NewGround Around Town


NewGround leaders inspire dialogue around Los Angeles. 


NewGround Executive Director Aziza Hasan spoke on the future of Islam in Southern California along with retired Councilman Robert Farrell and some amazing high school students at Masjid Bilal.  Saaliha Khan, NewGround Communications and Project Manager, addressed the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Faith-based Advocacy Council meeting on NewGround’s accomplishments and vision for the year ahead.

NewGround on BuzzFeed and CCF

Videos“A priest, a rabbi, and an imam get together…”

With over 1,000,000+ views, check out the latest BuzzFeed video featuring NewGround Board member Rabbi Susan Goldberg; MAJIC Advisory Board member, Jihad Turk; and Reverend Francisco Garcia. The religious leaders got together on camera to discuss their religious stances on tough, contemporary issues. Throughout the video, Rabbi Susan Goldberg emphasizes the importance of listening and practicing empathy and compassion with one another.

A NewGround Vision for Los Angeles

On New Year’s Eve, the California Community Foundation as part of its Centennial Celebration and Legacy Campaign posted this #LAtogether short video sharing NewGround Executive Director Aziza Hasan’s vision for Los Angeles: “A place where we have the COURAGE to tell our stories and CONNECT with each other.”

TEDx & PBS feature NewGround


NewGroud Executive Director Aziza Hasan’s TEDx Talk Now Available Online HERE!

Watch how Aziza shares transformative stories that illustrate the power of “Unlocking the Courage of Curiosity” and leaves the audience teary-eyed with a standing ovation to follow.

We encourage you to share this along with our short video #BreakNewGround to amplify our NewGround value and message of emphasizing “curiosity over assumptions.”

PBS: Check out footage at 8:07 from NewGround’s annual community iftar at Wilshire Boulevard Temple on PBS! Watch HERE!

BuzzFeed Highlights Change-makers

Have you seen it yet? Check out our BuzzFeed video HERE.

Find our NewGround change-makers Saaliha Khan, staff member, Marwa Abdelghani,  MAJIC alum and community outreach fellow at MPAC, and Tom Earl, spoken word poet, community educator & MAJIC speaker.

The video has over 15 million views and counting!

 SK BuzzFeed

Harvard’s Diana Eck Recognizes NewGround

deHarvard’s Diana Eck Recognizes NewGround

World-renowned scholar, Diana L. Eck from Harvard University Pluralism Project recognizesNewGround in the latest issue of the Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue on pages 57-58 in an article titled “Pluralism: Problems and Promise.”

Our very own Aziza Hasan authors a piece also published in this JIRS 17th edition on the power of NewGround’s transformative approach — enjoy learning more about us in “The Power of Relationships and Personal Story in Transforming Community” on pages 20-27! Click HERE to view it.


NewGround at Parliament of World’s Religions


NewGround Presenting at Parliament of the World’s Religions

A group of NewGround alumni will present at the Parliament of the World’s Religions Conference to be held in Salt Lake City with over 10,000 people coming together from all over the world! .

What is the Parliament of the World’s Religions? 
The Parliament is the oldest, the largest, and the most inclusive gathering of people of all faith and traditions. The first Parliament took place in 1893. Since then, this historic event has taken place in Chicago, USA; Cape Town, South Africa; Barcelona, Spain; Melbourne, Australia, and now in Salt Lake City, Utah. Its mission is to promote understanding, cooperation, and collaboration among religious communities. Click HERE for more about the Parliament.
In the 2015 Parliament, prominent world faith leaders are attending including, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama; Dr. Tariq Ramadan, Rabbi David Saperstein, Dr. Eboo Patel, Karen Armstrong, and Nobel Peace Laureates Mairead Mahuire. For a full list of all the major speakers, click HERE. The Parliament is an amazing venue to share what we have learned at NewGround with other members of the interfaith movement from around the world!
What is the goal of presenting our workshop at the Parliament of the World’s Religions?
Our intention and goal is to inspire the attendees to build relationships, and create new ground, by applying the NewGround model in their home countries and communities.



NewGround at Adat Chaverim

FarazChange-makers, Faraz and Eliyahu, Represent NewGround at Adat Chaverim

“It was enriching to learn about the transformative experiences Eli and Faraz have had with NewGround. Their willingness to go beyond the normal “safe talk” of interfaith dialogue and navigate polarizing issues in a dignified way is truly inspiring. They taught us that understanding another’s point of view requires deep and mutual respect. The work they are doing is greatly needed in our diverse and often contentious cultural climate.” -Jonathan Friedmann, Adat Chaverim

Wrestling Jerusalem


NewGround Change-makers at Wrestling Jerusalem: NewGround Facilitator, Ramin Nematollahi, Speaks on a Panel at the Pico Union Project:

Wrestling Jerusalem is a dynamic one-man play tackling the very complex discussion on the Israeli and Palestinian conflict through the eyes of numerous characters created by Aaron Davidman. The play exemplified the power and sanctity of listening. Listening to different ideas, different views, and different people, all seemingly looking for a solution, perhaps being the solution.

I had the honor and privilege of serving on a discussion panel to reflect on the play. I spoke about the correlation between NewGround’smission of transforming communities by bringing together Jewish and Muslim change makers and engaging in intentional and active listening in an effort to support a process of collaboration.

I also spoke about the overall complexity of the issue and the challenging but necessary task to steer away from polarizing detractors so that the gates to communication do not collapse

Do you have a Change-maker story you would like to share with us?

Remembering our Change-maker, Dr. Maher Hathout

Dr. H

Remembering and Honoring Our Change-maker, Dr. Maher Hathout:

Aziza Hasan Appears on Straight Talk Podcast to Talk about Resolving Conflict

“Don’t lose yourself to anger. The best you will do is succumb to the behavior of the person who made you angry.”
–Dr. Maher Hathout

Listen to NewGround Executive Director Aziza Hasan speak with the late Dr. Maher Hathout in the first of a 2-part series on “Practical Tips for Resolving Conflict.” Enjoy these precious gems of wisdom on how to transform conflict in our lives.

Board Member Rabbi Sarah Bassin reflects on Dr. Hathout in the Jewish Journal

NewGround’s former Executive Director, Rabbi Sarah Bassin, publishes her reflections on the passing of Dr. Hathout in a moving op-ed in the Jewish Journal, titled, “I Miss His Voice.”

In it, she translates the significance of his passing into the Jewish community context: “His passing would be like the death of our early Reformers – Isaac Mayer Wise and David Einhorn. These giants of Reform Judaism defined what it meant to be Jewish and American simultaneously without apology or compromise. That is who Dr. Hathout was for so many of my Muslim friends who mourn him.”

NewGround Shares Stories


Board Member Edina & Alumna Lia Share NewGround Stories:

On January 11, 2015, NewGround had the pleasure of presenting at All Saints Episcopal Church for an Interfaith Study Group, which was founded in 2007 as a joint effort by All Saints, the Islamic Center of Southern California, and the Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center. The evening eulogized the two great progressive religious leaders and longtime allies, Rabbi Leonard Beerman of the Leo Baeck Temple and Dr. Maher Hathout, founder of the MPAC.

NewGround’s co-founder and board member, Edina Lekov ic, and graduate ofNewGround’s fellowship, Lia Mandelbaum, spoke to NewGround’s methodology and experience with Muslim-Jewish relations in Los Angeles. Following the event, attendee Navjot Sekhon said that learning “about NewGround and hearing Lia’s story” was “a powerful example of individuals from different faiths coming together and igniting relationships filled with companions and not enemies. NewGround is leading the way in helping our future generations to keep moving forward towards a more peaceful world.”