Join us in the hot seats!

Join us in the hot seats by the stage (or choose safer territory in the back) for a night of laughter at Comic Strip Live on October 3rd for Tanenbaum Takes a Night Off!

This year’s theme is Miscommunication Mishaps and the lineup includes Regina DeCicco, Greg Radin, Sasha Srbulj, DF Sweedler, and Holly Weiss. Hosted by Mike Rakosi, we know there will be bucketloads of humor and a few unrefined jokes to spice up the night.

Click here for your tickets, and check out the snapshots from last year’s show for a glimpse of the riotous night ahead!

Join us Oct 3rd at Comic Strip Live!

Come join us and have a good laugh for a good cause on October 3, 2019. With an outstanding line-up of comics, you are sure to have a good time. And bring a friend!

Thank you for a hilarious night off!


In a night full of laughs, Tanenbaum’s annual comedy show supports a cause that is deadly serious. Together, we had a great night as everyone from lawyers to race car drivers laughed together, at what is happening in the world, at ourselves, and with each other! Have a look at our photo gallery to glimpse the fun!

With jokes on every aspect of society including the perils of growing older and white privilege, Eric Neumann, Akash Bhasin, Sasha Srbulj, DF Sweedler and our very own Holly H. Weiss, put on a fantastic show! Tanenbaum thanks each and every one of them for keeping us in stitches the whole night!  

Once again, Tanenbaum Takes a Night Off proved that laughter is food for the soul!

Joyce S. Dubensky
CEO, Tanenbaum

P.S.: Special thanks to Mike Rakosi, who again partnered with us to bring this show to you and who helps it grow year after year. Huge thanks to our partners, Whole Foods Market for the fabulous food and Comic Strip Live.

Thanks again and always to our generous sponsors, Dr. Georgette F. Bennett & Dr. Leonard Polonsky CBE, Foa & Son Corp., Karlinsky LLC, John Miller, Sara Pandolfi & Co., Marni & Jeremy Selman, Ari Storch, Holly H. Weiss and Mary Jane Brock. And a huge Thank You to our fantastic inaugural Comedy Show Host Committee!

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

Bringing Peace Education to Zones of Armed Conflict

In late 2012 and early 2013, Tanenbaum used world-shrinking technology to work with our Peacemakers in Indonesia, Nigeria, and Afghanistan. With their help, we trained 55 local school teachers in multicultural education principles that encourage openness to differences. Tanenbaum created culturally adapted??, — and reusable — educational materials, while our Peacemakers Jacky Manuputty (Indonesia), Jamila Afghani (Afghanistan), and Imam Muhammed Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye (Nigeria), coordinated local educators.

Involved teachers and principals have clamored for more training.

We spoke with each of the Peacemakers about the long-term impact of these trainings.

Jamila described what happened in Kabul:

"One of the teachers that received the training is my son’s teacher. She is from a different ethnic group and, before the training, bullied my son and others from our ethnic group. Now, my son says the teacher is very different – kind and caring. Now he is enjoying learning; going to school. Before, he was crying when he had to go to school. But now he insists on going to school, even on days where there are security issues and it’s not safe to be out on the street. These days he cries when he can’t go to school.

"After the training with Tanenbaum, I received calls from three principals. They said the training, although outside of official program, was very good and had very much changed the teachers who participated. The principals saw that the training recipients are now spreading concepts of respect inside the school with other teachers and students. This has had a very good impact on the whole environment of the schools. One of the principals requested such a training for the rest of the teachers. It seems everyone has become interested to join such a training.

"And now, I plan to have trainings with the teachers of these three schools.

"If you do a little bit of sparkling in Afghanistan, everybody rushes towards that. After people heard about the training, I received many requests from many other schools and teachers. I was feeling bad that I only had one Tanenbaum training. It was like I brought a great sparkling and now there is big demand. Unfortunately, I cannot bring the training to everyone."

This wide-scale impact was not limited to the Afghani teachers.

In Nigeria, the principal of a government secondary school, Ms. Mairo Bello, thanked Muhammad Ashafa for bringing the training. She told him that now, she is working to set up a school-wide unit that will facilitate the concept of appreciating diversity throughout the school.

And in Indonesia, some of the training participants invited Jacky Manuputty and his team to replicate the training for everyone in their schools. Thus far, Jacky has conducted four more trainings, reaching another 50 Indonesian educators (evenly split between Muslim and Christian teachers). Meanwhile, more and more schools are calling – keeping Jacky busy.

We created the program to introduce Tanenbaum’s peace and multicultural education program to educators in three conflict zones where differences, including those based on religion and race, is a source of tension.

We have met and arguably exceeded our initial goal. But there is so much more to do.

Being resilient in the face of hell

On Sunday, I posted a blog entry that unofficially kicked off the Peacemakers in Action retreat. In that entry, I promised to update you as much as I could about the retreat happenings. Unsurprisingly, the agenda has been packed, but now I have time to share one of the stories I heard.

On Sunday, Bill Lowrey delivered a session on personal resiliency. Why is personal resiliency important for peace activists? Bill's experiences answer that question quite completely.

Bill has been involved in tribal peace work in southern Sudan for over 20 years. In those years, Bill and his family sometimes lived in Sudan – and sometimes in the United States. In both locations, his and his family's lives were at risk. While in Sudan, his wife and daughter narrowly escaped an aerial bombing. And Bill was subject to consistent death threats and plots against his life. All of that doesn't even account for the times when Bill was working with militia leaders to change their attitudes towards the conflict. In those instances, he was often in the middle of battle zones.

Even when he returned to the United States, individuals loyal to his enemies in Sudan sent him death threats here, stating that they were perfectly capable of killing him and his family at home in Virginia. These threats were intended to make sure Bill knew that he and his family were at risk anywhere.

Fortunately, Bill and his family were not physically harmed, but the emotional and psychological toll of this stress was substantial.

In his training to the other Peacemakers in attendance, Bill delivered a strategy for managing the stress and weight that comes with working for peace in the midst of the world's most devastating conflicts. The training participants were comforted to know that they are not alone in their experiences and were invigorated to learn about ways to help overcome the personally negative impacts of combating violence.


Mike Ward
Communications Manager



Your eyes & ears for an inspirational week with Peacemakers

Dear reader,

This week is Tanenbaum's 2013 Peacemakers in Action retreat.

Last night our Peacemakers began arriving to Stony Point Center, a multifaith space just a short, scenic drive north of Tanenbaum's New York office. The setting is brilliant. There's a Japanese meditation garden just outside our door, green spaces scattered throughout the grounds, and beautifully wooded areas beyond the green spaces.

I must confess; when I found out I would work the retreat this week, I was unusually excited. My masters is in conflict resolution and I love learning about different cultures. The men and women who traveled here from around the world have collective perspectives and experiences that I know I will never find elsewhere.

Last night, one of the Peacemakers who works in Pakistan told a story that made me stop and say, “I had no idea.” Did you know that many conservative Muslims in Pakistan choose to send their children to Christian schools? I didn't and I wanted to know more.

I asked if he could give me an example of Muslims sending their children to Christian schools. His first response was, “It's just general knowledge. It happens all the time.”

I said, “It's new to me – and I'd guess to many in the West.” Then, after thinking for a moment, he relayed this story to me.

He began, “I know an imam who is Wahabi, an ultraconservative branch of Islam.”

“Is he conservative for a Wahabi, or is he progressive for his tradition?” I asked.

“Oh, he is very conservative, even for a Wahabi,” was the response. “I know him well. I even lived in his home for a number of months over the past 8 years. He has one daughter. In the 8 years I have known him and the months I lived in his home, I never once met his daughter or wife. Quite conservative.”

“I'd say,” I offered.

The Peacemaker continued, “He has two sons. Both of them go to a Christian school because of the good education. As a matter of fact, his daughter goes to a Christian school too.”

And to show that this sense of respect springs from more than an interest in quality education, the Peacemaker shared that, all over the country, seminary and madrassa students volunteer and assist at each other's houses of worship. There is an ingrained respect between Muslims and Christians in a country that is (unfairly) known for only conflict. That's not to say that there isn't extremism or conflict in Pakistan, but a groundwork for constructive interreligious relations does exist. It just needs to be recognized, supported, and spread.

And so I witnessed first hand that by bringing these Peacemakers together this week – from Pakistan, Nigeria, Honduras, Indonesia, Syria, Bosnia, Sudan, Ethiopia, South Africa, Colombia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Israel – Tanenbaum is building the bridges that make us all safe from conflict.

I promise you that this week will be inspirational. And I promise to share as much of that inspiration as I can. Check back here, on Tanenbaum's blog, for updates. Or follow us on Twitter. I'll pull some of the best quotes of the week and post them there.

Until next time…

Mike Ward
Communications Manager

Students Have Once in a Lifetime Experience with Peacemaker

Once upon a time, Chencho Alas, one of our Peacemakers in Action, was relatively unknown.  He promoted education and land reform in El Salvador, challenging those in power.  For his efforts, he was kidnapped and beaten.

As a Tanenbaum Peacemaker, Chencho’s story and case study is a part of our Peacemakers in Action book.  That book was picked up by a professor at Emmanuel College, Pamela Couture, and used as a basis for a religious peacebuilding course.

We connected Pamela to Chencho (and other Peacemakers) and now Emmanuel College has a course that travels to El Salvador.  The most recent session of that course just concluded and Pamela has a great blog post about the trip.

An excerpt of what one student shared in the blog post:

With no words to span the experience, the silence was complete unto itself. We then walked back to our beach house, home to us for five days now.

And the new leaf of life had just turned over…

And another:

Somehow the chapel was peaceful, women arranging freshly cut flowers in the lazy sun of the afternoon. No screaming or gunshots, no sign of what had transpired other than some words over the altar. Nothing seemed wrong, and yet in that chapel the history of a country changed.

This is the type of outcome we envision when we select our Peacemakers.  To Pamela, thanks for putting together this incredible course and thank you to Chencho and all of the Peacemakers for being the change we need in the world.

World Peace Wednesdays: Peacemakers in South Africa

The African National Congress fought injustice in South Africa for over 100 years. Last month, Tanenbaum sent members of the Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular, a much younger, but similar organization fighting injustice in one of the world's most violent nations, Honduras, to South Africa. There, the Hondurans worked with and learned from the ANC and other key South African organizations.

The outcomes were stunning – and are ongoing. The Tanenbaum-sponsored intervention was the first interaction between the FNRP and ANC, and is designed to substantially bolster prospects for a participatory democracy in Honduras. For more info on the intervention in South Africa, check out this article

World Peace Wednesdays: Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge

Roll your mouse over the image and click on the links to learn more about Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, one of Tanenbaum's Peacemakers in Action.