Biweekly Briefing

April 13, 2022

Welcome to the Sisterhood's Biweekly Newsletter!

Blue background with outlined cityscape and white crescent moon and star- Ramadan Mubarak
Blue background with white china plate, matzah and cherry blossom Chag Pesach Sameach

Wishing Our Community a Blessed and Peaceful Ramadan and Passover!

Dear Friends,

We are in the middle of a truly special month. With the convergence of Ramadan, Easter and Passover, this month presents us with family time, self-reflection, and beautiful rituals. We wish all our Muslim Sisters and their families Ramadan Mubarak, Blessed Ramadan. During the month of Ramadan, we have an opportunity to experience a new lightness and emptiness from all negative actions and intentions, in addition to the physical emptiness created by fasting. We connect more with ourselves and with humanity overall through kindness, empathy, and charitable giving. It is a great opportunity to renew our commitment to building better communities and continuing to work and advocate for justice, equality, and freedom for all. 
As Passover approaches, we wish all our Jewish Sisters and their families Chag Pesach Sameach, Happy Passover. We are also reminded of the continued struggle against oppression. Passover is much more than a story; it is a call to action to continue to walk the path towards liberation for all human beings and to feel deep empathy for those who are discriminated against and who long for freedom and justice.

However you observe these blessed holidays, we wish you inner renewal and peace. We are grateful to be able to share this month with all of you. We invite you to reach out to each other and to your communities, to learn from each other, and to continue to strengthen our Sisterhood so that, together, we can build a more peaceful world.

photo of Tahija Vikalo, executive director

Website Announcement

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our new Sisterhood website!

A few months ago, our staff embarked on a website redesign process with the goals of creating a site that was more intuitive and user-friendly and that better reflected the scope of our work. Under the guidance and expertise of Erica Neubauer Graphic Design, we have created a site that offers greater navigability and a streamlined approach to content. We encourage you to visit, take a look around, and explore the resources and materials available to you. We will be adding additional content, including a members-only section, in the coming weeks and months, so please check back often!

Smiling young Asian Muslim woman showing mobile phone blank screen recommending App isolated over white background

Member Resource on Gratitude

By: Sacramento Chapter 4

The ongoing pandemic has left many of us feeling discouraged by the consistent negativity and bad news in the world. In Sacramento, Chapter 4 gathered recently for its first in-person meeting in a very long time. Wishing to unite sisters by reflecting on the positive, Dorothy Landsberg and Madeline Rubenstein created a meeting focused on gratitude, the resources for which they, along with chapter member Shelley Ellinghouse, have graciously shared here. 

The meeting began with members offering reasons for why they gather as Jewish and Muslim women and what was particularly significant about their commitment to one another. Madeline gifted each sister with a candle and a gratitude journal, while Dorothy led the group in a discussion of gratitude. Following the discussion, each person committed to writing down three things she was grateful for in her journal and sharing them with a fellow sister the following week. There was also time for group sharing and reflection on gratitude. By focusing on what each woman was grateful for, rather than on that which can bring fear, anxiety, or the sense of loss of control, the discussion fostered a space that supported wellbeing, healing, and connection.

Following that initial gathering, the members of Sacramento 4 agreed to a new practice, wherein they will draw names at each meeting so sisters can meet for coffee, lunch, or a phone call to get to know one another on a deeper level between chapter meetings.

Have you had a meaningful chapter or member exchange recently? Do you have a discussion or meeting idea you wish to share with fellow sisters? Please email [email protected]

For more information on the science behind gratitude, read this article from Dr. Robert Emmons in Greater Good Magazine.

Upcoming Events

Ramadan and Passover Flyer 2022

A Ramadan-Passover Event: Out of Oppression Towards Liberation

April 19, 2022
4:30-6:00 p.m. ET

The holidays of Ramadan and Passover encourage us to reflect on our lower selves and move from oppressing ourselves to liberating ourselves emotionally, spiritually and physically, amongst other ways. Come listen to Dr. Celene Ibrahim and Dr. Lori Wynters share their experiences and perspectives on this journey.

They will host a dialogue on spiritual liberation in the context of Ramadan and Passover and invite attendees to participate in breakout discussions focused on women of the Torah and Quran whose lives embody the values present in these holidays.

Register today to join fellow Sisterhood members at this always-popular, annual observance.

Conflict Resolution in the Context of Palestine and Israel

May 15, 2022
1:00-2:30 p.m. ET

The Sisterhood remains committed to creating opportunities for members to explore a wide spectrum of views on Palestine and Israel. We endeavor to hold space to hear one another and to work with organizations dedicated to nonviolent means of achieving justice and peace.

To that end, we have created the Cultivating Understanding, Promoting Just Peace Speaker Series. We invite you to participate in the forthcoming event featuring Hands of Peace. Please join Husam Jubran and Rabbi Daniel Roth as they share their work and vision for Palestinian and Israeli communities using tools of dialogue and conflict resolution.

Register to join fellow Sisterhood members and the greater community for this event.

Spring Sisterhood Walk

May 20-May 30

To celebrate spring and sisterhood, we invite individuals and teams to join us in a fun, virtual event taking place wherever you live! From now through the end of May, individuals and teams (groups) can register to become fundraising champions for the Sisterhood. A team can be made up of a chapter, a group of members, or a few women from your local community.

From May 20-30, pick a day and plan a walk in your community to get outside, enjoy the springtime, and spend time with your sisters! Have a favorite park, walking trail, or neighborhood? Perfect! Wish to get together with other sisters at the end of your walk for a picnic? Great! Want to include your children, spouses, or other family members? They’re welcome too! Wish you had some cool Sisterhood swag to wear during your walk. We’ve got you covered, visit our Online Store and stay tuned for more details! 

Several regions across the U.S. will be holding regional Sisterhood stroll events. We will post regional event details as they become available. If you’re a sister not affiliated with a particular chapter or region but wish to connect with others in the area, reach out by email and we’ll help to identify others in your area.

To Do:

  1. Register as an individual or team fundraising champion on our Sisterhood Stroll campaign page. 
  2. Share your personal/team fundraising page link with friends and family to raise money on behalf of the Sisterhood. Recognition will go to our top individual and team fundraisers, so be sure to spread the word!
  3. Choose a date between May 20-30 and organize a walk with fellow sisters in your local community.
  4. Purchase Sisterhood swag to sport on the day of your local walk!
  5. Take photos and send them to [email protected] for sharing on social media!
  6. Celebrate sisterhood and springtime this May!

Ongoing Opportunities

Share Your Story of Identity

The Sisterhood, in conjunction with our forthcoming cultural competency training, is launching an identity exploration program. This initiative will invite us to explore our own stories related to the influence of life, experience, culture, race, spirituality/faith, and social context, i.e., the inner and outer aspects of our identity.

Through this programming, we hope to create space and support the efforts of our Sisters to explore their own religious/spiritual and secular identities and make transformative connections with other Sisters across worldviews. This journey of self-reflection, sharing, and learning will enable healthy, dynamic, and respectful conversations on intra-faith and inter-faith levels simultaneously. Together, we will explore the dynamics between the individual and community/society, and between how we define ourselves and how others try to define us.

If you would like to share your “story” of the intersections of your faith and other areas of your identity (race/culture/ethnicity, etc.) and help others learn to better understand your identity and experience, please email Samantha at [email protected].

Volunteers Needed for Specific Projects!

Are you looking to give back to the Sisterhood through a discrete volunteer project? We are looking for volunteers in a few distinct areas. Read on and reach out to learn more!

Conference Committee

Are you an event planner? Do you like working in collaboration with fellow Sisterhood members? Planning for the 9th annual Sisterhood conference, to be held in November 2022, is underway. If you would like to take part in putting together this special event, please email Nicole- [email protected].

Membership Committee

The Membership Committee seeks volunteers with experience in the following categories to assist in developing materials related to member and volunteer initiatives. The categories for which volunteers are needed include HR, Project Management, Training, Data Management, and Graphic Design. Please use this link to tell us more about yourself and your areas of expertise.

Stranger/Sister Screening Opportunities

The social impact campaign for Stranger/Sister is in full swing! If you've been wanting to bring this powerful catalyst for dialogue and change to your community, now's your chance! Odyssey Impact/Transform Films are leading a campaign designed to educate, engage, and activate local communities to unite against hate and create peaceful dialogue across lines of difference.

Stranger/Sister is available for screenings hosted by individuals, community organizations, corporations, houses of worship, schools, universities, and more. The Odyssey Impact team can offer guidance from beginning to end and will provide a digital Screening Toolkit, which includes a Facilitator's Guide, Community Discussion Guide, Classroom Guide, marketing materials, and a social media press kit, all designed to make the screening experience as impactful as possible.

Now is the perfect time to host a screening in your community. If you'd like to request additional information or are ready for next steps, fill out a host a screening inquiry form today.

Virtual Coffee Connection

Join the 160+ women who've met another sister through our Virtual Coffee Connection! Ready to give it a try? Click this link, fill out the brief form, and we'll match you to a fellow sister. The two of you can then arrange your own virtual coffee/tea date! Please note, pairings are made in order of request and are not solely Muslim-Jewish matches. Thank you!

Support the Sisterhood Through AmazonSmile

If you're an Amazon shopper, please consider supporting the Sisterhood while you shop! Visit the Sisterhood's unique AmazonSmile link and select the Sisterhood as your charitable organization of your choice. 0.5% of your eligible purchases will be donated to support our work. Thank you!

Partner Organization Opportunities

Kitchen Table Philanthropy in the Time of Ramadan

This April, Muslims around the world will be observing the holiday of Ramadan—a month-long period of fasting from dawn to sundown, and of thinking of others, and of giving back. Philanthropy is deeply rooted in the Muslim faith, as well as my own.

When I was a child, the month before Ramadan, my immigrant parents would sit at the kitchen table with my sister and me to discuss how our family could give back. They would tell us about a family relative back in India who could use our help. Maybe it was for something critical, like surgery; or something invaluable, like education; or something practical, like a sewing machine!

My working class family’s support was not extravagant, but we did what we could. This experience taught my sister and me that, even as kids, we had the power to make a transformational difference in others’ lives.

My husband and I are fortunate to continue the tradition of sitting at the kitchen table with our two sons to discuss our family values and the organizations we want to support in our community.

During one of those conversations a few years ago, we realized we weren’t prioritizing Muslim American-led nonprofits in our philanthropic giving—so we decided to change that.

Wanting to understand the challenges those organizations faced, I reached out to our grantees. From our discussions, I could see the devotion and humility these organizations possessed. Without connection to the broader philanthropic community and funding support, these organizations were caught in a mindset of scarcity.

My family wondered if these Muslim nonprofits could be supported in a way that could help them move away from a scarcity mindset to a mindset of abundance. The outcome of that family discussion was the funding of a three-year study project called the Community Collaboration Initiative (CCI) that has been focused on building trust and a collaborative culture among a select group of Muslim organizations.

For the past two years, these organizations have worked closely with CCI to deepen their collaborative skills. In 2022, the third and final year, these organizations have formed five teams working towards common goals.

To incentivize the organizations for participating in this time-intensive process, CCI launched the $1.5M Muslim Collaboration Prizes, in partnership with the Muslim Philanthropy Initiative (MPI) at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, to foster a more collaborative mindset.

The Prizes include an “equitable twist” in guaranteeing a minimum award of $50,000 for any team that goes through the application process. In addition, rather than competing against each other, teams have the opportunity to receive up to $200,000 based on the evaluation of their applications against a set of criteria that assesses the quality and depth of the collaboration, and the long-term impact of proposed projects. These prizes are the culmination of an ongoing effort to help our Muslim nonprofits move away from a mindset of scarcity to a mindset of abundance and help them increase the collective impact of their work.

If you are interested in supporting or learning more about the Muslim Collaboration Prizes, please contact me at [email protected].

Dilnaz Waraich, President
Waraich Family Fund

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