Interfaith

Buddhist leaders share open letter addressing antisemitism following Texas synagogue attack

January 19, 2022

Over 100 Buddhist leaders have signed an open letter addressing antisemitism following the January 15 synagogue attack at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, in which a gunman held four people hostage for 10 hours. Penned by Zen teacher Koshin Paley Ellison of the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, the letter was shared via Google Doc for Buddhist leaders to sign.

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Historic Westside interfaith service celebrates MLK holiday

January 17, 2022

Although Louisiana schools desegregated right before Charles Lee Bilberry’s senior year in 1969, he was not allowed to attend his graduation ceremony, he said, because “the white parents didn’t want their children to graduate with colored children.”

Bilberry collected his diploma from the principal’s office and soon moved to Southern Nevada. He recalled his mother’s hug and kiss on the cheek when she told him, “Son, when you go to Las Vegas, be the best that you can be.”

He spoke of the moment Sunday afternoon during an Interfaith Service at Second Baptist Church in...

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Muslims in interfaith bonds are proliferating. Imams willing to marry them are not.

January 10, 2022

When Faiqa Cheema and Jeff Beale were planning their September 2021 wedding, it was important to Cheema that it include elements of the traditional ceremony of her Muslim faith, while also being meaningful for her husband, who was raised Baptist.

The couple’s path to their dream interfaith wedding turned out to be more complicated than they expected. While such unions are increasingly common, Muslim clergy have long frowned on marrying outside Islam, and Cheema and Beale struggled to find an imam who would officiate, much less adapt the Islamic ceremony, known as a nikah, to...

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Catholic, Jewish orgs work to find homes for arriving Afghan refugees

December 10, 2021

Three months after the Taliban took over Afghanistan, prompting hundreds of thousands to evacuate the country, Catholic Charities and its Jewish community partners have helped dozens of Afghan immigrants to find homes and begin new lives in the Greater Boston Area.

In a webinar held on Nov. 22, titled "Together We Respond," representatives of Catholic Charities of Boston (CCAB), Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), and the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) shared updates about how they have served people arriving from Afghanistan over the past few months. They expressed...

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Reading faiths unite for menorah blessing, tree lighting

December 3, 2021

As many gathered around the Christmas tree and the menorah on downtown Reading's Penn Square for the city's holiday lighting celebrations Thursday evening, the sentiment was that this year's event was especially joyous.

"We are really excited that we are getting to somewhat of a little bit of normalcy this year," said Reading Mayor Eddie Morán. "We are inviting the community to come out and celebrate with us in a dual celebration."

As Hanukkah comes to a close in a few days, the Jewish Federation of Reading lit the latest candle on the...

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Atlanta-area Episcopalians, Ismaili Muslims forge relationship through community service

November 4, 2021

 Back in February, when the Rev. Nicole Lambelet invited nearby faith leaders to participate in a virtual tour of Decatur, Georgia, through the lens of displaced Black and Jewish communities, she didn’t expect her Episcopal church to form a new relationship with Decatur’s Ismaili Muslim community.

“Probably five faith leaders responded to the mass email I sent, and 150 people came to our event, but Behnoosh Momin’s response was different,” said Lambelet, associate rector for family ministry and outreach at the ...

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Religious organizations prepare for 'potential onslaught' of evictions

September 9, 2021

The Supreme Court’s Aug. 26 decision to end the federal eviction moratorium brings new challenges for religious leaders and organizations working to aid those at risk for homelessness. More than 3.6 million Americans say they could face eviction in the next two months, according to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

“We’re very, very nervous,” said Sarah Abramson, vice president of strategy and impact at Combined Jewish Philanthropies in Boston. “There is already a tremendous housing shortage in Boston. And we know from our data, and from the experience of our partners...

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This rabbinical school is moving into a Catholic university

September 2, 2021

The Academy for Jewish Religion California has rented space in several locations during its 21-year existence as a transdenominational seminary that trains rabbis and cantors.

For a while it was housed in an office building in downtown Los Angeles, then at Hillel, the Jewish campus organization at the University of California Los Angeles.

But beginning Oct. 1, in an arrangement both novel and pathbreaking, the academy will move to Loyola Marymount...

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How Intel and other top companies make room for religion in the office

August 21, 2021

Intel has been a star in the technology world for nearly half a century. One secret to its success is a little more spiritual than you might have guessed, according to CEO Pat Gelsinger.

In a recorded message that will play during an international conference on business and religion this week, Gelsinger highlights the competitive advantage that comes from building a culture that celebrates personal faith alongside other employee traits. At Intel, workers are...

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Maine faith leaders sign letter calling on Sen. Susan Collins to back For the People Act

August 18, 2021

More than 125 religious leaders and people of faith in Maine have signed a letter calling on lawmakers to support the For the People Act, adding to substantial religious pressure on elected officials to pass the sweeping federal voting rights bill.

In a news conference unveiling the letter at Portland’s Allen Avenue Unitarian Universalist Church on Tuesday (Aug. 10), a trio of faith leaders championed various provisions of the For the People Act, which would overhaul federal election law in ways advocates say will help vulnerable Americans vote.

“Working for this...

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