The Tri-Faith Initiative


Press Room

To schedule interviews about the Tri-Faith Initiative or its three faith partners, please contact Vic Gutman, 402-708-1820. Email is

Images available below.  Video clips from the December 13 press conference will be available on this page on December 15.




Representatives of Temple Israel, the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska, the American Institute of Islamic Studies and Culture (AIISC) and the Tri-Faith Initiative of Omaha today announced each of the four entities has purchased land at 132nd and Pacific Streets in Omaha.  The four parcels, totaling approximately 35 acres, will be the future site of the Tri-Faith neighborhood. 


This unique project, the first of its kind in the world, deliberately co-locates a synagogue, church and mosque.  The site plan also includes a Tri-Faith Center with social, educational and conference facilities enabling global study and communication. 


“Experience teaches us that interaction can transform intolerance, ignorance and fear into understanding, respect and trust,” said Bob Freeman, Tri-Faith Initiative Board Chairman.   “These basic values are shared by the three Abrahamic faiths and are rooted in our Midwestern culture.”


The Tri-Faith Initiative and the three religious groups each raised funds and purchased their own parcel of land.  Additional funds will be raised to underwrite design and construction costs.  The first building is expected to be completed in 2013.


John Lehr, president of Temple Israel, remarked, “How serendipitous it is that on the very ground where Omaha’s Jews once congregated at the only Country Club that would have us, we are now poised to congregate again, but this time, in a peaceful and beautiful multi-faith neighborhood, linked together by bridges of dialogue and mutual understanding!”


Tim Anderson, Canon for Episcopal Tri-Faith Ministries, commented, “In our baptismal covenant in the Episcopal Church we make the following promises: to seek and serve Christ in all persons; to love our neighbors as ourselves; to strive for justice and peace among all people; and to respect the dignity of every human being.  We will now have a unique opportunity to live out those promises with our new Jewish and Muslim neighbors.”


Dr. Syed M. Mohiuddin, president of the AIISC, underscored the global urgency of developing interfaith relationships.  “In a time when the world is engaged in building walls, this is a celebration of building bridges,” he said.  “As Holy Quran reminds us of the common bond among us, ‘We believe in what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to you [Jews and Christians].  Our God and your God is one and the same: and it is to him we submit (Quran 29:46).’”


About the Tri-Faith Initiative

The Tri-Faith Initiative of Omaha includes members of the three Abrahamic faiths – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – and is committed to capitalizing on a unique opportunity to facilitate learning, tolerance and respect from intentionally collaborative efforts.


About Temple Israel

Temple Israel has served Omaha’s Reform Jewish community for the past 140 years.  The congregation strives to bridge tradition and modernity linking the community’s rich history with fresh approaches to spirituality, lifelong learning and acts of justice.


About the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska

The Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska represents all Episcopal churches and members in the state.  It is a worship-oriented church whose members, by their faith, are called to strive for justice and peace among all people and to respect the dignity of every human being.


About The American Institute of Islamic Studies and Culture

The AIISC’s mission is to promote a better understanding of Islam in the western world.  Grounded in faith and the beliefs of Islamic traditions, AIISC’s vision is to establish an Islamic center which will have educational, religious and social components that affirm the core values of Islam: acceptance, compassion, equality, peace and justice.



Photo Gallery


Tri-Faith Nneighborhood

The Tri-Faith Neighborhood at Sterling Ridge, Omaha, NE


AIISC 110104_E Elevation_20111103 (click link to see a rendering of the American Institute of Islamic Studies and Culture)


Temple Israel – View from Southwest-0112-09-2011 (click here to see a rendering of Temple)


L to R: Bob Freeman, chairman of the Tri-Faith Initiative Board; Dr. Syed Mohiuddin, president of the American Institute of Islamic Studies and Culture; Bishop J. Scott Barker of the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska and John Lehr, President of Temple Israel, announced the purchase of 4 adjacent parcels of land in Omaha to build a Tri-Faith neighborhod.

Tri-Faith Teens offer prayers

Jewish, Christian and Muslim teens Sophie Goldberg, Temple Israel, Rebekah Schaefer, Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska and Omar Nasir, AIISC gave the blessing at the end of the press conference

Rabbi Aryeh Azriel and Nebraska Episcopal Bishop J. Scott Barker

Episcopal Bishop J. Scott Barker congratulates Rabbi Aryeh Azriel for his visionary leadership in the Tri-Faoth Initiative. Shalom!




Check out some past coverage of The Tri-Faith Initiative:


December 27, 2011 

Tri-Faith Project to construct multi-million dollar interfaith complex in America’s heartland 

December 18, 2011

Omaha Tri-Faith Initiative Has Unique Approach To Interfaith Relations

Islamaphobia Today


December 17, 2011

Brotherly love: A mosque, church and synagogue to stand by each other in Nebraska

Al Arabyia


December 16, 2011

Coexistence Is Within Reach: The Making of a Tri-Faith Community Center by Susan Buffett

Huffington Post


December 16, 2011

The Tri-Faith Initiative Moves Forward

The Jewish Press 


December 16, 2011

American city will see ‘multi-faith neighborhood’

Anglican Communion News Service


December 15, 2011

Omaha Tri-Faith Initiative Has Unique Approach To Interfaith Relations by Jaweed Kaleem

Huffington Post


December 14, 2011

Nebraska synagogue on board for new tri-faith neighborhood

JTA (Jewsih Telegraphic Agency)


December 14, 2011

Nebraskans will have interfaith model in Omaha

Episcopal Cafe


December 14, 2011

Tri-faith Initiative in Omaha Nebraska 1st of its Kind in the World

Islam Online


December 13, 2011

Tri-Faith land purchases announced

Omaha World-Herald by Christopher Burbach


December 13, 2011

Unique Tri-Faith Initiative buys common ground

Episcopal News Service


December 13, 2011

Kelly: Why, pray tell, is first tri-faith project here?

Omaha World-Herald, Mike Kelly


December 13, 2011

Three Faiths Work Together As Neighbors

KETV, Omaha


December 11, 2011

Kelly: Tri-faith plan moves forward

Omaha World-Herald, Mike Kelly


October 8, 2011

Bishop Applauds Tri-Faith Initiative

Omaha World-Herald


August 21, 2011

Mike Kelly: Three-faith site planners persevere

Omaha World-Herald


August 8, 2011

A Church, a Shul, and a Mosque Try Faithful Experiment

The Jewish Daily Forward


April 17, 2011

Mike Kelly: Interfaith Capital?

The Omaha World Herald

March 29, 2011
The Optimistic Muslim – Is Omaha, Nebraska the Interfaith Capital of the World?, Dr. Dave Liepert

March 28, 2011

Who is my neighbour?

The Episcopal News Service