Who we are
NewGround began in 2006 as a response to the climate of tension and mistrust between Jews and Muslims in Los Angeles. But more importantly, NewGround was founded to create a national model for healthy relations, productive engagement and social change between American Muslims and Jews.
To transform the landscape, the Muslim Public Affairs Council and Progressive Jewish Alliance joined forces to create a fellowship for emerging Muslim and Jewish leaders to change the tone of the conversation.
Today, NewGround is an independent group fiscally sponsored by Community Partners and housed at the City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission.
The NewGround's flagship program, the Emerging Leaders Fellowship launched its first cohort in 2007 at Los Angeles City Hall with the mayor of LA and the president of the Los Angeles City Council. There are many highlights of the work of NewGround and its alumni including:
- NewGround staff presented Interfaith Youth Corps Conference "Crossing the Faith Line" which drew on the lessons learned through the NewGround fellowship program, In Chicago in October, 2007.
- NewGround alumni led a workshop at Muslim Public Affairs Council Convention "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" - Youth Convention and NewGround Co-Directors spoke on an Interfaith Panel- "Building Successful Coalitions." Ventura County Global Exchange Group in January 2008.
- NewGround staff were featured during the launch of The Weekend of Twinnings in November 2008, where they spoke on a panel at Temple Emanuel in Beverly Hills.
- In 2008-09, NewGround worked with the University of Southern California to co-created and co-sponsored at Jewish-Muslim film series.
- NewGround partnered with USC’s Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement (CMJE) to launch a pilot Text Study Program in the winter 2009. Taught by leading scholars and facilitated by NewGround staff, the program delved into Islamic and Judaic texts to promote religious understanding, facilitate dialogue, and enhance participants’ knowledge of their own faith through context, comparison and discussion.
- Fellowship co-directors Aziza Hasan and Malka Fenyvesi were featured in an event titled : “Can We Talk?” USC Arts and Humanities Visions and Voices Series October 7, 2009. read a blog posting about this event
Where we are today
In fall 2010, NewGround began the process of becoming an independent organization to broaden its scope and reach in the community. With the blessing of both parent organizations, NewGround obrained fiscal sponsorship from Community Partners.
NewGround is currently working to expand its programming and offerings. In addition to relaunching the original fellowship program, NewGround is creating public events, fellowship alumni programs, consultations and workshops that will create multiple opportunities for Jews, Muslims and the broader public to engage together.
Learn more about the fellowship and our programs.