•  Our Board

Mission

The mission of the Center for Jewish-Christian-Muslim Understanding is to promote public and peaceful communication with respect to Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions. The Center encourages interaction, understanding, acceptance, and cooperation through the dissemination of knowledge and information about the three faiths’ historical, cultural, and socio-economic roots.

 

History

The Center for Jewish-Christian-Muslim Understanding began shortly after September 11, 2001, when its organizers discovered they were working with many people who had experienced personal trauma and direct loss as a result of the tragic events of that day.

Four Jews, four Christians, and four Muslims—including several members of the clergy—came together. All of the founders believed that the people of the faiths of Abraham could, despite the challenges they faced, learn to live together in mutual respect and harmony.

And that legacy continues today through the work of the Center for Jewish-Christian-Muslim Understanding.

Since its inception, CJCMU has created opportunities to foster dialogue and advance meaningful interfaith encounters. Through the Center’s various programs and resources, people of different faiths and ethnic backgrounds learn about each other’s customs and beliefs and come to respect, honor, and learn from that diversity.

The Center was incorporated in May, 2002, and secured its 501(c)3 status in September, 2002. The organization is headquartered in Westchester County, New York.


The Board

barry-newRabbi Barry Kenter

Board President

"You are not obligated to complete the task, neither are you free to desist from it." Rabbi Tarfon, Pirke Avot

Rabbi Barry A. Kenter is a co-founding member of the Center for Jewish-Christian-Muslim Understanding and the spiritual leader of the Greenburgh Hebrew Center for nearly 30 years. Rabbi Kenter is active in community and ecumenical projects throughout Westchester and served as past president of the Westchester-Rockland Rabbinical Assembly. A native Californian, Rabbi Kenter holds a Bachelor of Hebrew Literature degree from the University of Judaism and Master of Arts degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, which ordained him in 1980. He was a Rotary Foundation Graduate Fellow at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium (2011), Rabbi Kenter became one of 25 fellows of GreenFaith, an interfaith organization that supports the world's great religions in seeing the sacred in nature. Rabbi Kenter lives in Westchester with his wife, Judy.


Karen-Rockwell-El-BadryKaren Rockwell El-Badry

Board Secretary/Treasurer

Karen Rockwell El-Badry has been a member of the Center for Jewish-Christian-Muslim Understanding Board of Directors since 2005. Karen currently serves on the Board of the United Nations Association for the USA, Westchester Chapter, and is a member of the Education Committee. As part of the UNA-USA chapter, she is the Yonkers public school system coordinator of "Peace Makes the World a Better Place," a program that introduces students to the United Nations and the concept of peace-making. She participates in, and is a Board member of, the New York area’s Dialogue Project, which embodies a transformative approach to conflict resolution focusing on the Middle East. Before retiring, Karen’s career of 35 years was with the United Nations in New York, where she served as recruitment and administrative officer for the program of technical cooperation. Karen lived in Egypt for a number of years and now lives in Westchester County.


Hondi BrascoHondi Brasco

"If you want to go fast, walk alone. If you want to go far, walk together." African Proverb

Hondi Duncan Brasco holds a B.A. from Duke University, an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School, and is an active member of Christ Church, Bronxville, NY. A retreat leader and spiritual director in London and New York, Hondi has worked on the staffs of Episcopal churches and served as a consultant to the National Office of the Episcopal Church for the Office of Children’s Ministries. After 9/11 Hondi turned her attention to interfaith prayer and dialogue, women’s leadership, and hospital chaplaincy, where she trained and worked in a multi-faith context. For five years, Hondi served as a delegate from the Anglican Consultative Council to the UN Commission on the Status of Women, working with Anglican women around the world for the empowerment of women in the church and civil society. She collaborated with artist Ellen Miret on the exhibit “Art that Heals” at Wainwright House (2002) and Images in Reflection at the Museum of Biblical Art (2004). She is currently a hospital chaplain at NYU Langone Medical Center’s Hospital for Joint Diseases and has been on the board of the Center for Jewish-Christian-Muslim Understanding since 2005.


Dr. Mahjabeen HassanDr. Mahjabeen Hassan

Dr. Mahjabeen Hassan is a Board Certified plastic surgeon, Senior Attending physician at Phelps Memorial Hospital, Sleepy Hollow, New York, and St. John's Riverside Hospital, Yonkers, New York. She is a co-founder of the Center for Jewish-Christian-Muslim Understanding, co-founder and current chair of the American Muslim Women’s Association, and a frequent speaker on Islam and interfaith topics in a post-9/11 world. Dr. Hassan came to the U.S. in 1977 after completing medical school in Pakistan. She says her profession gives her a unique window into the commonalities between all people. “I take up the skin and look inside. I see that we truly are all the same. It’s in the mind that we are different. I believe you can have multiple paths to God. We have different religions, but we are talking about the same being.” Dr. Hassan is the recipient of the Yitzhak Rabin Peacemaker Award (2003), the Ithad Award (2005), the Hakeem Saeed Award (2005), and was named Ambassador for Peace (2009).


Dr. Saleem MirDr. Saleem Mir

Dr. Saleem Mir is the Medical Director of Phelps Memorial Hospital Center in Sleepy Hollow, New York, and a co-founder of the Center for Jewish-Christian-Muslim Understanding. Deeply influenced by twelfth century Persian poet Saadi's couplet that says, Human beings as parts of body are alike, Each feeling the pain when affliction strikes, Dr. Mir comments, “I have endeavored to reach out and connect with the people as much in ordinary day-to-day life as in my professional life as a physician.” This work has spanned nearly four decades and has included Dr. Mir’s tenure as president of the Islamic Society of Westchester and Rockland and then as Chair of the Westchester Muslim Center.

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