Upcoming Holidays and Time for Reflection


We hope this message finds you all well as we transition fully into spring. As we look ahead to the year to come, we have the opportunity to reflect and explore thoughts and traditions.

Upcoming in the next month one such opportunity is the National Day of Prayer. Though not mandated by the federal government, this day is often utilized as a chance for prayerful reflection – you can learn more with our fact sheet here. Some examples of typical observations have included students meeting to pray outside their schools before classes, or faith-based employee resource groups taking time to pray.

Vesak Day, also known as Buddha Day, is observed by Buddhists around the world. Although the exact date of observance varies from country to country, many people will be observing the day this year on May 7th. For more information, including the holiday’s history, scheduling tips, and recommended holiday greetings, please explore our Vesak Day fact sheet. Please note that offices in many Southeast Asian countries may close in observance of the holiday.

As always, you can find these fact sheets and more on our Workplace Resources page. If there’s any other way Tanenbaum can be of assistance during these times, for holidays and beyond, please don’t hesitate to reach out – we’d love to hear from you!

Rev. Mark Fowler
CEO, Tanenbaum

 


 

New Year, New Colors, Remembrance

Holidays arise throughout the year and spring is filled with them! Countless people around the world this year will be observing these upcoming holidays, which you may know by different names.

In late March, we see the beginning of the week-long Jewish celebration of Passover, also called Pesach in Hebrew. The end of March also brings the Hindu holiday Holi, often called the festival of colors, as well as the Sikh holiday Holla Mohalla which follows it. You can learn and share about these holidays with our fact sheets for Passover, and Holi.

With many holidays in such a short time, there’s a lot to learn. Schools and workplaces explore respectful ways to observe and accommodate, and hospitals and care facilities may need to be aware of patients or staff who may be fasting or have dietary restrictions. In addition to our fact sheets, the Tanenbaum staff is here to help. 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.

With my warmest regards,

Rev. Mark Fowler
CEO, Tanenbaum

 


 

Spring Celebrations and Commemorations

Friends –

As the seasons begin to change, we’ve already seen the Lunar New Year come and go. Did you know that some faiths follow a solar calendar?

Sikhism is one of them – on April 14th, millions of Sikhs will celebrate Vaisakhi, an important religious holiday as well as a cultural festival in northern India. Read our Vaisakhi fact sheet to learn more!

Amongst other upcoming holidays is Easter. Did you know that there are different dates for Easter (and Christmas) for some Christian denominations? Many Christians will observe Easter this year on April 4th, but Orthodox Christians will celebrate on May 2nd. You can learn about that and more with our Easter fact sheet.

Also, the holy month of Ramadan will begin soon on the evening of April 12th and end on May 11th, with the celebration of Eid al-Fitr following it. To learn more about the meaning and traditions behind this month and how your Muslim colleagues may be observing it, take a look at our Ramadan fact sheet.

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.

With my warmest regards,

Rev. Mark Fowler
CEO, Tanenbaum

 


 

Celebrate Respect for All Week with Tanenbaum

Dear Friends,

From February 5th to 11th, schools across New York City will celebrate diversity and challenge intolerance during Respect for All Week. Incorporating materials on respecting religious difference into your Respect for All Week plans is important and Tanenbaum is here to help!

Our educational resources challenge stereotypes that lead to bullying, teach the value of diversity, and build behaviors of mutual respect among your students:

  • The series of conversations between Tanenbaum CEO Mark Fowler, Kyathi Y. Joshi, and Robert P. Jones, Ph.D. provide in-depth analysis of the relationship between privilege, race, and religion in the United States.

 Finally, consider signing up for our trainings on community building and combating religious bias. Thanks to the generosity of the Nissan Foundation, we are able to partner with three New York City high schools and provide trainings remotely and completely free of charge. For more information, contact education@tanenbaum.org today!

Sincerely,

Rev. Mark Fowler
CEO, Tanenbaum

 

Lunar New Year is Near, Happy Spring Festival

Dear Friends,

Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is coming up on February 12th! The holiday is celebrated by many across Asia and around the world.

Observances of Lunar New Year can vary by region or country, with a common theme being the celebration of time together and gathering with family. Employees may request time off and organizations may want to be aware of the holiday’s business implications. Schools may close or hold celebrations for observances, and many may decorate to commemorate the new year.

Learn more from our Lunar New Year Fact Sheet!

Warm regards,

Rev. Mark Fowler
CEO, Tanenbaum

 


 

No More Surprises

Dear Tanenbaum Community –

Crosses, Shofars, and Christian flags were carried into the halls of Congress yesterday, as we witnessed Christian white supremacy at its purest and most dangerous. So what does it mean when the followers of someone who preached about “turning the other cheek” and “loving thy neighbor” stage an armed coup of an entire branch of government to disrupt the democratic process?

Many are “stunned” and “shocked” at the events which unfolded on the steps and in the halls of our Capitol yesterday, but we need to stop being surprised that white supremacists are among the most violent elements in America, so we can actually address and end the brutality.

While Christianity itself is not reducible to what happened yesterday in the nation’s capital, this invasion does add a chapter to the history of white Christian supremacy in the United States. Many faith leaders from around the world condemned these events and called for an end to the violence. However, this display of white power, and cultural and religious misappropriation is not without precedent. These practices have histories rooted in this country’s founding.

If we want to create a world that promotes justice and builds respect for all people, including those whose religious beliefs differ from our own, then we have to understand where these tactics come from, how they function, and why they still exist.

Below are resources to help better understand the ways in which white Christian privilege is impacting the ongoing events of the day:

Privilege, Race and Religion Tanenbaum Webinar Series

  • Mark Fowler with Dr. Khyati Joshi: Professor of education at Fairleigh Dickinson University, discusses Christian privilege, normativity, and hegemony in the United States.
  • Mark Fowler with Robert P. Jones: Ph.D., CEO and Founder, Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) explores the relationship between American Christianity and white supremacy. Drawing on compelling historical analysis and Dr. Jones’ own research, this conversation illustrates the ways in which the long and fraught intersection of race and religion in the U.S. continues to shape the present.

White Supremacy: An Overview: A comprehensive fact sheet about the varied white supremacist movements and groups.

Religious & Spiritual Approaches to Anti-Racism: Religious and spiritual communities are actively engaged in anti-racism work. This fact sheet highlights organizations and initiatives working to move the needle toward justice.

We have to interrogate the structures that maintain white Christian supremacy in our houses of worship, in our schools, in our communities, in our homes, in our workplaces, in our health care systems, and most importantly, in ourselves. Our democracy needs us not to be surprised by the events of yesterday.

In solidarity,

Rev. Mark Fowler

 


Photo Credit: Win Mcnamee- Getty Images

Updated Hanukkah fact sheet – and a song!

Dear Friends,

It was brought to our attention there was an error on our fact sheet about Hanukkah, which is right around the corner.  While we try to avoid such mistakes, we also wanted to respond to it quickly. I’m happy to share our updated Hanukkah fact sheet with the corrected start date of the evening of December 10th. You can also find other holiday-specific resources for upcoming days including ChristmasKwanzaaand more.

However, I must say that the timing is wonderful, because I’m thrilled to share something else pertaining to Hanukkah. I’m delighted to celebrate our long time Corporate Leader Disney with their recent holiday bop “Puppy for Hannukah” by well-loved Hamilton star Daveed Diggs.

As you can imagine, the Internet is already buzzing about this song — both for its content as well as what it means to them. There are many pressures that would tell us to check our religious identity at the workplace door. There are voices that say we have to choose between different sides of ourselves. Like all of you, we at Tanenbaum know that simply is not the truth — that there are ways to fully incorporate our diverse identities, religious and otherwise.

In addition to passing on our updated resources, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to hopefully add some brightness to your days as we wind down 2020 and draw closer to the Festival of Lights.

Warm regards,

Rev. Mark Fowler
CEO, Tanenbaum

 


 

Scheduling, decorations, and inclusivity: The December Dilemma

Dear Friends,

The winter holiday season often raises questions about how best to address inclusivity and accommodation in your organization. Whether your organization is considering which holidays to acknowledge and how, what holiday decorations are appropriate to put up, or how to host a celebration that’s inclusive for all, you’re likely to encounter the December Dilemma this season! Here at Tanenbaum, we believe this time is an opportunity to learn about and embrace our diversity.

Our December Dilemma Fact Sheet will address questions about time off and scheduling, decorations, and holiday greetings.

There are plenty of opportunities for education and celebration, beginning with Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and even Lunar New Year in early 2021.

In peace,

Rev. Mark Fowler
CEO, Tanenbaum


 

An Upcoming Festival of Lights

Dear Friends,

Diwali, known as the Festival of Lights, is fast approaching! This year, Diwali will take place on November 14th. Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and some Buddhists around the world celebrate this New Year festival. Diwali is also an official holiday in a number of countries in South Asia and around the world.

To learn more about Diwali and its potential workforce implications, please consult our Diwali Fact Sheet.

Warm regards,

In Friendship,

Mark Fowler
CEO, Tanenbaum

 


 

More than just a day for trick-or-treating

Friends –

More than just a day for trick-or-treating and parades, Halloween may have origins in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. It’s also far from the only important holiday that occurs during this time of year. Holidays such as Day of the Dead, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day also have a great deal of meaning for those who celebrate.

Learn more about the importance of these upcoming holidays in Tanenbaum’s new Halloween Fact Sheet.

In Friendship,

Rev. Mark Fowler
CEO, Tanenbaum