Interfaith Matters
Religious Literacy in New York Public Schools

Religious Literacy in New York Public Schools

April 16, 2021

Welcome to a special episode of Interfaith Matters, exploring New York City Council Resolution 1257, and the importance of religious diversity education in public schools. Resolution 1257 calls on the New York City Department of Education to offer age-appropriate religious diversity curricula for all public school students, as well as professional development in this area for DOE teachers.

Our guest host today is Dr. Henry Goldschmidt, the Director of Programs at the Interfaith Center of New York. Henry talks with New York City Council Member Daniel Dromm, a lead co-sponsor of Resolution 1257, and a panel of religious diversity educators: Rev. Mark Fowler, CEO of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, Dr. Pritpal Kaur, Education Director of the Sikh Coalition, and Aniqa Nawabi, Executive Director of the Muslim Community Network.

The conversation explores how religious diversity education can help create inclusive schools and communities for all New Yorkers, and address the growing problem of hate crimes against religious minorities.

 

Take Action to Support Religious Literacy

in New York Public Schools!

 

New Yorkers, click here to email your City Council Member, and encourage them to co-sponsor Resolution 1257.

Teachers, click here for classroom teaching resources, including the teachers guides discussed in the podcast -- all found on the website of ICNY's Religious Worlds of New York summer institute.

Or click here for webinars on religious diversity in the classroom, produced by the Tanenbaum Center and Teaching Tolerance.

Or click here for Sikhism lesson plans and teaching resources, from the Sikh Coalition.

Or click here to learn about workshops on Islam and Muslim life, from the Muslim Community Network.

 

Together We Can Create Inclusive Schools

and Communities for all New Yorkers!

 

Podcast Questions? Comments?

Have a question for our guests or comment on our podcast series? Would you like to suggest a guest or topic for a future podcast episode? Please feel free to contact us at podcast@interfaithcenter.org

This special episode of “Interfaith Matters” is hosted by Dr. Henry Goldschmidt, and edited by Executive Producer Kevin Childress.

Learn more about the podcast team on our website.

Whose Faith Matters? Protecting Religious Liberty for Everyone

Whose Faith Matters? Protecting Religious Liberty for Everyone

March 29, 2021

In recent years, religious liberty has primarily been framed as a concern of conservative Christians in the United States, particularly in their opposition to reproductive and LGBTQ rights. But faith-based values are not the sole province of social conservatives, and Americans from diverse religious and political backgrounds are fighting for religious freedom in a wide variety of contexts.

In this episode, host AJ DeBonis explores the changing meanings of "religious liberty" with Liz Reiner Platt, director of The Law, Rights and Religion Project - a think tank at Columbia Law School promoting social justice, freedom of religion, and religious plurality. AJ and Liz examine ways religious liberty is threatened when it is equated with a movement advocating for a narrow band of religious views. Liz argues that elected officials, media, and the public must broaden our understanding of religious liberty, so that it is neutral, noncoercive, nondiscriminatory, not absolute, democratic, and pluralistic.

 

Podcast Questions? Comments?

Have a question for our guests or comment on our podcast series? Would you like to suggest a guest or topic for a future podcast episode? Please feel free to contact us at podcast@interfaithcenter.org

This episode of “Interfaith Matters” is hosted by co-producer AJ DeBonis, edited by co-producer Michelle Polton-Simon, and executive produced by Kevin Childress.

Learn more about the podcast team on our website.

Exploring Pope Francis’ Call for a Global “Culture of Encounter” with Ft. James Loughran

Exploring Pope Francis’ Call for a Global “Culture of Encounter” with Ft. James Loughran

January 28, 2021

We kick off Season Six of our #InterfaithMattersPodcast with a celebration of World Interfaith Harmony Week (Feb. 1-7) and the United Nations’ International Day of Human Fraternity (Feb. 4).

In this episode, host AJ DeBonis and Rev. James Loughran, SA (Director of Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute) discuss Pope Francis’ remarkable 2020 Encyclical Fratelli Tutti (“Brothers and Sisters, All”) which calls for a new global “culture of encounter” across faith lines.

In the words of Pope Francis and Grand Imam Ahmad Al-Tayyeb: “In the name of God … we declare the adoption of a culture of dialogue as the path; mutual cooperation as the code of conduct; reciprocal understanding as the method and standard.” Today’s podcast explores the implications of this vision for Roman Catholics, and indeed for all people of good will.

We also invite you to help build this “culture of encounter” on Wednesday, February 3, when we present a panel of distinguished interfaith scholars and leaders discussing Pope Francis’ encyclical. See below for details.

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Podcast Questions? Comments?

Have a question for our guests or comment on our podcast series? Would you like to suggest a guest or topic for a future podcast episode? Please feel free to contact us at podcast@interfaithcenter.org

This episode of “Interfaith Matters” is hosted by co-producer AJ DeBonis, and edited by executive producer Kevin Childress.  Interfaith Matters is co-produced by Michelle Polton-Simon.

Learn more about the podcast team on our website.

 

 

Det. Mohamed Amen on “NYC’s Many Faiths & the NYPD”

Det. Mohamed Amen on “NYC’s Many Faiths & the NYPD”

October 18, 2020

In this episode, #InterfaithMattersPodcast host AJ DeBonis talks with NYPD Clergy Outreach Unit Detective Mohamed Amen, who is also a member of the NYPD Muslim Officers Society.

Det. Amen shares what the NYPD is doing to engage NYC's 8,000+ faith communities in working together to break stereotypes, build trust and improve safety and quality of life for all New Yorkers.

Learn ways that you and your faith community can partner with local police precincts to bring citizens and police together in positive interactions that can strengthen police-community relations.

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Podcast Questions? Comments?

Have a question for our guests or comment on our podcast series? Would you like to suggest a guest or topic for a future podcast episode? Please feel free to contact us at podcast@interfaithcenter.org.

This episode of “Interfaith Matters” is hosted by co-producer AJ DeBonis, and edited by executive producer Kevin Childress.  Interfaith Matters is co-produced by Michelle Polton-Simon.

Learn more about the podcast team on our website.

On Faith and Voting, with Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush

On Faith and Voting, with Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush

October 1, 2020

The 2020 election may be one of the most important in our lifetimes. How are people of faith approaching this election, working to get out the vote, safeguard a fair election, and renew confidence in the democratic process?

In this episode, #InterfaithMattersPodcast co-producer Michelle Polton-Simon talks with Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, Senior Advisor, Public Affairs and Innovation at Interfaith Youth Core, on the unprecedented involvement people of faith (including many young adults voting for the first time) are bringing to this election, and what listeners can do to help bring about the changes they wish to see in this country.

IMPORTANT VOTING RESOURCES

Find your polling place for election day or EARLY VOTING (beginning October 24): https://findmypollsite.vote.nyc/

How to register to vote or request an absentee ballot: https://www.elections.ny.gov/

How to volunteer as a poll worker: https://www.powerthepolls.org/

 

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Podcast Questions? Comments?

Have a question for our guests or comment on our podcast series? Would you like to suggest a guest or topic for a future podcast episode? Please feel free to contact us at podcast@interfaithcenter.org.

“Interfaith Matters” is hosted by co-producer AJ DeBonis. This episode is guest-hosted by co-producer Michelle Polton-Simon, and edited and executive produced by Kevin Childress.

Learn more about the podcast team on our website.

“Coming Together to Keep Our City Safe” – New NYPD Chief Speaks Out

“Coming Together to Keep Our City Safe” – New NYPD Chief Speaks Out

August 12, 2020

“Coming Together to Keep Our City Safe”

Interfaith Matters continues talking with religious, civic and governmental leaders whose lives and work intersect with the Black Lives Matter and police reform protests taking place around the country.

 

Chief Jeffrey Maddrey, NYPD Chief of Community Affairs Bureau

In this episode, our co-producer Michelle Polton-Simon talks with Jeffrey Maddrey, newly-appointed Chief of the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau, to gain a law enforcement perspective on the Movement for Black Lives, the future of police-community relations in New York City, and the national call for systemic law enforcement reform.

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Michelle Polton-Simon is audio engineer, editor, and co-producer of Interfaith Matters.

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Podcast Questions? Comments?

Have a question for our guests or comment on our podcast series? Would you like to suggest a guest or topic for a future podcast episode? Please feel free to contact us at podcast@interfaithcenter.org.

“Interfaith Matters” is hosted by co-producer AJ DeBonis. This episode is guest-hosted by co-producer Michelle Polton-Simon, and edited and executive produced by Kevin Childress.

Learn more about the podcast team on our website.

“Show Up and Listen” - Rabbi Joshua Stanton on Supporting the Movement for Black Lives

“Show Up and Listen” - Rabbi Joshua Stanton on Supporting the Movement for Black Lives

July 13, 2020

The Movement for Black Lives

A new podcast miniseries asks NYC faith, secular and governmental leaders about their experiences of the movement and its future

Rabbi Joshua Stanton, of East End Temple

In the next mini-episode of this series, host AJ DeBonis talks with Rabbi Joshua Stanton of East End Temple about his personal experiences with the Movement for Black Lives, and faith leadership's unique role in public protests, as well as the supportive value of empathetic listening and presence.

 

Podcast Questions? Comments?

Have a question for our guests or comment on our podcast series? Would you like to suggest a guest or topic for a future podcast episode? Please feel free to contact us at podcast@interfaithcenter.org.

This episode of “Interfaith Matters” is hosted by co-producer AJ DeBonis, engineered and edited by co-producer Michelle Polton-Simon, and executive produced by Kevin Childress.

Learn more about the podcast team on our website.

Intro music for this episode is edited excerpts of “Maximum Relax” by Lee Rosevere, used under CC BY 4.0 / Edited from original.

“We’re Nowhere Near Done” - Pastor Kaji Douša on the Movement for Black Lives

“We’re Nowhere Near Done” - Pastor Kaji Douša on the Movement for Black Lives

June 30, 2020

The Movement for Black Lives

A new podcast miniseries asks NYC faith, secular and governmental leaders about their experiences of the movement and its future

The Rev. Kaji Douša, senior pastor of Park Avenue Christian Church

For the first mini-episode in this series, our co-producer Michelle Polton-Simon talks with The Rev. Kaji Douša, who is senior pastor at the Park Avenue Christian Church, a co-chair of the New Sanctuary Coalition, and a long-time activist who is a leader in New York City’s Black Lives Matter movement. Michelle asks Pastor Kaji about her experiences on the frontlines of the movement, and what advice she can offer for sustaining long-time advocacy efforts and avoiding burnout.

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Michelle Polton-Simon is audio engineer, editor, and co-producer of Interfaith Matters.

 

Podcast Questions? Comments?

Have a question for our guests or comment on our podcast series? Would you like to suggest a guest or topic for a future podcast episode? Please feel free to contact us at podcast@interfaithcenter.org.

Learn more about the podcast team on our website.

Intro music for this episode is edited excerpts of “Maximum Relax” by Lee Rosevere, used under CC BY 4.0 / Edited from original.

Will We Want to Go “Back to Normal”? The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the ways New Yorkers practice their faiths, and religious leaders on the frontlines say that may not be a bad thing.

Will We Want to Go “Back to Normal”? The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the ways New Yorkers practice their faiths, and religious leaders on the frontlines say that may not be a bad thing.

June 11, 2020

Pictured (clockwise from top left): host AJ DeBonis, Rabbi Heidi Hoover, The Rev. Canon Terence Lee, and Traven Fusho Rice 

History shows that pandemics often leave long-lasting and far-reaching impacts on communities of faith, and a recent Pew Research Center survey indicates that the current COVID-19 pandemic will be no exception. We turn to three leaders on the frontlines of faith during this pandemic, to examine how emergency responses to the crisis are shaping the ways that people practice their faith, and consider how these innovations may transform religious practice in the future.

Joining host AJ DeBonis for this conversation are:

  • Rabbi Heidi Hoover, B’ShERT (Beth Shalom v’Emeth Reform Temple) in Brooklyn
  • The Rev. Canon Terence Lee, St. Philip’s Church in Harlem
  • Traven Fusho Rice, Senior Student and Meditation Teacher, Village Zendo in Lower Manhattan

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    Continue the Conversation on July 22

    Mental health, social service, and spiritual care providers are welcome to join us on July 22 for an online conference reflecting on lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic. Diverse religious leaders and faith-based service providers — including podcast speaker Traven Fusho Rice — will explore the psychological and spiritual challenges of social isolation, as well as innovative strategies for online connection. All are welcome, and NY State social workers can earn 6.5 hours of continuing education credit.

    Click here for detailed info and registration

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Podcast Questions? Comments?

Have a question for our guests or comment on our podcast series? Would you like to suggest a guest or topic for a future podcast episode? Please feel free to contact us at podcast@interfaithcenter.org.

This episode of “Interfaith Matters” is hosted by co-producer AJ DeBonis, engineered and edited by co-producer Michelle Polton-Simon, and executive produced by Kevin Childress.

Learn more about the podcast team on our website.

“Isolation is a Tool for Abusers” – Faith Leaders on the Front Lines of the COVID-19 Domestic Violence Crisis

“Isolation is a Tool for Abusers” – Faith Leaders on the Front Lines of the COVID-19 Domestic Violence Crisis

April 16, 2020

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Pictured (clockwise from top left): AJ Debonis, Anindita Chaterjee Bhaumik, Robina Niaz, the Rev. Sally MacNichol

As we continue to examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this episode brings together three faith-based activists and service providers to discuss the disturbing rise of domestic violence during the pandemic, and the plight of victims who are at a higher risk due to social isolation and stay-at-home orders.

For those who aren’t safer in their own home, the pandemic has created a worst-case scenario where options are limited. An average of 115 New Yorkers have visited the city government’s domestic violence resource website each day since the start of the pandemic — a staggering increase from the usual daily average of 45 — and similar trends have been noted around the globe.

As our guests make clear, this isn’t a new problem. Like so many underlying systemic issues that have intensified in the last month – such as racial and class disparities in the pandemic’s death toll – the pre-existing threat of domestic violence has only been exacerbated by COVID-19, and has become a public health issue in its own right. This episode explores the risks victims and survivors face in these challenging times, as well as ways that faith leaders can support them.

Joining us for this conversation are:

  • Anindita Chatterjee Bhaumik, a certified trauma professional, Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, and Director of Boston Evening Therapy Associates
  • Robina Niaz, Founder and Executive Director of Turning Point for Women and Families
  • The Reverend Dr. Sally MacNichol, Co-Executive Director of CONNECT, an organization that works with New York City communities to prevent domestic violence

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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESOURCES

NATIONAL:

If you are in need of immediate assistance, please call 911.

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) National Domestic Violence Hotline – 24/7 Crisis Hotline: (800) 799-7233

National Domestic Violence Hotline – 24/7 Crisis Hotline: (800) 656-4673

 

NEW YORK CITY:

 New York City 24-hour hotline: 1-800-621-HOPE (4673)

CONNECT seeks to create safe families and peaceful communities by transforming the beliefs, behaviors, and institutions that perpetuate violence. Programs include Transformative Education and Community Building. To become a CONNECT Faith partner, please reach out to connectfaith@connectnyc.org. CONNECT Faith offers training, workshops and technical assistance for faith leaders and their communities as well as spiritual counseling for survivors.

Turning Point for Women and Families: We are working remotely. Our hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 10am to 6pm. To reach us please call at 718-550-3586 or email info@tpny.org

Turning Point’s RESOURCE GUIDE FOR NYC DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVORS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC – this list includes resources for:

– Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence

– Other Domestic Violence Services

– Food Assistance in each borough and Long Island

– Financial Assistance

MASSACHUSETTS:

SafeLink https://casamyrna.org/get-support/safelink/: 24/7 Crisis Hotline: (877) 785-2020, 24/7 Crisis Hotline: (877) 521-2601 (TTY)

Our Deaf Survivor’s Center: 24/7 Crisis Hotline: (885) 812-1001

Additional resources in Massachusetts: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/domestic-violence-programs-for-survivors

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Podcast Questions? Comments?

Have a question for our guests or comment on our podcast series? Would you like to suggest a guest or topic for a future podcast episode? Please feel free to contact us at podcast@interfaithcenter.org.

This episode of “Interfaith Matters” is hosted by co-producer AJ DeBonis, engineered and edited by co-producer Michelle Polton-Simon, and executive produced by Kevin Childress.

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