June 3, 2020 Comments are off admin

Our first ever virtual Iftar has wrapped!

On April 30, 2020, NewGround hosted its first ever virtual Iftar.

Many of you know that the annual NewGround Community Iftar is a tradition very near and dear to our hearts and to the Los Angeles interfaith community. Each year, NewGround convenes hundreds of Angelenos across faith, class, and race for a night of breaking bread, facilitated table-side dialogue, and commemorating the month of Ramadan.

This year, we were unable to convene in person, but something didn’t feel right about not gathering at all this year.

We made the decision to host our Iftar, for the very first time, virtually. Streamed on Facebook Live, thousands of you showed up and made the evening a meaningful, communal, and spiritually fulfilling experience.

Among those thousands of you who tuned in were our friends at the Los Angeles TimesVoice of Americathe Forward, and ABC News, who have recently released coverage of the evening for all to enjoy. We encourage you to read, watch, share, and soak in the familiar faces!

A video of the event is available to view on both YouTube, as seen below, and Facebook, with the latter also including preservation of comment section engagement.

April 14, 2020 Comments are off admin

COVID-19: Changes in the Community

NewGround exists to convene and build community.

So what do we do when community safety requires that we physically distance ourselves from each other?

Right now, the need for connection and community is more urgent than ever. We are mindful of the risks that we face at this moment. We also know that, under these circumstances, it is easy to feel distanced from one another.

However, this time of physical separation doesn’t need to be a time of social isolation. What we hope will follow the COVID-19 outbreak is the opportunity to reflect, rekindle, and strengthen bonds in intentional and creative ways.

In that spirit, we will gather online for our Community Iftar on the evening of April 30, 2020 for a virtual experience of spiritual reflection and community building. We are currently in the planning process, and are working to make sure that the event is distinctive, engaging, and fulfilling in this time of increasing distance.

We invite you to “be” with us on April 30. We hope you’ll also sponsor this community-building event at a time when convening matters most. Your presence and support will help us continue our essential work as we meet this moment together. 

We’ve been contemplating the ways in which our NewGround community can actively support one another and our city at large. We look forward to sharing these reflections with you soon. We are here to care for one another in times of uncertainty, and it is through that mutual care that together we will be able to move through the challenges that lie ahead.

March 12, 2020 Comments are off admin

L.A.’s ‘Transcedients’ at the Japanese American National Museum

This year, Taiji Terasaki has brought his unique artistic style to Los Angeles! His exhibit, Transcendients: Heroes at Borders, is a chance to learn about, reflect on, and celebrate heroes in Los Angeles, across the nation, and within our own lives. This exhibit is currently on display at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) and includes NewGround‘s own Aziza Hasan, as well as advisory board member Rabbi Susan Goldberg.

Last weekend, JANM spearheaded a community celebration for these low-key Los Angeles heroes, as well as the values and work that they stand for. It was a day of music, workshops, and community-building. During the program, Aziza spoke on a panel discussion regarding human rights in Los Angeles. Read more about the celebratory event in The Rafu Shimpo’s coverage of the day.

The Transcendients exhibit will be on display February 1 – March 29. For information on visiting the exhibit, visit JANM.org

June 21, 2019 Comments are off admin

Cooking up Connections, and more news.

Our 2018-19 cohorts have now officially wrapped, Ramadan has concluded with Eid al-Fitr, our Community Iftar was a success, and we continue to witness accelerating social change around the world. Included in this change is that which is taking place in our own communities through the creation and maintenance of relationship-based dialogue.

Our 2018-19 programming may have come to a close these past few weeks, but the work of our fellows and MAJICians continues to push them to strengthen bonds, address social issues, and contribute to the birth of a healthier and more empathetic society. They’re doing that in a multitude of different ways, and their official Change-maker projects (of which “Cooking up Connections” is the most recent) are just the beginning.

Watch: A Muslim-Jewish Call for Conversation on Mental Health

Watch: Seeds of Partnership, or the Sardari & Moradi Story

Watch: Cooking up Connections, or Muslims & Jews Chat with Refugee Chefs in Southern California