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

Holidays Happening This Week

Dear Friends, 

The Hindu festival of Holi is this week! Holi is often called the festival of colors, because “playing Holi” means flinging colors. This year Holi will take place on March 20th – 21st. Take a look at our new Holi Fact Sheet for more information about the holiday and the potential workplace implications of Holi.

We also want to remind you all that this week is filled with holidays for a variety of different faiths! Here’s a reminder to take a look at the Naw Ruz Fact Sheet we sent out on February 21st as well. The Jewish holiday of Purim and the Sikh holiday of Hola Mohalla also fall this week. We look forward to sharing fact sheets on these holidays next year. Consider also consulting the ADL’s 2019 Calendar of Observances to see what other holidays are coming up.

Sincerely,  

Mark Fowler
Deputy CEO, Tanenbaum


Image: Steven Garner

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

A Path Forward: Confronting Hate in America

Ken Parker, prior to leaving the KKK and NSM.

Knowing anti-Semitism is on the rise again. Seeing what happened in Charlottesville, then Pittsburg. Hearing the chants, “Jews will not replace us.” In honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, we have to ask the hard question.

Are there some people—bigots and extremists—who are so extreme, they just can’t change?  Our answer, “NO!”

Support for this can be found in Deeyah Kahn’s beautiful, courageous and heart-wrenching Netflix documentary White Right: Meeting the Enemy. In the film, on the Unite the Right rally and the white nationalists who participated, Kahn introduces us to white supremacist leader and Born Again Christian, Ken Parker. At that time, he was active in the Nationalist Socialist Movement (NSM) and a Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). 

Ken hands over his Grand Dragon robe to race relations expert Daryl Davis

The film captures what Ken had to say during the 2017 rally

Jews and homosexuals, they should be exterminated, every single one of them.” 

I absolutely despise Jews, so yes I’m a racist.”

“I will never break bread with a Jew! Ever.”

Today it’s different. Ken is now a “former.” He retired from the NSM and the KKK and denounces hate groups. Part of his evolution included a process of reconciliation, and Ken reaching out to the very people who he used to vilify.

Ken Parker with Jewish Holocaust Educator, Tamara Meyer

Tanenbaum’s Combating Extremism campaign partnered with Arno Michaelis, a former leader in the skinhead movement and now a peacebuilder, who pushed Ken to meet his first Jew—something he vowed never to do.

Arno introduced Ken to Tamara Meyer, a Jewish Holocaust Educator, and to race relations expert Daryl Davis, and videotaped Ken “break bread with a Jew.”  And now, in partnership with Arno, we are proud to present what happened.

A Path Forward: Confronting Hate in America, affirms that a powerful way to move forward through hate is with empathy, understanding and respect. Take a look. And let us know what you think.

 

Tree of Life Synagogue – 5 Ways to Take Action

In the wake of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting, many people felt sadness, anger, fear—and hopelessness. All of those reactions linger today. But the Tree of Life tragedy should also be a call to action. As the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. said in his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, 

“Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of this moment.”

It was true then and it is true now. Bigotry and violence should have no place in our country. And there are things we can do about it…

VOTE!

Election Day is Tuesday, November 6!

Every 2 years we have an opportunity to shape the legislative branch of our federal, state and local governments. Whether you have been satisfied or dissatisfied with how your public representatives have been voting or responding to current events, this is your opportunity to make sure that those who reflect your vision of America get a seat at the decision-making table!

For more information about where, when and how to vote, click here!

DONATE!

Tanenbaum systematically dismantles religious hatred and violence and promotes respect for people of all religious beliefs. Last week, we were named 1 of the top 5 interreligious organizations to support (see article here). 

Our actions can make a difference and supporting organizations that preserve freedom of religion and respect is one of the best ways to take action. 

CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOW!

PARTICIPATE IN CIVIL DISCOURSE!

Bullying, marginalization, violence and propaganda. None of it’s new. What is new is the scale, frequency and ubiquitousness of disinformation. Tanenbaum’s Combating Extremism campaign is a public education initiative that dismantles stereotypes and counters fake news. As part of this campaign, we regularly post free, practical resources for home, work, school, places of worship and/or your community. Below are some of our resources for beginning conversations: 

Click here for the access to all Combating Extremism campaign resources.

INTENTIONALLY CREATE SPACE!

This is the moment for communities to invest time and energy in one another. One way is to intentionally create space for interfaith and cross-group action projects in your communities. Another is to proactively establish conversations and dialogues in your houses of faith, community centers and homes – and to practice listening even when you may disagree. Some organization with helpful resources include United Religions InitiativeInterfaith Youth Core and Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia.

ENGAGE WITH US ON SOCIAL MEDIA!​​​​​​​

TUNE INTO OUR LIVESTREAM! – On Thursday, November 15th, Controversial Conversations: A story of collaboration between a Sikh and a skinhead. Listen and learn from this important discussion between a former extremist and leader in the white nationalist movement, Arno Michaelis, and his partner Pardeep Kaleka on how they moved beyond hate. Make sure to tune into Tanenbaum’s Facebook or Instagram for the livestream at 6pm that evening!

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA! – Keep up to date with interreligious understanding news and events by following us on social media! Followers receive regular updates about everything religion related from around the world, as well as local interreligious activities and conversations from across the nation.

SHARE, COMMENT, REPOST! – When you engage in the conversation, you help us as we keep working to make a better world.

A Fall Festival of Lights

Dear Friends,

Did you know that Diwali, known as the Festival of Lights, will take place on November 7th? Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists around the world celebrate this New Year festival for a variety of different reasons.
 
Diwali is an official holiday in a number of countries in South Asia and across the globe, so your offices in those locations may be closed or have shorter work days. Check out our Diwali Fact Sheet to learn more about the festival and potential implication for your workplace.
 
In friendship,
 
Deputy CEO,
Mark Fowler
 

Photos L to R: Khorkarahman, Wikimedia Commons; Srijan Kundu, Flickr; Mitacmaitra, Pixabay