Category Archives: Events

Music Around the World for Saxophone and Piano

Mary Au and Chika Inoue

As part of the ICP 3rd Sunday Concert series,  Chika Inoue and Mary Au presented “Music Around the World for Saxophone and Piano” to an enthusiastic crowd of 45-50 music lovers on Sunday, November 19th.

With Chika Inoue on saxophone and Mary Au at the piano, the concert featured music from Japanese, German, Armenian, Belgian, and U.S. composers.

One piece, “Behind Barbed Wire,” portrayed the terrors of war and what happened to Japanese Americans post-EO9066, through a combination of music, Haiku and Tanka poems written by internees, and video with home movie camera footage. It was written by Deon Nielsen Price, a widely performed and recorded composer and pianist, who is now a resident of the Presidio.

Mary Au and Chika Inoue

Download the program: Chika Inoue and Mary Au


Veterans Day Remembrance Service

The Interfaith Service of Remembrance sponsored by ICP on Veterans Day, November 11, included prayers from different traditions, music by local musician Brian Vouglas, a message of greeting from the office of Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi, and a reflection from Tyler Solorio of Swords to Plowshares.

Veterans Day 2017

Left to right: Gerry Caprio, Alex Lazar, Congressional Aide representing the Democratic leader of the House Nancy Pelosi, Brian Vouglas, actor and musician, Sensei Elaine Donlin (Buddhist Church of San Francisco), Erich Sylvester, musician, Tyler Solorio from Swords to Plowshares, Rita Semel and Camilla Smith in front.

Veterans Day 2017

An Evening with Joanna Brooks

On November 4, noted scholar and author Joanna Brooks presented an interactive talk on White Supremacy, Mormonism, and the 40th Anniversary of the End of the Latter Day Saints Black Priesthood/ Temple Ban.

Brooks is the author of The Book of Mormon Girl and editor of Mormon Feminism, among others. Her presentation was co-sponsored by the Interfaith Center at the Presidio and the Bay Area Mormon Studies Council.

Joanna Brooks Joanna Brooks

Interfaith Service of Remembrance

Fighting ceased at the end of World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars and became Veterans Day.

Presidio ChapelPlease join us for an Interfaith Service of Remembrance
Saturday, November 11, 11:00 am
Presidio Chapel

details here

Love Lives in Marin

On Friday, August 25 over 350 people gathered at Congregation Kol Shofar in
Tiburon for “Love Lives in Marin”, an interfaith prayer service,
co-sponsored by the Marin Interfaith Council. The service included singing,
words of encouragement from local faith leaders, time for attendees to pair
up and offer mutual support, prayer and meditation. The evening concluded
with children lighting candles as participants sang and stood in solidarity
with each other.

The interfaith service was the first “Love Lives in Marin” event, which is
an initiative of the Marin Interfaith Council. It was inspired by a pastoral
visit by 40 rabbis from across the nation, including Rabbi Susan Leider of
Congregation Kol Shofar, to Whitefish, Montana, where a similar initiative
arose in response to anti-Semitic attacks aimed at the local Jewish
community. Businesses, civic leaders, and leaders from other faith
traditions rose up in solidarity with the Jewish community to oppose hate
and promote love and inclusion.

During Friday night’s service, Rabbi Leider said, “What is an attack on one
is an attack on all.” She explained the purpose of Love Lives in Marin is
to change the public discourse, create a community where all are welcome,
and “rise above the fray and speak for those whose voices aren’t uplifted.”

Other faith leaders who spoke or sang at the interfaith prayer services
included Rabbi Chai Levy, Congregation Kol Shofar; Ebrahim Nana, Islamic
Center of Mill Valley; Rev. Bethany Nelson and Rev. Rob McClellan,
Westminster Presbyterian Church; Rev. Scott Quinn, Marin Interfaith Council;
Rev. Yolanda Norton, Professor at San Francisco Theological Seminary; Rev.
Shokuchi Carrigan, Green Gulch Farm Zen Center; and Rev. Veronica Goines,
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.

Each faith leader emphasized the evening’s central message that our faithful
response to hate is not only resistance but also to stand up for the values
promoted by all the world’s faith traditions: hope, inclusivity, equality,
compassion, justice and love.

Rev. Norton said, “Love is an active means of resistance.”

“Let love live not merely in the addresses we give, but also in the
addresses where we reside,” said Rev. McClellan.

Love Lives in Marin seeks to inspire more organic acts of compassion, hope,
interfaith connection, solidarity, and justice.

Interfaith Gathering Against Hate in San Francisco

In response to a planned “alt-right” demonstration in San Francisco (which subsequently was cancelled), an interfaith gathering at Temple Emanu-El in San Francisco drew a full house for a celebration of love, community, and diversity on August 25. An interfaith Sabbath service was followed by a dessert reception.

The event was sponsored by the San Francisco Interfaith Council, the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, and the San Francisco based Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund.

See coverage from the Jewish News of Northern California

Vigil in Alameda following vandalism

Following vandalism at Temple Israel in Alameda, the wider community joined synagaogue members for a vigil of support on August 18.

One of the members, Amy Seefeldt, wrote:

I wanted to take a minute as a member of Temple Israel and of the Alameda Community to thank everyone who came and showed support at Friday night’s vigil. I can’t say enough about how proud I was of the way that our community and surrounding communities handled the vandalism incident at our synagogue. They approached it with love, respect and grace. People from all around the East Bay, no matter what religion or belief they identified with, gathered in front of our temple. Many of them even came into our synagogue afterwards to unite in prayer.
This year, Temple Israel has endured challenges and changes that have shaped us as a congregation. Whether some of those changes have been for better or worse, we are always resilient. Temple Israel is a small congregation of 100 members that year after year has endeavored to remain a center for Jewish life in Alameda. This isn’t easy on our little island where neighboring cities like Oakland and Berkeley have a greater concentration of Jewish people and significantly larger synagogues. But Temple Israel, which was founded in 1924, is rooted in Alamedan history. Today it serves a group of smart, dedicated, passionate and tenacious people that have put their hearts into sustaining our little synagogue, despite the financial struggles inherent to a small congregation. Our smallness, though, is also also a benefit, bringing a closer sense of community.
This attack came during a time of evolution for Temple Israel. We have been busy shaping our goals, defining our identity and finding our direction. We have been planning new programming for Alameda families, preparing for exciting building renovations and even getting ready for a new rabbi. Basically, we’re trying to better ourselves so that we can reach out more to our community. This past Friday night was both a curse and a blessing; the act of vandalism was tragic, but the subsequent love shown by our community was extraordinary. After attending Friday’s vigil, a friend of mine, Fred Fielding, who is Board President of the Interfaith Center at the Presidio said, “For every one person who wants to hurt people there are hundreds who want to heal.” This past Friday night was a beautiful display of this conviction. Temple Israel, the local Jewish community and Alameda all have the strength to heal.
Amy Seefeldt

Gathering for Peace and against Hate

Interfaith Gathering Against Hate

Friday, August 25, 2017
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Congregation Emanu-El
2 Lake Street
San Francisco

In collaboration with our partners at the San Francisco Interfaith Council, the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, and the San Francisco based Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, we are planning a response to the gathering in San Francisco on Saturday, August 26th at Crissy field. This is not a reaction, not a confrontation, but a response of love, community, and diversity. We invite all our members, along with the entire San Francisco Jewish and interfaith community, to join us for a very special interfaith peace and justice Shabbat service in the Emanu-El Main Sanctuary on Friday, August 25th.

We warmly invite all who wish to join us for this celebration of who we are:

Friday, August 25th, Congregation Emanu-El, 2 Lake Street

  • 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm hors d’oeuvres & refreshments
  • 6:30 pm – 7:45 pm Interfaith Sabbath Service followed by dessert reception

Interfaith Gathering for Peace

August 26, 2017
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Grace Cathedral and the Episcopal Diocese of California, in collaboration with the San Francisco Interfaith Council, are holding an interfaith gathering as a peaceful but pointed response to the Patriot Prayer rallies taking place in San Francisco and Berkeley this weekend.

There will be a service of readings and prayers that will begin at 12:30 pm with a welcome by our dean, Malcolm Clemens Young. The service will include three speakers who have worked for peace and justice: Rita Semel, the Rev. Amos Brown and the Rev. Vicki Gray. At the end of the service, the Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, Bishop of California, will bless a group that will walk together from the cathedral to the “Peace, Music and Laughter” event at Civic Center, billed as a family-friendly arts festival headlined by singer Michael Franti.

While the service is taking place inside the cathedral, there will be craft activities and a labyrinth walk for peace for children and families outside on the cathedral plaza.

Our dean and other clergy will also be present for the Interfaith Gathering Against Hate at Congregation Emanu-El on Friday, August 25.


Berkeley CA  Demonstration to Say NO to the Nazis and Fascist Extremists the day before they arrive in Berkeley

Tikkun magazine, the Network of Spiritual Progressives and Beyt Tikkun Synagogue will hold an interfaith family-friendly gathering Saturday Aug. 26th at 3pm at the same location where Nazis and fascist extremists plan to gather on Sunday in Berkeley – Civic Center park (Martin Luther King Jr. Street and Center Street)

In a statement released by Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun, and Cat Zavis, executive director of the interfaith and secular-humanist-welcoming Network of Spiritual Progressives said: “This will be an alternative to the potential violence on Sunday for people who want to publicly oppose the Nazis, do not want to be part of violent struggles that may develop on Sunday, and do want to affirm our vision for a nonviolent world of love, justice, and environmental sanity.”

Rabbi Lerner added: “The Nazis coming to Berkeley on Sunday are hoping to get public exposure and press. Their movement is strengthened when violence erupts between them and those opposing them. When standing in close proximity to people who are yelling verbal attacks and threatening you, it is extremely difficult for some to remain calm and nonviolent. Rather than risk the possibility of confrontation that will only bolster the Nazis cause and give the President an excuse to equate the Nazis with those who oppose them, we are providing a family-friendly space for people to nonviolently express their disgust and disapproval of the Nazis and white supremacists and to promote a vision of a loving and just world.”

Here is the full statement inviting participation in Saturday August 26th event which could provide a model for future ways to respond to the demonstrations by the ultra-Right-wing racists and anti-Semites.

The Network of Spiritual Progressives, Tikkun magazine and Beyt Tikkun Synagogue-Without-Walls invite interfaith and secular humanist individuals and organizations to join us this coming Saturday, August 26 at 3:00pm to create sacred space at the location where Neo-Nazis plan to rally the following day. Our goal is to provide a safe space for those who are concerned about the violence that may happen the next day when the right-wing extremists are scheduled to rally in that same location, do not want to be part of that scene, and do want to affirm our solidarity with those who will be nonviolently protesting the Nazis and other variants of fascism the next day. We will sanctify the location with our prayers and expressions of solidarity with all those who want a world of love and justice for all.

When: Saturday, August 26th from 3:00 p.m. till about 4:30 p.m.

Where: Civic Center Park in Berkeley (near Center Street crossing Martin Luther King. Jr.)

We will lead with some traditional Jewish prayers (in English and Hebrew) and invite other religious/spiritual communities and atheists and secular-humanists to bring prayers, songs, music, poetry, and anything else of beauty reflecting our values of love, justice, environmental sustainability, nonviolence and awe, wonder, and radical amazement at the grandeur and mystery of the universe. Please bring your own contributions to the program which will also include some reflections on long-range strategy for strengthening the progressive and love-and-justice-oriented forces in the U.S. This event will hopefully be a model for other events around the U.S. in the coming months as right-wing-extremists bring their message of hate to a wide variety of communities.

This gathering is not meant in any way to detract from the importance of those who will be assembling or demonstrating the next day for precisely what we seek also–a world without racism, anti-Semitism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and religiophobia.

Check our Facebook Event for updates

Interfaith Memorial Day Service 2017

On Monday, May 29, following the ceremonies at the Presidio cemetery, the Interfaith Center at the Presidio held an interfaith service of prayers and meditation for Memorial Day in the Post Chapel. The chapel has long represented a tradition of multifaith worship in the US military and continues that tradition as the home of the ICP.

Thanks to participants Camilla Smith (ICP Board),  Alex Lazar (Senior Congressional Aide – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi), Brian Vouglas  (Actor, Musician, San Francisco Resident), Sensei Elaine Donlin (Buddhist Church of San Francisco), Rita Semel (ICP Board), and Rev. Gerald Caprio (ICP Board), and Erich Sylvester ( Musician and Presidio Resident). Special thanks to Gerry Caprio for planning the program.

Memorial Day 2017