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Posted on July 23, 2014 - By Avi Smolen
Jews and Muslims fasted in solidarity with each other to show our similarities and shared commitment to peace. The physical discomfort of fasting was a constant reminder throughout the day of the violence and fear in Israel/Palestine.

Avi Smolen works as Communications Manager for Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, a domestic social justice organization, in New York, where he manages the website, e-mail campaigns, and social media. He previously worked as Development and Communications Associate in the New York office of Keren Or, a Center in Jerusalem for blind and multi-disabled children and young adults.

Posted on June 12, 2014 - By Samantha Nichols
The idea that someone from my new community had targeted the Jewish population in my old community was very troubling, but it also motivated me to redefine the relationship between both communities, to provide a compassionate response.

Samantha Nichols is a senior at Missouri State University, majoring in religious studies. Samantha was top speaker at the 2011 NFL National Debate Tournament and believes she can use her public speaking skills to advance the interfaith movement on her campus. Samantha is currently serving as a pastoral intern at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ and a peer minister for an ecumenical campus ministry with plans to attend seminary once she graduates from MSU.

Posted on June 5, 2014 - By Zachary Cole
By bringing diverse groups of people together to participate in a joint service experience, we promoted interfaith cooperation, highlighted shared values, & started to build a foundation for productive conversations about real differences.

Zachary earned his bachelor’s in religious studies and political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also holds a MA in Higher Education Administration from Boston College. While working towards his masters Zachary worked as a graduate assistant for the Lynch School of Education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Higher Education at Boston College and as the graduate assistant for student life for the Office of Student Life at the Harvard Divinity School.

Posted on May 29, 2014 - By Benjamin Marcus
At its best, religious literacy education develops the wisdom to see why Americans should not understand religions as monoliths and how they can productively engage with religiously diverse communities to encourage active pluralism.

Benjamin Marcus is an MTS candidate and Presidential Scholar at Harvard Divinity School pursuing a concentration in Religion, Ethics, and Politics. Formerly, Marcus studied religion at the University of Cambridge and Brown University where he graduated magna cum laude with honors. His research examines the intersection of religious literacy and religious identity formation and perception in the United States. Marcus develops religious literacy coursework for universities, U.S. government organizations, and nonprofits. Born and raised in Chicago, he currently lives in Somerville, MA.

Posted on May 7, 2014 - By Sara Rahim
Humanity works in strange ways. Sometimes it takes a tragedy to make us realize what truly matters. When we bear witness to hate and violence, we must continue to offer the world compassion and peace.

Sara Rahim is a graduating senior from Saint Louis University, where she majored in Public Health and International Studies. Sara has served as intern to the White House Interfaith & Service Challenge at and has been an active member of SLU Interfaith Alliance. Off campus, she has worked in refugee resettlement and as an intern and former Better Together Coach and with Interfaith Youth Core. Her passion for public health has allowed her to conduct research in Morocco, where she has also worked in migrant healthcare.

Posted on April 28, 2014 - By Frank Fredericks
We must work across faith communities. As long as there’s poverty, inequality, & violence in this world, we must recognize that our bigger calling is to work together on these challenges, not isolate ourselves in a way that impedes our progress.

Frank Fredericks is co-director of Religious Freedom USA and executive director of World Faith, an interfaith community service network with chapters in six countries. Fredericks has worked in the music industry, managing artists such as Lady Gaga, and founding Çöñàr Records. He also works as an online marketing consultant for businesses, artists, and non-profits, including the Cordoba Initiative.

Posted on April 21, 2014 - By Aamir Hussain
The medical field is especially conducive to interfaith engagement because the concepts of service and human dignity are always implicit.

Aamir Hussain is a native of Farmington, CT. Aamir's father is from Hyderabad, India, and his mother (while being of Indian origin) is from Kowloon, Hong Kong. Because of the intersection of American, Indian, Chinese, and Muslim cultures in his family, he is very interested in foreign languages, exotic foods, and traveling to different countries. He is nicknamed “The-Punisher” for his penchant for making (bad) puns.

Posted on April 15, 2014 - By Victoria Psomiadis
The woman sitting across from me looked hopeless and lost. She held two packets of ibuprofen in one hand, a referral to a nearby clinic in the other. “I am afraid that they won’t help me,” she sobbed in Spanish, “because I’m Catholic.”

Victoria Psomiadis was born and raised a Greek Orthodox Christian in Perkasie, Pennsylvania. Thanks to a chance interaction while attending Temple University, she became an interfaith ambassador and was trained by both the Interfaith Youth Core and the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia. She is now a first year medical student at the University of South Florida Health, Morsani College of Medicine. Her participation in the SELECT Program at USF MCOM has allowed her the chance to further explore her passion for interfaith work and apply it to a future career in medicine.

Posted on April 10, 2014 - By Tiffany Champion
Growing up, it never occurred to me to treat someone differently based on a belief. I’ve always lived an interfaith life simply because that’s how my parents raised me: equal parts understanding, respect and curiosity.

Tiffany Champion is an IFYC alumnus and graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She spent her time as a student organizer working with Amnesty International and Interfaith in Action. She now lives in New York pursuing a career in news. 


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