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Interfaith Inform
March 21, 2023
Kaufman Interfaith Institute


Watch - Trailer for The Reunited States
In a time when it is all too easy to become overwhelmed and paralyzed facing the daunting task of bridging divides, the documentary The Reunited States offers hope. The film follows the actions of 5 individuals as they take markedly different approaches to the challenge of reconnecting our country.
The next event with our Talking Together partners this Thursday features a panel discussion of the film and of strategies for building trust that are currently underway here in our own community. Registration includes access to the full documentary from now until Saturday, March 25.
See below for more information and to register. 
Trailer for The Reunited States
Building Trust Across America, One Relationship At A Time
Thursday, March 23, 2023 | 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
GVSU Allendale Campus, Kirkhof Center
1 Campus Drive, Allendale, MI 49401
At a time when America feels like it is ripping apart at the seams, there is a pressing need for civil conversation and relationship-building. Please join us for an event that involves two components: an interactive, in-person panel-led conversation on March 23rd about how we can see the humanity in one another across differences which will integrate highlights from the award-winning documentary, The Reunited States; and a corresponding online viewing of the full documentary that you can view at your convenience between March 20-25th.

On March 23rd, we will hear from four panelists who hold divergent perspectives as we engage in civil conversations with one another about how we can work together to build trust in and across our communities. This conversation will be a space for collective reflection about how we can translate feelings of mistrust and frustration into bridge-building action steps. For those who view The Reunited States in advance, the film may inspire solution-oriented ideas regarding some of the key issues facing the United States today.
Talking Together: Strengthening Our Communities Through Conversation

Tired of the toxic level of polarization in the U.S.? Interested in talking with people whose perspective differs from your own in ways that stay constructive? We invite you to join us for a year focused on creating a culture of conversation rather than division. 
The Padnos/Sarosik Center for Civil Discourse, Kaufman Interfaith Institute, Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies, and WGVU Public Media are pleased to partner for Talking Together: Strengthening our Communities through Conversation, a dialogue initiative aimed at interrupting polarization and investing in the principles of civil discourse and respectful conversation. Each month will feature at least one structured activity for students, staff, faculty, and community members to engage in conversation with one other across differences in perspective, identity, and life experiences.
Kaufman Summer Interfaith Service Day Camp
June 12, 2023 - June 19, 2023 (9am-3pm daily)

Registration Open Now!

This summer, the Kaufman Interfaith institute will host our fourth annual Interfaith Summer Service Day Camp with the theme of “Interfaith and Cross-Cultural Equity.” This week-long learning experience is geared toward middle- and high-school age students, of all religious, spiritual, and secular backgrounds, in the greater Grand Rapids area.

During the week, students are exposed to numerous learning opportunities via sacred site visits, volunteering at local service agencies, and interactive simulations.This year, the Summer Day Camp will foster interfaith cooperation, develop student leadership, and provide tools to build an equitable community. Our exploration of these issues aims  to help students 1.)  better understand the lived experiences of members of our communities; 2.) identify barriers and equip students with leadership tools to overcome them; and 3.) develop strategies for making West Michigan a more welcoming and inclusive place for all.
Registration is $100 per student and includes transportation to and from site visits, lunch, snacks, and a camp t-shirt.
Kaufman Interfaith Book Group
Alternate Wednesdays, September 2022 - May 2023
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
The Kaufman Interfaith Institute hosts a recurring book group wherein we read and explore a variety of interfaith works and authors. Meetings take place on every other Wednesday from now until May. 
The group will be discussing exerpts from the report from the Aspen Institute on interfaith engagement in our own community, entitled Building Interfaith Bridges: West Michigan’s Journey Toward Principled Pluralism
The next meeting will take place virtually on Wednesday, March 29th at 2:00pm.

Events In The Community

Greater Grand Rapids End of Life Coalition
Implicit Bias: Culturally Sensitive Care for the Seriously Ill and Dying
Greater Grand Rapids End of Life Coalition
Thursday, March 23, 2023 | 8:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Tabernacle Community Church
2530 Eastern Avenue SE Grand Rapids, MI 49507

Everyone wants and deserves respect and dignity from healthcare providers. When we do not understand another's cultural background, we run the risk of falling short of best practices in caring for those with serious illness or at end-of-life; a situation that does not allow "do-overs." 

This conference will help participants discover their own implicit bias through self-reflection. You will learn from experts in the field on ways to improve organizational outreach to people with various cultural backgrounds and acquire organizational tools/resources to develop program metrics designed to improve culturally appropriate care.
Interfaith Passover
Tuesday, March 28, 2023 | 7:00 PM
Temple Emanuel, Grand Rapids, MI

Temple Emanuel is extending an invitation to members of the Grand Rapids community to join them for a "Taste of Passover." This model seder will include a sampling of the Seder liturgy and music, a tasting of Passover foods, and a chance to ask questions and to dialogue.
The cost to attend is $15 per person. To reserve a spot, please contact cathy@grtemple.org or call the Temple office at 616-459-5976.
The deadline to RSVP is this Friday, March 24.