The New Faces of Human Rights

Friends –

Human Rights is more than a theory. It’s a vision and a responsibility. Just ask the newest generation of human rights activists—Malala Yousafzai, Greta Thunberg, Emma Gonzalez, Marley Dias, Joshua Wong—youth leaders having real impact.

They know that social justice is furthered through actions both small and large, by each of us. That’s why we’re calling on the Tanenbaum community to take small actions to tackle one of our biggest problems: Extremism and Fake News on Social Media.

Misinformation is the enemy of mutual understanding. Fake news causes viewers to react rather than reflect, disarming us with algorithms and exaggerated emotion. That’s why recognizing and combating fake news matters. It’s one of the easiest ways to engage in social action.

At Tanenbaum, we provide “how-to” resources for recognizing extremism and fake news on social media and for countering it.

Arm yourself with knowledge, resources and know that universal human rights begin with you, in small places, close to home.

We can do it together,

Joyce

 


Image: Callum Shaw

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

 


 

Holidays in the Hospital

As the end of the year approaches, whether you are decorating a tree with colorful lights, lighting a menorah, or burning a Yule log, it’s important to keep in mind that while holidays are an opportunity to celebrate culturally and religiously significant events, they are also an opportunity to learn more about traditions that are unfamiliar to us.

Tanenbaum likes to call this stretch of holidays the “December Dilemma,” as this convergence can often result in misunderstandings, miscommunication, and marginalization of less familiar traditions. There is no space in which this is more important than the hospital, where patients and their families may adhere to certain celebratory beliefs and practices that impact their care. For example, when observing Yom Kippur, which usually falls in September or October, many Jewish patients engage in fasting, prayer, and reflection. This could impact scheduling appointments, medication intake, and other dietary needs or concerns. Similar considerations also apply to Muslim patients observing the holy month of Ramadan.

Additionally, hospital staff and co-workers may also have certain religious and cultural practices that could impact scheduling, diet, and religious/cultural expression. In 24-hour workplaces, it is already difficult to try to schedule meetings with staff, provide food that everyone can eat, and ensure that requests for time off are accommodated. The holiday season can further complicate this when workplaces often have holiday celebrations and many staff members request off to celebrate with their friends and family. In order to better navigate these situations, Tanenbaum has put together some recommendations and resources, so you can proactively and respectfully address issues and conflicts that arise!

First, it is important to be aware of the holidays that may fall in or around December.

These include:

Eid al-Fitr, a celebration that marks the end of Ramadan in the Muslim faith. The Eid has shifting dates, and although it has fallen over the summer during recent years (it will fall in early-June in 2019), it can fall much later in the calendar and is, therefore, a holiday to consider in thinking about the December Dilemma.

Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights. This five-day celebration usually falls in October or November. In 2019, Diwali begins on October 27th and ends on October 31st.

Bodhi Day, a Buddhist holiday celebrating Siddhartha Guatama’s (the Buddha’s) realization and presentation to his fellow seekers of the Four Noble Truths. Bodhi Day is traditionally celebrated on December 8th (the 8th day of the 12th lunar month).

Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. This eight-day holiday can fall in late November, December, or occasionally early January. In 2019, Hanukkah will start at sundown on December 22nd and end at sundown on December 30th.

Christmas, a celebration of the birth of Jesus, the central figure of Christianity. Christmas is celebrated on December 25th by Christians who use the Gregorian calendar. Christians using the Julian calendar—many of whom are Eastern Orthodox Christians—celebrate Christmas on December 25th on the Julian calendar, which translates into January 7th on the Gregorian calendar.

Kwanzaa, a week-long secular holiday honoring African-American heritage. This holiday is observed from December 26th through January 1st each year by some African-Americans in the United States.

The Lunar New Year, a traditional Chinese holiday marking the end of winter that falls sometime during January or February (in 2020, it falls on January 25th). The Lunar New Year is an East and South East Asian celebration. In China, it is known as the “Spring Festival” and marks the end of the winter season.

Yule, a Wiccan or Pagan celebration of the Winter Solstice, will occur (in the northern hemisphere) on December 21, 2019. Yule celebrates the rebirth of the sun, the beginning of the time when the days will become longer, and welcomes the bounty of spring.

Second, it is also a good idea to download an interfaith calendar, like the one provided by Harvard Divinity School, so your calendar can make you aware of upcoming events and celebrations. For more recommendations and tips for navigating the December Dilemma, please refer to our December Dilemma resource, our religious factsheets, or our Tips for Respectful Communication.

May you all have a safe and happy holiday season!

Warmest regards,

The Tanenbaum Health Care Team

 


 

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


 

It’s Been a Long Year Since Tree of Life

Stronger Together (AP Photo – Greg Bull)

In the year since the Tree of Life massacre, 12 white supremacists were arrested for targeting, planning to target or threatening attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions. There were also other threats, as worldwide anti-Semitism continued to multiply.

That is the dark side of a global story that has not stopped unfolding after the deadly shooting in Pittsburgh. But there is another story. The story of international outrage and collective action as allies and upstanders unify against the hatred. We saw it after Tree of Life, and we saw it just few weeks ago yet again. On Yom Kippur, a synagogue in Halle, Germany was targeted by a gunman, and Anti anti-Semitism protests emerged across Germany by the thousands.

We need to stand up together. And to do this we must be armed with the information, and the resources to respond to those who pursue hate. That’s why, as part of Tanenbaum’s Combating Extremism campaign, we are honoring Pittsburgh’s tragic anniversary by sharing our newest fact sheet—Anti-Semitism – What, Where and Why.

We ask you to check it out and let us know what you think. And then please share it with friends, allies and those who think differently from you. Because we all have a lot to learn. And together, we are stronger than hate.

With reflection & hope,

Joyce

 

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

Beyond Grief

Friends—

This weekend left no time to grieve. Instead, there was only time for fear. More Americans have died at the hands of white domestic terrorists since 2001 than from any other type of terrorist attack in our country. Men, women and children of every religion, race, nationality, age, gender, ethnicity, sex and class are being gunned down at school, shopping and during prayer. And many of us no longer feel safe.

It’s time to understand the phenomenon that spurs on white terrorism, to recognize the many ways it is fueled (including through social media) and to do something. If you haven’t yet read our overview of White Supremacy, I encourage you to do so now. And when you’re ready to respond, consider our resource 5 Ways to Combat Extremism on Social Media—because we’re all responsible for finding a pathway back to safety and communities where differences are respected.

Joyce S. Dubensky
CEO, Tanenbaum

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

We the People…Tweet

Friends –

To the Founding Fathers, freedom of religion was a cornerstone of American democracy – even before the Bill of Rights was adopted. And we the people means that we get to use our voices to express our faith – including online!

We’re lucky to live in a country where the freedom to express our beliefs is foundational. So today, we’re sharing our Combating Extremism resource for 4th of July Tweeting! Hear our #FoundingFathers and heed their words and commitment to religious diversity, religious freedom and multi-faith respect – still relevant today. And tag us in your tweets!

In patriotism,

Joyce

Pioneer Day is Almost Here!

Dear Friends,

Did you know that July 24th is Pioneer Day? This holiday is one of the major holidays of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The day is often observed with parades, fireworks, and Old West reenactments to commemorate the arrival of Brigham Young and his followers to Salt Lake Valley. To learn more about the history and significance of Pioneer Day, as well as how the holiday may impact the workplace, read our Pioneer Day Fact Sheet.

In friendship,

Mark Fowler,
Deputy CEO, Tanenbaum


Photo: Ken Lund