Interfaith Center of New York

The Interfaith Center of New York (ICNY) is a secular educational non-profit organization founded in 1997 by the Very Reverend James Parks Morton. ICNY programs work to connect religious leaders and their communities with civil organizations and each other.

Interfaith Center of New York
Interfaith Center of New York Logo.png
FounderRev. James Parks Morton
TypeSecular Educational Non-Profit
  • 475 Riverside Dr. Suite 540 New York, NY 10015
Area served
New York Metropolitan Area
MethodEducational Programs and Community Activities
Key people
Executive Director Rev. Chloe Breyer


The Interfaith Center of New York (ICNY) was founded in 1997 by the Very Reverend James Parks Morton after his retirement from 25 years as Dean of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.[1][2][3]

According to its Certificate of Incorporation, ICNY was organized "for the purpose of promoting interfaith dialogue and harmony among all of the world's religions and the prevention and resolution of conflicts arising there from." The idea to found the center arose out of the increasing religious diversity Rev. Morton saw in New York City, and his desire to utilize the network of religious leaders he had cultivated during his tenure at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.


  • Education Programs focus on increasing knowledge and understanding about the religious diversity present in New York. Programs include workshops, panel discussions, and forums for teachers and students in various educational settings. The National Endowment for the Humanities sponsors a summer institute for K-12 teachers called Religious Worlds of New York.
  • Domestic Violence Training Programs work with religious leaders to educate and train them about domestic violence resources. Domestic violence programs are co-sponsored by CONNECT.
  • Rabbi Marshall T. Meyer Retreat for Social Justice is a two-day retreat convened for religious leaders on a specific topic. The retreat aims to provide indepth and specialized information for community leaders on topics that are relevant and helpful to them. Pas retreat topics have included: confronting hate crimes, religious freedom in bricks and mortar, and economic resilience in faith communities.[4]
  • Civic Connections offers forums, workshops, and collaborative projects regarding civic topics or institutions. ICNY collaborates with the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) to offer pro bono legal assistance to NYC residents.
  • Muslim - Catholic Initiative is a partnership with Catholic Charities and the Archdiocese of New York that unites Catholic and Muslim communities together for dialogue and mutually beneficial projects.
  • Prepare New York is a coalition of New York-based interfaith organizations that organize Coffee Hour Conversations to encourage dialogue and understanding of religious pluralism surrounding the effects September 11, 2011 on residents of New York City. The coalition includes: the Interfaith Center of New York, Auburn Seminary and its Center for Multifaith Education, Intersections International, Odyssey Networks, Quest, and the Tanenbaum Center and its Religion and Diversity Education Program. September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows and 9/11 Communities for Common Ground serve as advisers to the coalition.
  • International Visiting Fellows Sister Cities Program is a three-year sister city program which aims to enrich the interfaith work and networks within each of the participating cities: New York City, Barcelona, and Glasgow. Delegates from the participating cities share best-practices in the area of interfaith work and civic participation.

JPM Interfaith AwardEdit

The James Parks Morton Interfaith Award, named in honor of The Interfaith Center of New York’s founder, recognizes individuals or organizations that exemplify an outstanding commitment to promoting human development and peace. Recipients are honored for their lifetime achievements and contributions towards increasing respect and mutual understanding among people of different faiths, ethnicities, and cultural traditions. The JPM Interfaith Award is given at an annual gala fundraiser.

Year Recipient(s)

Bob Abernethy[5]


Al Gore

Peter L. Zimroth

Mrs. Gaetana Enders

Sri Swami Satchidananda (posthumous)

2013 Sister Pat Farrell

C.T. Vivian

Bill Moyers

Judith Moyers

Russell Simmons

2012 Leymah Gbowee

Abigail Disney

2011 Wynton Marsalis
2010 Philip Glass
2009 Thomas Cahill

Judith S. Kaye

2008 Dr. Vartan Gregorian

Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp[6]

The 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje

2007 Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell[7]

Rev. Kyotaro Deguchi

Nicholas D. Kristof

Steven Rockefeller

Carl Sagan

Paul Winter

2006 Stephen Breyer

Dr. Mohamed El Baradei

Richard Gere

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

Daisy Khan

Mata Amritanandamayi (Amma)

2004 Santiago and Robertina Calatrava

Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee

Judge Shirin Ebadi

Philippe Petit

Kathy O’ Donnell

2003 Daniel and Nina Libeskind

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

2002 Bill Clinton

Alan Slifka

James Carroll

1997 The Dalai Lama

Mary Robinson

Ravi Shankar


The Interfaith Center organizes and co-sponsors many interfaith events throughout New York City.

Recent EventsEdit


  1. ^ Joseph Berger, "A Muslim Santa's Gift to an Interfaith Group: Free Rent", The New York Times, December 24, 2004.
  2. ^ Charles W. Bell, "With New Center, Rev Keeps The Interfaith", New York Daily News, February 5, 2000.
  3. ^ Douglas Martin, "Ending Lively Era, A Dean Is Leaving St. John the Divine;The Innovator's Work Is Done, Even if the Cathedral Is Not", The New York Times, February 27, 1996.
  4. ^ "Marshall Meyer Retreat". Interfaith Center Website. Archived from the original on 21 December 2011. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
  5. ^ "Bob Abernethy, Host of the PBS Series Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, to Be Honored at the 13th Annual James Parks Morton Interfaith Awards Dinner on June 8". Retrieved 2016-07-06.
  6. ^ "Awraham Soetendorp". Archived from the original on 2012-03-22. Retrieved 2011-10-29.
  7. ^ "Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell". 2011-06-17. Retrieved 2011-10-29.
  8. ^ Paumgarten, Nick. "All Together Now". The New Yorker. Conde Nast. Retrieved 16 October 2011.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 40°48.65′0″N 73°57.83′0″W / 40.81083°N 73.96383°W / 40.81083; -73.96383