This documentary, writing and page was put up before the Cordoba Initiative controversy.  (“Mosque” near “Ground Zero”)  See why we support such an initiative here in our home.  See why such work is needed today.

In 2008, in the USA alone, there were close to 2000 verified (many more reported) hate crimes specifically committed because of a person or groups religion.   Most countries do not keep such stats or report them.   Many of the wars in our world (each brutal and horrific), mainly due to our failing to share resources, are couched and politicized behind religions name.  Religion remains an easy rallying tool for or against a people, and millions are suffering and fearing TODAY, right now as a result.  China’s leadership continues to vilify and deny the spiritual head of the Tibetans.

Each of the embraces and smiles shown in this modest documentary counter this fear and mindset.  What may not be visible is the daily work it takes to form the genuine trust, the bridges and relationships.  We encourage you in your own way to widen this circle.   Please feel free to be in touch with us if we can help. More info on film below (for best view, click on full screen icon in lower right next to “vimeo”.)

From the cover:   “At one time the Lower East Side (of NYC) was the most densely populated and diverse spot on the planet.... meet a few of the people behind 10 of the local East Village institutions both carrying on this history, and joining hands to face our current challenges. It's about community, local, personal. It's another tiny attempt to lower the need for vast military spending around the globe, decreasing some of the fear and prejudice around religions. It's about standing up to hate and supporting our greatest strength, our diversity.”    64 minutes.

The documentary Local Faith Communities has been chosen for screening at the main branch of the New York Public Library, The Mid-Manhattan Library, Thursday, December 16th at 6:30 PM in conjunction with the exhibit: “Three Faiths”, and shown at our local Ottendorfer Branch September 30th at 5:30PM, and may made available for all branches.   It is under consideration for various schools.   Several organizations, interfaith and others are arranging screenings.   We stood up immediately in support of the Mayors words of July 12th, 2010 regarding the Cordoba Initiative (Mosque and Cultural Center) near Ground Zero.

What this film is not (if time weren’t a factor):

  1. * This doesn’t pretend to cover the great historical depth of these institutions. 

  2. * There are numerous other institutions in our neighborhood, who could not participate at this time.  All were invited and remain welcome.

*  This does not do justice to the rich life stories of each of the faith leaders.  It’s only a moment with them. 

*  This does not list or go into the many services, programs and community events each institution offers and works hard for.

*  This doesn’t pull from the hundreds of stories or sharings of the congregants in each institution. (Although I’ve delighted in many.)

*  It does not list, show or mention the many hate crimes, or wars in religions name here or around the world:  The antagonist is left unseen on the screen, and between the lines.

*  It does not pretend to explain even minimally the complexity and depth of each tradition or discuss it’s religious significance or dogmas.

*  I strongly hope you go to or contact each for most of the above.   They welcome you.