Art and Faith Video Will Premiere on
March 22, 2021
More than a year ago, the InterFaith Leadership Council’s Education Committee began planning a special event to feature local artists explaining how faith inspires their art. Originally the Robert Kidd Gallery in Birmingham planned to host an in-person event featuring the artists and individuals invited by the InterFaith Leadership Council.
When COVID-19 intervened, it was decided to create a video featuring ten artists with examples of their artwork. The artists represent the Christian, Jewish and Muslim religions and an interviewer explores each artist’s creative, religious and spiritual roots. 

A “trailer” video preview is available at The complete video will premiere at 7:00 p.m., Monday, March 22 followed by a Zoom question and answer session with the artists. Viewers are asked to consider a donation to view the video; those who want a copy to view with their congregation or another group will be charged $20. Register at

The video includes contact information for each artist so that viewers can connect with them to see and potentially purchase their work. Participating artists will receive 50 percent from art sales with another 25 percent going to the InterFaith Leadership Council. Purchased artwork can be picked up at the gallery, which will receive the remainder of the sale proceeds.
Sculpture by Alex LaCasse, Greek Orthodox wood sculptor from Oxford, Michigan.
Painting by Rana Loutfi, Syrian painter from Birmingham.
New Chairman Looks forward to 2022 World Sabbath

           After 17 years of chairing the World Sabbath, IFLC board member Gail Katz has stepped down from her leadership of this program. Katz began chairing World Sabbath in 2004 after its first organizer, Rev. Rod Reinhart, moved to Chicago. Rev. Reinhart initially developed the annual event as the World Sabbath for Religious Reconciliation and built partnerships with local congregations of diverse faiths. Katz, who had been a teacher, shifted the focus somewhat to a celebration of peace with an emphasis on youth participation. (See photo of a previous World Sabbath below.)

        World Sabbath’s new chair is Rick Joseph, (shown above), a 5th and 6th grade teacher at Birmingham Covington School, who heads the school’s Diversity Committee. “I’m indebted to Gail Katz for her work and honor her. I’m thrilled to be part of this work—creating a beloved community, a community of peace,” Joseph says. He knows Katz from Religious Diversity Journeys and WISDOM, and met Bob Bruttell through attendance at the same church.

       Joseph attended the 2019 World Sabbath, which he describes as “a remarkable experience, extraordinarily powerful. It brings children together from all these faith communities and expresses the connectivity we all share as people of faith.” He views the event as an opportunity to contradict a “negative media narrative. Most of us live in harmony and have been for centuries,” he says

        World Sabbath will be held on Sunday, March 27, 2022 at Temple Israel in West Bloomfield and hosted by the Baha'i community who will provide the volunteers needed for this program. Joseph anticipates that the program will include spoken word, music, dance, prayer and possibly visual art. “My role is to cultivate relationships, to grow the network that Gail has cultivated. I want to seek our other faith partners.”
Religious Diversity Journeys Gains International Visibility

        Religious Diversity Journeys’ (RDJ) online program recently came to the attention of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), which is dedicated to the improvement and expansion of teaching all languages. This organization has 13,000 members in 69 countries. The ACTFL included a mention of RDJ and a link to the IFLC web site in an ACTFL electronic communication. A faculty member at The Hirosaki Gakuin University in Northern Japan (who is an ACTFL member) saw the post and reached out to Wendy Miller Gamer, RDJ program director, to find out if RDJ Online would be appropriate for his world religions students. Gamer then contacted ACTFL's outreach manager, Erin M. Whelchel, who asked to interview an RDJ teacher for their website.
         Whelchel was pleased to share his interview with Jennifer Czarnik, who teaches in Hamtramck, which was posted on the AFCTL website. “What an absolute delight to learn more about her district and the impact of RDJ in the community. It’s one of my recent favorites among the stories we have shared, and I know it will inspire our readers in so many ways. Thank you again for the important work that you do!” he said. The interview is available at:

 Participate in a Virtual Interfaith Passover Learning Experience

        The Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue will host a virtual interfaith Passover Havdalah on Saturday, March 20, 2021 from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. Havdalah is the ceremony which marks the end of the Jewish Sabbath. Rabbi Ariana Silverman from the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue and Pastor Aramis Hinds from Breakers Covenant Church International, both located in Detroit, will discuss and reflect on the meaning of Passover for our community today. Register (no charge) at:

InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit | P.O. Box 252271, West Bloomfield, MI 48325
Phone: [313.338.9777] Email contact: [email protected]