Archive for the ‘URI Multiregion Blogs’ Category

Women’s Walk to build interfaith sisterhood and to heal continuing suffering — Goldman Promenade, Jerusalem

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

From Elana Rozenman – Trustee of the Multiregion, and from our friends in the Middle East…

TRUST WIN — Women’s Interfaith Network of Christian, Druze, Jewish, and Muslim women – Israeli and Palestinian – walked slowly and silently on the Goldman Promenade in Jerusalem to strengthen women’s interfaith sisterhood and heal past suffering during this period commemorating Holocaust Day, Israeli Memorial Day, Land Day, Nakba Day.  Because two Israeli women were stabbed last week where we walked, we had a police escort. 

leading the walk1

There were over fifty women, children, and babies — ranging from 6 months old to 75 – coming from Daliat AlCarmel, Furedis, and Tiberias in the North, and from various neighborhoods of Jerusalem.  We held our Opening Circle overlooking the panaroma of East and West Jerusalem including the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sherif.  

Powerful shofar blasts were sounded by two beautiful women from Tiberias who had come with children and babies , awakening us all to magnificence of our surroundings and the significance of the powerful event we were sharing.  Ibtisam Mahamid, Elana Rozenman and Siham Halabi welcomed the women and set the tone of deep sisterhood to bond and strengthen us to withstand the violence of our conflict.  As we proceeded our meditation walk entering the Goldman Promenade the children scampered ahead throwing pine cones and laughing.  Women pushed strollers and carried babies as we looked out at the serene vistas stretching all the way to Jordan and the Hills of Moab.  Women walking singly or arm in arm watching birds, trees, and flowers.  At the ampitheatre we had refreshments and sang and danced together contemplating the vast expansive view and getting to know each other.  

We distributed copies of “No One Can Ever Steal Your Rainbow” in Hebrew and Arabic written by Barbara Meislin – who graciously supported this event.  We are continually grateful to Richard and Rhoda Goldman and Lawrence Halprin for giving Jerusalem this magnificent gift!  We invite everyone to come and walk with us here….

More photos and reports: 

Blessings and love, 



URI Global Council Election Results

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016


Greetings sisters and brothers of the URI community,

Following a vibrant trustee election process in which more candidates ran for positions than ever before, we are pleased to announce the URI Global Council Trustees in Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, Multiregion, and North America.

Saludos hermanos y hermanas de la comunidad de URI,  

Después de un proceso electoral vibrante en el que se presentaron más candidatos que nunca antes para las posiciones, tenemos el placer de anunciar los resultados del proceso de selección de Representantes en Consejo Mundial de URI en América Latina y el Caribe, Middle East y África del Norte, Multiregión, y América del Norte.


Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

  • Salette Aquino (Brazil)
  • Sofia Painiqueo (Chile)
  • Rev. David Limo Pajar (Peru) 


Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

  • Dr. Ahmed Osama Abu Doma (Egypt)
  • Naoufal El Hammoumi (Morocco)
  • Ameenah Ezzat Yaqoob (Jordan) 



  • Suchith Abeyewickreme (Sri Lanka)
  • Elana Rozenman (Israel)
  • Audri Scott Williams (USA) 


North America

  • Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell (USA – Ohio)
  • Fred Fielding (USA – California)
  • Jaya Priya Reinhalter (USA – Florida)

We welcome these new members of URI’s Global Council who have been voted in by the Cooperation Circles in each region. New Trustees will begin their terms of office on July 1, 2016. We will celebrate the service of all of our outgoing trustees in a subsequent communication and on our September Global Council Meeting. 

Damos la bienvenida a estos nuevos miembros del Consejo Global de URI que han sido votados por parte de los círculos de cooperación en cada región. Nuevos directivos comenzarán su mandato el 1 de julio de 2016. Celebraremos el servicio de todos nuestros consejeros salientes en una comunicación posterior y en nuestra reunión del Consejo Mundial de septiembre.

In peace/En paz…Victor and Kiran     

The Rev. Victor H. Kazanjian Jr.                 Kiran Bali, MBE JP

URI Executive Director                                   URI Global Council Chair


What’s Love Got To Do With Dismantling Islamophobia?

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

What’s Love Got To Do With Dismantling Islamophobia?

What's Love Got To Do With Dismantling Islamophobia?  

Islamophobia in the United States is not new. However, studies compiling FBI data, such as the one conducted by Georgetown’s Bridge Initiative, state that, today, U.S Muslims are five times more likely to be the victim of a hate crime than they were before 9/11 – a startling statistic, to say the least. For Rev. Will McGarvey and the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County (ICCCC), a United Religions Cooperation Circle, the antidote to this fear and hate based sentiment is simultaneously simple and complex: love.

 In a conversation with Rev. Will McGarvey, he reminded me that more than half of Americans who say they hate Muslims have never actually met a Muslim. The Reverend and his colleagues have set out to change this statistic, by implementing a “Love Your Muslim Neighbors” program in California’s San Francisco Bay Area, where “loving” your Muslim neighbor is not passive, but rather an active commitment.

Over the course of nine “Love Your Muslim Neighbor” events held at a variety of different Christian congregations, the ICCCC has initiated and facilitated crucial discussions on some of the major misconceptions regarding Muslims, with up to 200 participants. The interreligious exchanges vary from panel discussions hosted by American Muslims of different ethnicities, religious sects, gender identities, and so on, to more intimate and informal conversations where non-Muslim community members voice curiosities they have always had but have never known how or whom to ask.

To read more please visit / Click Here

Creating New Tools for Our Journey

Sunday, May 15th, 2016


Creating New Tools for Our Journey 

The First Course of  ‘The Next Steps’ Series for 2016″

What’s the difference between “The Next Step Series” and other spiritual transformation courses? 

Your wisdom, shared with the wisdom of others, becomes part of a higher collective consciousness which is very powerful. Your wisdom will inform the collective wisdom and the collective wisdom will inform you. This will not be sit and listen, then walk away and forget everything you heard. The more you give in this series, the more you receive from the collective wisdom. The lessons you walk away with will be embodied and experienced deep in your heart.

Why did Wisdom Circle Ministry create “The Next Step” Series?

 Wisdom Circle Ministries is in service to:

  • co-create a world where all life is valued and celebrated. 
  • assist people who are seeking the deeper meaning of their life experience during and after the current challenging times of accelerated changes.  
  • co-create a global expansion of consciousness, a sustainable world of balance, a world of peace and compassion and a world where love is the catalyst for change

‘The Next Steps’ Series for 2016 

The purpose of ‘The Next Steps’ Series is to create sacred space to assist people through their shift from a place of fear to a place of personal power from a spiritual perspective. This will allow people to discover their own highest good and live a wholehearted life.

Take action to change your story today. Click here to read more about “The Next Steps”series, this workshop, and to register!

URI’s Circles of Light 2016 Gala Speeches

Monday, May 9th, 2016


Please enjoy these speeches, which were delivered by featured guests at URI’s Circles of Light 2016 gala. The gala was held April 16 at the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco, California, USA. This year’s theme honored Cooperation Circles who build peace through the arts: painting, dance, theater, music, sculpture, and more. The following speakers came from URI groups around the world to share their experiences in interfaith peacebuilding.

To view more you can also visit our news section and see the full story here

Join the Soul of WoMen Global Campaign

Sunday, May 8th, 2016

Dear URI CCs,

Next week, Monica Willard and I will be traveling to Japan to take part in the celebration of the Soul of WoMen global campaign on May 15th, as part of the Symphony of Peace Prayers marking first anniversary of the Fuji Declaration. Kiran Bali will be featured in the grand festivities. 

I want to invite you and your CCs to be a part of this worldwide celebration of the rise of the Divine Feminine. There are many ways to join in:

May Peace Prevail on Earth! 


Deborah Moldow
The World Peace Prayer Society

Happy Mother’s – Mother’s Day Proclamation from Julia Ward Howe – 1870

Sunday, May 8th, 2016

Dear Friends,

Another Mother’s Day arrives and it’s significant to remember the still timely call of Julia Ward Howe to women to unite for peace.  She wrote this Proclamation in 1870 after seeing the suffering brought on by the U.S. Civil War. Her stirring words ring true today and are still a relevant call to action to women worldwide. 


Julia Ward Howe – 1870

Arise then…women of this day!

Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
“We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

From the bosom of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with

Our own. It says: “Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace…
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God -

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

Blessings to all the Mothers and to all of us for being brought into this world by our mothers.  May peace prevail on earth.



Elana Rozenman

[Podcast] Interfaith on the Menu

Sunday, April 24th, 2016


Like dousing your meal with hot sauce, we’ve kicked Common Knowledge up a notch, based on some great feedback we’ve gotten from our listeners. The official IFYC podcast now has a fresh new layout, some snazzy new audio equipment to record our stellar guests, and a delicious new episode to show it all off.

In Interfaith on the Menu: The Shared Value of Food, our hosts take a lunch break to find out how food can bridge the interfaith gaps that words can’t manage alone. Carr and Prerna talk turkey (but not bacon) about engaging diversity with the owners of a kosher BBQ restaurant, and find out what growing tomatoes has to do with learning about religious values. 

From Langar meals in Sikhism, to Muslim iftars during Ramadan, to the Jewish Passover sedars being held this very weekend, food holds a key place in our different faiths and philosophies. If you’re going to do interfaith engagement, make sure you keep food on the table.

Common Knowledge is a regular IFYC podcast featuring interviews and stories that highlight the importance of “interfaith literacy”, the knowledge necessary to navigate and lead in our religiously diverse world.




Better Together Day: What comes next?

Friday, April 15th, 2016

This year’s Better Together Day was bigger and more powerful than ever. Five thousand people around the country came together on April 7 to talk about their religious and non-religious worldviews, share their values, and learn from others.

Here’s what happened:

  • Thousands of people across countless different religions and philosophies shared their values and learned what inspires other people to do good.
  • Thousands of students across the country started essential conversations through fast-a-thons, interfaith dialogue dinners, open mic nights, and other events that crossed the lines that usually divide us.
  • And speaking of thousands, IFYC will officially be giving $10,000 to the International Rescue Committee to support their work with refugees in honor of this overwhelming participation.

We need to start these essential conversations in order to tackle some of our thorniest world issues. If you haven’t participated yet, you can still submit your own values on our website until Sunday, April 17. Amazing things happen when we come together. That’s the power of interfaith cooperation.

Better Together Day

URI Circles of Light 2016

Thursday, April 14th, 2016



URI welcomes you to the 13th annual Circles of Light Gala, which honors URI’s Cooperation Circles that build peace through the arts. 

The theme for the 2016 event is the ARTS which include music, dance, visual arts, poetry, and theatre. URI will feature Cooperation Circles from around the world that utilize the ARTS as a key tool in promoting interfaith dialogue in their community. Please review the speakers profile here.

During the reception, guests will enjoy a gallery-like setting, featuring sculptures, paintings, music, photography, and dance, and showcasing additional Cooperation Circles such as Aflaiai (Eterno), Heartbeat: Jerusalem, Umbiyozo Cultural Diversity, and The Voices of Peace CC. 

 Saturday, 16 April 2016

Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco

Reception: 6:00 pm | Dinner: 7:00 pm

Cocktail or festive attire  

For more information or to sponsor a table, please call Diana Conan at (415) 762-2723 or send an email to