If you attended the training, you're invited to complete this post-training survey.
On Tuesday, May 25, the Tri-City Interfaith Council hosted a wonderful training on how to help build safety, support, and solidarity if you're a bystander who witnesses some form of harassment in public. Our workshop leader, Courtney Mangus, from CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), taught us five steps to take as a bystander, reminding us that we want to stay safe ourselves as we create safety for the person targeted with harassment, offer our support, and stand in solidarity.
After sharing this basic information, Courtney asked us to discuss in small groups several scenarios to brainstorm ways to effectively intervene as a bystander. While the training is much more effective than just reading through the slide deck, Ms. Mangus is allowing us to share her slide deck.
If you attended the training, you're invited to complete this post-training survey.
Have you ever wondered what you would do if you witnessed someone being harassed for wearing a hijab, speaking a foreign language, the color of their skin, having a disability, or their sexual identity? Then this training is for you! Learn how to safely provide protection within your own comfort level. With this training you will not have to leave the scene of a negative encounter wishing you had just done something to help.
This free training, provided by CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations) is free and on Zoom. It will be held on Tuesday, May 25, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Advanced registration is required. Do so at http://bit.ly/BIT2105.
The Tri-City Interfaith Council invites the public to attend their annual Yom HaShoah (Holocaust) Remembrance Service on Sunday, April 11, at 7:30 p.m. The service is held on Zoom. Advanced registration is required and can be done at bit.ly/YomHaShoah5781.
This year, Ralph Samuel will be the featured speaker. Mr. Samuel was born in Dresden, Germany, in 1931. At age 7½, he was sent alone on a Kindertransport to England to escape the Holocaust. At the outbreak of war, he was evacuated to the English countryside to escape the expected bombing. His talk is titled “Remembering the Kindertransports.”
Mr. Samuel was educated in England and at age 27 immigrated to the United States. In 1962, he moved to California and in 1997, he retired after 25 years in public agency real estate.
Mr. Samuel has been a member of the JFCS Holocaust Center’s William J. Lowenberg Speakers Bureau. In 2010 and 2011, he went back to Dresden and Heidelberg, speaking to students and adults in German. In 2015, Ralph was again in Dresden, speaking to high school students at the Gymnasium that he would have attended were it not for the Holocaust.
The service is free and open to everyone. When held in person, a free will offering is typically received. Since this gathering will be on Zoom, attendees are encouraged to make a donation to “Facing History and Ourselves,” an education organization. Their website is www.facinghistory.org/.
Interconnected – An Interfaith Service on the First Anniversary of Alameda County’s COVID-19 Pandemic Shelter In Place Orders
The Tri-City Interfaith Council is holding an interfaith service marking the anniversary of “shelter in place” orders in Alameda County. During the past year, we have all experienced losses of one sort or another, we have all needed to find new ways of experiencing community, and we have all needed to engage with known and new sources of hope. This interactive service of prayer and story-sharing will allow us to acknowledge the emotional and spiritual complexities of the past year.
The service will be held on Thursday, March 18, at 7:30 p.m. on Zoom. It is expected to last about an hour. Advanced registration is required and can be done at bit.ly/tcic-interconnected.
Tri-City Interfaith Council's eighth annual and free World Interfaith Harmony Day Celebration is on Saturday, February 6, 2021, from 1:00 pm to 2:30 p.m. on Zoom. Advanced registration is required at https://bit.ly/2021ihd. The program will highlight the harmony found in models and stories of resilience that are shared by a wide range of faith communities.
Joy Barnitz, the new Tri-City Interfaith Council president, says, “The vibrant diversity of faith communities in the Tri-Cities area is very important to me. As a Christian and a scientist, I am fascinated by the connections that can be found when we open our hearts and minds to something new."
"This Tri-City Interfaith event," she continued, "like all our activities, opens up a safe space for curious people to come together and discover commonalities that provide greater understanding, empathy, and compassion for our neighbors.”
Robert Hoffman, member of the Fremont Baha’i Faith and the Tri-City Interfaith Council, is this year’s emcee. Hoffman says, “Last year was my first time to attend the Harmony Day Celebration. I was impressed with the number of faiths represented, the variety of information exchanged, and all the interest and caring shown. This event and joining the Council keep increasing my faith in the goodness in humanity and life.”
Moina Shaiq, Tri-City Interfaith Council member and Founder of Meet A Muslim, says, “This year’s program on Zoom will be both different and the same as our past programs. We will have our usual peace music, interfaith speakers, and the small groups that everyone loves."
Because the event will be online, Shaiq noted, "We will miss having our personal interactions at the faith information booths, but we will have a fun polling game instead.”
During the event, six people will speak about the resilience they find in their faith or cultural traditions: Robert Hoffman (Baha’i Faith), Shari Gent (Buddhism), Diane Barnett (Christian), Avi Schulman (Jewish), Hina Mukhtar (Muslim), and Soni Kaur (Sikh Religion).
Jeff Spencer, former Tri-City Interfaith Council president and pastor of Niles Discovery Church says, “I believe that by sharing how our various spiritual traditions help us build resilience in these challenging times, we will embolden compassion, unity, and hope as we address the pressing justice issues of our day. That's why the focus of our Interfaith Harmony Day event connects to the United Nations’ Interfaith Harmony Week theme of ‘The Diaspora -- a Force for Positive Change.’”
The Tri-City Interfaith Council organizes this event during World Interfaith Harmony Week, which was established in 2010 by the United Nations. People with or without any faith tradition are welcome to attend this annual event. Co-sponsors for this event include Compassionate Fremont, and the Fremont, Union City and Alameda County Human Relations Commissions.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 59th annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service is coming online. It will still be held on the Monday before Thanksgiving, on November 23, at 7:30 p.m., only it will be held on the Zoom platform.
To register for the service -- advanced registration is required -- go to tinyurl.com/tcicTS2020.
The service will include prayers, readings, recorded music, and dance offered by several different faith and spiritual communities in the Tri-Cities. It will also include a brief sermon by TCIC President, the Rev. Jeffrey Spencer, which he has tentatively titled "Chairs and the Table."
Jeff is the Senior Pastor at Niles Discovery Church. The service is expected to last about one hour. You can download a flyer for the event here.
We haven't been able to gather to rally in person for many months. We've tried to continue the spirit of our rallies through other activities and via social media. As you know, the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths has surged in our nation, and in our own state in recent weeks. No one could have predicted the severity and the length of this crisis.
We've decided to suspend the virtual rallies for the time being. The Tri-City Interfaith Council and Compassionate Fremont will sponsor virtual events this fall and you will be notified in advance of each event. (September 21: International Day of Peace, November 23: Interfaith Thanksgiving Service, and more TBA.)
There are many issues of social justice that are concerning right now. We wish that we could gather with all of you on the corner, but it's just not possible. We are with you in spirit, as we stand in solidarity for peace, justice, and equality for all.
We encourage you to participate in the U.S. Census, to support the Black Lives Matter movement, to Register and VOTE on November 3rd, and to engage in public and private dialogues.
Most importantly, we ask you to take care of yourselves and others, by practicing safe distancing, wearing a face mask when in public, and washing your hands often. By enduring hardships now, we can shorten the time until we return to a healthier lifestyle.
We're all #InThisTogether. We look forward to the day when we can again gather in person.
Toni and Shamsa,
We Are One rally coordinators
The annual Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance) Interfaith Service will be held online this year because of the shelter in place order in Alameda County. Traditionally held on a Sunday evening on or near Yom HaShoah, the day in the Jewish calendar when the Holocaust is remembered, the service will be held on Sunday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m. on Zoom.
This service is a time for the interfaith community to remember six million Jews and five million others who perished in the Holocaust as a result of the actions carried out by Nazi Germany, to remember other genocides, and to remember that hate in many forms has not ended.
The featured speaker at this year's service will be Ezra Brettler, the grandchild of a Holocaust survivor. The title of his talk is, "Born Jewish in Hamburg, Germany in 1929 - the story of Karl Rosner - told by his grandson."
The service will include a lighting of candles, so participants are encouraged to have an candle (wax or electric) and a way to light it ready before the service begins.
Advanced registration is required and people can register for the service here. If you would like the order of the service so you can follow along with the readings, you can download it ahead of time here.
World Interfaith Harmony Day will be celebrated on Saturday, February 1, 2020, 1:00-4:00 p.m.. at Niles Discovery Church, 36600 Niles Blvd., Fremont, CA, 94536. This Tri-City Interfaith Council (TCIC) event is co-sponsored with the Human Relations Commissions of Alameda County, Fremont, and Union City. It is free and open to the public. Enjoy food, music, 12 faith tables, and small group conversations facilitated by Jessy Zapanta of the Oakland Peace Center.
In 2010 the United Nations established World Interfaith Harmony Week “to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith.” The Rev. Jeffrey Spencer, current TCIC president and senior pastor of Niles Discovery Church says, “TCIC has sponsored events to create harmony, understanding, appreciation, and respect for all people from all faiths and no faiths for over 30 years. At this event people may ask questions to gain knowledge and appreciation of religious practices and beliefs. They can also gain skills for having difficult conversations. Our theme is ‘Braving Harmony Across Those Divides’ and we’ll focus on the divides that have caused families communities to fall apart. Many people wish they knew how to have these conversations effectively, and we think this event will help.”
At the event, people can visit information tables on many faith traditions and enjoy food that people bring to share. The faiths include Baha'i, Thai Buddhist, Christian Science, Episcopal, Muslim, Jewish, Roman Catholic, Sikh, Unitarian Universalist, and Protestant.
Beginning at 1:30 p.m., Jessy Zapanta, Director of Programs and Partnerships at the Oakland Peace Center and co-founder of Dharma in Motion Sangha at East Bay Meditation Center, will teach ways to create a safe space for listening, compassion, harmony, and justice making. Jessy will offer paths for engaging in conversations that allow conflicting perspectives on race, religion, homelessness, immigration, gender, sexuality, politics, violence, and climate change. There will be time to identify and explore communication and conflict styles, common ground, and areas to stretch and grow.
Born in the Bay area, Jessy is an experienced community builder, advocate for youth, and workshop facilitator in meditation, movement, counseling, and community building.
During a break, there will be time to eat, visit information tables, or learn music with guest musicians: Rabbi Tsvi Bar-David, Rashid Patch, Soni Kaur, and Manjeev Singh. At 3:30 pm, the closing Harmony Celebration will lift up the day’s highlights and feature music led by our guest musicians from the Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh traditions.
The public is encouraged to come, whether this is the first interfaith experience or their hundredth. Participants are encouraged to bring food to share so that all may enjoy the rich religious and cultural diversity of the Tri-Cities. Children are welcome and need to stay with their guardians.
Moina Shaiq, co-chairperson and founder of “Meet a Muslim,” says, “I wish every community had this kind of event with so many faith traditions; we are very fortunate. The world wouldn’t be at war if there were more communities like ours. We need to keep proving that we can all coexist. All major faiths teach us to live in harmony. It’s the golden rule: treat others the way you want to be treated.”
Upcoming special events sponsored by (or co-sponsored by) the Tri-City Interfaith Council.