October 2012


1. Public Service Announcement. Learn a little more about the Interfaith Council of Central Florida by clicking onto our first-ever PSA (below). Thanks to Orange TV for filming, editing and producing it for us.  About Us: Public Service Announcement

2. “Religion 101″ Series Continues. Are you interested in a quick overview of the teachings and practices of the various faith traditions in Central Florida but don’t have hours and hours for research? The Holocaust Center (851 N. Maitland Ave., Maitland, FL 32751) and the Interfaith Council of Central Florida are partnering on a “Religion 101″ Series to make it easy and fun for the busy person to become much more knowledgeable without a huge investment of time. This nine-segment, once-a-month series features a free one-hour presentation and half hour of Q & A. The series started in September by examining Buddhism, and it continues at 7:00 pm this Thursday evening, October 11, with a presentation on Islam by Imam Ashiq Kermali. Next month’s feature: Rabbi David Kay on Judaism. For more detail, go to the Holocaust Center’s website. And while you’re there, check out all their upcoming events and activities, especially their November 4 Kristallnacht Remembrance.

3. Traveling Holocaust Exhibit at Valencia.Rachel Luce-Hitt of Valencia College (East Campus) contacted me me recently saying, “I am very excited to let you know that Valencia will be hosting the traveling Holocaust exhibit titled ‘The Courage to Remember.’” The exhibit is officially opening this Thursday, October 11, at 4:00 pm. Check the attachments below to learn more about this exceptional display and the public presentations that are being hosted by Valencia College as part of the event. It’s a rare educational opportunity, and one that reminds us of what happens when bigotry reigns supreme. More details.   Download all attachments

4. Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think. A new documentary film from Unity Productions Foundation explores the expert-gathered opinions of Muslims around the globe as revealed in the world’s first major opinion poll, conducted by Gallup, a preeminent polling organization. Gallup researchers began by asking the questions on every American’s mind: Why is there so much anti-Americanism in the Muslim world? Who are the extremists and how do Muslims feel about them? What do Muslims like and dislike about the West? What do Muslim women really want? Watch this revealing documentary,  which highlights the difficulties the presence of a radical minority can create for the majority within a faith tradition.

5. Meeting the Need. The following heartwarming story didn’t make the newspapers in India, I’m told. But both Sikhs and Muslims here in Orlando have reported it to me:  Because the 800 Muslims in Joshimath, Uttaranchal, India, don’t have a mosque, they generally offer their prayers in the open. However, during Eid (which is celebrated at the end of Ramadan) just a few weeks ago, it was raining heavily, making it impossible for the Muslims to offer prayers in the open. So the Sikhs invited the Muslims to offer their prayers in the Sikh gurdwara (temple). When deeds of kindness replace suspicions, it doesn’t go unnoticed. Word travels fast all the way around the world!

6. Multi-Faith Workshop to Focus on Human Values. To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Hindu Temple of Orlando, the Hindu Society of Central Florida’s New Age Group (NAG), in collaboration with Hindu University of America, Chinmaya Mission and the Sikh Society of Central Florida, invite the public to a multi-faith workshop focusing on human values. The event will be held on Sunday, November 4, from 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm, at the Community Hall of the Hindu Society of Central Florida, 1994 Lake Drive, Casselberry, FL 32707. Following the event, tea, coffee and snacks will be served and attendees will have opportunity to get acquainted and interact socially. The event’s objective is to promote universal brotherhood. Speakers have been invited from Orlando’s many faith traditions, with each speaker being asked to take up to five minutes to provide a brief history of his or her faith and outline the main human values the faith teaches. RSVP or send inquiries to: hscfnewagegroup@yahoo.com.

7. Save the Date. Congregation Beth Am and Congregation of Reform Judaism(CRJ) will sponsor a community-wide interfaith presentation by Rabbi Harold Kushner on January 23, 2013, at 7:30 pm.  Rabbi Kushner wrote his signature volume, When Bad Things Happen to Good People (published in 1981 and translated into 14 languages), in response to tragedy in his own life. He was initially surprised that his message resonated so deeply with faith communities around the world. He has just released the complementing study, focusing on the biblical book of Job, When Bad Things Happened to a Good Person. More details will be provided as we get nearer to the date.

8. A Few News Links of Possible Interfaith Interest. Religious persecution of Baha’is in Iran continues. | Jews and Christians respond to denigration of Muslims. | First Sikh testifies before Senate committee. |  Twenty percent of U.S. not affiliated with any religion. | Non-theist groups organizing to lobby. |