InterFaith Leadership Council Receives Fourth Grant from the Nissan Foundation
         The InterFaith Leadership Council has received a $20,000 grant for Religious Diversity Journeys from the Nissan Foundation--its fourth grant from this organization. ”We are very grateful for this recognition and support of Religious Diversity Journeys. These funds will help us bring immersive interfaith education to more students in metropolitan Detroit,” said Raman Singh, InterFaith Leadership Council executive director.
         Since its establishment in 1992, the Nissan Foundation has awarded nearly $14 million to more than 150 nonprofit organizations for innovative programs that break down societal barriers and build inclusive communities through education and outreach. This year the Nissan Foundation is awarding a total of $848,000 in grants to 33 nonprofit organizations in seven locations across the U.S.

Lisa Mason
Cynthia Taueg
Lisa Mason, left, and Cynthia Taueg, D.H.A..
right, are co-chairs of the new Interfaith Health Equity Partnership.
A New Interfaith Collaboration for Health Equity
A new partnership has been formed between the InterFaith Leadership Council’s Health and Healthcare Committee and the Interfaith Health and Hope Coalition (IHHC), a nonprofit that has promoted health equity since 2007. The co-chairs of the new Interfaith Health Equity Partnership are Lisa Mason, InterFaith Leadership Council board member, and Cynthia Taueg, D.H.A., vice president of community health services at Ascension Health. Lisa is retired from her role as vice president of program partnerships for the Greater Detroit Area Health Council.
       The impetus for this new organizational collaboration was a capacity-building grant awarded to IHHC; the grantor encouraged partnerships. IHHC was established as a network of faith-based, health care, non-governmental and governmental organizations that worked together to improve access to health care for the uninsured and under-insured.
       The InterFaith Leadership Council’s Health and Healthcare Committee has supported multiple projects in the past, including expansion of “health ministries that empower nurses to work in the community—expanding beyond parish nurses,” explains Mason. In addition, the committee has provided faith-based representatives for health system programs to expand culturally sensitive care, including palliative care, and organ donation. Last year, the committee helped conduct resilience surveys of local faith leaders to identify areas where they need support.
       According to Dr. Taueg, ”Health equity seeks to promote creation of conditions where everyone can be as healthy as possible including access to quality health care and attention to influencers of health care such as housing, nutritious food, safe environments, and spirituality."
       After a planning phase, the partnership was finalized in May and a first meeting was held recently. IHHC will maintain its separate 501 ©3 status with a separate board and the new partnership will report to the InterFaith Leadership Council’s board as well. To foster further cooperation, several IHHC members are now participating in other InterFaith Leadership Council committees and programs.
Board Member Is Honored by the Michigan House of Representatives
         Gail Katz, InterFaith Leadership Council board member and co-chair of its Education Committee, was honored by the Michigan House of Representatives for her “dedication and willingness to fight for understanding and diversity.” A resolution introduced by Rep. Padma Kuppa (41st district) was passed by the State House in recognition of Gail’s World Sabbath Peacemaker Award.
        The resolution cites Katz for her many years of interfaith volunteer work including diversity initiatives as an ESL teacher, as a founder of WISDOM (Women’s Interfaith Solutions for Dialogue in Metropolitan Detroit) and Acts of Kindness (AOK) Detroit, as well as her leadership in Religious Diversity Journeys and KADIMA, a nonprofit that helps mentally ill individuals in metro Detroit.
        She is shown third from the left in the above photo with Rick Joseph, World Sabbath chair, Carol Kravetz, interfaith volunteer, and Rep. Padma Kuppa (far right). 

Program Highlights Baha'i, Jain and Zoroastrian Holidays

The InterFaith Leadership Council presented a panel discussion, moderated by Rev. Dr. Charles Packer, about the spring holidays of the Baha’i, Jain and Zoroastrian faiths at a program held on May 22 at the Jain Society of Greater Detroit. Speakers Dr. Ardeshir Irani, Ankit Shah, and Hermione Pickens are pictured here, along with a photo of the Jain Society in Farmington Hills.
Interior of the Jain Society
Leadership Transition for Religious Diversity Journeys
After almost five years as program director of Religious Diversity Journeys (RDJ), Wendy Miller Gamer is leaving for a new position with a national nonprofit organization—Tenenbaum—which works in interfaith education. During her time with the InterFaith Leadership Council, Wendy helped enhance the curriculum and expanded participation by schools and religious organizations.
         We thank Wendy for her excellent stewardship of the RDJ program, as it grew significantly under her leadership, the innovative solutions during the global pandemic, and the vision for the future as we return to immersive programming. Raman Singh, InterFaith Leadership Council executive director, will manage Religious Diversity Journeys on an interim basis.
Hindus Celebrate June Holidays
           June marks two Hindu festivals. On June 9, Ganga Dussehra, also known as Gangavataran, was celebrated as the avatarana (descent) of the Ganges. It is believed by Hindus that the holy river Ganges descended from heaven to earth on this day. June 11 was Gayathri Jayanthi--a commemoration of the birth anniversary of Goddess Gayatri. She is said to be the Goddess of Veda, and therefore devotees also recall her as Veda Mata. (An image of Veda is shown above.)
InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit | P.O. Box 252271, West Bloomfield, MI 48325
Phone: [313.338.9777] Email contact: [email protected]