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NewGround TrailBlazer Award

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 06:30 PM · $125.00 USD
IMAN Cultural Center in Los Angeles, CA




At NewGround, we believe that conflict is natural and inevitable. Yet it is not intractable -- no matter the history. Being stuck is a choice. Therefore, we build relationships between Muslims and Jews in order to transform communities through lasting partnerships. This unique event and program offers attendees the opportunity to interact with change-makers and learn how their inspirational work is transforming communities through the power of relationships. The evening will leave you with a renewed sense that change is possible and that Muslims and Jews working together can make an extraordinary impact!


About the Award:

NewGround named the award after Suzy and her late husband Wally Marks Jr. z”l. They have long been one step ahead of the trends to usher us all toward a more just society. Back in 2006 when Muslim-Jewish relations were at their most toxic levels, Suzy and Wally had the foresight to seed fund NewGround to equip change-makers with the skills, resources, and relationships needed to strengthen Muslim-Jewish relations.


Our 2018 Honorees:

Dr. David Myers is the President and CEO of the Center for Jewish History in New York City.  He is also the Sady and Ludwig Kahn Professor of Jewish History at UCLA.  An alumnus of Yale College (1982), Myers undertook graduate studies at Tel-Aviv and Harvard Universities before receiving his Ph.D. with distinction in 1991 in Jewish history from Columbia University.  He has written widely in the fields of Jewish intellectual and cultural history. David Myers is a longtime supporter and thought leader for the NewGround community, teaching courses on Antisemitism to NewGround Change-Makers throughout the years.

Dr. Sadegh Namazikhah is a dentist by profession and founder of IMAN Cultural Center, which holds its annual Festival of Interfaith Unity, bringing together leaders of Abrahamic Faiths. An alumnus of USC School of Dentistry, Dr. Namazikhah is a visionary in the Los Angeles interfaith community, supporting NewGround from it’s inception.


Our “Change-Maker Award” Recipient: Julia Meltzer & Zeno Family

Award-winning director Julia Meltzer, who is an American Jew, and co-producer Mustafa Zeno, a Syrian-American Muslim, came together to make the film Dalya’s Other Country about Mustafa’s family. The film, which premiered on PBS this year, focuses on Dalya, and her mother, Rudayna Aksh as they struggle to re-make their lives in the U.S. after fleeing the war in Syria. Over four years we see Dalya become an American as the only Muslim student in her all-girl’s Catholic school in Glendale while Rudayna returns to college at mid-life. The film documents mother and daughter as they adjust to a changing America — one that does not necessarily embrace its Muslim citizens. Dalya was a NewGround MAJIC fellow and Mustafa a NewGround professional fellow, both are active in interfaith work.


Looking forward to seeing you soon on Tuesday, February 13, 2018!


A Special Thank You to Our Sponsors: 

Platinum Sponsor:

Paula & Barry Litt


Silver Sponsor:

Sandy Savett
Joseph Meltzer


Bronze Sponsor:

Dr. Dana Kiesel
Abby Sher