51st Annual Virtual Fundraiser

Our Annual Virtual Fundraiser this year will be presented in the evening of December 9th at 5:30 pm via ZOOM.

We ask that you please REGISTER for this program by following the link.
You will find this information on our Facebook page: Interfaith Conference on Facebook

The theme this year, "For Such a Time as This," (book title, courtesy of our special guest, Rev. Sharon Risher), was motivated by the staggering rise of hate crimes in the US. The FBI 2020 Hate Crime Statistics report, established in 1990, collects data on crimes that are evident of prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. The report found there were 7,759 hate crime incidents reported last year which is just shy of the 7,783 reported in 2008, President Barack Obama’s election.

According to the most recent FBI data, Anti-Jewish, Anti-Black, and Anti-Muslim and Anti-Sikh hate crimes are all at much higher levels than the US national Average. Nearly 62% of the hate crimes reported in 2020 were incidents targeting racially and ethnically underrepresented groups. Of those crimes, anti-Black racism accounted for the most hate-based crimes. The report also shows a significant percentage of religion-motivated offenses. Last year, there were 1,244 victims of anti-religious hate crimes, with more than 60 percent of the offenders being motivated by anti-Jewish bias. Hate crimes against Muslim Americans are also at an all-time high nearly 20 years after 9/11. The past year, Muslim Americans data reports showing sharp declines in satisfaction with the country due to the recent political and national discourse.

Also, according to an analysis of population size, Sikh Americans are the most disproportionately targeted group at a rate of four times the national average.

For the first time, the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee’s Pardeep Singh Kaleka will moderate an intimate conversation with Rev. Sharon Risher, Mother Emmanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, Rabbi Jeffery Meyers, Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburg, Jenan Mohajir, Interfaith & Muslim Rights Advocate, to highlight our interfaith commitment to respond to the growing tension that diverse religious, racial, and ethnic communities continue to face in the US.

We invite you to register and pre-post some of the most pressing questions you may have for the leaders of communities that have experienced some of the deadliest racial and religious based violence in recent history. The evening promises to be one of deep impact, inspiration, and hope.

Please join us and help us support the mission of the Interfaith Conference and our diverse faith partners and communities, "To Uphold the Dignity of Every Person and the Solidarity of the Human Community."

Ticket Prices:

$25 - Annual Luncheon Individual 
$500 - Gold Level Package (Includes 25 tickets)
$400 - Silver Level Package (Includes 20 tickets)
$300 - Bronze Level Package (Includes 15 tickets)


Jenan Mohajir, Senior Director of Special Projects at Interfaith Youth Core

Inspired by faith and family to work for change at the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, and religion, Jenan has served in a leadership position at IFYC for thirteen years. She currently directs overall strategy, design, and implementation of the organization’s programs focused on alumni and student leaders, including the annual Interfaith Leadership Institute. For over a decade, Jenan has trained hundreds of young people from both religious and secular backgrounds to foster a vision and practice of civically engaged interfaith leadership. Featured on National Public Radio and participating in interfaith conference panels across the country, Jenan holds a BS in elementary education and Islamic studies from DePaul University, and is currently pursuing her MA in religious studies at Chicago Theological Seminary. She also volunteers with Sirat Chicago, a neighborhood space that fosters a healthy community by supporting initiatives centered upon service and worship, education and arts, and family life. Living on the south side of Chicago with her husband and three children, Jenan is an enthusiastic collector of old children’s books.

Rev. Sharon Washington Risher

Sharon was born in Charleston, South Carolina where she attended the public schools and graduated from Charles A. Brown High School. She graduated from Johnson C. Smith University, in Charlotte, North Carolina, with a B.A in Political Science. Sharon heard the call to professional ministry in 2002 and left North Carolina to attend Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Austin, Texas in the spring 2003, and graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 2007 with a Masters of Divinity Degree.

Sharon was a Staff Chaplain, Trauma Specialist, with Parkland Hospital of Dallas, TX, where she has been employed until March 2016. She served on several committees at the hospital. Sharon served Rice Chapel AME Church, Dallas, TX, as Associate Minister for Congregational Care, she preached, and led the Women’s Ministries of the church until April, 2015.

On June 17th, 2015, a horrific tragedy happened; Sharon learned her dear mother, Mrs. Ethel Lee Lance, was killed in Charleston, SC, at the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, along with 8 other people, which also included two cousins and a childhood friend. Since that time, Sharon has been very outspoken about the nation’s gun laws and is one of the spokespersons for the grassroots advocacy groups, Every town For Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. She has appeared on CNN, Good morning America, Roland Martin's News One, CBS and other national news outlets. Sharon had been interviewed or written articles for Time Magazine, Vogue, Maire-Claire, Essence, Texas Monthly magazine, Guardian, BBC radio, NPR among others.

She has visited President Barack Obama at the White House on several occasions, spoke at the Washington National Cathedral, Washington, DC and she has been a guest speaker for several Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial events. Sharon had traveled across this country speaking at colleges, universities and churches telling about her personal journey. Sharon has testified before several judicial committees and most recently testified at the confirmation hearing for the now standing Attorney General, William Barr before the Senate Judiciary Committee in favor of a new law called the Charleston Loophole. Most importantly, Sharon is a sought after speaker traveling across the US sharing her story of loss, forgiveness, racism and gun law reforms.

Rabbi Hazzan Jeffrey Myers

Rabbi Myers has served as the Rabbi and Cantor for the Tree of Life in Pittsburgh since the summer of 2017. He moved to the City of Bridges after spending decades in ministry in New Jersey and Long Island. He received a BA from Rutgers, an MA in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary and studied privately with Cantor Zvi Aroni before graduating from the Cantorial School of The Jewish Theological Seminary of America. After the horrific morning of October 27, 2018, when a heavily armed gunman began a murderous rampage in the Tree of Life, Rabbi Myers—who survived the attack—became the face of the tragedy. Since then, he has set about sending the key message that love is stronger than hate. Rabbi Myers contends that a lack of understanding of our neighbors leads to fear and sometimes loathing, which can lead to acts of violence. Rabbi Myers believes that if we are ever to remove the "H word" from our society, it must start with pledging not to use that word in speech, just as he has done in honor of the 11 lives lost at the Tree of Life.

Rabbi Myers is a 2019 recipient of the Simon Wiesenthal Center Medal of Valor, given out to those who exemplify the good deeds of outstanding individuals who honor mankind and whose courage and bravery shine a light in the darkest of places. Because of his service and actions during and after the Tree of Life massacre, Rabbi Myers received the medal which is inscribed: “He who saves a single life, it is as if he has saved an entire world.”

Rabbi Myers also received Rabbinic Ordination from Mesivta Adath Wolkowisk. He organized the June 1998 gathering of nearly 1,000 children from the New York/New Jersey area to celebrate Israel’s 50th Anniversary in Central Park under the auspices of the 50th Anniversary Gathering of the Cantors Assembly. Rabbi Myers has served as a trustee on its Executive Council of the Cantors Assembly and chair of its Membership Committee. He also served as a trustee on the Executive Board of the Jewish Educators Assembly and co-chair of the Membership Committee. He was a board member on the National Education Commission of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and the National Deliberation Team for Project Etgar, the new curriculum for the middle school that is a joint project of the United Synagogue and the Melton Institute. He also served on the Advisory Board of the Institute for Congregational School Principals Advisory Board.

Rabbi Myers was the recipient of a Schechter Award for his interfaith Evening of Harmony that commemorates the Holocaust and awards for synagogue and family programming. He was a visiting lecturer at The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and has served as chair of the Downbeach Ministerium and the Interfaith Clergy Council. In 2018, he received an honorary doctorate in Jewish Music from The Jewish Theological Seminary, and an honorary doctorate of divinity from Washington & Jefferson College. He has also been privileged to receive the Heroes designation from CNN, a Rescuer of Humanity medal from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Rescuer of Humanity from Values in Action, and the John E. McGrady Award for Community Service from the Heinz Foundation. He has testified before both Houses of Congress and has spoken throughout the United States on the proliferation of H speech.