The spirit of the Kaufman Interfaith Institute is represented in the cooperative programs held in the community to enlighten, inform, and promote inclusivity.
These events bring together diverse voices and faith traditions to find a common ground while still honoring individual experiences.
Whether it is working with others in the community to host a civilized discussion about polarizing issues or organizing a celebration that welcomes all and encourages learning through differences, the institute has found great success carrying out its mission through these community collaborations.
"Through interfaith dialogue and service, we promote a vibrant and diverse community for all generations. Beyond tolerance, we value hospitality, understanding, respect, and acceptance."
Kaufman's Weekly Interfaith Insight
"Responding with courage and faith" by Director Doug Kindschi
Standing for what is right sometimes demands courage. Unfortunately, there have been times of hate speech and acts of hate in our world where our response may be put to the test.
Eboo Patel, the interfaith leader and founder of the Interfaith Youth Core, wrote about his fellow Chicagoan, Rami Nashashibi, whose deep Muslim faith inspires him to work for social justice in the poor neighborhoods of South Chicago. While with his three children in his neighborhood park, he realized that it was time for the scheduled prayer Muslims do five times a day. However, Patel wrote in the magazine Sojourners, it was just a few “days after the terrible terrorist attack in San Bernardino, where extremists calling themselves Muslims murdered 14 people and injured many more. … He found himself suddenly struck by fear at the thought of praying in public and therefore being openly identified as Muslim at a time when so many equated that term with terrorist.”
Patel goes on to relate an incident 50 years previously in that same Chicago park, when Martin Luther King Jr. was leading a march protesting housing discrimination. King was also fearful because of the racists who had threatened violence. He was actually hit in the head and knocked down by a brick that was thrown his way. Nashashibi was aware of that incident and, in fact, had been working to erect a statue of King in that very area.
In Patel’s words: “In that same place, 50 years apart, two men of different faiths faced a similar question: Would their faith be the victim of fear or the source of courage? Thousands of fellow protesters were watching King. Three Muslim children were watching Nashashibi.”
Weekly Watch - A Song of Peace
The tune from Finlandia by the Finish composer Jean Sibelius has been used for many different lyrics. Most Christians will recognize it as the hymn “Be Still My Soul." Here is another version. See below for the lyrics of “This is My Song” as sung by Voces8.
This is my song, O God of all the nations
A song of peace for lands afar and mine
This is my home, the country where my heart is
Here are my hopes and dreams, my holy shrine
But other hearts in other lands are beating
With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine
My country's skies are bluer than the ocean
And sunlight beams on clover leaf and pine
But other lands have sunlight, too, and clover
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine
O hear my song, thou God of all the nations
A song of peace for their land and for mine