Ramadan is on the Horizon

Dear Friends,

In these trying times, sometimes it can be reassuring to engage in or learn about the traditions and rituals of our friends and colleagues. The holy month of Ramadan will begin soon and, this year, it will begin on the evening of April 23rd and end on May 24th.

Muslim employees observing Ramadan may be fasting during this period. Some may request scheduling accommodations in order to observe and your company may find that more employees require space or time for prayer during this period.

To learn about additional tips and considerations regarding scheduling, dietary restrictions, and greetings, read and circulate our Ramadan Fact Sheet.

Warm regards,

Mark Fowler
Deputy CEO


Photos by: 1. Haidan 2. Moderntime 

The Festival of Colors: Holi is Almost Here!

Dear Friends,

The Hindu festival of Holi is coming up in a few short weeks. Holi is often called the festival of colors, because “playing Holi” means flinging colors. This year, Holi will take place on March 9th and 10th and, depending on where it’s being celebrated, may last one or two days.

Due to your location, workforce, or clientele, you may experience the impact of Holi on the workplace more so than some. To be prepared, and for more information about the holiday and potential workplace implications, take a look at our new Holi Fact Sheet!

In peace,

Mark Fowler
Deputy CEO, Tanenbaum

Photo: Steven Garner

Remembering the Very Rev. James Morton

Credit: James Estrin/The New York Times

The other day, I received an official notice from Rev. Chloe Breyer via email, announcing the death of the founder of the Interfaith Center of New York. The Very Rev. James Morton, an icon and interreligious leader of enormous stature, had passed. Her tribute recalled the breadth of his contributions. I paused to think of how I remembered him.

But what struck me later, were two other emails I received. I got an email from Scottie Twine, a former colleague, one of my partners in building Tanenbaum and a dear friend, who wrote to make sure that several of us had taken note of Jim’s passing.

She knew Jim Morton from living on the Upper West Side and from her own social justice and environmental work (he served on the organization she and her husband founded, Upper Westside Recycling). Scottie shared that Jim and his wife Pamela had reached their 65th anniversary just before he passed. She closed her note to me by saying “Jim was a man who followed his heart, and we’re glad to have had him in our lives.”

A second came from Tanenbaum‘s founder and Board President, Georgette Bennett. She had seen Scottie‘s email and shared her own personal memories and special moments that are not to be forgotten.

The public tributes on Jim’s work from the arts to housing to visioning will no doubt continue in the days to come. But I think the greatest tributes are the quiet sharings of friends, who remember Jim Morton, are grateful for his life, and hold him in their hearts.

May his memory be for a blessing,

Joyce Dubensky
Tanenbaum CEO


 

Our 2020 Resolutions

Friends—

At Tanenbaum, we’re excited to welcome 2020 with you — by sharing our New Year’s Resolutions from diverse religions, beliefs and traditions.

The following words of wisdom inspire us to create change, one day at a time. We hope they inspire you as well,

Joyce S. Dubensky
CEO, Tanenbaum

Click to download PDF


SHARED VISIONS

FOR 2020, TANENBAUM RESOLVES…

To Live the Golden Rule
In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.
Christianity, Matthew 7:12

To Embrace Religious Differences
Consort with the followers of all religions in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship.
The Bahá’í Faith, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, Bishárát

To Act Virtuously
Cultivate virtue in yourself, And it will be true.
Taoism, Tao Te Ching chapter 54

To Respect the Earth 
Ether, air, fire, water, earth, planets, all creatures, directions, trees and plants, rivers and seas, they are all organs of God’s body. Remembering this a devotee respects all species.
Hinduism, Srimad Bhagavatam (2.2.41)

To Treat the Stranger with Kindness
And a stranger shalt thou not wrong, neither shalt thou oppress him; for ye were strangers in the land
of Egypt.
Judaism, Exodus 22:20

To Challenge Fake News
I replied thus: I am Zoroaster, the staunch enemy of liars and falsehood. I shall fight against liars as long as I have strength and shall uphold truth and righteous people whole heartedly.
Zoroastrianism, Yasna 43 (Verse 8)

To Advocate for Justice
O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just.
Islam, Sahih International 4:135

To Speak with Honesty and Compassion
Speak only that which will bring you honor.
Sikhism, Guru Nanak, Sri Guru Granth Sahib

To Practice Nonviolence 
One is not called noble who harms living beings. By not harming living beings one is called noble. Buddhism, Dhammapada (Verse 270)

To Make Peace Possible
Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.
Confucianism, Confucius

 


 

Scheduling, greetings, décor, oh my!

Dear Friends,

As the winter months are fast approaching, we look forward to the light and joy that comes with celebrations of Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. All three holidays begin within days of one another this year and also may bring challenges that impact the workplace.

Whether it’s concerns of scheduling, greetings, decor, or associated stressors, this busy time of year can be complicated to navigate. To help you feel more prepared, we have fact sheets on each holiday that you can refer to for Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and the December Dilemma.

If you have any questions or concerns, please be in touch and we can talk through potential solutions to support you and your workplace.

In peace,

Mark Fowler,
Deputy CEO, Tanenbaum

 


 

Dilemma? Opportunity? Get ahead of the Fall & Winter Holidays!

Dear Friends, 

The winter holiday season often raises questions about workplace inclusivity and accommodation. Perhaps your office is considering which holidays to address, which holiday decorations are appropriate to use, or how to create a holiday or Christmas party inclusive to all. Whatever the case may be for you and your company, this is an opportunity to be prepared for the season and practice inclusion by addressing the December Dilemma head on!

Our December Dilemma Fact Sheet will help you address you and your colleagues’ questions about time off and scheduling, decoration and holiday greetings.

There are plenty of opportunities for education and celebration, beginning with Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas (both on the Julian and Gregorian calendars), Kwanzaa, and then the Lunar New Year in February 2020!

In peace,

Mark Fowler
Deputy CEO, Tanenbaum

Photo: Ludmila Crigan-Mihajlovic


 

Shana Tova!

Dear Friends,

Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (the Jewish Day of Atonement) will take place this year September 29 – October 1 and October 8 – 9, respectively. Together, these are known as the High Holy Days and are often regarded as the most important of all Jewish holidays.

Employees observing these holidays may require time off to attend services and celebrate with family and friends. Holidays like these are amazing opportunities to learn about traditions with which we may not be familiar! Learn more about both holidays and a few other seasonal holidays in Tanenbaum’s Jewish Fall Holidays fact sheet. Shana tova and a sweet new year to all!

In friendship,

Mark Fowler
Deputy CEO, Tanenbaum

 


Photo: Robert Couse-Baker

An Opportunity to Learn: Eid al-Adha


Dear Friends,

This year, the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha will be observed in the U.S. between sundown on August 10th and sundown on August 11th. The date may be different in other countries as the sighting of the new moon will determine the start of the holiday. Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice) celebrates the willingness of the prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son when ordered to do so by God.

As Eid al-Adha is of great significance within Islam, employees may request time off and businesses within Muslim-majority countries may be closed. For more information about the holiday, including background information and appropriate greetings, please read and share Tanenbaum’s fact sheet on Eid al-Adha.

In peace,

Mark Fowler
Deputy CEO, Tanenbaum

Spring is Busy! Here’s How to be Prepared

Dear Friends, 

Holidays arise throughout the year and spring is filled with them! From March through early June, many around the world this year will be observing Vaisakhi, PassoverEaster, and Ramadan.

You can learn about each of these holidays, their impact on the workplace, and more by visiting Tanenbaum’s Workplace Resources page for fact sheets and additional resources.

In friendship,

Mark Fowler
Deputy CEO, Tanenbaum
 

Image: Jarni Poupata

International Day of Tolerance – How you can get involved!

Friends,

As you may know, Tanenbaum’s goal is to build a world marked by respect. Tolerance, for us, is not the end goal, but rather just a step along the continuum towards peace. Yet today, we are celebrating the International Day of Tolerance. Why? Because it is actually designed to promote more than tolerance — it envisions establishing respect, understanding, and dignity for diverse peoples everywhere.

The Day got its start when the UN declared 1995 the Year of Tolerance and instituted the annual commemoration. I believe it’s important because it serves as a reminder of the UN and member states’ responsibilities to intentionally seek to establish tolerance at every level of society.

Today reminds each of us of our responsibility. Because, sadly, there’s still work to do. But we have some ideas and resources for you …

  • For Families at Thanksgiving: The Golden Rule is common to all our different beliefs. Tanenbaum’s Shared Visions on the Golden Rule proves that point. And it’s a great resource if you celebrate Thanksgiving. Pass it around the table, and let each person read a reflection from a different tradition.
  • For Teachers: Tanenbaum and Teaching Tolerance produced a free, five-part webinar series on religious diversity in school that’s ready-made for teachers. The Religious Diversity in the Classroom Webinar Series and accompanying resources examine how awareness of religious diversity affects student-readiness for global citizenship, and how teaching about religion across grade levels and subject areas can help meet important academic standards. 
  • For Workplaces: December is a time of year when holidays bring religious diversity issues to the surface in workplaces. The December Dilemma tip sheet provides proactive strategies for creating an inclusive workplace environment year-round.

The International Day of Tolerance needs to matter. Please join us in doing your part,

Joyce S. Dubensky
CEO, Tanenbaum