Thank you – for making peace possible!

Dear Friends,

Last Monday  was a touchstone in Tanenbaum’s history. Not only was it our 2016 Gala – PEACE MADE POSSIBLE – but we began the journey toward our 25th anniversary, next year. I’m so grateful to all of you who were able to be with us – for what was truly a powerful evening. Thank you!

U.S. Army Major Kamal Kalsi, the first Sikh granted a U.S. Department of Defense religious accommodation in over a generation, moved everyone with his personal story about how hard it was to practice his religion freely in the U.S. Army, our nation’s largest employer. He shared a little of what it was like to be a doctor in Afghanistan. But one thing Kamal didn’t say was that he won the Bronze Star for his heroism. He reminded us all, “We can build walls or we can build bridges.”

Our speakers also talked about the pain and injury resulting from religious bullying, discrimination and hate. And how Tanenbaum provides effective strategies to counter divisive rhetoric and violent conflicts.

This year’s 2016 Media Bridge Builders, Nicholas Kristof, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist, and Sheryl WuDunn, also a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, provided insights into the many challenges facing us today. Both showed how even small efforts by each of us can make a huge difference.

Sheryl shared how a small nonprofit helped save children’s lives, while Nick shared how he manages to remain hopeful, despite reporting on the world’s greatest atrocities. Though he witnesses the world’s worst, he also sees the world’s best: acts of compassion and ordinary individuals displaying unexpected feats of bravery. In his own words, “I am a believer in drops in the bucket.”

Nick is right. We can all do something.

With hope for the future,

Joyce S. Dubensky

World Peace Wednesdays: In Memory of Rabbi Froman

Menachem Froman and Ibrahim Abulhawa at Froman's daughter's wedding

After decades of working for peace between Arabs and Israelis in the Middle East, Tanenbuam Peacemaker in Action Rabbi Menachem Froman died Monday, March 4 from advanced colon cancer.

Over the past two years, Rabbi Froman had been battling cancer but continued a brisk schedule of teaching, public speaking and meetings with political, religious and civil society leaders.

The Rabbi from Tekoa, a settlement in the West Bank, was controversial, but was respected by a range of powerbrokers in the region, exemplified by relationships with figures as diverse as Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Israeli President Shimon Peres.

Rabbi Froman believed that Jews and Arabs can live side by side in peace, and modeled that belief in practice. In a late interview Rabbi Froman summed up religious tensions in the region this way, “In the final analysis, the question is whether you abnegate yourself before God or you represent him. And I abnegate myself before God."

Rabbi Froman’s singular vision for peace and his unorthodox means of pursuing it will be missed. You can read more about Rabbi Froman’s life and work here.

Click here to read Rabbi Froman’s obituary in The Times of Israel.  

Pictured: Menachem Froman and Ibrahim Abulhawa at Froman's daughter's wedding.