Archive for the ‘URI Multiregion Blogs’ Category

Pesach / Passover and Dr. Mohammed Dajani of Wasatia

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Dear Friends,

As we Jews prepare for our Pesach/Passover Seder and the re-telling of our experience of Moses leading our exodus from slavery in Egypt, we are deeply mindful of the freedom we Jews now experience in our land, and in the various countries we live — and the need to liberate ourselves from all that continues to oppress us – internally and externally. 

 In this atmosphere, I share with you the below two recent articles about our courageous colleague Dr. Mohammed Dajani who led a group of Palestinian students on an inspiring visit to Auschwitz – and has suffered much criticism as a result. Here are the links, and the text is below: 

We are acutely aware that we are at a crossroads in the fateful peace negotiations taking place between the Palestinians and the Israelis.  We are also aware of the need for both peoples to liberate ourselves from those that fan the hatred and vengeance that enslave us, and prevent us from finding ways to trust and live in harmony. 

Dr. Mohammed told me:  “Please help us let the world know that the Israeli people and the Palestinian people want peace and reconciliation.”  

We need the whole world to support us equally to find our paths to peace. 

We bless ourselves and everyone to continually find ways to lead ourselves and others out of the slavery of hatred and fear with their endless cycles of violence.  We bless ourselves and everyone to enjoy the sweet fruits of liberation from all the binds us and blinds us.  

For centuries, we end our seder saying “Next year in Jerusalem”.  I bless us that next year we will gather together in a Jerusalem of peace and harmony. 

Blessings and love,


Elana Rozenman
Executive Director

URI Multiregion welcomes new Cooperation Circle

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

Hope in Life Foundation Multiregion

The URI Multiregion proudly welcomes a New Cooperation Circle. 

This US-based Cooperation Circle is comprised of members from different parts of the world working hard to end violence against women. Although many live far apart, each individual acts as an ambassador of peace and love within their respective communities. Circle members, many of whom are based in California, meet to discuss domestic violence with leaders and female victims of abuse in their communities, several hosting speaking events in public schools.

During phone and in-person meetings they learn about the socioeconomic conditions of women in different parts of the world. The Circle also works with children to instill values of respect and love, encouraging the participation of men and recognizing them as part of the solution. As a result of these efforts, Hope In Life hopes to create heightened awareness in real and virtual communities about the causes and effects of domestic violence and how to avoid it in a domestic partnership. Increased participation from men, women and children on how to proactively tackle issues related to violence is also expected.

The organization’s website,, posts research to share about the seriousness of this issue.

International Day of Peace – Environmental Satellite

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

A step back in time: 2012…

The theme of 2012’s International Day of Peace was “Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Environment.” And it was in the spirit of this theme that the Environmental Satellite Cooperation Circle announced the recipients of the 2012 Environmental Seed Grants. The grants support awareness raising, education and training programs, individual projects and longer-term programs carried out by CCs in their local communities.

As September 21st approaches we will have more International Day of Peace coverage – new and old…

The Weekly Shot: Environmental Satellite
To learn more about the Environmental Satellite Cooperation Circle, click here.

Get Ready for the International Day of Peace

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014


The Art of Peace at OUR HOUSE, the Store that Artists Built

Our House, the Store that Artists Built, is an incubation of Project Row Houses and an initiative of Think Peace International (TPI). No matter how you define yourself as an artist, we believe art CAN and DOES change the world for good. An artist’s art is as different from another artist as there are flowers in a garden. No one compares a rose to a tulip as they each are unique in their design nor does one have to decide which is prettier or more fragrant. You can pick one or both. This is what we teach within the curriculum and workshops developed at Our House. Opportunities are provided by many outlets, including the Saturday Artists Circle and the monthly Project Row House Third Ward Community Market and Talent Show. Our House collaborates with many venues to provide artists with ample opportunity to showcase their “wares”–no matter the genre.

The International Day of Peace (IDP) weekend is a prime example of this collaborative spirit. The A-Fest event at the House of Deréon and PRH’s Third Ward Market provides a wonderful opportunity to help artists reach demographics throughout the communities of Houston. It is good when the IDP lands on a weekend because it increases more participation and synchronization of multiple events. The IDP, however, is more than recreation time. It is a time to consider what it will take to learn how to respect and understand those who may seem different and to recognize that because of those differences … WE NEED EACH OTHER more than ever.

The lessons learned at Our House promote this idea, recognizing that every piece of art designed, crafted or created makes a difference in the world. Contact us at 713.893.1304 if you are interested in being a part of the Our House initiative where artists work together in building community through art.

~ P. K. McCary

Living Principle 5: A Message From Kiran And Victor

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Living Principle 5: A Message From Kiran And Victor

The message below comes from URI’s Global Council Chair, Kiran Bali, MBE JP, and URI’s Executive Director, The Rev. Victor H. Kazanjian, Jr.

Dear friends,

In light of the violent conflict that is devastating so many regions of our world, we call to your attention one of our guiding principles that helps to shape our communication with one another within URI and with others around us:

Principle 5 of URI’s Charter states, We listen and speak with respect to deepen mutual understanding and trust.

Living into this principle is a hallmark of URI and one of the most powerful examples of the peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings for which we strive.  It is also especially challenging in moments of violent conflict such as that in the Middle East. The horrors and pain of such violence challenge our resolve to practice non-violent communication as well as non-violent action with one another.  Only through the practice of non-violence in our words and actions can we create spaces of honest and open dialogue that invite connection rather than alienation. The practice of non-violence shapes spaces in which pain and anger can be shared amongst others who have made a commitment to maintaining respectful relationships. 

One of URI’s guiding statements calls us to the “maintaining of respectful spaces” in our relationships. It reads as follows,

“URI is by intention a community of great diversity, including diversity of perspectives on a wide range of global, regional and local issues. We believe that this diversity of perspectives has the potential to deepen our understanding and lead to shared insight and wisdom. For this to happen, members of the URI community must do our best, individually and collectively, to create and maintain a respectful space for diverse points of view, especially minority points of view, in free and open dialogue.

Whether we are engaged in deliberations on the Global Council, Regional Leadership Teams, Global Staff, within a Cooperation Circle or on the CC contacts listserv (and on social media forums such as Facebook or Twitter), it is important to be guided by Principle 5 of our PPPs. It is important to ask – before we speak or write – if we are expressing our opinion in a way that is both true to our experience and what we believe, and also invites opinions from others who have different experiences and beliefs.

We should take special care, especially when addressing a volatile issue, to communicate strongly held beliefs and opinions in language whose tone and content is respectful of members in URI’s community with different beliefs and opinions.”

This guiding statement in no way is meant to constrain the free and open exchange of ideas that is so important to the life of our community and the world. Rather, it is meant to offer guidance, particularly in times of conflict, to help us stay true to URI’s values to which we have committed ourselves. 

May we continue to strive to live the PPPs of URI in all that we say and all that we do. 

In peace…Kiran and Victor