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Thank You for a Great Night Off!

The room was full of old friends and some new, with lots of jabs at biases – racial, religious, sexual orientation, and the like. We had the opportunity to laugh at what society teaches us, and at how we cope with hatred in the world. The night gave us the opportunity to share a little more about Tanenbaum, to honor our oldest and dearest friend (and colleague) the Octogenarian Judy Banki, and to recognize our visiting Peacemaker, Reverend Jacky Manuputty from Indonesia.

We hope you’ll enjoy the gallery below from Tanenbaum Takes a Night Off! With Mike Rakosi Tanenbaum’s second annual comedy show at Comic Strip Live. Much like last year, Mike brought in some hilarious comedians, from our own backyard and Dylan Brody from LA, who lit up the stage with their wit.

From cursed tomato gardens to mockery of cultural and religious bias, Indidi, Sasha, DF and Dylan all put on a great show—and we thank them for their willingness to perform for Tanenbaum! Also, our special thanks to Mike Rakosi for hosting the evening and helping to plan the event.

Thanks to our sponsors, Dr.’s Georgette F. Bennett and Leonard S. Polonsky CBE, Stanton Public Relations and Marketing, and Michael Kessler and Marcia Riklis. And our partners, Whole Foods Market, dcc, and the Comic Strip Live. Without you, none of this would have been possible!

This is a night of fun, supporting a cause that is deadly serious. Make a note. And plan to join us next year! In the meantime, enjoy this album from the 2016 show!

Katie Candiotti
Development Associate

Comic Strip Live

Maysoon Zayid & The First Ever Muslim Stand-Up Comedy Festival

Maysoon Zayid

Pictured: Maysoon Zayid; Photo Credit: Earl Wilson/The New York Times

Too often, when people hear the word “Muslim” they have one-dimensional images pop into their mind. Women wearing all black and covered, so only their faces – or just their eyes – can be seen. Bearded men carrying weapons. Terrorism.

Such associations stereotype 1.6 billion people. And fabulous comedians will make that point. Take a look and even go and laugh with them at America’s first ever Muslim stand-up comedy festival, The Muslim Funny Fest. From July 21 to July 23 in New York, the not-for-profit festival features top Muslim American comedians from the United States, Canada and Dubai.

Co-organizers of the festival, Dean Obeidallahand and Maysoon Zayid, are mainstays in the comedy circuit. “We’re not censoring any of the comics,” Ms. Zayid said to The New York Times. “They can talk about whatever they want. We’re not telling anyone, ‘Oh, this is a Muslim comedy festival, so you can’t talk about the fact that you love bacon sandwiches.’ ”  Zayid can also boast having the most viewed TED Talks session of last year, in which she found humor in growing up in New Jersey as a Palestinian American with cerebral palsy.

In addition to stand-up, Zayid tries to battle discrimination with humor via Twitter. In one tweet she jokes, “A lot folks don’t realize you can be Muslim and American. They’re all, “Go back to your own country!” and I’m like, “You mean NJ?”

But there is a serious issue that underlies the festival. “We didn’t start doing the ethnic comedy and Muslim comedy until we felt our community was under siege and that we could no longer just step onstage and be treated as an equal,” Ms. Zayid said in a phone interview with the New York Times.

Whether Muslim or not, we all love to laugh. Humor is a universal joy that binds us all and one we all can support

For details about the festival visit http://muslimfunnyfest.com

Faith at Occupy Wall Street: News Roundup

In the news this week: clergy find a role at Occupy Wall Street, a prisoner exchange may facilitate peace between Israel and Palestine, Saudi Arabia plans to build a religious dialogue center in Vienna, and other stories.

A group, calling themselves the "Protest Chaplains," traveled from Boston to join the "Occupy Wall Street" movement, which claims to advocate for "the 99 percent" of Americans against the "1 percent" who control much of the country's wealth.
 
The Protest Chaplains, a loose group of mostly Christian students, seminarians and laypeople organized though Facebook, expressed support for the movement the best they knew how: through their faith.
 
While many of the religious elements of the Occupy movement have been spearheaded by laypeople and students organized through social media, more established clergy are starting to follow the lead of groups like the Protest Chaplains. Huffington Post
 
In a much-anticipated prisoner exchange that could have broad implications, Israel and Hamas on Tuesday announced that an Israeli soldier abducted to Gaza five years ago would be swapped for about 1,000 Palestinians held by Israel and accused of militant activity. The very fact of any agreement between Israel and its archenemy seemed to offer a beguiling prospect of a new dynamic in the region.
 
To date, Hamas has not abandoned its ideology that calls for the destruction of the Jewish state. For its part, Israel has never accepted the violent Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007. Though neither side hinted at changes in those basic policies, the prospect of even lukewarm relations developing between Israel and Hamas could open a new window for peace efforts. Time
 
In a statement issued on Friday, the Free Egyptians Party stressed the need for Prime Minister Essam Sharaf to abide by the promise made in May to pass a law criminalizing all forms of discrimination, including religious, and safeguarding rights and freedoms. Ahram Online
 
Saudi Arabia has defended its plan to fund a religious dialogue center in Vienna, saying Judaism and other faiths would be represented and that it would be free from political interference. Critics of the center say Saudi Arabia’s austere version of Sunni Islam means it is an unsuitable country to promote religious debate. Austria and Spain will also fund the Vienna-based “King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue.” Reuters
 
A former employee has sued one of the government’s most secretive security agencies, alleging he lost his security clearance because his wife attended an Islamic school and worked for a Muslim charity.
 
Mahmoud Hegab filed the discrimination lawsuit this week in U.S. District Court in Alexandria against the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency at Fort Belvoir. Washington Post
 
A Muslim woman has won her fight against a west suburban school district after being denied unpaid leave to go on a religious pilgrimage to Mecca.
 
The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday announced it settled Safoorah Khan’s religious discrimination lawsuit against the Berkeley School District, forcing the district to pay $75,000 in lost back pay, compensatory damages and attorneys’ fees.
 
The district also will have to develop a policy accommodating religions consistent with the Civil Rights Acts to ensure something similar will not happen again. Chicago Sun-Times

 

Venues

Thank You for a Great Night Off!

The room was full of old friends and some new, with lots of jabs at biases – racial, religious, sexual orientation, and the like. We had the opportunity to laugh at what society teaches us, and at how we cope with hatred in the world. The night gave us the opportunity to share a little more about Tanenbaum, to honor our oldest and dearest friend (and colleague) the Octogenarian Judy Banki, and to recognize our visiting Peacemaker, Reverend Jacky Manuputty from Indonesia.

We hope you’ll enjoy the gallery below from Tanenbaum Takes a Night Off! With Mike Rakosi Tanenbaum’s second annual comedy show at Comic Strip Live. Much like last year, Mike brought in some hilarious comedians, from our own backyard and Dylan Brody from LA, who lit up the stage with their wit.

From cursed tomato gardens to mockery of cultural and religious bias, Indidi, Sasha, DF and Dylan all put on a great show—and we thank them for their willingness to perform for Tanenbaum! Also, our special thanks to Mike Rakosi for hosting the evening and helping to plan the event.

Thanks to our sponsors, Dr.’s Georgette F. Bennett and Leonard S. Polonsky CBE, Stanton Public Relations and Marketing, and Michael Kessler and Marcia Riklis. And our partners, Whole Foods Market, dcc, and the Comic Strip Live. Without you, none of this would have been possible!

This is a night of fun, supporting a cause that is deadly serious. Make a note. And plan to join us next year! In the meantime, enjoy this album from the 2016 show!

Katie Candiotti
Development Associate

Comic Strip Live

Maysoon Zayid & The First Ever Muslim Stand-Up Comedy Festival

Maysoon Zayid

Pictured: Maysoon Zayid; Photo Credit: Earl Wilson/The New York Times

Too often, when people hear the word “Muslim” they have one-dimensional images pop into their mind. Women wearing all black and covered, so only their faces – or just their eyes – can be seen. Bearded men carrying weapons. Terrorism.

Such associations stereotype 1.6 billion people. And fabulous comedians will make that point. Take a look and even go and laugh with them at America’s first ever Muslim stand-up comedy festival, The Muslim Funny Fest. From July 21 to July 23 in New York, the not-for-profit festival features top Muslim American comedians from the United States, Canada and Dubai.

Co-organizers of the festival, Dean Obeidallahand and Maysoon Zayid, are mainstays in the comedy circuit. “We’re not censoring any of the comics,” Ms. Zayid said to The New York Times. “They can talk about whatever they want. We’re not telling anyone, ‘Oh, this is a Muslim comedy festival, so you can’t talk about the fact that you love bacon sandwiches.’ ”  Zayid can also boast having the most viewed TED Talks session of last year, in which she found humor in growing up in New Jersey as a Palestinian American with cerebral palsy.

In addition to stand-up, Zayid tries to battle discrimination with humor via Twitter. In one tweet she jokes, “A lot folks don’t realize you can be Muslim and American. They’re all, “Go back to your own country!” and I’m like, “You mean NJ?”

But there is a serious issue that underlies the festival. “We didn’t start doing the ethnic comedy and Muslim comedy until we felt our community was under siege and that we could no longer just step onstage and be treated as an equal,” Ms. Zayid said in a phone interview with the New York Times.

Whether Muslim or not, we all love to laugh. Humor is a universal joy that binds us all and one we all can support

For details about the festival visit http://muslimfunnyfest.com

Faith at Occupy Wall Street: News Roundup

In the news this week: clergy find a role at Occupy Wall Street, a prisoner exchange may facilitate peace between Israel and Palestine, Saudi Arabia plans to build a religious dialogue center in Vienna, and other stories.

A group, calling themselves the "Protest Chaplains," traveled from Boston to join the "Occupy Wall Street" movement, which claims to advocate for "the 99 percent" of Americans against the "1 percent" who control much of the country's wealth.
 
The Protest Chaplains, a loose group of mostly Christian students, seminarians and laypeople organized though Facebook, expressed support for the movement the best they knew how: through their faith.
 
While many of the religious elements of the Occupy movement have been spearheaded by laypeople and students organized through social media, more established clergy are starting to follow the lead of groups like the Protest Chaplains. Huffington Post
 
In a much-anticipated prisoner exchange that could have broad implications, Israel and Hamas on Tuesday announced that an Israeli soldier abducted to Gaza five years ago would be swapped for about 1,000 Palestinians held by Israel and accused of militant activity. The very fact of any agreement between Israel and its archenemy seemed to offer a beguiling prospect of a new dynamic in the region.
 
To date, Hamas has not abandoned its ideology that calls for the destruction of the Jewish state. For its part, Israel has never accepted the violent Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007. Though neither side hinted at changes in those basic policies, the prospect of even lukewarm relations developing between Israel and Hamas could open a new window for peace efforts. Time
 
In a statement issued on Friday, the Free Egyptians Party stressed the need for Prime Minister Essam Sharaf to abide by the promise made in May to pass a law criminalizing all forms of discrimination, including religious, and safeguarding rights and freedoms. Ahram Online
 
Saudi Arabia has defended its plan to fund a religious dialogue center in Vienna, saying Judaism and other faiths would be represented and that it would be free from political interference. Critics of the center say Saudi Arabia’s austere version of Sunni Islam means it is an unsuitable country to promote religious debate. Austria and Spain will also fund the Vienna-based “King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue.” Reuters
 
A former employee has sued one of the government’s most secretive security agencies, alleging he lost his security clearance because his wife attended an Islamic school and worked for a Muslim charity.
 
Mahmoud Hegab filed the discrimination lawsuit this week in U.S. District Court in Alexandria against the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency at Fort Belvoir. Washington Post
 
A Muslim woman has won her fight against a west suburban school district after being denied unpaid leave to go on a religious pilgrimage to Mecca.
 
The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday announced it settled Safoorah Khan’s religious discrimination lawsuit against the Berkeley School District, forcing the district to pay $75,000 in lost back pay, compensatory damages and attorneys’ fees.
 
The district also will have to develop a policy accommodating religions consistent with the Civil Rights Acts to ensure something similar will not happen again. Chicago Sun-Times