Tanenbaum.org https://tanenbaum.org Combating Religious Prejudice Mon, 10 Dec 2018 21:15:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Human Rights Are Relevant to All of Us, Every Day https://tanenbaum.org/blog/2018/12/human-rights-are-relevant-to-all-of-us-every-day/ Mon, 10 Dec 2018 21:15:13 +0000 https://tanenbaum.org/?p=15807 Friends —

Human rights are relevant to all of us, every day. The UN Declaration of Human Rights, opens with a complex philosophical statement:

“Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world…”

Whatever your opinion is of the UN’s effectiveness, this preamble to an international agreement on human rights matters. Because those human rights are the things we’re all entitled to have — safety, respect and freedom — including freedom to think and believe as we choose without bias, bigotry or oppression.

But these big ideas are not only about governments and policy removed from you and me. In fact, if we want to have human rights, we have to work at it.

As Eleanor Roosevelt said, 

“Where, after all, do human rights begin? In small places, close to homeso close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”

Human rights are your right. They are also each of our responsibility. And when it comes to really helping our neighborhoods preserve human rights, it can start with countering fear and hate of neighbors we have never met, and making sure everyone is welcome and treated with respect. When people take human rights personally, they take them seriously. 

In sum…universal human rights not only anchor global governments and international corporations, but they anchor ordinary people to the value of every human life.

Read the story on Medium.

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Five Ways to Conquer Fake News – Combating Extremism https://tanenbaum.org/blog/2018/12/five-ways-to-conquer-fake-news-combating-extremism/ Wed, 05 Dec 2018 19:40:27 +0000 https://tanenbaum.org/?p=15793 Facts are on the chopping block and if you’re not already worried—you should be.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans say they’re having trouble figuring out what’s real and what’s fake on the internet. Identifying facts is getting harder, especially with the bombardment of information tailored to reinforce our opinions.

The challenge for all of us, as thoughtful consumers of news and social media, is what can we do to keep from falling prey to disinformation? And the answer is, learn five ways to use your brain to conquer fake news. See what I mean in our latest Combating Extremism resource, here.  

To discernment! ]]> Controversial Conversations https://tanenbaum.org/blog/2018/11/controversial-conversations/ Mon, 26 Nov 2018 23:20:05 +0000 https://tanenbaum.org/?p=15705

Friends-

Yesterday was #GivingTuesday and we’re thankful—for all of you who made donations. So, to show our appreciation, we’re making today Tanenbaum #GratitudeWednesday. Because, notwithstanding all that plague us, including religious bigotry and hate, there’s much to be grateful for, including a pair of Tanenbaum friends who exemplify how to move beyond hatred to love.

As part of #GratitudeWednesday, we’re sharing some clips and photos of Arno Michaelis, a former White Supremacist, and his Sikh partner for peace, Pardeep Singh Kaleka, taken during one of our recent events, Controversial Conversations. And we thank you, because we can only hold these learning conversations with your support.

For the first time ever, we live-streamed the discussion on Facebook and Instagram! And we learned a lot about white supremacy, Sikh beliefs in our humanity, and how Pardeep began healing after his father was killed (by another white supremacist).

And again, my thanks,

Joyce S. Dubensky
Tanenbaum CEO

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The December Dilemma – An Opportunity for Inclusion! https://tanenbaum.org/blog/2018/11/december-dilemma/ Mon, 19 Nov 2018 01:13:45 +0000 https://tanenbaum.org/?p=15694 Dear Friends,

The winter holiday season often raises questions about workplace inclusivity and accommodation. Perhaps your office is considering which holidays to address, which holiday decorations are appropriate to use, or how to create a holiday or Christmas party that is inclusive to all. Whatever the case may be for you and your company, there’s an opportunity to practice inclusion by addressing the December Dilemma head on!

Our December Dilemma Fact Sheet will help you address your questions about time off and scheduling, decorations and holiday greetings.

There are plenty of opportunities for education and celebration, beginning with Diwali, Hanukkah and Christmas (both on the Julian and Gregorian calendars), Kwanzaa, and then the Lunar New Year in February 2019!

Warm regards,

Mark Fowler
Deputy CEO, Tanenbaum
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International Day of Tolerance – How you can get involved! https://tanenbaum.org/blog/2018/11/day-of-tolerance/ Fri, 16 Nov 2018 20:33:53 +0000 https://tanenbaum.org/?p=15679

Friends,

As you may know, Tanenbaum’s goal is to build a world marked by respect. Tolerance, for us, is not the end goal, but rather just a step along the continuum towards peace. Yet today, we are celebrating the International Day of Tolerance. Why? Because it is actually designed to promote more than tolerance — it envisions establishing respect, understanding, and dignity for diverse peoples everywhere.

The Day got its start when the UN declared 1995 the Year of Tolerance and instituted the annual commemoration. I believe it’s important because it serves as a reminder of the UN and member states’ responsibilities to intentionally seek to establish tolerance at every level of society.

Today reminds each of us of our responsibility. Because, sadly, there’s still work to do. But we have some ideas and resources for you …

  • For Families at Thanksgiving: The Golden Rule is common to all our different beliefs. Tanenbaum’s Shared Visions on the Golden Rule proves that point. And it’s a great resource if you celebrate Thanksgiving. Pass it around the table, and let each person read a reflection from a different tradition.
  • For Teachers: Tanenbaum and Teaching Tolerance produced a free, five-part webinar series on religious diversity in school that’s ready-made for teachers. The Religious Diversity in the Classroom Webinar Series and accompanying resources examine how awareness of religious diversity affects student-readiness for global citizenship, and how teaching about religion across grade levels and subject areas can help meet important academic standards. 
  • For Workplaces: December is a time of year when holidays bring religious diversity issues to the surface in workplaces. The December Dilemma tip sheet provides proactive strategies for creating an inclusive workplace environment year-round.

The International Day of Tolerance needs to matter. Please join us in doing your part,

Joyce S. Dubensky
CEO, Tanenbaum

 

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Coptic Christians are still being targeted, when will this end? https://tanenbaum.org/blog/2018/11/coptic-christians/ Tue, 06 Nov 2018 16:49:25 +0000 https://tanenbaum.org/?p=15637 Friends,

On November 4th, the New York Times published an article, Egypt says it killed 19 militants after deadly attack on Christians. The attack occurred last Friday, November 2nd, when gunmen opened fire onto three buses as they departed from the Monastery of St. Samuel, in the desert south of Cairo. The attack killed seven people in one bus and wounded 19 people total. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility.

We’ve been watching the ongoing persecution of Christians and our hearts ache. Tragically this is not a new phenomenon. In May of 2017, Tanenbaum published a blog post condemning a similarly violent attack which targeted another bus filled with Egyptian Coptic Christians. 

Why has there been no change?

On Sunday at the World Youth Forum, Egypt’s President Sisi responded to the attack, by affirming religious freedom for all and reiterating his commitment to fight discrimination. In contrast, critics maintain that freedom of religion is currently in an uncertain state under the current Egyptian administration. 

In this moment of sorrow, Tanenbaum stands with the Coptic Community in Egypt, with Christians worldwide and with our global community—including all people, from all, or no, traditions.

We have a responsibility to pay attention, to stand up to the hate that fuels violence and terrorism internationally and domestically, and to make sure that we do not let hatred inform our hearts and minds.

The time is now, 

Joyce S. Dubensky
CEO, Tanenbaum

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Tree of Life Synagogue – 5 Ways to Take Action https://tanenbaum.org/blog/2018/11/tree-of-life-take-action/ Mon, 05 Nov 2018 23:22:55 +0000 https://tanenbaum.org/?p=15640 In the wake of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting, many people felt sadness, anger, fear—and hopelessness. All of those reactions linger today. But the Tree of Life tragedy should also be a call to action. As the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. said in his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, 

“Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of this moment.”

It was true then and it is true now. Bigotry and violence should have no place in our country. And there are things we can do about it…

VOTE!

Election Day is Tuesday, November 6!

Every 2 years we have an opportunity to shape the legislative branch of our federal, state and local governments. Whether you have been satisfied or dissatisfied with how your public representatives have been voting or responding to current events, this is your opportunity to make sure that those who reflect your vision of America get a seat at the decision-making table!

For more information about where, when and how to vote, click here!

DONATE!

Tanenbaum systematically dismantles religious hatred and violence and promotes respect for people of all religious beliefs. Last week, we were named 1 of the top 5 interreligious organizations to support (see article here). 

Our actions can make a difference and supporting organizations that preserve freedom of religion and respect is one of the best ways to take action. 

CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOW!

PARTICIPATE IN CIVIL DISCOURSE!

Bullying, marginalization, violence and propaganda. None of it’s new. What is new is the scale, frequency and ubiquitousness of disinformation. Tanenbaum’s Combating Extremism campaign is a public education initiative that dismantles stereotypes and counters fake news. As part of this campaign, we regularly post free, practical resources for home, work, school, places of worship and/or your community. Below are some of our resources for beginning conversations: 

Click here for the access to all Combating Extremism campaign resources.

INTENTIONALLY CREATE SPACE!

This is the moment for communities to invest time and energy in one another. One way is to intentionally create space for interfaith and cross-group action projects in your communities. Another is to proactively establish conversations and dialogues in your houses of faith, community centers and homes – and to practice listening even when you may disagree. Some organization with helpful resources include United Religions InitiativeInterfaith Youth Core and Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia.

ENGAGE WITH US ON SOCIAL MEDIA!​​​​​​​

TUNE INTO OUR LIVESTREAM! – On Thursday, November 15th, Controversial Conversations: A story of collaboration between a Sikh and a skinhead. Listen and learn from this important discussion between a former extremist and leader in the white nationalist movement, Arno Michaelis, and his partner Pardeep Kaleka on how they moved beyond hate. Make sure to tune into Tanenbaum’s Facebook or Instagram for the livestream at 6pm that evening!

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA! – Keep up to date with interreligious understanding news and events by following us on social media! Followers receive regular updates about everything religion related from around the world, as well as local interreligious activities and conversations from across the nation.

SHARE, COMMENT, REPOST! – When you engage in the conversation, you help us as we keep working to make a better world.

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Tree of Life – Pittsburgh Synagogue https://tanenbaum.org/blog/2018/10/tree-of-life/ Sun, 28 Oct 2018 17:27:31 +0000 https://tanenbaum.org/?p=15598

Friends–

With a heavy heart, Tanenbaum condemns the violence that erupted yesterday morning at the Tree of Life Synagogue near Pittsburgh. At least eleven are dead. Families irrevocably shattered. At least six injured. And a shooter who was reportedly making anti-Semitic comments as this slaughter unfolded.

The scale and gravity of this attack, coming only a week after bomb threats, scares all of us—as Americans and as individuals from a variety of minority religious tradition in our diverse country. This shooting is part of a larger pattern in which people are being targeted for their beliefs—religious and also social and political.

Bigotry and violence have no place in America. The discourse that divides, dehumanizes and demeans civility lays the groundwork for violence. That is why we must all stand shoulder to shoulder with those who exercise their sacred right to pray together, to practice their faith, to peacefully assemble, and to advocate for their beliefs.

Tanenbaum strongly urges all communities and groups to reject the violence of hate and the discourse that breeds it. This includes the anti-Semitism so horrifically visible at the Tree of Life Synagogue. Our hearts are with all those who lost loved ones and were injured. Our commitment is to you and to our national values.

We stand—always—for a world that respects and protects our differences—including our different ways of believing.

 


Image: Vector Illustration

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SDGs Are For You and Me https://tanenbaum.org/blog/2018/10/sdg/ Thu, 25 Oct 2018 02:11:00 +0000 https://tanenbaum.org/?p=15568

By Joyce S. Dubensky, CEO, Tanenbaum
Reposted from Medium, October 24, 2018

These days, most days are designated as special. Either they honor a person or event, or invoke reflection on a grand vision. And most of the time, we just ignore them. But today is UN Day. And if we pause for a moment without cynicism, we know that this matters.

I have reasons for saying this. For one thing, the UN adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) two years ago that articulate 17 separate and related goals or visions. Alone that would be nice. Yet each had specified activities for meeting its vision. So it is more than a dream. It is a plan.

I’ve given these SDGs a lot of thought. Taken together, they describe a just, whole, fair and peaceful world — something I often call a “Lived Peace.” These goals address everything from ending poverty to ensuring clean water, equal education, equitable health care, security and safety. They are all important and Tanenbaum is proud to stand among the organizations worldwide contributing to the larger vision, particularly regarding our work with religiously motivated Peacemakers in Action.

Take for example, Sustainable Development Goal №16, which “promote[s] peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide[s] access to justice for all and build[s] effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”

This includes SDG 16.1, which promises to “significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere.”

Consider Ethiopian Peacemaker Dr. Ephraim Isaac. Working behind the scenes, Ephraim finally saw success when, this past June, the neighboring nations of Ethiopia and Eritrea reached an official peace agreement after two decades of conflict. As a national elder, Ephraim was featured in a September New York Times article covering Ethiopia’s newly elected president, Abiy Ahmed. Regarding President Abiy’s leadership style and frequent references to “the ideals of love, forgiveness and reconciliation,” Ephraim observed:

“It’s not political language. It’s religious language.”

Similarly, the late Peacemaker Fr. Alec Reid, who worked for peace in Northern Ireland was recently lauded in reviews of the newly-released documentary about Pope John Paul II’s historic trip to Ireland in 1979. Reflecting on Fr. Reid’s behind-the-scenes work in the peace process, the film’s director, David Naglieri, praised his facilitation as “absolutely critical” to its success — including how he sparked a secret dialogue between Hume and Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams, a cataclysmic event that fueled the reconciliation process.

I could go on talking about how the work each of our Peacemakers is doing is relevant to promoting peace. But the truth is that the work our Peacemakers are doing is relevant not just to one, but to each and every SDG put forth by the UN to be achieved by 2030.

A few examples…

SDG №4 commits to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”

For more than twenty years now, Peacemaker Dr. Sakena Yacoobi has risked her life to teach women and children in Afghanistan. In the face of a brutally oppressive Taliban regime, she secretly taught them to read and used education to reclaim Islam — believing that if people had access to the verses themselves, they would see its underlying messages of peace, justice and equality.

She is not alone. Many Tanenbaum Peacemakers are creating equitable education. Consider Abuna Chacour, who created the Mar Elias Educational Institutions (MEEI) in Israel. As a Melkite Catholic priest who identifies as a Palestinian, Arab, Christian and Israeli, he established a school that welcomed Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Druze students in 1982. His vision: to educate, to build community, and to create the relationships needed for a peaceful Israel. Though his vision is not yet realized, his school continues to operate, now boasting more than 4,000 students from kindergarten through the university level.

SGD №8 vows to “promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.”

Longtime peace activist, Quaker and occasional politician, Peacemaker Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge now works through her organization, Embrace Dignity, to defang sex trafficking in South Africa. Her approach? Change the prostitution laws in South Africa, and support those wishing to exit prostitution through referrals to counseling, skills training, small business development and education providers. In addition, for the last six years, Embrace Dignity has also been chipping away at sex trafficking through policy change. It is advocating for the partial decriminalization of prostitution (i.e., the Nordic Model), which gives women help to exit the industry, while simultaneously holding buyers and sellers accountable.

To be fair, the SDGs are not a panacea. However, they do provide a roadmap that can lead to change. And they remind us that the power to make the world a better place lies in each and every one of our hands. The SDGs are about collective action, and Tanenbaum’s Peacemakers in Action Network demonstrate that, as individuals, we all play a crucial role in building a better future.

So today, my hat is off to the UN. Because when you put it all together, the SDGs…imagine a world in which difference is respected… and create a world that puts respect into practice.

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LALIQUE offers Tanenbaum supporters a chance to frost themselves https://tanenbaum.org/blog/2018/10/lalique/ Mon, 22 Oct 2018 15:46:58 +0000 https://tanenbaum.org/?p=15557

The walls of the LALIQUE boutique were lined with crystal buddhas, bowls and butterflies during last week’s event, in which Tanenbaum partnered with LALIQUE to host an exclusive night for Tanenbaum supporters—a mix of history, museum, art and fabulous shopping!

Joined by Justin Foa, Amine Hachem, Christina Hioureas and Holly Weiss – to name a few in attendance, the beautiful boutique was full of cheerful faces, all in a shopping mood. LALIQUE’s North American President & CEO, James Mun also joined the event, along with the leading Rene Lalique historian, Nick Dawes, who gave an informed talk about Rene Lalique’s life, work and art—how it still influences all current LALIQUE pieces.

Not only were a portion of the proceeds from the evening donated to support Tanenbaum’s work to systematically dismantle religious prejudice, hatred and violence and promote justice and respect for people of all religious beliefs…but everyone got a 10% discount too! And LALIQUE is extending that offer through October.                                                            

So for those who realize the December holidays will be here soon…take a look at LALIQUE’s unique treasures and think of your loved ones. If something catches your eye, give Folashade Kornegay a call at 212.967.7707 x129 and she’ll connect you to our friends at LALIQUE.

And while you’re at it, take a look at the photo gallery from the frosted crystal night.

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