Frequently asked questions
NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change is an organization committed to fostering authentic dialogue, relationships, and narrative between the Los Angeles Muslim and Jewish communities. Our mission as an organization is balanced between our professional fellowship, our high school leadership council, our public events, and our thought leadership.
You can read more about NewGround’s mission and its implementation on our “Who We Are“ page.
Inclusivity Helps us Cultivate “NewGround.”
At NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change, diversity, equity and inclusion are undoubtedly core to the community we strive to build together. This is because we grow and transform communities through the very relationships that build upon our differences.
Prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion among our board members, staff, and program participants allows us to convene the broad space so integral to our work: a space experienced as welcoming and collaborative for all. This ultimately creates a foundation upon which we can all flourish together.
NewGround holds paramount our role as conveners. NewGround works to break entrenched bias, division, and polarization. In its place, we build a cycle of compassion, transparency and accountability. We create and maintain a space where people can come as they are, with their own stories, positions, and experiences. In this space, we dig deep into what’s at stake for each of us, we allow people to be heard in their full complexity, and we practice listening in a way that affords others the same opportunity.
As conveners, NewGround does not take positions on particular issues. We believe that bringing a multiplicity of perspectives helps us gain context and nuance on the issues that impact us deeply. Within our space, no one needs to dampen, cover over, or compromise their positions in order to be at the table. The only exceptions are our clear opposition to hatred and bias directed at groups of people. Even so, we understand that bias is sometimes unconscious, and individuals may not be aware of the bias they hold or the harm that it causes, and we may not even agree where the lines are drawn. We actively work to understand, examine, and dismantle these biases, but it can be a long process. That is why we create spaces that help us to understand deeply what is at stake for each of our communities.
We do not make statements of position or policy or advocacy – instead we leave room for people to bring their viewpoints and be seen. Our theory of change is that by doing this work and holding this space, we create room for people to see what is truly at stake for each other. pain points of others. We believe that this work is necessary in order for us to find solutions to the most pressing challenges of our time.
For the past several years, we have witnessed disturbing trends in our communities, our country, and our world. At the most benign, people struggle to have conversations across difference, and they can’t hear each other the way they want to be heard. At the most extreme, the rise in tribalism and polarization leads to violence, oppression, and authoritarianism in our governments. In the vast spectrum of experiences in between, we live with anxiety, unease, and alienation around our neighbors.
There are many potential solutions to these problems. At NewGround, we believe that leaning into compassion is the best way to create long-term change. By engaging with each other on the challenging subjects – whether stories of hate and bias that we experience or our connections to Israel Palestine that resonate so deeply within us – we get to see the humanity in each other. While historic narratives and self-interested pundits and politicians can paint Muslims and Jews as traditional enemies, we know that by listening to each other’s stories deeply, we can’t help but fall in love with one another at least a little bit.
We forge resilient relationships and caring communities that stand up for each other in crisis. We hold space to work through our disagreements. We practice empathy and understanding as a means of mending rifts of pain, trauma, and broken trust. We bring these skills not only to interactions between Muslims and Jews, but in all of the encounters we have with those different from ourselves. We hold it all together, even and especially when moments of crisis make it feel impossible to do so. Research bears out on our method: increased polarization leads to an increase in violence, and empathy is the best way to reverse this trend.
NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change is a project of Community Partners, which is classified as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization under the United States Internal Revenue Code. Accordingly, all donations made to NewGround, unless part of an exchange of goods and services, will be classified as a tax exemption.
We are also fiscally sponsored by Community Partners, and as such our Tax ID No. / EIN is 95-4302067. For more information, please email Tom Earl [at] [email protected].
Fiscal sponsorship provides a sustainable, cost-effective way to manage social good initiatives of all sizes and at all stages of development. From innovative start-ups to more established groups, projects under fiscal sponsorship with Community Partners receive much more than the benefits of tax-exempt status – they are supported by a team of experts who elevate and strengthen their work.
NewGround’s fiscal sponsor is Community Partners.
NewGround’s public events thrive specifically because of its extensive network of alumni and exceptional volunteer presence. If you would like to volunteer, please fill out this form! You may direct additional questions to [email protected].
NewGround also welcomes interns year-round. You can note your interest in the internship by completing this form.
We are pleased that you would like to participate in our programming! NewGround’s program facilitators have worked tirelessly since our very inception to further adapt the program to the needs of the Muslim and Jewish communities. In an effort to maximize the effectiveness of the program, we have as such placed very particular reservations on who may participate in each program.
For more inquiries regarding NewGround programming limitations, as well as similar opportunities to get involved, please see our respective pages on our high school leadership council and our professional fellowship.
If you’d like to view our most recent financial information, you can access our 2020-21 fiscal year’s annual report to the community here.