Conference in Rome Marks 10th Anniversary of John Paul II Center

Conference in Rome Marks 10th Anniversary of John Paul II Center

More than 150 religious leaders, practitioners, scholars and students gathered in Rome for an international conference marking the 10th anniversary of the John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue and its flagship program, the Russell Berrie Fellowship in Interreligious Studies. The conference, “Education for Action: The Urgency of Interreligious Leadership for the Global Good,” was the culminating event in a yearlong celebration that kicked off in September with a symposium at Harvard Divinity School. To read Ruth Salzman’s reflections on the accomplishments, reach and potential of the John Paul II Center, please click here.

2019 Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award

2019 Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award

Ten of New Jersey's most inspiring unsung heroes were recognized for their outstanding work on behalf of others when they were named as recipients of the 2019 Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award. The top prize, of $50,000, went to Fraidy Reiss of Westfield, whose organization Unchained At Last has helped women in New Jersey and across the Unites States resist and escape forced marriages and rebuild their lives. The 23nd annual awards, accompanied by cash prizes ranging from $7,500 to $50,000, were announced at a May 3 ceremony at Ramapo College. Read more about this year’s incredible winners here.

The Rise of Hate

The Rise of Hate

We are all devastated by the senseless loss of lives in the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. This heinous slaughter was more than an act of terrorism and anti-Semitism. It is a manifestation of the growing cancer within our society that has erupted in our most sacred spaces: schools where our children should feel safe, places where we worship — mosques, churches and synagogues. To read Angelica Berrie’s full statement, please click here.

Nominations Open For 2019 Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award

Nominations Open For 2019 Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award

Celebrate a local New Jersey hero by nominating them by February 18th for the 23rd annual Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award, in which the The Russell Berrie Foundation honors unsung New Jersey heroes who have made an uncommon contribution to the common good. Up to ten extraordinary people will be honored for making a significant difference in their communities through a lifetime of service or a single heroic act. The top honoree will receive an award of $50,000, two honorees will receive awards of $25,000 and up to seven honorees will receive $7,500 each. Nominate your hero today!

Integrating Arabs, Haredim Into Israel's High-Tech Workforce

Integrating Arabs, Haredim Into Israel's High-Tech Workforce

President Reuven Rivlin of Israel recently announced the launch of the “Excellenteam” boot camp: a new initiative, designed by The Russell Berrie Foundation and Start-Up Nation Central, for bringing Haredi women and Arabs into Israel’s high-tech workforce by reverse-engineering a targeted training program for high-potential talent. Industry, including leading companies such as Mobileye, Lightricks, Ex Libris and 40Nuggets, will play a lead role in specifying the “end product,” ensuring that participants have the right skills and aptitudes and are, upon graduation, set up for success, writes Ruth Salzman in a Letter From Our CEO.

Report Cites Impact of Berrie Fellowship in Interreligious Studies

Report Cites Impact of Berrie Fellowship in Interreligious Studies

A new report has found that the John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue and its flagship program, the Russell Berrie Fellowship in Interreligious Studies, have transformed not only the lives and perspectives of the 87 religious leaders who have participated, but the communities—in 33 countries—that those leaders returned to. The report, “Transformative Pathways to Interfaith Leadership,” commissioned to mark the John Paul II Center’s 10th anniversary, found that 93% of alumni incorporate interfaith cooperation or dialogue into their daily conversations with students, parishioners and superiors. To read the full report, please click here.

Statement From Our President on the Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting

Statement From Our President on the Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting

We are all devastated by the senseless loss of lives in the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. This heinous slaughter was more than an act of terrorism and anti-Semitism. It is a manifestation of the growing cancer within our society that has erupted in our most sacred spaces: schools where our children should feel safe, places where we worship — mosques, churches and synagogues. To read Angelica Berrie’s full statement, please click here.

Innovative Diabetes Prevention Program Launches

Innovative Diabetes Prevention Program Launches

The Russell Berrie Foundation is embarking on a new, experimental effort to invest in diabetes prevention by supporting the creation of two innovative community-based prevention initiatives in Bergen County. The pilot initiatives will draw on knowledge that has emerged from the field of diabetes care and prevention, along with a recognition of the powerful role that trusted community-based institutions can play in translating clinician recommendations into the real-world circumstances of people's daily lives. To read the full press release, please click here.

John Paul II Lecture Takes a Musical Turn

John Paul II Lecture Takes a Musical Turn

This year’s John Paul II Lecture on Interfaith Understanding, which took place on June 20 at the Jewish Theological Seminary, was distinctly different from previous events, which have featured talks by leaders such as Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee and Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan. This year’s event, co-sponsored by the John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, took a musical turn — with clergy, vocalists and musicians from the Jewish, Muslim and Christian traditions presenting “Songs for the Holy City: An Interfaith Evening of Music and Prayer.”