The Interfaith Center of New York (ICNY) has received a grant to implement the first large-scale and sustained interfaith collaboration between Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York and Muslim social service organizations in the New York area. The collaboration will consist of three strategic service partnerships between local Muslim groups and Catholic Charities in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island.
The first of these three service partnerships launched on March 15, 2010 with an interfaith Census training program for Muslim and Catholic volunteers from the Muslim Women’s Institute and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York. The training took place at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in the Bronx for thirty-two people in English and Spanish. The pantries serve residents in the Highbridge neighborhood of the Bronx.
Pantry volunteers learned about Catholic and Muslim teachings on caring for the needy, the importance of the Census, and how to answer concerns that people raise, including issues of confidentiality and who needs to be included on the form.
Those present at the training included Tom Dobbins, The Peace and Justice Department of Catholic Charities, Jeanne McGettigan, Coordinator of Emergency Food Services, Catholic Charities, Nurah Amat’ullah, Exec. Director of the Muslim Women’s Institute, Dr. Sarah Sayeed, Program Associate the Interfaith Center of New York, and Interfaith Interns for the project, Malika Pulatova and Joshua David Bishop. Milagros Vicente from the Census Bureau trained the participants. Nurah Amat’ullah also published an op-ed in the Black Star about the importance of the Census, particularly in underserved areas such as Highbridge: “Bronx Works To Improve Census Count” http://www.blackstarnews.com/news/135/ARTICLE/6358/2010-03-12.html