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There’s Work to Do

Dear Tanenbaum Community,

I wasn’t sure what my first communication would be to you as CEO, but I never envisioned that first communication would be addressing this issue. I, like many of you, have been of mixed emotions since the suffocating death of George Floyd. I have moved from shock, to anger, to rage, and now to fear. For I know that no accomplishment I have achieved can shield me fully from meeting the same fate as Mr. Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and countless others. That is unfortunately the result of a system of oppression so insidious we can barely see it operating.

Around the country, faith leaders are offering aid to demonstrators who have taken to the streets to decry racism and police brutality. Churches are providing sanctuary, mosques are providing medics for activists, and temples are providing trauma-informed counseling. While the fingerprint of religious traditions’ role on the creation and sustaining of systems of inequity remains, many of those same traditions, and others, are doing the hard work to end racism.

As you process through your own emotions during this time of trouble and transformation, know that there are actions you can take:

  1. Identify what is yours to do. Each of us can do something to contribute to the actions necessary to bring about a world where no person can lose their lives because of their racial background.
  2. Work with others. Religious and spiritual communities are actively engaged in anti-racism work. This fact sheet highlights organizations and initiatives working to move the needle toward justice.
  3. Educate yourself about White Supremacy. Supremacy is not just a way people identify their values, it is a structural concept that is at the core of racial oppression.

Every single person is impacted by inequitable dynamics of power and when we work to lift the veil, heal from our past, and commit to making moves towards changes in structural dynamics, we lift everyone up.

As we fight for justice, we stand with millions of people across the country who are rightfully outraged, but condemnation and outrage is not enough.

Tanenbaum is committed to working with our supporters and our partner organizations to combat hate and extremism, and stand with community members directly impacted by oppressive systems. A world where religious differences are respected is also a world where racial differences are respected.

In solidarity,

Rev. Mark E. Fowler
CEO, Tanenbaum

 


 

No More Charlottesvilles!

Photo Credit: Michael Nigro

Friends,

At Saturday’s white nationalist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, counter-protestors put their lives at risk and stood up to hate. After they chanted, “…No KKK! No fascist USA,” a white supremacist responded, “Too late f — —kers.” My response?

Well sir, I—and the millions like me who stand for respect and inclusion—are here to tell you that you are gravely mistaken. When it comes to fighting for what is right: 

It is NEVER too late.

In fact, I’ll go one step further. I see yesterday as a beginning. No longer can anyone deny that U.S. terrorism is a disease that infects people across race and religion. Plowing a car into an innocent group of people for political ends is terrorism. It is the same heinous act everywhere, whether in Charlottesville by a white man known as a Nazi sympathizer or in London by an ISIS supporter born in the country he attacked.

Charlottesville was terrorism. Plain and simple. And everyone, including our national leaders, must acknowledge and treat it as such.

Together, let’s show those who say it’s too late—that actually—we’re just getting started.

Joyce S. Dubensky
CEO

P.S. People from many backgrounds are responsible for terrorism. Look here to better understand it.

P.P.S. White Supremacy is a phenomenon that exists among our fellow citizens. Understand its complexity and how it perpetuates hate here.

The Truth About White Supremacy – Combating Extremism

Dear Friends,

When you hear “white supremacy,” what comes to mind? Do you think of the white supremacy groups that posted more than a dozen fliers at Pioneer High School in San Jose, California? Or of vandalized Jewish cemeteries? Or domestic terrorism?

The fact is . . . white supremacy is resurging. And we all need to pay attention. Who is a white supremacist? What do they believe? (And what about diversity among haters?) Take a look.

Stay informed and empowered,
Joyce S. Dubensky
CEO

P.S. Share and use our monthly resources. Encourage friends, neighbors, educators and community leaders to sign up to receive them.

P.P.S. And check out our interview with reformed white supremacist Arno Michaelis.

Syria explained: how it became a religious war, Top 5 News Stories

Syria explained: how it became a religious war

Though the Syrian conflict began as an internal uprising, it quickly escalated into a civil war that attracts external fighters from around the world. Understanding the sectarian divides and religious tensions throughout Syria's population explains how the conflict became a religious war.

Health-care professionals encouraged to 'be missionaries'

John Brehany, the executive director of the Catholic Medical Association, urged medical and healthcare professionals to promote pro-life and life-affirming policies to their patients. At his seminar "The Culture of Life in Medical Practice", Brehany spoke about strategies to advance these ethics in medicine. 

Scientists call for religious help to save our wildlife

Three distinguished scientists from Sweden and Australia call on religious leaders to use their positions as a platform to promote stewardship through conservation. By painting conservation as a moral responsibility, these scientists hope that the unification of religion and science could solve the problem of biodiversity loss. 

Do Christians, Muslims, and Jews worship the same God?

Though all three religions trace their roots back to Abraham, all three religions share similarities and points of disagreement. Each religion, however, clams to be the "One True Faith".

61% of Israelis: Separate State, religion

Hiddush association's Religion and State Index recently released survey findings which reveal that a majority of adult Israelis desire a greater separation of religion and state. From expanding which conversions Israel recognizes to government funding for religious schools, the survey shows that disagreements regarding the role of religion in state politics continue to be the focus of public discourse.