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Rumi Forum’s 2023 Dialogue Award was presented to the renowned musical changemaker Micah Hendler. Micah is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Jerusalem Youth Chorus, an Israeli-Palestinian music and dialogue project. Micah also serves as Co-Director of Music at Braver Angels, America’s most significant grassroots movement working on political depolarization.

The Honoree was presented by his long-time friend Aziz Abu Sarah, a recognized peacebuilder working around the globe as a cultural educator, responsible travel innovator, and inspirational speaker. The remarks by Aziz and Micah were profound reflections of their personal stories, experiences with the conflict, and exemplary endeavors for peace.

The program also featured many publications by Rumi Forum’s research unit, the Center for Faith Identity and Globalization (CFIG).

We want to extend our deepest gratitude to the attendees, our outstanding team of staff and volunteers, the fantastic Sufi Melody ensemble, and Micah Hendler and Aziz Abu Sarah for making this year’s Dialogue Award Ceremony a significant one!

Thank you for joining us and many distinguished guests as we reconnected and renewed our commitment to interfaith work!

About Rumi Forum:

Rumi Forum works towards strengthening the culture of peace, religious pluralism, and social harmony among faith communities and individuals of diverse beliefs, ethnicities, and backgrounds. The Forum strives to achieve this goal by building, informing, and mobilizing an active interfaith dialogue community.

About the Rumi Dialogue Award:

A traditional component of Rumi Forum’s endeavor is recognizing the lifetime dedication of inspirational public figures who have championed its cause. The Rumi Dialogue Award honors successful practitioners with outstanding track records in interfaith engagement, community service, human rights, and education.

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Reflections on on 2023 Rumi Dialogue Award Honoree, Micah Hendler

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2023 Rumi Forum Dialogue Award Honoree

Micah Hendler

Musical Changemaker

Micah is the Founder and Artistic Director of Jerusalem Youth Chorus, an Israeli-Palestinian music and dialogue project featured for its innovative musicianship and integrity of purpose and process from the Late Show with Stephen Colbert to the New York Times. Through the co-creation of music and the sharing of stories, the chorus empowers young singers from East and West Jerusalem to speak and sing their truths as they become leaders in their communities and inspire singers and listeners around the world to join them in their work for peace, justice, inclusion, and equality.

Award presented by

Aziz Abu Sarah

Cultural Educator

Aziz is a peace builder, cultural educator, entrepreneur, author, and international speaker. Harnessing the transformative power of travel, in 2009, Aziz co-founded MEJDI Tours—originators of the Dual Narrative™ and a leader of responsible travel. Aziz’s educational and conflict resolution work worldwide has earned him the titles of National Geographic Explorer and Ted Fellow. He has written opinion pieces for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Al-Quds, and Haaretz, and National Geographic, CNN, TED, and Al Arabiya have published them. He has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the World by the Royal Strategic Centre in Jordan each year since 2010.

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