Thanks to a generous matching grant from the Daniel and Joanna S. Rose Foundation, ICNY launched a “Sister Cities” initiative that enabled us to share our work with urban centers in Europe—beginning with those cities that have similar religious demographics, security concerns, and immigration challenges as New York City. Following a year of research in which ICNY staff members mapped interfaith activities in Glasgow, London, Paris, Rotterdam, Frankfurt, Leicester, Birmingham and Barcelona, the James Parks Morton International Visiting Fellows Program at the Interfaith Center of New York brought the first international delegations from Barcelona, Spain (lead by UNESCO-Catalonia) and Glasgow, Scotland (lead by The Scottish Interfaith Council) to New York City June 15th – June 25th, 2009. Both UNESCO-Catalonia and The Scottish Interfaith Council brought eight religious and civic leaders to New York for the first of three annual interactive seminars. The seminar included:
Participation in ICNY programs (The Rabbi Marshall T. Meyer Retreat on Immigration Reform, Stony Point, NY; Courts and Religious Leader Roundtables, Manhattan, NY)
Site visits to houses of worship in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn
Meetings with elected officials with expertise in immigration and multicultural issues (Queens Borough President’s Office; Office of New York City Human Rights Commissioner)
Cultural visits (The Tribute Center at the World Trade Center Site; Museum of Jewish Heritage; The Museum of Native American History)
Reflection sessions on comparative approaches and methodology in interfaith work
Culminating public event in which delegation members share their reflections and observations with the wider New York City interfaith community
In 2010 and 2011, a similar interactive seminar with grassroots religious leaders from New York, Barcelona and Scotland took place in Barcelona and Glasgow. Delegates representing New York city were be selected.
The goal of this three-year sister city program was to enrich the interfaith work and networks within each of the participating cities: New York City, Barcelona, and Glasgow. In addition, the Interfaith Center of New York continues to explore the possibility of a publication showcasing best-practices of all three cities in the area of interfaith work and civic participation.
New York 2009