The Tri-Faith Initiative


A Celebration of Summer and Community

Over 350 people made their way down 72 feet of fabulous food at the Tri-Faith picnic at Temple Israel on August 17.  Rabbi Aryeh Azriel opened the picnic, inviting Jewish, Christian and Muslim faith leaders to offer prayers for peace. Rabbi Josh Brown, the Rev. Chris Alexander from Countryside Community Church, and Nizam Quassem from the American Institute of Islamic Studies and Culture brought prayers from the three faith traditions.

Tri-Faith Picnic August 17 2014 at Temple Israel


Farhan Khan cooked 240 halal hamburgers and 300 kosher hot dogs to feed the crowd estimated at 350-400.  We ran out of name tags at 300 and people kept coming, bringing a bounty of salads, ethnic dishes, fruits and desserts that filled 9 long tables.


Children played in the bounce house, had their faces painted by Omaha artist Jessica Kirk, and crowded around the snow cone machine for an icy treat on a hot afternoon.


People who hadn’t visited Temple Israel before took guided tours with Temple Program Director  Scott Littky.  For some Christians and Muslims, it was the first time they had ever been inside a synagogue.


Everywhere you looked, people were talking with new friends and old.  As Temple president Mike Halsted said “It’s great to see people so engaged”.


It was an afternoon to celebrate that not only is the Tri-Faith Initiative possible, it is happening.


Thanks to our corporate sponsors for the picnic:



Vic Gutman and Associates

Halal Transactions

Tri-Faith Family Picnic August 17

All supporters of the Tri-Faith Initiative are invited to the Tri-Faith picnic August 17 at Temple Israel on the Tri-Faith campus.

Not sure what to bring to share?  Try some of these ideas:

Fruit or fruit salad

Green salad

Pasta or rice salads (we’ll be outside so no mayo)

Cakes, cookies, brownies


Thank you Omaha!

We asked you to participate in OmahaGives! and you GAVE!  It was a record breaking year with 34,284 gifts made to 569 non-profits totaling $6,360,907.


There were 75 gifts to The Tri-Faith Initiative totaling $4775 plus a $1,000 check given early because the donor was going to be out of town during the drive. Generous gifts were also made to our faith partners, Temple Israel, the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska and the Dean Fricke Food Pantry, and the American Institute of Islamic Studies and Culture.


Omaha Gives is just another example of why Omaha is the place where the Tri-Faith Initiative can flourish.


Blessings to all those who gave during the 24 hour marathon, and the other donors who support us throughout the year.


Special thanks to the Omaha Community Foundation who organized the event and the many donors who provided matching funds and special prizes.


Omaha Gives! to benefit Tri-Faith

The Tri-Faith Initiative is participating once again in OmahaGives24!, a one-day charity challenge to encourage giving to Omaha non-profits.  This is chance to vote for your favorite causes by going on-line to

Using a sports format, the website will feature a “leader board” showing how much each organization has raised from on-line donations starting at 12:01 a.m. on May 21 and going until the stroke of midnight.

You can also track what is happening on Facebook and Twitter.  If you haven’t “liked” our pages yet, please do.  On Facebook go to and on Twitter follow trifaithomaha.

Interfaith Easter Egg Hunt

As part of the Tri-Faith Shared Holidays program, parents and children from Interplay, our program for children and youth, hid Easter eggs for the children of the Christian Ministries at Tri-Faith on Easter.  This is the third year Muslim and Jewish parents have joined the Christian parents to hide the eggs, and then all the children join in the hunt.

The egg hunt moved inside because of rain

As part of Interplay, children of the Abrahamic faiths learn about each others holidays, including Eid, Pesach (Passover), Christmas and more through sharing books, traditions and special foods from various cultures.

In past years, Christian and Jewish volunteers have handed out dates following Eid services of the AIISC, and Muslims and Christians were invited by Temple Israel to join the celebration of Sukkot.

Tri-Faith On the Road

The Tri-Faith Initiative is going “on the road” for workshops on interfaith work in Nebraska communities throughout the state.  Panel members from Temple Israel, the American Institute of Islamic Studies and Culture and the new ecumenical Christian community on the Tri-Faith campus will discuss the plans for the campus at 132nd and Pacific in Omaha.

Clergy, lay leaders and religious educators will be gathering at the workshops to learn how they may be able to foster interfaith activities in their communities.  The Tri-Faith leaders will share resources for education programs and lead discussions on how to build relationships with people of other faiths and how to build programs for joint action on community projects.

The upcoming workshops are:

In Mitchell, August 17, 10:00-2:00 at Holy Apostles Church

Register Here

In Kearney, September 28, 10:00-2:00 at St. Luke’s Church

We had a great workshop in Lincoln in July, and additional workshops are in the planning stage for Norfolk and Omaha.

The workshops are co-sponsored by the Tri-Faith Initiative, the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska and the ELCA Nebraska Synod with support from the Roanridge Trust.


Interfaith Amigos Coming to Omaha

Join us on March 6 at 7 p.m. at the UNO Strauss Performing Arts Center in Omaha for The Interfaith Amigos, a group from the Seattle area who bring a good dose of humor to the discussion of interfaith relationships among Jews, Christians and Muslims.

They will also be presenting in Lincoln on March 7.

The  event will feature The Interfaith Amigos. Rabbi Ted Falcon is known as a spiritual guide, author, therapist and teacher of Jewish meditation. Imam Jamal Rahman is a popular speaker on Islam, Sufi spirituality, and interfaith relations. Together they have spoken widely, exploring the frontiers of interfaith spirituality.

At this event they will be joined by Christian ministers from the Lincoln-Omaha area.

This gathering of the Abrahamic faiths is sponsored by Saint Paul Church, Westminster Church, Union College, the Niagara Foundation, ARYA, Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska and south street Temple, Islamic Studies at UNO,  The Tri-Faith Initiative of Omaha, TASON and Fountain Magazine.Buy tickets at .

For a preview, check the Interfaith Amigos website.  There are videos of two TEDx talks they have given.

Seating is limited and the last time they performed in Nebraska, tickets sold out in less than a week.  Get yours today.

Save the Dates

Save these dates for upcoming programs, sponsored or co-sponsored by the Tri-Faith Initiative:

March 6, The Interfaith Amigos, UNO Strauss Performing Arts Center, 7 p.m. , co-sponsored by The Niagara Foundation, The Tri-Faith Initiative, The UNO Islamic Studies Program,TASON, Saint Paul Church, Westminster Church, Union College, ARYA, Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska and south street Temple, ,  Tri-Faith Omaha, TASON and Fountain Magazine. Tickets at

March 26 — Temple Israel has invited the Episcopal Tri-Faith Ministries and the AIISC to bring 40 people to the annual community Seder at Temple.  If you are interested in participating, please contact the Episcopal Tri-Faith community or the AIISC as appropriate.

April 13, Bishop John Selby Spong will speak at Countryside Community Church on Eternal Life, A New Vision – Beyond Religion, Beyond Theism, Beyond Heaven & Hell.  For the past 40 years he has been a definitive voice for progressive Christianity, and has a deep commitment to interfaith work. For tickets, contact Countryside at or 402.391.0350 ext. 121.

Tri-Faith Named to Top Ten Stories of 2012

We are honored that NET named The Tri-Faith Initiative one of the Top Ten Stories of 2012.  If you did not have a chance to hear the broadcast or see the story on the web, click here:



Tri-Faith Named Top Ten Story of 2012

If Tri-Faith is one of your favorite projects of 2012, there is still time to cast your vote by making an on-line donation before the year ends.