Interfaith Community Dinner 2022

Monday May 9      |  6:30 – 9 pm   |   UNF Adam W. Herbert University Center

Interfaith Center of Northeast Florida was delighted to host Imam Shamsi Ali, a prominent Indonesian Muslim Scholar known for promoting interfaith dialogues among Abrahamic Religions in the United States, as our  keynote speaker for our 2022 Interfaith Dinner. 
His book, co-authored with Jewish Rabbi Marc Schneier,  Sons of Abraham: A Candid Conversation about the Issues That Divide and Unite Jews and Muslims. Tells the story of how they became friends and offer a candid look at the contentious theological and political issues that frequently divide Jews and Muslims.

His “liberal” approaches to his interfaith
activities and views on how to lead a modern Islamic life in a Western society, have been labelled as controversial by many conservative Muslims.  
He is the director of the Jamaica Muslim Center in Jamaica, Queens, New York City and president and founder of the Nusantara Foundation. The use of his oratorical skills to denounce religious extremism in the world have earned him the friendship of world leaders including ex President Bill Clinton.

Local faith leaders Holly Nadji and Steve Pirnia, Rev. R.L. Gundy and Rabbi Lubliner, Rev. Regina Jackson, Sukhbir Singh.


Interfaith Community Awards and Dinner 2022 Jacksonville UNF – YouTube

Dr. Parvez Ahmed interview with First Coast Connect Melissa Ross – May 5

 Our Interfaith Center of Northeast Florida 2020 Interfaith Awards, recognize unsung local heroes in our community. This year’s recipients actively promote diversity and speak to peace and togetherness, in the workplace, government, or other vocational spheres in their communities. 


Community Emerging Leadership Education Award  – This award recognizes an “under 40” member of the northeast Florida community who has demonstrated leadership in interfaith understanding or activism.

2022 Award winner: Stefanie Levine, Bend the Arc Jacksonville

Stefanie was as eager to find a community of progressive like-minded Jews to organize and build community with.  Not finding anything formal that already existed, Stefanie worked to launch her own branch of Bend The Arc in Jacksonville. Driven by Jewish ethical traditions, Stefanie and her Bend The Arc group work to advocate and organize for a most just society for all our community members.  The group has participated and ran multiple phone/text banks, protests/rallies, and other legislative opportunities to push for social justice and equity, showing up in solidarity as Jews for all marginalized community members.


Community Education Award  – This award recognizes those who have made a large contribution to our local community through involvement in community service, organized projects, and /or promoted diversity while still striving for excellence.

2022 Award winner: Andrea Reyes, Reyes-Legal

Andrea Reyes is an attorney who is dedicated exclusively to the practice of immigration law, with the belief that no one is ‘illegal’.  She she sat on the Board of Directors of the Women’s March of Jacksonville for three years. Worked with NorthEast Florida Human Trafficking Coalition and supported the vigil rallying against the separation of families the border. Also helping develop the ‘We are Duval” program for JSO training, to teach officers at about the city’s diversity, community policing, unconscious bias, and the distrust of vulnerable populations. 


Mutual Curiosity Award  – This award recognizes and celebrates an exemplary effort to build mutual curiosity in northeast Florida around matter of interfaith concern.

2022 Award winner: Sukhbir Singh, Founder Sikh Society 

Sikhism is often misunderstood, or confused with other religions.  Sukhbir Singh has worked tirelessly to educate people about Sikhism for many years.  Explaining the history and promoting Sikh values and compassion. At UNF Interfaith Center open days he illuminated the importance of mens turbans and demonstrated how they are worn.  He has built bridges at Faith In Public Life events, spoken at JSO programs and has participated in faith events all over Jacksonville.  Through community outreach and actively inviting people to share a meal and participate in Sikh events at Gurudwara, he has increased our community’s knowledge and understanding of Sikhism.