No, not the 1824 praise of a Christmas tree… something equally supportive with inspiring branches: The Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding in New York, dedicated to combating religious prejudice. Founded in 1992 by Dr. Georgette F. Bennett, Tanenbaum honors the memory of the late Rabbi Marc H. Tanenbaum, a human rights and social justice activist (and the only rabbi at Vatican II), who was tirelessly engaged in getting aid to refugees and boat people, a friend of the late Martin Luther King Jr., and helped quarrelsome Christians and Jews begin to advance mutual understanding. Today Tanenbaum has programs to:
- prevent religious bullying in schools
- counter religious prejudice at work
- train medical providers about how religion affects health
- consider religious texts and how we can address the roots of hatred within them (interreligious affairs), and
- support conflict resolution through a “Peacemakers in Action” program.
Just this week, in fact, Tanenbaum CEO, Joyce Dubensky, Esq., and Father Sava Janjic, Abbot of the Decani Monastery of the Serbian Orthodox Church and one of Tanenbaum’s awarded “Peacemakers in Action,” spoke at the “Orthodox Christianity and Humanitarianism” colloquium in Boston, sponsored by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.