Tanenbaum.org https://tanenbaum.org Combating Religious Prejudice Wed, 12 Aug 2020 19:20:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 https://tanenbaum.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/cropped-FaviconLogo-1-32x32.png Tanenbaum.org https://tanenbaum.org 32 32 Healing as a Community https://tanenbaum.org/blog/2020/08/community/ Wed, 12 Aug 2020 19:19:33 +0000 https://tanenbaum.org/?p=18171 Dear Tanenbaum Community –

On August 11 and 12, 2017, a “Unite the Right” white nationalist rally was held in Charlottesville. Violent factions of the neo-Nazi movement converged with a new generation of internet trolls, spilling onto the streets of Charlottesville, Va., in the largest gathering of white supremacists the United States had seen in two decades.

In the last few years, activists and faith groups have worked to find ways forward, while continuing to reflect on the long history that led to that tragic day. At Tanenbaum, we’d like to offer some resources for that work and reflection:



  • Charlottesville Case: Sines vs. Kessler: Learn about the “once in a generation, trial that will fundamentally change our nation.” Integrity First for America is taking on the leadership of the violent white nationalist movement – sending a clear message that violent hate has no place in our country.
  • White Supremacy: An Overview: Learn more about the varied white supremacist movements and groups.
  • Anti-Semitism: What, Where and Why: Understand the historical impact of Unite the Right protestors chanting, “Jews will not replace us.”


  • Religious & Spiritual Approaches to Anti-Racism: 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. Consider joining efforts to engage with anti-racism work beyond social media.
  • Five Ways to Counter Extremists on Social Media: A “How To” resource sheet for rising above social media extremists and right-wing hate groups. During this extended period of physical distancing, the power of social media is greater than ever before! Learn how to disrupt these hashtag echo chambers!
  • Five Ways to Combat Anti-Semitism NOW!: A resource for learning about and combating anti-Semitism.

We are all responsible for building a world that promotes justice and builds respect for people of all religious beliefs, together.

In Solidarity,

Rev. Mark E. Fowler
CEO, Tanenbaum

Photo: Clergy marching in Charlottesville, VA. Image: Jordy Yager

SimClinic: Virtual tool for practicing cultural competence https://tanenbaum.org/blog/2020/08/simclinic-modules/ Wed, 12 Aug 2020 00:46:59 +0000 https://tanenbaum.org/?p=18168 Dear Tanenbaum Community,

I hope you all are doing well! I’m reaching out because our Health Care program has launched two new modules of Tanenbaum’s SimClinic. The SimClinic is an online educational tool to help medical students (and any health care provider) solidify their skills in religio-cultural competency and professionalism.

While it’s designed for medical education, we think these modules could help anyone practice skills in respectful communication. As such, we would love for you to walk through the two new modules and take the brief surveys at the end. Doing so would really help us understand the SimClinic’s usefulness and could help us secure more funding to develop future modules.

The links for our new modules are below:
Module II

Module III

And our first module is located here.

Thank you for your help and for being a friend of Tanenbaum!

All the best,

Rev. Mark Fowler
CEO, Tanenbaum



Be Outraged by Injustice https://tanenbaum.org/blog/2020/07/be-outraged-by-injustice/ Wed, 22 Jul 2020 17:46:06 +0000 https://tanenbaum.org/?p=18118

Dear Tanenbaum Community,

As we continue to work towards a more equitable world that promotes justice and builds respect for religious difference, we’d like to share some helpful resources for accomplishing this work.




Onward together,
Rev. Mark E. Fowler
Tanenbaum CEO



Eid al-Adha: A Day of Significance https://tanenbaum.org/blog/2020/07/eid-al-adha-2020/ Tue, 07 Jul 2020 20:02:46 +0000 https://tanenbaum.org/?p=18073 Dear Friends,

Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice) celebrates the willingness of the prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son when ordered to do so by God. In 2020, this Muslim holiday will be observed in the U.S. between sundown on July 31st and sundown on August 3rd. The date may be different in other countries, as the sighting of the new moon will determine the start of the holiday.

Eid al-Adha is of great significance within Islam and employees may request time off. Please review and share Tanenbaum’s fact sheet for more information on the holiday’s workplace implications, appropriate greetings, and more!

In peace,

Rev. Mark Fowler
CEO, Tanenbaum


Learn More about Pioneer Day https://tanenbaum.org/blog/2020/07/pioneer-day-2020/ Wed, 01 Jul 2020 19:34:54 +0000 https://tanenbaum.org/?p=18065 Dear Friends,

Did you know that July 24th is Pioneer Day? This holiday is one of the major holidays of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The day commemorates the arrival of Brigham Young and his followers to Salt Lake Valley and is often observed with parades, fireworks, and Old West reenactments. Check out our Pioneer Day Fact Sheet to learn more about the holiday’s history, its significance, and how the holiday may impact the workplace,

In friendship,

Rev. Mark Fowler
CEO, Tanenbaum


Photo: Pioneer Day at Liberty Presbyterian Church

Remembering Tanenbaum Board Member, Lester M. Crystal https://tanenbaum.org/blog/2020/06/lester-crystal/ Thu, 25 Jun 2020 17:20:49 +0000 https://tanenbaum.org/?p=18047 Remembering Les Crystal

Yesterday Tanenbaum has lost a unique and wonderful leader. And I lost a dear friend. Because yesterday, Les Crystal’s long battle with brain cancer came to an end.

The eulogies will be many, and Les will be remembered for a life of kindness, brilliance and accomplishments as a newsman extraordinaire—including his groundbreaking work on the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour.

Tanenbaum will remember him as a valued Board member and special friend, who deeply understood our commitment to building a more just and respectful society that includes people of all religious beliefs and none. He was always there, with wise counsel and a helping hand. A gentle leader who respectfully would share his own views, Les also knew how to listen and honor the perspectives of others. Les moved Tanenbaum forward and his passing is an immeasurable loss.

For me, this is a personal loss. I think of Les, remember him. And the word that keeps coming to mind is “beloved.”

I first “met” Les when he called Tanenbaum to talk to our President and Founder, Georgette Bennett. I told him she was away, and he requested her phone number. I responded that I’d pass on a message. I then called Georgette (who was trying to be on vacation) to tell her about the man who wanted her number. She was quick to respond. “What? You didn’t give Les my number? OF COURSE, always give Les my number if Les calls—wherever I am!”

When Les joined our Board some years later, he immediately agreed to become Chair of our Communications Committee. Being Les, he rolled up his sleeves and dug in, and asked to meet with the Communications staff. When I told one of them that he passed, she recalled, “I remember meeting Les during my first few weeks at Tanenbaum, and he made such a great impression. That was six years ago, and I still remember it clearly.”

For Tanenbaum, Les often invited the best journalists to consider accepting our Media Bridge Builder Award. Brian Williams was one of them. I remember telling Brian how honored we were that he was with us and had accepted our award. His response was like everyone else’s. “Anything for Les.”

Beloved. I have my own stories but Brian Williams’ refrain is the bottom line. I would have done anything for Les. Because he was that special—to everyone who knew him.

After the great sadness passes, I know I will remember Les with a smile and great gratitude that he was in my life.

For now, I simply know that his memory will be for a blessing,

Joyce S. Dubensky, Esq.,
CEO Emerita, Sr. Strategic Advisor, Tanenbaum

Join Us for an Important Conversation on Grief and Mourning https://tanenbaum.org/blog/2020/06/conversation/ Sat, 20 Jun 2020 00:00:09 +0000 https://tanenbaum.org/?p=17999

Click to download the event flyer

Considerations and Opportunities for Your Workforce During Turbulent Times

Live Webinar, RSVP at: https://tinyurl.com/y8oae8p7 
Tuesday, June 30th, 12:00-1:00 pm ET

Rev. Mark Fowler
, CEO, Tanenbaum
Rev. Diane Berke, PhD, Founder and Spiritual Director of One Spirit Learning Alliance
Rev. Jason C. Whitehead, PhD, Counselor and Coach with Mosaic Insight

Join Tanenbaum CEO, Rev. Mark Fowler, Rev. Diane Berke, PhD, Founder and Spiritual Director of One Spirit Learning Alliance, and Rev. Jason C. Whitehead, PhD, Counselor and Coach with Mosaic Insight, to better understand how to address grief and mourning in the workplace during both COVID-19 and ongoing systemic racism.

The conversation will draw on Diane’s experience as a leader cultivating interfaith/interspiritual leaders and Jason’s work in providing solutions and support to individuals through mental health resources. Learn more about how workplaces are impacted by losses caused by both COVID-19 and ongoing systemic racism – and how you can respond.


Tanenbaum SimClinic Webinar: Medical Education through Simulation https://tanenbaum.org/blog/2020/06/simclinic/ Thu, 18 Jun 2020 21:55:24 +0000 https://tanenbaum.org/?p=17992

  Click to download event flyer

Medical Education through Simulation
Live Webinar: http://tinyurl.com/y9o2zxxb 
Tuesday, July 7th  12:00 – 1:00 pm ET

Maria McQuade, Health Care Senior Associate
Ira Bedzow, Bioethicist at New York Medical College

Please join Tanenbaum as we launch two new patient modules as a continuation of our SimClinic series. Bring your curriculum into the 21st century, with our newest online learning modules. These modules explore doctor-patient relationships and approaches when a patient’s religion or culture is impacting their decision-making. These modules are created to help medical students gain the necessary tools for navigating difficult conversations around religion and culture. In this session, we will be discussing simulation as a learning tool for students, particularly in this current environment, and would love your feedback on our newest patient scenarios.

All those who attend and complete the modules and user survey will be eligible to win one of ten $10 Amazon gift cards.



There’s Work to Do https://tanenbaum.org/blog/2020/06/theres-work-to-do/ Wed, 03 Jun 2020 18:07:24 +0000 https://tanenbaum.org/?p=17918 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



A Personal Note https://tanenbaum.org/blog/2020/06/a-personal-note/ Mon, 01 Jun 2020 19:10:53 +0000 https://tanenbaum.org/?p=17906
Dear Friends,

This is my final email as Tanenbaum’s CEO because today, my dear friend and professional partner of many years—Rev. Mark Fowler—has become Tanenbaum’s next CEO. I am excited about Mark’s powerful vision and look forward to seeing it unfold in the years to come. I also look forward to working with him in my new role as CEO Emerita, Sr. Strategic Advisor.

For me, this is a moment to pause, to reflect on the last 18 years as Mark takes the helm.

I want to begin by thanking each of you for being part of my Tanenbaum journey.

Being Tanenbaum’s leader has been the gift of a lifetime, because I’ve been able to do the most important work of my life—battling bias, bigotry and hate, and helping create a world that respects religious difference.

You’ve all been part of my time here, through the many ways you’ve supported Tanenbaum.

I thank you for standing with us, as leaders, donors, volunteers, partners, allies, colleagues in the global institutions where we work and, of course, as our Peacemakers. And I thank those of you, who have also given me the gift of your friendship. Together, we’ve made some great strides toward putting the Golden Rule into practice.

I also remain forever grateful to our staff over all the years. Tanenbaum is not—and never has been—one leader or one person. We are our staff. And I appreciate each of them for the ways they challenged me, offered creative ideas, and for the laughter. Together, we made Tanenbaum stronger.

Sadly, the changes at Tanenbaum are occurring at a moment of national crisis. We are threatened by a global pandemic, a divided nation, and now outrage in the streets, yet again, because of hate and injustice. This is a time that requires all of us to stand together. So, whatever drives you…your faith, your values, your ethics, I ask you to continue standing with Tanenbaum as I will. If ever we needed to build a world that respects difference—it’s now.

I look forward to being in touch from time to time. But for now, I thank you once again for being part of my heart’s work,

Joyce S. Dubensky