Women's Interfaith Network of Cincinnati Suburbs - What We Offer

4-2019WhatWeOffer2.jpg

What we Offer

Women’s Interfaith Network of Cincinnati Suburbs

What We Offer Interfaith Event

by Miriam Jacobs

On April 28, 2019, the Women’s Interfaith Network of Cincinnati Suburbs (WINCS) presented a program called “What We Offer”. This was held at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Loveland, Ohio. The program featured many ethnic and religious groups and was free and open to the public. Our first offering were three girls who presented Mexican dances that show the traditions of Mexico. Next we had two Jewish singers who sang songs they had written about peace. We then had Nigerian drummers and dancers that offered folk songs and dances that are used for weddings and coronation ceremonies. The Gajdi Jawani dance group entertained with the style of dance: the Bhangra which is from the Punjab region of India. Then an Native American flute player entertained with songs from Cherokee and Sioux tribes. We then heard a Bosnia Muslim story teller who shared her escape from Bosnia and immigration to the U.S. and assimilation here. Our program was rounded out with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints choir from the north east suburbs of Cincinnati. We did take up a free will offering to benefit NEST which is a mobile learning center located in Loveland and begun by Evangeline DeVol. This outreach provides nutrition, tutoring and academic interventions for low-income children in the Loveland area from K-12 grades after school and for early learners in the morning.  The program ended with ethnic treats and fellowship.

Kids4Peace - Cultural Festival Success

Cultural Festival Success

by Adam Hayden Chapter Coordinator,Kids4Peace Cincinnati

THEY DID IT!!
 
Several Kids4Peace kids put together a cultural festival on Sunday, April 28th. They had an African dancer and a bagpipe player. They had a really cool drum presentation as well as culturally specific games (that was hilariously fun), an international camp presentation, storytelling, food from various parts of the world and more. It was really fun and the kids did a great job.
 
Furthermore, a smaller core group of students applied for a grant to fund the festival through the Cincinnati Jewish Teen Collective Venture Award and they were awarded the grant! They are such great leaders, so organized and so inviting and welcoming. Thanks so much to the kids and to the Jewish Teen Collective!
 
Now that the kids created an opportunity to celebrate their differences we will now move to exploring other ways in which we can come together to create more peaceful communities. The kids will meet over the next few months to determined which issues they would like to address locally.  It is going to be hard work, but also a lot of fun as they work together to create more peace.
 
However, this week we are going to take a moment to celebrate their successful accomplishment from Sunday. They worked hard and pulled together a great experience.
 
Well done kids! I am proud of you.

Find out more at Kids4Peace Facebook page!


ICGC Mourns the Christchurch, New Zealand Mosque Massacre and Calls for Solidarity

ICGC logo.png

PRESS RELEASE
3/15/2019
Contact:
Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati
513-755-3280
info@icgc.us

ICGC Mourns the Christchurch, New Zealand Mosque Massacre and Calls for Solidarity

It is with the heaviest of hearts that we at the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati try to bear the terrible news from New Zealand regarding the terrorist attack against two Muslim congregations in Christchurch and the deaths of dozens.

We mourn those who have lost their lives or have been injured while fulfilling their religious obligations.  We send our prayers and wishes of comfort for the victims and their families.
We stand with the Christchurch Muslim community and our Kiwi friends in their time of mourning and pledge our support. We encourage people worldwide to provide donations and support to the families of victims as soon as that information becomes available.
This type of violence and the hate which motivates it is unacceptable in any country and people worldwide have a responsibility to stand up and say no. No one should fear for their safety when attending their house of worship or when raising awareness about an issue.
We continue to work with law enforcement to provide a safe environment for our community.
This tragedy occurred on Friday afternoon when the mosque would have been filled with people who gathered for Friday prayers, just as the Pittsburgh killer attacked Jews at their synagogue, and the Charleston killer attacked an African American Church. These types of attacks are driven by racial, religious, and ethnic hatred and every elected official has a responsibility to denounce them in the strongest possible terms.

In the wake of this terrible attack we call upon our regional and national elected officials to commit themselves to opposing hate speech and hate violence in every form, but we equally call on citizens to demonstrate acts of solidarity with their Muslim neighbors, co-workers, and others.

This type of violence is a direct result of politicians exploiting social division and sowing fear. Whether it's separating families through the Muslim Ban, taking children away from their families at America's border, or dehumanizing refugees in Europe, politicians who drive these messages encourage the worst from humanity.  Elected officials have the opportunity and the platform to bring people together and affirm our human solidarity.
We sincerely appreciate the outpouring of support and desire to stand together from our friends and alliances during this difficult time. We pray for peace during these dark days.

------------

Consolation in Creation - Interfaith Youth Service Day

Consolation in Creation 

By Bob Bonnici

“Do you think anyone will come?”  That unsettling question was on the minds of all the organizers of an annual Interfaith Service Day for Youth that was set to occur two days following the horrific slaughter of 50 Muslim worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, by a self-proclaimed white supremacist.  The Interfaith Service Day to be held at a local nature preserve for students in Cincinnati from three Catholic high schools and several Muslim, Jewish, and Lutheran youth groups was already months into the planning following the equally horrific slaughter of Jewish worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.  Everyone was on edge as security was being heightened that weekend for mosques all over the country.  

After much deliberation and worries about safety, the organizers decided to go ahead with the event realizing that this was a time for people to come together in religious solidarity.  Sunday afternoon arrived and soon a steady stream of teenagers from differing faiths began to gather at Imago in Price Hill for a day of working together building trails and constructing a new butterfly garden for the nature center.   The students arrived from various youth groups that included the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati, Mayerson JCC BBYO, Union for Reformed Judaism NFTY Ohio Valley, Trinity Lutheran Church of Mt. Healthy, McNicholas High School, Ursuline High School, and Mercy McAuley High School.   As more and more young people arrived, a feeling of elation and support began to spread throughout the gathering.  “I am so glad I came,” exclaimed one excited female participant as they headed out together each carrying a rake or shovel or pushing a wheelbarrow.  

As the work for the day came to a close, everyone gathered around the picnic tables for a dinner of cheese pizza from Scarlato’s Pizzaria.   Just then the Jewish students came forward with a special gift for the Muslim youth group:  a beautiful poster with the Crescent and Star alongside the Star of David expressing solidarity that included signatures of those in the Jewish youth group.   Everyone was awed and grateful for the opportunity to come together with our differences in mutual acceptance and respect and each participant left with a free t-shirt to commemorate the event.

The Interfaith Service Day was made possible by a generous grant from J-Serve for free t-shirts (beautifully designed by Mayerson JCC) and another generous grant from the Brueggeman Center for Dialogue for the garden supplies and pizza.  The organizers included Umama Alam from the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati, students Shoshi Plotze and Jake Goodman from BBYO and Becca Pollak from Mayerson JCC, Dori Singer from the Union for Reformed Judaism NFTY, Shawn Nichols from Trinity Lutheran Church of Mt. Healthy, Chris Clements of Imago, students Katherine Rust and Katie Rieth and teachers Shannon Smock and Bob Bonnici from Mercy McAuley High School.  

Faith to Faith: An Interfaith Forum on Sexual Assault and Relationship Abuse

Over the past year and a half since the revival of the #MeToo movement, it has become more and more apparent that Gender Based Violence affects people of all walks of life. This means that there are survivors and victims in our own faith communities too. While there are cases when these experiences are more public than others, we as members of the Cincinnati Interfaith Community have decided to be proactive in continuing the conversation of how our faith communities can better address sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking in our midst - with an important focus on supporting survivors.

With this goal in mind, on Sunday March 31, The Changing Role of Women in our Faith Communities, a series of interfaith symposiums, will present Faith to Faith, an Interfaith Forum on Sexual Assault & Relationship Abuse. The forum will feature both a panel and interactive break out sessions regarding how both individuals and faith communities can bring change through recognizing gender-based violence (including domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking), speaking out against it, implementing preventative measures, and supporting survivors.

Change happens through conversation that leads to communal action. It is our hope that through conversations with leaders and members of different faiths as well as experts from organizations doing important work on this front we can bring needed change to Cincinnati. Faith to Faith, program of The Brueggeman Center for Dialogue, Xavier University is proud to be in collaboration with American Jewish Committee (AJC Cincinnati); Crossroads Church; Festival of Faiths Cincinnati; Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion; Interfaith Cincy, Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati; Women Helping Women; the President's Office of Xavier University; Xavier University’s Center for Faith and Justice and Institute for Spirituality and Social Justice;and the YWCA Greater Cincinnati.

We hope that you will join in our learning and conversations Sunday March 31, 2019 at Hebrew Union College. To register for the event or learn more, please go to https://faithtofaith.eventbrite.com or check out our Facebook event entitled “Faith to Faith.” If you have further questions, send them to zoe.mccoon@huc.edu.


March 13, 2019 Press Release -

Faith to Faith: An Interfaith Forum on Sexual Assault and Relationship Abuse

Cincinnati, Ohio — The Changing Role of Women in our Faith Communities, a series of interfaith symposiums, will present Faith to Faith: An Interfaith Forum on Sexual Assault and Relationship Abuse on Sunday, March 31, 1:30-5pm, at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). The forum will speak to the topic of gender-based violence, including domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking and will address how faith communities are impacted by these types of abuse. Religious-based organizations and other community resources will provide information on how to recognize unhealthy situations, the prevention of gender-based violence, and available support for survivors. 

Local experts will detail the impact of harassment, sexual misconduct, nonconsensual sexual acts, and abusive behaviors in our country and within our own community. Professional counselors will speak about supporting survivors of trauma and connecting them with local resources, including law enforcement and crisis agencies that consult on domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.  

The program will commence with a panel discussion entitled, "Faith, Community, and Accountability: What are the sources of wisdom and challenge in addressing Gender Based Violence in communities of faith?" Four, local religious leaders will serve as panelists for this insightful discussion. They include, Shakila Ahmad, Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati, Dr. Satinder S. Bharaj, Guru Nanak Society of Greater Cincinnati, Dr. Ashley Theuring, Xavier University: Institute for Spirituality and Social Justice, and Rabbi Irvin Wise, Adath Israel Congregation.

At check-in, participants will select a breakout session to attend from four options. “An Introduction to Gender-Based Violence – Intimate Partner Violence, Sexual Assault, & Stalking.” In this session, advocates and survivors will become familiar with definitions, prevalence, aspects of power and control relationships, barriers faced by survivors, helpful interventions and response, and resources available.

“In Her Shoes – An Interactive Educational Experience about Domestic Violence,” will simulate how a person experiencing an abusive relationship moves, acts, thinks, and makes choices. Used as a tool to help cultivate empathy for those in violent situations, this session will provide insight into the daily life of a survivor of domestic violence and the obstacles survivors often face.

Designed for clergy, congregational staff and volunteers, “Models of Faith Community Action” will describe the development, structure, and outreach practices of the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati (ICGC) and their response to intimate partner and sexual violence and harassment in their community. The ICGC team has policies and procedures to handle sexual violence and harassment situations while providing survivors emotional support, wrap around and safety team assistance, a hotline, education, and mapping to resources. Additionally, ICGC provides education to service providers on culturally sensitive issues and best practices in assisting Muslim clients. 
You don’t have to be a deity to intervene in harmful situations. “Divine Interventions: Building Skills to Stop Interpersonal Violence” will offer practical strategies to interrupt and de-escalate harmful behaviors, such as discrimination, harassment, and assault.

The organizer of the event, Zoe McCoon, a rabbinical student at HUC-JIR and a Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati Fellow at The Edward B. Brueggeman Center for Dialogue on the campus of Xavier University said, “Faith to Faith: An Interfaith Forum on Sexual Assault and Relationship Abuse will bring together religious communities, their leaders, and other advocates to help empower individuals to protect the physical safety of themselves and others by promoting healthy relationships and offering resources for prevention and education to compel change.”

The Forum is a program of The Brueggeman Center for Dialogue in collaborative with American Jewish Committee (AJC Cincinnati), Crossroads Church, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati, Women Helping Women, Xavier University’s Center for Faith and Justice and Institute for Spirituality and Social Justice, and the YWCA Greater Cincinnati. Steering Committee members include Shakila Ahmad, Tala Ali, Dr. James Buchanan, Jennifer Chartier, Maria Cole, Cynthia Cummins, Shilpa Desai, Cathy Heldman, Angela Inglis, Sandy Kaltman, Aisha Khurshid, Abby King Kaiser, Judie Kuhlman, Blair Leedy, Kelley Maher, Alycia McClurg, Zoe McCoon, Kristin Shrimplin, Dr. Ashley Theuring, and Rev. Heather Wiseman.

The event is free and open to people of all genders, sexuality, faiths and backgrounds. It will be held in Mayerson Hall on the campus of HUC-JIR, 3101 Clifton Avenue. For more information, call Cynthia at 513-745-3922 or email Cummins@Xavier.edu.


Kids4Peace Growing and Leading the Way!

2-2019K4Peace.jpg

2018 was a good year of growth for Kids4Peace: Cincinnati. We added a fifth day to the day camp this year, and had the largest group yet.  Three of our kids , who have been with us since, 2016 attended the International Camp in North Carolina, where they had the opportunity to be with kids from Jerusalem and Palestine. They had a wonderful time, and  looking forward to meet with their international friends at another camp in 2019. Other returning campers are interested in also attending the International Camps.  As the kids mature, additional, exciting  camps will be available to them.

Our returning kids have now formed a Kids4Peace Youth Leadership Program.  The group meets  on the first  Sunday afternoon of the month, at Wise Temple in Amberly, from 2:00-3:30 PM. During their time together they continue to develop skills learned in camp, and begin to work directly in planning and developing their K4P events. All interested youth are invited to join.  It is not necessary to first attend the Day Camp, and all children are welcome.. The leadership program offers another opportunity to participate.  Watch our facebook page for other events that will be available to all, 

Our  mission is to work to stop acts of violence and hate within the local community.  Respond to and promote change in deviseive and hateful behavior.  This was demonstrated last weekend, when in the aftermath of the tragedy in Pittsburg,   several members of our Kids4Peace family, adults and youth,  joined our local Jewish Community at Shabbat services in the local synagogues.  The experience was uplifting for all involved.

Let us continue to stand with  our neighbors, and build a more peaceful  home for all of our citizens.

SAVE THE DATE!!!! 

We are pleased to announce that the 2019 Kids4Peace Interfaith Day Camp will be held from July 29 2019- August 2, 2019.  Summer is over, but there are plenty of plans being made for events  to enjoy during the school year, as well as, new plans for the annul Day Camp. Watch for additional information.  

If you are interested, and have any questions regarding any of these programs, please contact Adam Hayden, our Program Director at  Cincinnati@K4p.com, and check our Facebook page "Kids4Peace Cincinnati."   Join the fun, and have a real impact on our community.

Our goal is to have 50 peace makers joining our efforts in 2019.

Let's see you there!

Mt Healthy Alliance - Check them Out

Mt Healthy Alliance - Check them Out!

The Mt. Healthy Alliance was established in 2007 as a 501(c)3 organiz-ation by churches in the Mt. Healthy community. Clergy had been discuss- ing their efforts in addressing the needs of people in that area. They felt that perhaps these needs could be better addressed through a cooperative effort.

Representatives from eight congregations signed the founding documents: Church of the Assumption, Highview Christian, Mt. Healthy United Methodist, St. Stephen Episcopal, Trinity Lutheran, Word Faith Harvest Fellowship, Inspirational Baptist, and Mt. Healthy Christian Church. Since then other area churches have joined as members or affili- ates. The Alliance supports the Food Pantry and the Zone 231 program for area youth. It is funded by area churches, organizations, and individuals; it also receives funding through a number of grant programs.

Alliance Wishlist:

*Laptop computers - we would like the opportunity to offer online assistance to the children in our afterschool program when they are with us, and we would like to open our doors during the week to those in need of a computer to use.
*Personal Care items for the Pantry - toothpaste, tooth brushes, shampoo, soap, adult diapers, etc.

*Volunteers!

January Fundraisers for

Mt. Healthy Alliance

1) Sweet Heart Café, 9894 Colerain Avenue, the 3rd week of the month mention Mt. Healthy Alliance and a percentage of your purchase will benefit the Alliance.

2) Amazon Smile, Do you shop on Amazon.com? Did you know you can link your Amazon Smile account to benefit The Alliance as your Charity of Choice? This wonderful opportunity allows your amazon.compurchases to give a percentage of your purchase to The Alliance as a fundraiser. Every little bit helps us with our mission so please consider adding us as your Charity of Choice with your Amazon Smile account.

3) Kroger, Do you shop on Kroger? Did you know you can link your Kroger customer card to benefit The Alliance as your Charity of Choice? This wonderful opportunity allows your Kroger purchases to give a percentage of your purchase to The Alliance as a fundraiser. Please consider adding The Alliance as your Charity of Choice at Kroger.

Check out all of these fundraising events and FREE COMMUNITY MEALS on the newly updated SPECIAL EVENTS PAGE on our website: SPECIAL EVENTS

Zone 231 is Calling YOU!

Zone 231 is our wonderful after school program serving youth in grades 2-6 in the 45231 community. Lead by our wonderful Mr. B and Ms. Karen, we are looking for volunteers to help our youth with tutoring, and enrichment experiences from 2:30p-6:30p Monday through Friday. If you or someone you know may be interested in working with amazing leaders and great youth, please contact Mr. B at 513-417-7639.

MHA Pantry Announcements

The Alliance pantry is currently looking for donations of personal care items, such as: toothpaste, tooth brushes, deodorant, etc. We also are currently recruiting volunteers for the hours we open to the community. Our hours are of operation are:

Monday - 11am-1pm

Tuesday - 5pm-7pm

Thursday - 9am-12pm

Saturday - 9am-12pm

If you have donations or are interested in volunteering, please contact our Pantry Director Kathy Lorenz at 513-551-8036

Mary in the Abrahamic Religions

IMG_7569.jpg

The WINC’s, or Women’s Interfaith Network of Northern Cincinnati Suburbs group, hosted “Mary in the Abrahamic Faiths” on October 8th. This talented and friendship seeking group of women have been meeting for several years sharing their faith stories, religious practices, visiting each others places of worship, participating in prayer services, celebrating cultural events and working together for those in need. As they are able to share their faiths, they discovered a common woman of strength, courage and deep faith in God. Her name is Mary or Miriam from the Abrahamic Religions. The scriptures each tell a different story, but the same truths are prevalent. The stories of Mary and Miriam in each of the Hebrew, Christian, Muslim, and Baha’i sacred scriptures describe woman with a passionate heart, always putting God first in her life even when it meant she could be expelled from her own community. Some faiths describe her as a great prophet, others a beautiful creature of God, others describe her as the Mother to us all. This woman of ancient times seeks truth and justice. Her strength is unbreakable to the cultural norms or to the persecution of her people. Her heart is honest and compassionate. She knows the poor and the oppressed. She desires freedom and equality. She magnify’s God’s greatness to the world to through her words and actions. Mary and Miriam exemplify a truth, the reality of God’s grace.

Insights from Interfaith Youth Core on Violence at the Tree of Life Synagogue

IFYC.png

A Message from IFYC 

On Saturday morning, a hate-filled gunman entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA and killed eleven people as they celebrated Shabbat. Many others were gravely wounded, including four police officers. Since then, this act of anti-Semitic terrorism has been described as the worst attack on the Jewish community in U.S. history. 

Elsewhere in America this weekend, two African-Americans were killed merely for the color of their skin after a failed church shooting in Kentucky, and a Florida man sat in custody accused of sending at least thirty-one bombs to people with whom he disagreed politically. 

IFYC extends our deepest sympathy to those people and communities devastated by these recent acts. We stand with them in solidarity and in grief. 

Terrorism, racism, and anti-Semitism are outrageous. Yet they persist today in 2018. What is to be done? Who will do it? 

To those who want to do something: this is a time for interfaith leaders to act. 

  • Interfaith leaders see the other side, defending The Other and standing up to ensure their safety and right to thrive. 

  • Interfaith leaders work to educate others about the inspiring aspects of different faiths and worldviews. 

  • Interfaith leaders convene those in their communities, finding shared values and common concerns as a basis for working together. 

  • Interfaith leaders build and strengthen relationships across the kinds of lines that others refuse to cross through dialogue, service, and, sometimes, by sharing in others' grief or fear. 

Interfaith leaders build where others destroy. Today, we ask you to practice your interfaith leadership wherever you are. To help you, we've compiled a list of resources from IFYC and other organizations committed to pluralism to kickstart your outreach, guide your conversations and activities, and help you educate yourself, your friends, and your neighbors. 

In the coming days and weeks, we hope you will join us and others across the U.S. in acts of interfaith leadership big or small. 

Perhaps, as you face these challenges, you might contemplate this passage from the Jewish Mishnah: 

"It is not your responsibility to finish the work, but neither are you free to refrain from it." -Pirkei Avot 
 

List of Resources, Guides, and Other Media:

Interfaith Leadership in Times of Crisis - a discussion guide 

Responding to Hateful Incidents on Campus - constructive ways to respond to destructive acts 

Texts on the Shared Value of Hospitality - a workshop guide 

Identity: Moving Through the World in Challenging Times - from the Common Knowledge podcast 

Intersections: Race, Religion, and the Conversation after Charleston - from the Common Knowledge podcast 

Interfaith Cooperation in Judaism - from the Common Knowledge podcast 

The Case for Pluralism in a Divided Democracy - from the Common Knowledge podcast 

Incoming Jewish Students - findings from the Interfaith Diversity Experiences & Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS) 

Elections and Interfaith Leadership Skills - a guide for campus and beyond 

Hillel International's list of vigils and remembrances for Pittsburgh happening on campuses across the U.S. 

Facing History and Ourselves offers excellent resources related to anti-Semitism, racism, and religious intolerance. 

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has published resources to help educators and parents discuss the Pittsburgh attack. 

Teaching Tolerance provides educators with powerful classroom resources focusing on religious and other forms of diversity in the U.S. 

We will be adding to this list as we learn more. Visit IFYC's Facebook and Twitterstreams for more information, including vigils and other events being held across the country. We also encourage you to follow our friends at HillelFacing History and OurselvesTeaching Tolerance, and the Anti-Defamation League for their continuing updates and opportunities. 

Thank you, 

The IFYC Team

Creating Peace in the Face of Hate - Kids4Peace

Creating Peace in the Face of Hate

11-2018Kids4Peace.jpg


This has been a painful week for those of us who seek peace. 

Across the USA, Kids4Peace has joined rallies and vigils to stand up against hate and recommit to creating a world of understanding and justice.  

We mourn the eleven people killed at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, targeted because of their Jewish religion.   Kids4Peace members have relatives and friends in this synagogue, so the violence hits close to home.  In our anger and sadness, we are reaching out to support one another.  

We know, too, that this was not the only act of hate last week.  Maurice Stallard and Vickie Lee Jones were murdered in Jeffersontown, Kentucky, because of the color of their skin.  Public leaders were targeted with pipe bombs, because of their politics.  And the US government took steps to eliminate protections for trans people, risking their safety and threatening to erase their identity. 

Kids4Peace exists because we live in a broken, unjust, and violent world. We feel the anger, frustration and pain in our own communities and others. And still we believe, deep in our hearts and spirits, that a better reality is possible … if we build it together.  This is our mission: to create the more peaceful communities that we long to see.  

Every day, through dialogue and activism, Kids4Peace youth are creating more safe, just, and inclusive communities.   We celebrate our individual differences – religion, race, gender identity, political beliefs, and more – and work to create a world where these are seen not as a threat, but as a source of strength.  And where the dignity of all people is respected and honored. 

We will not allow hate and violence to win.  We will continue to stand together, to speak up, and to take action. 

Resources for Speaking with Youth  

Dialogue about Acts of Hate & Violence
Download a PDF dialogue guide to help youth process the events of this week.  

  • Create space to acknowledge emotions.  

  • Give and receive care – for self and others.

  • Take steps to continue working for peace.