Create Community

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Interfaith Center leader The Rev. Chloe Breyer (second from right) with participants at the Marshall Meyer Retreat for Social Justice on prisoner reentry

Cultivating an interfaith community can be challenging to organize in the midst of New York City’s discreet metropolitan silos. But connecting diverse groups to one another, in today’s world, is a vital ingredient to enhancing healthy, sustainable urban environments, especially like the densely packed diverse ones such as New York City. Interfaith organizing and community-building efforts become increasingly vital to foster dynamic conversations about differences and similarities in fast-paced international environments. Connecting people to different ideas and ways of life in a safe and respectful space can cultivate understanding and build mutual respect. This is more important today than ever, as the world we live in becomes more interconnected and global cultures impact local populations more than ever.

One way that ICNY systematically engages in interfaith community-building is through The Rabbi Marshall T. Meyer Retreats for Social Justice. ICNY has been hosting Rabbi Marshall Meyer Retreats for over a decade, making them New York City’s principal event for interfaith education and dialogue on local social justice issues. The retreat serves as a professional development and capacity building opportunity for religious leaders and allows them to create networks for mutual support. The retreats are named after Rabbi Marshall Meyer, who was a religious leader actively engaged in social justice projects and building partnerships with other faith communities.

Another program designed to organize interfaith communities toward solving social justice problems while building mutual respect is the Catholic-Muslim Dialogue and Partnership. Funded by the GHR Foundation, ICNY initiated a six year pilot project in 2010 to build collaboration between Catholic and Muslim service providers in New York City.

The program features:

  1. Incorporating dialogue on Catholic and Muslim teachings and community life
  2. Building collaboration around specific social service needs in each borough

Through programs like these, ICNY helps New Yorkers build communities of mutual respect and understanding across faith lines. We give people the tools they need to participate in the civic life of our multicultural democracy. Please click the links above for more details about our Community Building programs, and click here to support our essential work.