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COVID & Interfaith Reflections and Prayers

During this current crisis facing our communities and the world in general it is inspiring we are able to come together and provide common cause and motivation – please join us as we listen to clergy from the Abrahamic traditions to reflect upon and offer prayers from their respective tradition in the hope we can elevate the human spirit and provide healing and comfort.

Imam Shamsi Ali is a well-known religious scholar and interfaith bridge builder in New York and beyond.
Currently, Imam Ali is leading the Jamaica Muslim Center, the largest Muslim community center in NYC. He is also the founder and President of Nusantara Foundation, a nonprofit focusing on building peace and harmony between peoples of all backgrounds. He is also the founder of the first Islamic Boarding School in America.
Imam Ali is known as a moderate face of Islam and had been awarded largely for his tireless efforts to build understanding and cooperation between peoples of religions, such as Ambassador for Peace by the Interreligious Federation in 2002 and Ellis Island Honor Award in 2009, a highest nonmilitary award presented to Immigrant in the US.
Imam Ali also was chosen by New York Magazine in 2007 as one of the seven most influential religious leaders in NYC and chosen as one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the World by Jordan strategic studies and Georgetown University from 2011 to 2014.
Imam Ali obtained his Islamic education from Pesantren Muhammadiyah “Darul-Arqam” Makassar 1987. He then obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in the Quran sciences and Master’s Degree on the Comparative Studies of Religions at the International Islamic University in Islamabad in 1995.
He obtained his PhD on Political Science from Southern California University in 2007.

Rabbi Andy Bachman is executive director of the Jewish Community Project of Lower Manhattan, a growing, open, pluralistic center for Jewish life in Tribeca. He was Senior Rabbi at Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn, New York from 2006-2015 (where he had also served immediately following ordination from 1993-1998) and was executive director of the Edgar M. Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life at New York University from 1998-2004. He is also the founder of Brooklyn Jews, an innovative social organizing engine for young, unaffiliated Jews and their partners in Brownstone Brooklyn as well as the founder and president of Water Over Rocks, an organization dedicated to “history, memory and civic responsibility.” He is an occasional faculty member for the Bronfman Fellowships. Andy has written for a number of publications, including Newsweek, the Daily Beast, the Washington Post, as well the Forward, the Jewish Week, the LA Jewish Journal and Tablet Magazine. He has served on boards of UJA Federation of New York; Plaza Jewish Community Chapel; New Yorkers Against Gun Violence; and Ark Media.
Andy lives in Brooklyn with his wife Rachel Altstein, a psychotherapist, and has three daughters, Audrey, Lois and Minna.
The Rev. Canon Leonard L. Hamlin, Sr. began his tenure at the Washington National Cathedral in April 2018. In his role as Canon Missioner, Dr. Hamlin oversees the Cathedral’s outreach and social justice initiatives, including gun violence prevention and racial justice and reconciliation. In particular, Dr. Hamlin assists in the building of partnerships and the equipping of the Cathedral community and the congregation to serve as the hands and feet of Christ in the world.
Prior to his arrival at the Cathedral, Dr. Hamlin served as the Pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church in Arlington, Va. for 22 years. Under his leadership, the congregation was strengthened numerically and spiritually while numerous ministries, discipleship classes and mission efforts were organized to meet the needs of the congregation and the community locally, regionally and nationally. Dr. Hamlin received his Bachelor of Business Administration Degree (1983) from the Howard University School of Business, Master of Divinity Degree (1994), and a Doctor of Ministry Degree from the Howard University School of Divinity (1996). He has served and been appointed to numerous community, faith based and governmental boards, commissions, agencies.
Dr. Hamlin is married to Machell Nicholson Hamlin, Esquire, assistant vice president of staff counsel for the GEICO Corporation, and they are the proud parents of one son, Leonard L. Hamlin, Jr.

Emre Celik is the Executive Director at Peace Islands New York. His op-eds, interviews and social media are available here :

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