With religious intolerance and hate crimes on the rise, Tri-Faith Initiative aims to create a more inclusive culture in which religious pluralism is socially normative. According to the Pew Research Center, Jews make up about 2 percent of the U.S. population and Muslims make up about 1 percent. Despite the fact that together they account for only 3 percent of the population, according the the FBI’s latest report, hate crimes against Jews and Muslims account for 79 percent of religiously motivated hate crimes.
Tri-Faith Initiative was founded by members from Temple Israel who felt a need to form an interfaith initiative. They invited members of congregations that were already doing interfaith work. These congregations eventually became Temple Israel, Countryside Community Church, and American Muslim Institute. To learn more about the history of Tri-Faith Initiative, click here.
While the Tri-Faith partners share an Abrahamic faith, we invite and encourage people of all religions to visit and interact on our commons. Our programming focuses on interfaith cooperation and religious literacy to fight the global plague of bigotry and to foster empathy.
Are you trying to invent a new religion?
No. We are an inter-faith organization. Our goal is to help the world see the value in a pluralistic approach which celebrates our differences and our similarities. Tri-Faith Initiative works to give opportunities for individuals to see, know, and understand the religious other. In creating meaningful experiences for exposure to the other, we advance peaceful co-existence and religious freedom for all.
What is Pluralism?
Religious pluralism is an attitude or policy regarding the diversity of religious belief systems co-existing in society. Pluralism goes beyond tolerance and requires meaningful dialogue and connection in order to understand and know one another.
Who can visit the Tri-Faith Commons?
Anyone! All Tri-Faith Initiative programs and spaces are open to all people. We only ask that visitors abide by our Memorandum of Understanding, which states there will be no proselytizing on the campus; all people are to be treated with respect—and all beliefs will be respected, too.
We strive to make our commons to be a place where people can share in community and learn from each other. We encourage you to bring a respectful curiosity about religious diversity in all its forms.
Who is funding this project?
99% of all funds raised for the Tri-Faith Initiative have come from Omaha community members and local philanthropic foundations.
We are still raising funds to build the Tri-Faith Center and depend on contributions from people like you. We appreciate any financial support you can offer and have made it easy to make a tax deductible gift online.
Who runs the Tri-Faith Initiative?
The Tri-Faith Initiative is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization separate from our partner congregations. We are governed by a local board of directors comprised entirely of Omaha area leaders with long track records of participation in other community activities. To learn more about our staff, click here.
What is the construction timeline for the Tri-Faith Commons?
Temple Israel completed construction of its new synagogue in 2013.
The American Muslim Institute broke ground on their mosque and Islamic center in late 2015 and opened in spring 2017.
Countryside Community Church United Church of Christ broke ground in summer 2017 and completed construction in April of 2019.
The Tri-Faith Center will be the last building to open on the commons, and is anticipated to be completed in 2020.
Tri-Faith Initiative is already sponsoring activities including speaking engagements, family friendly programming, hospitality between congregational partners, an annual picnic, and learning opportunities.
How can I get involved?
There are lots of ways! Here are just a few:
- Participate actively in your own community and encourage your friends and family to engage in interfaith cooperation and education. Be an ambassador for the Tri-Faith Initiative.
- Invite our speakers to make a presentation at your civic or community group, school, or faith institution.
- Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Please feel free to request to be on our media advisory list.
- Link to our website from yours. Blog and talk about the Tri-Faith Initiative online.
- Tell us about your special gifts and talents that you can offer to the Tri-Faith Initiative. This project is moving forward because of the commitment of many dedicated volunteers. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Offer your financial support for our programs and toward building our shared Tri-Faith Center. Click here to make a donation.