(Chicago, ILL - April 15, 2021) -- The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) and StandWithUs (SWU) held a virtual event “Indo-Judaic Ties: Ancient Cultures, Common Challenges, Modern Miracles” on Monday, April 12. The event brought together nearly 300 members of the Jewish American and Hindu American communities across the country.
HAF Co-Founder and Board Member, Mihir Meghani, kicked off the event with opening remarks, followed by a moderated panel led by StandWithUs Midwest Executive Director Peggy Shapiro.
“I have been doing joint programming with the Hindu-American community for many years. I always marvel at the history and values our communities hold in common, and I am inspired by what India and Israel, Jews and Hindus can accomplish when we join together in friendship and understanding.”
The panel featured a distinguished group featured diplomats and scholars, including Dr Nathan Katz (World-Renowned Scholar of Indo-Judaic Studies and Professor Emeritus, Florida International University), Matan Zamir (Deputy Consul General, Consul General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest), Adva Vilchinski (Consul for Public Diplomacy, Consul General of Israel in New York), Dr Anurag Mairal (Director, Global Outreach Programs at Stanford University Center for Biodesign), and Samir Kalra, Esq. (HAF Managing Director).
The panelists discussed a variety of topics including the millennia-long ties between Hindu and Jewish culture and civilization, the consequences of British colonialism on India and the formation of the state of Israel, the leadership role of women in both homelands, and cooperation between Israel and India in fields such as agriculture, biotechnology, cyber security, and medical innovation today.
“It was a privilege to be part of such an esteemed panel of experts and a great reminder that the Hindu and Jewish communities share so much in common,” said Kalra. “I look forward to many more similar events in partnership with StandWithUs and opportunities for further dialogue and collaboration with the Jewish community.”
Shapiro agreed. “After the event, I had more than 100 emails asking for more programming about Indo-Judaic ties. There is clearly a desire by both communities to learn about past ties and develop future ones.”
StandWithUs (SWU) is an international, non-profit and non-partisan Israel education organization that works to inspire and educate people of all ages about Israel, as well as challenge misinformation and fight against antisemitism.
Through university fellowships, high school internships, middle school curricula, conferences, materials, social media, educational films and missions to Israel, StandWithUs supports people around the world who want to educate their schools and communities about Israel.
Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Los Angeles, the organization has chapters and programs on 5 continents, including the U.S., Israel, UK, Canada, South Africa and Brazil.
For the last 8 years, SWU has consistently received the highest possible ratings from Charity Navigator (4 stars) and Guidestar (Platinum).
About Hindu-American Foundation
The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) is an educational and advocacy organization established in 2003.
HAF focuses on educating the public about Hindus and Hinduism and advocating for policies and practices that ensure the well-being of all people and the planet.
We work directly with educators and journalists to ensure accurate understanding of Hindus and Hinduism. We also work with policymakers and key stakeholders to champion issues of concern to Hindu Americans, including defending civil and human rights and protecting all living beings.
Inspired by our guiding principles and Hindu teachings, HAF promotes dignity, mutual respect, and pluralism.
HAF is a non-partisan, non-profit tax-exempt public charity pursuant to Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)3.