Jack Kornfield trained as a Buddhist monk in the monasteries of Thailand, India and Burma. He has taught meditation internationally since 1974 and is one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist mindfulness practice to the West. He began his training after graduating from Dartmouth College in Asian Studies in 1967. Then he joined the Peace Corps and was assigned to the Public Health Service in northeast Thailand, which is home to several of the world’s oldest Buddhist forest monasteries. He met and studied under the Buddhist master Ven. Ajahn Chah, as well as the Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma. After returning to the United States, Jack co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, with fellow meditation teachers Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein. He is also a founding teacher of the Spirit Rock Center in Woodacre, California, where he currently lives and teaches. Over the years, Jack has taught in centers and universities worldwide, led International Buddhist Teacher meetings with the Dalai Lama and worked with many of the great teachers of our time. He holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is a husband, father and an activist. As an activist and Buddhist, Jack has had a lifelong commitment to justice and human rights. The Central Park NY Peace Walk will be a beautiful expression of dignity, respect, concern and the very real possibility of peace in the Middle East.
Stephen Fulder was born in the UK in 1946, and has an M.A. from Oxford University and Ph.D. He is an author and lecturer in herbal and natural medicine, who has had 14 books. He lives in an environmental village in Galilee, Israel, which he helped to found. He has been practicing since 1975, and is the founder and senior teacher of the Israel Insight Society, the main Vipassana and Theravada Buddhist organization in Israel. Stephen has been teaching retreats and courses for nearly 20 years in Israel and beyond, and has established and guided programs which apply dharma teachings to aid peace and heal conflict between the communities in the Middle East. At the same time Stephen has long been exploring the dialogue between dharma and the Jewish spiritual teachings.
Rabbi David Ingber is Founder and Spiritual Director of Romemu – Judaism for Mind, Body and Spirit in New York City, the leading center for Renewal Judaism.
Named by Newsweek as one of 2012’s Top 50 Most Influential Rabbis, Rabbi Ingber offers a renewed Jewish mysticism that integrates meditative mindfulness and physical awareness into mainstream, post-modern Judaism. A distinctive quality is Rabbi Ingber’s ability to make Judaism more accessible to seekers from various faiths as well as restoring Jews who have stepped away from organized religion, back to prayer and learning that is more deeply meaningful and spiritually connected.
Rabbi Ingber’s unique approach to Torah, rabbinical teaching, and ritualistic practice is informed by his own personal seeking and learning from a wide cross-section of sacred traditions and faiths including teachers like the Founder of Chassidut, Rabbi Yisrael Ba’al Shem Tov, and leading 20th Century thinkers from Kabbalist, Rav Abraham Isaac Kook to psychologist, Carl Jung and integral philosopher, Ken Wilber.
Rabbi Ingber travels widely, teaching at institutions such as the Academy for Jewish Religion, Columbia University, CUNY, Jewish Theological Seminary, New York University, 92nd Street Y, Pardes, The Skirball Center, Yale University and Yeshivat HADAR. He sits on the Board of Directors of Aleph and Synagogue 3000.
Raised Modern Orthodox in New York, Rabbi Ingber studied in Jerusalem and New York at Beit Midrash L’Torah, Yeshiva University, Yeshivat Chaim Berlin, and Yeshivat Chovovei Torah Rabbinical School. He also studied philosophy, psychology and religion at New York University. Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, founder of Renewal Judaism, ordained Rabbi Ingber in 2004. Prior to founding Romemu, Rabbi Ingber was Rabbi-in-Residence at Elat Chayyim Retreat Center in Accord, NY.
Imam Shamsi Ali is currently the Director of Jamaica Muslim Center, one of the NYC’s largest Islamic center. He is also Chairman of Masjid Al-Hikmah in Astoria, Queens and President Director of the Foundation for Human Partnership based in NYC. Up until recently Imam Ali was the Imam of the Islamic Cultural Center of New York, the New York City’s largest mosque.
Imam Ali serves as an Advisory Board member to numerous interfaith organizations, including the Tanenbaum Center and Federation for Middle East Peace. Imam Ali also is a Board member for the Partnership of Faith in NY, and co-founder of the UNCC (Universal Clergy Coalition-International). Furthermore, he is Deputy Director and a Board member of the Muslim Foundation of America, Inc., and Chairman of the annual Muslim Day Parade in NYC. He also serves as the Vice President of the Asian-American Coalition USA (AAC-USA) and its UN Representative. Within the Indonesian Muslim community in North America, Imam Ali is a well known figure. He serves as an Advisory Board to major national Muslim organizations such as IMSA (Indonesian Muslim Society in America) and ICMI (Indonesian Muslim Intellectual Society in America).
Well known in the interfaith community, Imam Ali is a visible face of Islam. He has lectured in churches, synagogues and other institutions both nationally and worldwide. He was among a few religious leaders who had been invited to accompany the then President George W. Bush to
visit Ground Zero days after September 11th, and represented his community during the Yankee Stadium Prayer for America event along side religious and government high ranking officials, including Former President Bill Clinton and then Senator Hillary Clinton.
Imam Ali participated in the International Conference of Imams and Rabbis for Peace in Seville Spain 2006 and the first National Summit of Imams and Rabbis of North America 2007. He represented the Muslim community at an interfaith discussion on Religions and Sustainable Development at the White House in 2007, and participated in the 2008 Transatlantic Interfaith Dialogue in Frankfurt, Germany. Recently Imam Ali was one chosen to be a part of US Interfaith Peace Mission trip to the Middle East, where he met with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders, including President Shimon Perez.
Imam Ali was appointed “Ambassador for Peace” by the International Religious Federation in 2002, and a recipient of the 2008 ICLI Interfaith Award. In 2006, he was named one of seven most influential religious leaders in New York City by New York Magazine, was awarded one of 100 recipients of the 2009 Ellis Island Medal of Honor Award for his tremendous contributions to the American society and the world and due to his endless dedication in building bridges between religious communities. Furthermore, in 2009, 2010, and 2011 Imam Ali was chosen as one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in Jordan and Georgetown University.
Imam Ali is a frequent speaker at the United Nations forums and a media guest contributor for ABC, PBS, BBC World, CNN, Fox News, National Geographic, al-Jazeera, the Hallmark Channel.
Imam Ali has authored several books including but not limited: Young Preacher in New York City (Dai Muda di Kota New York) and True Love in America (Kisah-Kisah Muallaf AS). Currently he is co-authoring a book with a Jewish Rabbi with a title: Jews and Muslims: Can they trust one another?
Rabbi Ellen Lippmann is founder and rabbi of Kolot Chayeinu/Voices of Our Lives, an 18 year-old progressive community in Brooklyn, NY. Rabbi Lippmann is the former East Coast Director of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, and former director of the Jewish Women’s Program at the New 14th Street Y in Manhattan.
Rabbi Lippmann was co-chair of Rabbis for Human Rights-North America and continues to serve on the board. She is also on the rabbinic advisory board of J-Street, and served as the first social justice chair for the Women’s Rabbinic Network. She is the founder of the Soup Kitchen at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, and co-founder of the nine year-old Children of Abraham Peace Walk: Jews, Christians and Muslims Walking Together in Brooklyn in Peace.
Rabbi Lippmann was ordained in 1991 by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and also received there the degree of Master of Hebrew Letters. She holds a BA in English Language and Literature from Boston University and an MS in Library Science from Simmons College. Rabbi Lippmann and her now-legal partner, Kathryn Conroy, are long-time Brooklyn residents and believe to be absolutely true what Kolot Chayeinu member Evan Ahearn z”l once said in jest: “IT DON’T GET ANY BETTER THAN BROOKLYN!”
Marcia Kannry is a Jewish American who lived in Israel for six years. A former Executive Director of The Jewish National Fund, Marcia traveled throughout Israel and the occupied territories during the first intifadah. Her own experience with dialogue at that time began the journey that has led to the creation of The Dialogue Project.
Marcia earned her B.A. in religious studies from the University of Pittsburgh and has pursued master studies at New York University. She has created inter-group/interfaith organizations for more than 20 years.
Daisy Khan is the Executive Director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement. ASMA is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing an American Muslim identity while building bridges between the Muslim community and general public through dialogues in faith, identity, culture, and arts. Ms. Khan mentors young Muslims on challenges of assimilation, gender, religion and modernity, and intergenerational differences. Daisy Khan has been hailed as a healer, a link between moderate Islam and the West, and a force for equality for Muslim women. She and her husband proposed building a community center near ground zero which precipitated a national dialogue in the media about the effects of 9/11.
Bernie Glassman is the founder of the Zen Peacemakers.
Zen Master Bernie Glassman, evolved from a traditional Zen Buddhist monastery-model practice to become a leading proponent of social engagement as spiritual practice.
He is internationally recognized as a pioneer of Buddhism in the West and as a founder of Socially Engaged Buddhism and spiritually based Social Entrepreneurship.
Bernie Glassman has proven to be one of the most creative forces in Western Buddhism, creating new paths, practices, liturgy and organizations to serve the people who fall between the cracks of society.
Pir Shabda Kahn, a direct disciple of the American Sufi Master, Murshid Samuel Lewis, has been practicing Sufism since 1969 and since 2001, is the Pir (Spiritual Director) of the Sufi Ruhaniat International, the lineage tracing from Hazrat Inayat Khan and Murshid Samuel Lewis. He is also the Spiritual Guide of the Dances of Universal Peace~ worldwide. Shabda has studied and performed North Indian Classical Vocal Music under the guidance of the late Master Singer, Pandit Pran Nath, since 1972. He is also a disciple of the illustrious Tibetan Master, the 12th TaiSitu Rinpoche. Shabda leads retreats and camps in Sufism with an emphasis on the mysticism of breath; the science and art of wazifa and zikr; music; the walking meditations of Murshid Samuel Lewis and opening the heart. He brings gentleness and humor in transmitting the rich lineage of Sufism. <www.ruhaniat.org>
Tamam Kahn is a senior teacher in the Sufi Ruhaniat International and wife of Pir Shabda Kahn. Her book, Untold: A History of the Wives of Prophet Muhammad, Monkfish Books, received an International Book Award for 2011, and has been translated into Indonesian. She teaches Sufism, has conducted poetry workshops, and has presented her own poetry and stories of the early women of Islam at conferences and Sufi gatherings for two decades. In 2009 she was invited to recite her poetry at the International Sufi Conference: The Sidi Chiker World Meetings of Tassawuf Affiliates in Marrakech, Morocco. Her Buddhist teacher is Tai Situ Rinpoche.
She served on the Board of his organization, Maitreya Institute, San Francisco in the 1980’s.
See Tamam’s blog: www.completeword.com
Shaykha Fariha is the spiritual guide of the Nur Ashki Jerrahi Sufi Order in New York City. She was born in 1947 into a socially committed, eclectic Catholic family in Houston, Texas. At the age of 29, she met her teacher, Shaykh Muzaffer Ozak of Istanbul, and received direct transmission from him in 1980. Shaykh Muzaffer also gave direct transmission to Lex Hixon (Shaykh Nur al-Jerrahi), who envisioned a radical and illumined path of the heart which he called Universal Islam. After Shaykh Nur’s death, Fariha took on the guidance of the Nur Ashki Jerrahi Sufi Order, with circles around the world. This lineage offers the nectar of teachings of the Prophet Muhammed, peace be upon him, which guide the seeker to self-knowledge and immersion in God. The sacred practices of zikr, prayer, charitable living, fasting and retreat are all embraced. Every hursday, Fariha with her husband Ali and the dervishes invite all seekers into the circle of zikr at the Dergah al-Farah in NYC.
Jessica Dibb is the founder and director of Inspiration, an ecumenical school that promotes individual and societal evolution and spiritual awareness. For twenty-four years, she has designed and facilitated unique programs that are highly integrative models of kinesthetic, emotional, and cognitive intelligence, and support people in cultivating consciousness in every moment of their lives. People learn and are inspired to actualize their full potential and contribute to transformation in their families and communities, including international projects. Participants in these programs experience “unity in diversity” by strengthening their understanding, their compassion and their embracing of all people from any political or spiritual orientation.
Jessica is Co-Director of the International Breathwork Training Alliance (IBTA), Chair of the IBTA’s Ethics Committee, and a member of the board of Convergence Policy Institute, a non-profit organization working to promote dialogue and consensus in domestic and international conflicts. She also served on the board of the U.S. Consensus Council for Search for Common Ground-USA, and was a long-term advisor to the US-Muslim Engagement Project which produced the book Changing Course: A New Direction for U.S. Relations with the Muslim World.
Jessica’s life-long commitment is to support the awakening and cultivation of love, wisdom and presence in individuals, relationships, families and societies.
Jonathan Granoff is an attorney, author and international advocate emphasizing the legal, ethical and spiritual dimensions of human development and security, with a specific focus on advancing the rule of law to address the threats posed by nuclear weapons. He is president of the Global Security Institute, Senior Advisor to the ABA’s Committee on Arms Control and National Security and Co Chair of the ABA Blue Ribbon Task Force on Nuclear Non-proliferation. He is Senior Advisor to the Nobel Peace Laureate Summit and has served as Vice President and UN Representative of the Lawyer’s Alliance for World Security. He serves on numerous governing and advisory boards including: the ABA International Law Section, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, Fortune Forum, Jane Goodall Institute, the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace and Security and Middle Powers Initiative.
Mr. Granoff is the award-winning screenwriter of The Constitution: The Document that Created a Nation, and has articles in more than 50 publications and books including: The Sovereignty Revolution, Toward a Nuclear Weapons Free World, Imagining Tomorrow,
Analyzing Moral Issues, Perspectives on 911, Toward a World In Balance, Reverence for Life Revisited, and Hold Hope, Wage Peace. He has been a featured guest and expert commentator on hundreds of radio and television pro-grams, testified in Congress and at the UN numerous times and has, since 2003, addressed the annual Nobel Peace Laureate Summit in Paris and Rome.
A student of Sufi practice for 36 years, MURSHIDA KHADIJA GOFORTH serves as a senior teacher and senior interfaith minister in the Sufi Ruhaniat International, the Western Sufi lineage of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan, Murshid Samuel Lewis and Pir Moineddin Jablonski, her teacher of many years. Currently guiding circles on both coasts, she was ordained in 1976, and is now involved in a three-year program helping mature Sufi mureeeds develop interfaith ministries in their local communities. She is also a facilitator for Seattle’s Unity Zikr, uniting six Sufi tariqats (schools) in spiritual practice and community-building. In 1994 Khadija served as semazenbashi (dance master) at the tomb of Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi in Konya, Turkey, the first woman in 450 years to do so. She holds a master’s degree in psychology; her life experience includes directing a halfway house in urban Los Angeles, teaching middle school and being a wife, mother and grandmother. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pir Zia Inayat-Khan is a scholar and teacher of Sufism in the lineage of his grandfather, Hazrat Inayat Khan. He received his B.A. (Hons) in Persian Literature from the London School of Oriental and African Studies, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Religion from Duke University.
Pir Zia is founder of Seven Pillars House of Wisdom, an interspiritual, interdisciplinary fellowship dedicated to the unfolding of wisdom in our time, and also of Sulūk Academy, a school of contemplative study with branches in the U.S. and Europe. His forthcoming publication, Saracen Chivalry: Counsels on Valor, Generosity and the Mystical Quest, will be published by Suluk Press, an imprint of Omega Publications, and is due November, 2012.
Lucinda Antrim is Assistant Clerk, New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quaker). She brings Quakerism’s long history of non-violence with her as she walks: “Our principle is, and our practices have always been, to seek peace and ensue it.” As she has sought to live “in the virtue of that life and power that took away the occasion of all wars”* she has served her community in a variety of pastoral and ministerial capacities, facilitating workshops, leading youth groups, and supporting and participating in our practice of deep prayer.
She is a psychoanalyst in private practice and is on the faculty of Blanton-Peale Institute, a psychoanalytic institute with long-standing connections to the religious world. She has given a series of Yom Kippur talks on the intersections of spirituality and psychotherapy and has written on the psychological aspects of Rumi’s life and work. Supporting the link between peace and social justice, she serves on the board of Youth Services Opportunities Project, where people experience the power of even their smallest actions to create community with homeless and hungry people. She also serves on the Community Advisory Committee of The Children’s Village, which provides a safe haven, services and a caring community for troubled children and their families.
*Quotations from George Fox, Quakerism’s founder.
Sami Al-Kilani was born in Ya’bad, Palestine in 1952, and has a B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Jordan, an M.A in Science Education from An-Najah University-Palestine, an MSW and Ph.D in Social Work from McGill University, Montreal, Canada. He teaches Education and Social work and acts currently as Dean of Education at An-Najah National University, Nablus- Palestine. He is a poet, short story writer, and children stories writer with six published works in these fields. He is also a trainer in civic education and a consultant on community development and municipal strategic planning. He was a member of the Palestinian delegation to peace talks in Madrid Conference 1991 and Washington peace talks that followed.
Sami is a human rights activist, nonviolence advocate, peace and dialogue activist, who had served 5 years in Israeli jails and 3 years under town arrest for political activities during which he was adopted by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience.