February 05, 2017
White Plains, NY
The Shinnyo-en temple in White Plains, New York, was among one of many centers that hosted an interfaith event for World Interfaith Harmony Week on February 5, 2017. Observed annually by the United Nations, World Interfaith Harmony Week is a period of time that promotes compassion, friendship and openness among all religions and faith traditions.
Thousands of events take place across the United States and throughout the world during this week, which becomes a focal point for the interfaith community to show the world that “the common values they hold far outweigh the differences they have.”
In past years, Shinnyo-en practitioners have attended World Harmony Week celebrations in the New York area. This year, for the first time, the event has held at the Shinnyo-en temple. Rev. Qalvy Grainzvolt, among many other members who attended, all served as representatives of the Shinnyo Buddhist community.
The celebration was attended by approximately 60 people from a variety of faith traditions, including Buddhists, Unitarians, Sikhs, Muslims, Mormons, Christians, Hindus, Quakers and members of the Jewish community. In addition, the Westchester County Executive’s Office, White Plains Mayor's Office, and the Westchester County Board of Legislators, offered proclamations that officially recognize this ceremony.
“Building on twenty-five centuries of tradition, Shinnyo Buddhism teaches us how to use each day as an opportunity to connect with others and seek enlightenment,” said Rev. Grainzvolt. “We are honored to help raise awareness of World Interfaith Harmony Week and support a movement of peace that is at the heart of faith traditions and groups of goodwill.”
Commitment to fostering interfaith reflection is at the heart of Shinnyo-en’s core values. Her Holiness Shinso Ito teaches that the goal of interfaith dialogue must be for different faiths to learn from one another. Spiritual leaders in attendance expressed the importance of interfaith harmony and the need to express the importance of interfaith tolerance to their congregations, not for just this week but throughout the year.