In partnership with the Interfaith Center of New York, the New York Public Library offers a series of moderated conversations with local spiritual leaders about belief, worship and how religious traditions shape everyday lives in New York City.
This program is supported by the Lubar Institute for the Study of the Abrahamic Religions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Judy Chen, a long-time lay leader in New York’s diverse Buddhist communities. She is the assistant secretary of the American Buddhist Confederation, on Division Street in Chinatown, the president of the Saddharma Cakra Buddhist Association, in Queens, and vice-president of the Buddhist Council of New York. She has also served as Clergy Liaison for the New York Police Department. She was born and raised in Taiwan, came to the United States when she was twelve years old, and graduated from New York University.
Imam Khalid Latif, the executive director and chaplain of the Islamic Center at New York University, where he has worked since 2005 to realize his vision for a pluralistic American Muslim community, rooted on campus and reaching out to the city. His dedication to bridging religious and cultural boundaries has brought him recognition throughout the city, so much so that in 2007, when Imam Latif was 24 years old, Mayor Bloomberg nominated him to become the youngest chaplain in the history of the NYPD.
Monsignor Donald Sakano, the pastor of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, the historic church on Mulberry Street that was recently elevated by Pope Benedict to become the Archdiocese of New York’s first basilica. He was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of New York in 1971, and received a Masters in Social Work from Columbia University in 1981. In addition to serving as a parish priest, he has worked to develop affordable housing throughout the city, and is the co-founder and chair of Highbridge Voices, a non-profit academic program for young people using the highest standards in choral music.
Henry Goldschmidt (series moderator), the Education Program Associate at the Interfaith Center of New York and the author of Race and Religion Among the Chosen Peoples of Crown Heights.