News, Events & Activities
The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado Welcomes New Leadership: Rabbi Benjamin Arnold, Polly Baca and Dilpreet Jammu join the Board
DENVER — The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado is pleased to announce new leadership and a new member of its board of directors. Rabbi Benjamin Arnold, of Congregation Beth Evergreen, became board president; former State Senator Polly Baca became vice president; and Dilpreet Jammu, CEO of Sona Capital, joined the board for the first time.
“I’m honored to lead an organization dedicated to fostering interfaith understanding, collaboration and respect,” Rabbi Arnold said. “We live in a religiously diverse state and, at the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, we’re committed to honoring each one, facilitating conversation and celebrating diversity.”
Originally from western New York, Rabbi Arnold arrived in Colorado in 2005 when he became the first full-time rabbi at Beth Evergreen. He is actively involved in the religious school, provides spiritual guidance and pastoral counseling, and leads a popular class on Mussar, an intensive Jewish ethical-spiritual discipline. He served as the vice president of the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado since 2009.
Polly Baca joined the board in 2009 and brings vast experience to her role as vice president. She served in both the Colorado House of Representatives and the Colorado Senate and was the first Hispanic woman elected to the State Senate. Her professional experience includes serving as Special Assistant to President Bill Clinton for Consumer Affairs and Director of the United States Office of Consumer Affairs. Her recognitions include being inducted into the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame and the National Hispanic Hall of Fame. She received a B.A. degree in political science from Colorado State University, an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Northern Colorado, and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa.
Dilpreet Jammu, a member of Colorado’s Sikh community, brings two decades of international and strategic business development operations and investment experience to the board. He is also co-director of the Khalsa School, where he teaches religion, history and Punjabi language.
“I feel it is important for the Sikh community to be part of the interfaith community,” Mr. Jammu said. “Our Gurus respected other faiths and taught that there are many paths to the Creator. The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado is a place where that respect is given form each and every day.”
Rabbi Arnold, Ms. Baca, Mr. Jammu and the rest of the board began serving Jan. 28.
Colorado Jewish, Muslim and Christian leaders launch love campaign: Denver Post article
DENVER – The Interfaith Alliance's Jeremy Shaver has cooperated with Muslim leaders on a "Love thy neighbor" campaign aimed at placing ads on RTD buses in support of interfaith tolerance. This is a response to anti-Islamic ads that previously appeared on RTD buses (see next article below).
Interfaith Alliance of Colorado decries anti-Islam RTD ads
DENVER – The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado decries the anti-Islam ads that are displayed on at least 10 Regional Transportation District buses.
“The ads are not only inflammatory; they are inaccurate and steeped in deception and fear,” said Jeremy Shaver, Executive Director, Interfaith Alliance of Colorado. “The advertisements are hateful speech and demonstrate the need for greater interfaith understanding in our society.”
As reported by The Denver Post, the ads were purchased by the American Freedom Defense Initiative. The ads, according to the Nov. 15 article, read: “9,757 Deadly Islamic Attacks Since 9/11/01. It’s Not Islamophobia, It’s Islamorealism. This Ad Paid For By The American Freedom Defense Initiative.”
“The ads are misleading because an attack done in the name of Islam is not necessarily an Islamic attack, any more than an attack by a Christian is a Christian act of violence. Religions do not cause violence, people do,” said Rabbi Benjamin Arnold, vice president of the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado Board of Directors and rabbi at Congregation Beth Evergreen.
“Violence in the name of God should not be condoned or tolerated in any context,” Shaver said. “A more appropriate response than these offensive ads, however, is to challenge violent fundamentalism in all of its forms and to promote interfaith dialogue.”
The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado (TIA-CO) supports the First Amendment and the guarantees of free speech enshrined in our state and federal constitutions. TIA-CO also believes it is important to generate a robust public dialogue when this type of speech surfaces.
TIA-CO opposes Amendment 62
The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado (TIA-CO) has joined the Protect Families Protect Choices coalition to oppose Amendment 62, which will appear on the November ballot. Amendment 62 is an attempt to put a religious definition of life in our state constitution. We do not believe state law should be based on a religious belief or doctrine. We will work hard until the election to educate our members and Colorado voters about the dangers of this proposed amendment. Please read the press release about the launch of the No on 62 campaign. If you would like to get involved, or support the campaign, visit www.protectfamiliesprotectchoices.org. Thank you.
Read the press release
One Voice, January 2010
Previous newsletter, March 2009
TIA-CO was mentioned in the May 25th's Denver Post on the withdrawal of Amendment 51. In particular, Executive Director Jeremy Shaver was quoted since TIA-CO led the coalition opposing the measure. View the article.
Making Colorado fair for all people: An opinion-editorial co-written by Executive Director Jeremy Shaver. Five little-known new state laws make Colorado a more inclusive and fair place. From adoption to estate planning, and from the workplace to keeping our communities safe, these laws protect all of us. Denver Post, 9/21/2009
Personhood amendment readies for Round 2: Read about the renewed attempt to define the term "person" in the Colorado Constitution. Personhood USA is collecting signatures for a new ballot measure in 2010. Rocky Mountain Independent, 8/31/2009
Anti-abortion activists push new, more radical egg-as-person measures: A resurgent movement to place "personhood" measures on state ballots across the nation to ban abortion and comprehensive reproductive care could have far more sweeping implications than the trial balloon Colorado voters soundly defeated last year. RH Reality Check, 7/7/2009
SIN or possible SAVIOR? Embryonic stem cell research is seen as both: The disagreement over the use of embryonic stem cells for medical research - for many, but especially for people of faith - is closely linked to their beliefs about precisely when human life begins. Pueblo Chieftan, 4/14/09
Atheists have an answer to prayer day: A foundation sues the governor of Colorado, saying he crossed the line when he attended a religious event, part of a national observance, Los Angeles Times, 12/15/08
Foes: Amendment 48 goes 'too far', Rocky Mountain News, 9/11/08