Holocaust Remembrance Day

On April 12, NewGround joins those around the world in reflection and remembrance on Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day. Read more about “One in Thirty” here. (more…)

Young Leaders in Action

Over the past few months NewGround and The Righteous Conversations Projects have been hosting digital storytelling workshops for this years MAJIC Change-Makers.  The workshops are designed to engage NewGround’s High School Leadership Council in a creative process culminating in a trio of films.

Enjoy this selection of photos from the sessions.




All photos by Righteous Conversations Project/Elai Shaine

Meeting the Moment Podcast

NewGround Board Member, community leader, and communications strategist Edina Lekovic has recently launched her podcast Meeting the Moment.

The podcast explores our capacity to dig deep and step up during the most challenging moments in our lives.

We are excited to share that the latest episode is a feature interview with NewGround’s Executive Director Aziza Hasan.

Here’s an excerpt from the episode’s description:

In this conversation, Aziza explains why choosing curiosity over assumptions is the most powerful choice we can make during conflict. Plus, Aziza shares why feels she was born into the work of inter-religious community building through conflict transformation and we reflect on our decade of bringing people together for difficult conversations and relational resilience.

You can listen to this epsiode here, on MTMpod.comApple PodcastsStitcherSoundCloud, Google Play and most places you listen to podcasts.

Event: Death Over Dinner

The 2018 NewGround Changemaker Fellows invite you to the first Death over Dinner: Jewish-Muslim Edition on Sunday, April 15.

Death Over Dinner is a national project to bring people together over text and food to discuss death and dying. In recent years, Reboot partnered with Death Over Dinner to create Death Over Dinner: The Jewish Edition.

“As NewGround Changemaker Fellows, we are taking the model and adding more spice, integrating the Muslim perspective to the table and conversation, hence the “Jewish-Muslim” Edition. Come join us for a vegetarian night full of Jews & Muslims in Los Angeles gathering to share how we grieve, how we approach death, rituals and texts in conversation and connection.”


To participate, RSVP here by April 1st.

Guest Speaker: Gary Mason

On February 27, we welcomed, Gary Mason, a Methodist clergy person, who has spent 27 years in Belfast dedicated to facilitating the peace process in Northern Ireland.

NewGround Fellowship alumni and friends got together with Gary on Tuesday, February 27, to learn how to engage with people who are at extreme ends of the spectrum and how to move from violence to connection.

Gary has lectured in political, religious and academic forums throughout Europe, South Africa, the Middle East and the U.S.A. seeking to engage, mentor and share lessons from the Irish peace process. Gary was instrumental in facilitating negotiations with paramilitaries and government officials and in 2007.

Through his words and his example, Gary Mason compelled us to push past that pain and fear of the “other” in order to promote our shared humanity and effectively pursue peace.” – Maia Ferdman, Human Relations Advocate, HCIDLA


Jewish Journal Feature

Earlier this week, The Jewish Journal published an article highlighting NewGround’s Trail Blazer Award Dinner.  We would like share a special thank you with the author Ryan Torok, and with The Jewish Journal, for covering the impactful event. Read the full article here!

Panel on Religion and More

In late January, NewGround had the honor of joining the University of Southern California for a panel on religion, civic communication, and storytelling.  Aziza Hasan, representing NewGround, spoke alongside many other faith leaders.

Aziza provided insight on the critical nature of forming interfaith and intercultural communities:

“We can form community around each other to make really difficult conversations possible. Thats why I do NewGround. This softness in the window is what NewGround creates.”


NewGround and Pluralism

Check out board members Edina Lekovic and Brie Loskota in a publication released today by The Aspen Institute on how NewGround occupies an important role in this incredibly important conversation on pluralism.

Pluralism in Peril, a new report by the Inclusive America Project, addresses how our nation can maintain its historical commitment to embracing people of all faith backgrounds against a backdrop of polarization. Religious pluralism may be under threat, but effective tools and strategies are available to defenders of this core American value. Pluralism in Peril offers guidance to community and interfaith leaders, youth-serving organizations, philanthropists, and state and local officials on specific action steps to build a more resilient, trust-based environment that fully incorporates American religious minorities. Essays explore ways to increase basic religious literacy, promote allyship and community resilience, and build bridges between youth of different faith traditions. Pluralism in Peril’s authors come from across the political spectrum and include former government officials, religious leaders, interfaith activists, and scholars. While they do not agree on everything, they all insist that America’s religious diversity keeps us strong and that an attack on one faith is an attack on all faiths.

Aziza at Temple Emanuel

Executive Director, Aziza Hasan, presented at Temple Emanuel Beverly Hills. Speaking on NewGround’s Two Faiths One Prayer video, Aziza talked about the power of Muslims and Jews standing side by side in authentic prayer.

Watch Two Faiths One Prayer here!