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Hope From The Ashes

Friends, 

This week is Holy Week, when millions of Christians mark the death and resurrection of Jesus. Under normal circumstances, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris would have been preparing to display its holy relics to the faithful on Good Friday. Instead, it has burned. And while the fire at the Cathedral is now extinguished, it has left behind a smoldering hole in the heart of Paris.

After a nine-hour battle, firefighters managed to save Notre Dame’s famed façade and towers, and many invaluable works of art. But Notre Dame was not just architecturally and artistically beautiful—it is also a sacred space of worship. Its place in Catholicism is undisputed, as is its role in French history. The nearly 900-year-old-cathedral survived plagues, the French revolution and the Nazi occupation, and continues to attract over 30,000 visitors a day of all nationalities and religions.

Our hearts are with the people of Paris and all worshippers who know the sorrow of losing their sacred spaces. Yet, Notre Dame has survived decay and destruction before, and the bells will toll again – maybe not on this Easter. But soon. So to those who celebrate, may this Easter be filled with hope, love and those who matter to you.

Joyce S. Dubensky
CEO, Tanenbaum

Proclaim Enough – Paris Reflections

Peace for Paris

Illustration by Jean Jullien

Dear Friends,

Today is a day filled with sorrow. As once again, our hearts are broken for the more than 120 innocents murdered across Paris. We ache for them, for their families and friends, and for their nation which is under siege.

Today is a day when we stand in solidarity with the French people from all walks of life and diverse beliefs. In one voice, we denounce the violent extremists – apparently ISIS followers – who claim “credit” for butchering people just going about their lives in restaurants, concerts and as they moved across their city.

We also mourn and draw attention to the over 40 Lebanese deliberately slaughtered only days ago – including Sh’ia Muslims, Christians and Druse – by two ISIS suicide bombers in Beirut.

We remember in profound sorrow the Israelis and Palestinians – Jews, Christians and Muslims – who are dying amid a rapidly escalating cycle of condemnation, division and violence in their homeland.

We recognize the Muslim and Christian Syrians who are desperately seeking to escape from the horrors that ISIS and others are inflicting on them in what was once a thriving nation.

And we must not allow ourselves to forget Aylan Kurdi, the Syrian toddler who we all mourned, when he washed onto a beach as his family sought to escape the constant terror that Syrians now face.

Today, with one voice, we must remember the horror of Paris and horrors across our globe. But we must do more. We must reaffirm our commitment to the core values in our many traditions and beliefs, and to our shared humanity.

There are many possible responses to today’s horror in Paris. Sadness fills us. But this is also a time to recommit to one another. To standing together amid our many differences, to honoring our neighbors and joining with them to stand against the aberrant extremism that threatens us all.

Let us stand together and, with strength, proclaim enough!

Joyce S. Dubensky
CEO

Do you have to be a good Christian to be a good president?

As primary season heats up, Tanenbaum president Dr. Georgette Bennett asks a critical question: Do you have to be a good Christian to be a good president? Check out her answer to that question on the Huffington Post.