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The Parliament Newsletter
Rabbi Or Rose
Rabbi Or Rose is a writer, social activist, and the Associate Dean and Director of Informal Education at the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College.

An Interview with Rabbi Or Rose

Recently, we spoke with Rabbi Rose on new innovations in interfaith education within the seminary context, the future of the interreligious movement and what it means to be on the "growing edge" of life.

CPWR: How did you become involved with the interreligious movement and why do you believe, as a Rabbi, it is important to stay committed to this work?
OR: My involvement with the interfaith movement began with my family. I am blessed to come from a family in which both my mother and father were deeply engaged with interfaith efforts as far back as I can remember. Among the many things I value about my parents was their ability to communicate to my siblings and me a great love for Judaism and an openness to learning from people from different religious backgrounds. read more...

CPWR: Given your experience with the CIRCLE program, do you think the presence of the religious “other” is necessary for a well-rounded seminary experience?
OR: I think it is important for several reasons: When seminarians engage across religious lines, they have the opportunity to share their beliefs, values, and practices with people outside of their usual circles of conversation.  This requires that they reflect carefully on their religious commitments and articulate them with clarity.  At the same time, students have the opportunity to learn about the spiritual journeys of their peers and about some of the riches of other spiritual traditions.  If these encounters are successful, students can explore their similarities and differences, learn how to agree and to disagree, and how to work together on issues of common concern.  read more...

CPWR: At the 2009 Parliament, you were a key figure in teaching Educating Religious Leaders for a Multi-Religious World.  What was this experience like for you?
OR: It was a joy...the sessions themselves were wonderful because they were dynamic. Each meeting opened with a panel discussion in which students shared their responses to the questions we had posed
in advance of the Parliament.  We then broke into small groups to continue the conversation. It was exciting to step back at various moments and see a hundred or so seminarians and faculty from different religions and geographical locations engage in sacred discussion. The buzz created by all of these conversations made for beautiful music. read more...

CPWR: Looking to the future, what advances do you hope to see in the next decade in the interreligious movement, both in the United States and internationally?
OR: One basic hope that I have is that interreligious cooperation becomes more of a civic norm in this country and elsewhere around the world. We need to cultivate a stronger ethos of religious pluralism if we are to ever overcome the religious intolerance, bigotry, and violence that continue to plague humanity. The current controversy over the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" has demonstrated yet again just how much work we have to do to repair relations between religious groups and the need for interfaith education.

Among the many issues that we need to work on across religious lines is the health of our shared planet. The environmental crisis may be the most urgent issue facing humanity, and religious communities have to play a positive role in the healing process.
We have to marshal the best of our spiritual and ethical teachings to address the great ecological challenges of our day and the accompanying political, economic, and social issues. read more...

Read the Full Interview

Call for Solidarity on 9/11

The Council's Board of Trustees recently issued an opportunity for all people of faith and spirit to stand for justice and peace. Read the Call for Solidarity.

From Fire Storm to Illumination

CPWR Chair Emeritus Rev. Bill Lesher weighs in on the current discussion around the proposed Park51 center in downtown New York City. Read the article.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf: Building on Faith

Imam Rauf's recent op-ed in the New York Times offers some of his most extensive comments to date on the proposed Park51 community center.
  Act for Peace:  PeaceWeek

Sept 14-21 The Partner Cities Network is pleased to be co-sponsoring PeaceWeek, a global, virtual telesummit, September 14-21, culminating with the UN International Day of Peace. This free event will feature over 50 leading international peacebuilders and offer opportunities for interactive dialogue with other participants, including a Council with the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers. Visit for the full list of presenters and to register (recordings are also available for free).

A featured aspect of PeaceWeek is the campaign, "A Million Minutes for Peace." The goal is to collect one million pledges to pray for peace for one minute at noon on September 21st, the UN International Day of Peace. Please watch the 60-second video and join by pledging your prayer for peace. (Ve el video en español.)

Council Seeks Ambassadors

The Council is currently calling for applications through the end of 2010 for its Ambassador Program. If you are interested in applying or learning more, please click here.
  A Campaign for the Future of the Council

Help sustain and build the interreligious movement. Support the Council today.

Donate: Support Our Work

Council Updates
  • The three bid cities of Brussels, Belgium; Guadalajara, Mexico; and Dallas/Fort Worth, USA have formally submitted proposals for the 2014 Parliament Host City selection process. Site visits will occur throughout the upcoming months.
  • Karen Armstrong, author of the Charter for Compassion will be hosting a special benefit event for the Council on October 16, 2010 in Palo Alto, California. Stay tuned for updates.
  • The Council is partnering with the Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue to launch State of Formation, a blog that spotlights the work of future religious leaders and interfaith leaders from seminaries, divinity schools, and graduate programs around the United States and beyond.  Details to come in the October Newsletter.
  • Council Trustee Joseph Prabhu publishes a tribute to Raimon Pannikar in the National Catholic Reporter.
  • Former Council staffer and current Ambassador Precious Rasheeda Muhammad attended the Annual U.S. State Department Iftar on September 7. Since the 2009 Parliament, Muhammad has received an honorary doctorate for her international efforts to build community through history and is currently conducting research for the U.S. State Department. At this event, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton mentioned Precious' research in her speech. Read the transcribed address here.
  • On September 8, Zabrina Santiago and Alisa Roadcup participated in an on-the-record teleconference hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations: "A Conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton."

Parliament in the Press
  • Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim discuss Thomas Berry and the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions on VoiceAmerica radio. Listen to the discussion...
  • Dr. Hans Kung speaks to the ongoing work of the Parliament in An Idealist Without Illusions in Télérama. Read More...
  • Eboo Patel mentions the 1893 Parliament of Religions in Religion Today: Bomb, Barrier or Bridge? at the Huffington Post. Read More...
  • Harvard University’s Pluralism Project releases Looking Forward: Young Adult Perspectives on the Interfaith Movement. In this video, Communications Director, Alisa Roadcup, along with other NAIN Young Scholars, discusses the future of the interfaith movement and the role of the next generation of interfaith leaders. Watch the Video...
  • The Art Institute of Chicago will feature Swami Vivekananda's historic 1893 Parliament speech in an exhibition titled Jitish Kallat: Public Notice 3 running from September 11, 2010–January 2, 2011.  Learn More...


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