Interfaith Matters

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


    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



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

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.

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App