Rabbi Marc SchneierPresident of FFEU
A trailblazer in the field of Muslim-Jewish relations with his Foundation (FFEU), Rabbi Schneier created and spearheaded the annual Weekend of Twinning’s of Mosques and Synagogues across the globe; annual meetings of the Gathering of European Muslim and Jewish Leaders (GEMJL) in Paris and Brussels; Mission of 28 European Imams and Rabbis to the United States (2009); Mission of European Muslim and Jewish leaders to Washington D.C. (2009) Mission of Latin American Muslim and Jewish leaders to Washington D.C (2012) and the Mission of Muslim and Jewish leaders from the Southern Hemisphere (2013) and the first Summit of Rabbis and Imams in New York (2007). He was appointed to the Steering Committee of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s World Conference on Dialogue, convened by King Abdullah in Madrid (2008) and in Vienna (2009, 2010, 2012).
Rabbi Schneier has also been appointed to the Executive Steering Committee of the Multi-Religious Campaign Against Anti-Muslim Bigotry in the United States (2010). In 2010, Rabbi Schneier served as the keynote speaker at the Doha Conference for Interfaith Dialogue in Doha, Qatar. In 2011, he co-sponsored a Rally in Times Squares, entitled Today I am a Muslim too to denounce Islamophobia. In 2011, he was the first rabbi to be received in Bahrain, by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. In 2013-2014, Rabbi Schneier was hosted by Israeli President Shimon Peres, at his residence in Jerusalem; Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, at their residences in Ramallah. His latest book was published in 2013: He co-authored Sons of Abraham: A Candid Conversation about the Issues That Divide and Unite Jews and Muslims, with the foreword of President Bill Clinton, and sponsored by the King of Morocco, His Majesty Mohammed VI. As a keynote speaker at the 75th Anniversary of Kristallnacht in Vienna, Rabbi Schneier was received by Austrian President Heinz Fischer. In January 2014, he addressed the Italian Parliament in Rome, followed by his spearheading the meeting of GEMJL leaders with Council of Europe Secretary General Jagland in Strasbourg protesting a proposed ban on ritual circumcision. In 2014, his foundation initiated local Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committees in several cities in the United States. In 2015, he was a keynote speaker of the 3rd World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue in Baku and was received by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. In 2016, he met with the Emir of Bahrain and further to his meeting he called Mr. Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel to seriously consider the Arab peace initiative. He is a member of the advisory forum of the KAICIID. (King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue).
An accomplished author and a foremost voice in interreligious dialogue his latest book co-authored with Imam Shamsi Ali entitled Sons of Abraham: A Candid Conversation about the Issues That Divide and Unite Jews and Muslims was published by Beacon Press/Random House in September 2013. The book elucidates how each of its co-authors overcame the temptations of fundamentalism and religious triumphalism to embrace a pluralistic version of faith and a joint commitment to build a global movement of Muslims and Jews committed to communication, reconciliation and cooperation. His book Shared Dreams: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Jewish Community, was published in 2000 which documents Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his relationship with the Jewish community. With accompanying student guide programs, the book tells the tale of Black and Jewish cooperation in the civil rights era to more than 12,000 students in more than 500 high schools, Hillel houses and historically Black colleges across America. In 2012, Rabbi Marc Schneier became a weekly religion columnist for The Huffington Post.
An acclaimed speaker, Rabbi Schneier represented the Jewish community in such events as: Inaugural Interfaith Gathering at the Democratic National Convention (2008); 40th anniversary commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Atlanta (2008); World Conference on Dialogue convened by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia (2008); Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s 50th annual convention (2008); Kristallnacht 70th Anniversary Commemoration, European Parliament, Brussels (2008), NAACP Centennial convention (2009); National dinner of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (2008); National convention of the Islamic Society of North America (2009); the King Abdullah Bin Adulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue in Vienna (2012); Doha International Conference on Interfaith Dialogue (2009,2010) and keynote speaker at the Annual Israeli Presidential Conference in Jerusalem (2012).
Rabbi Schneier was named one of the 50 most prominent Jews in the United States by The Forward and one of America's top 50 rabbis by Newsweek Magazine.
He is recipient of many awards, including The Kelly Miller Smith Ecumenical Award from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, The NAACP Martin Luther King, Jr. "Measure Of A Man Award", The Ellis Island Medal of Honor, The Civil Rights Leadership Award in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., The New York State Martin Luther King, Jr. Medal, the American Civil Rights Education Services Civil Rights Award, and the Interfaith Award from the Islamic Center of Long Island. In 2009, Rabbi Schneier was inducted into the Martin Luther King Jr. Board of Preachers at Morehouse College in Atlanta.
Born and raised in New York City, Rabbi Schneier is a graduate of Yeshiva University and currently divides his time between New York City, Westhampton Beach and Palm Beach.
Ali Naqvi is Founder & Chairman of MindShare Ventures Group based in New York City. He has studied at American, Georgetown and Oxford Universites, where he earned the prestigious Oxford University Academic Excellence Award in 1997. Ali was also given an Outstanding Leadership Award by Governor Christie Todd Whitman of New Jersey. The New York Times wrote a glowing profile on him, in an article entitled Chasing The Future. Ali's commitment to democratic ideals, public service and philanthropy developed at an early age, when he was 14 years old and was the youngest aide to Congressmen and Senators on Capitol Hill in Washington,DC.
David Renzer is a veteran music and entertainment executive whose career has included leadership positions with the world’s largest and most well-known music publishing companies. Renzer’s civic commitments have included sitting on the Boards of ASCAP, NMPA, the International Music Publishers Association, and the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding. He has also served as the Chairman of the Music and Entertainment Division of the City of Hope, and founded Songs of Hope, raising over $1,750,000 for the City of Hope Hospital.
Chris SacarabanyExecutive Director
As Executive Director, he is responsible for fundraising, administration, and branding of FFEU. Prior to FFEU, Chris worked for 4 years on Muslim-Jewish relations at the Hommes de Parole Foundation, based in Paris, as Interfaith program manager. He helped to organize the World Congresses of Imams and Rabbis for Peace (2005 in Brussels, 2006 in Seville and 2008 at UNESCO’s headquarters) as well as meetings between Israeli and Palestinian political and religious leaders in Jerusalem and Ramallah. Please contact Chris at email@example.com
Russell SimmonsChairman of FFEU
USA Today recently named Russell Simmons one of the “Top 25 Most Influential People of the Past 25 Years,” calling him a “hip-hop pioneer” for his groundbreaking vision that has influenced music, fashion, finance, television and film, as well as the face of modern philanthropy. Simmons is a best selling author of three books with a newly released book, The Happy Vegan, in stores now. He is a native New Yorker who attended City College of New York.
Michael Heningburg Jr.Treasurer
Ken SunshineSecretaryKen Sunshine founded Sunshine Sachs in 1992, and over the past three decades the firm has acquired clients ranging from Fortune 500 corporations, labor unions, and political figures to some of the biggest household names in the entertainment, music, and sports industries. Before starting his own firm, Ken ran the public relations department of ASCAP, where he supervised events featuring internationally acclaimed music artists. Sunshine has been a longtime activist in the civil rights movement, and throughout his career in Democratic politics, he worked on many national and local campaigns, and served as Chief of Staff for the Mayor of New York.
Robert J. Cyruli, is founder and Principal of Cyruli Shanks Law Firm. For many years, Mr. Cyruli has been counsel on a pro bono basis to the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, a national not-for-profit organization based in New York City dedicated to fostering relations between the Jewish American, African American and, most recently, Muslim American communities. Mr. Cyruli is also an ardent supporter of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces and is a member of its New York Committee
Samia HathroubiEuropean Director
Samia, a French-born Muslim with deep roots in Tunisia, has a strong interest and personal involvement in Muslim- Jewish relations. A 28-year-old award winning journalist and activist who is also working on a P.hd in Islamic studies, Samia spent the last year working in Israel, Palestine and elsewhere as project manager of the YaLa Youth Leaders program. In Paris, she has volunteered in NGO’s dedicated to promoting better understanding between Jews and Muslims as Parler en Paix, and herself founded a group of young leaders working together to struggle against Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism and trying to create bridges between the two communities. Samia will oversee all European initiatives and programs of the FFEU, out of our Paris office. Please contact Samia at firstname.lastname@example.org
As the Founder & President of OAK Digital, Mr. Khera leads the day to day operations of OAK. OAK Digital is a full service digital marketing agency headquartered in Soho, New York.
Prior to founding OAK Digital, Mr. Khera founded Fashionism.com, a shopping rewards platform which is now a part of NYLON Media group.
A specialist in customer acquisition, Mr. Khera has over 15 years experience leading digital strategy & marketing initiatives in NYC. At Aeropostale Mr. Khera launched the ecomm platform & launched and oversaw all digital marketing initiatives. Next, he was recruited to Ralph Lauren, to manage their affiliate & paid search globally. In his last corporate role, Mr. Khera was recruited to KGB Deals where he managed a global team of marketers in four countries, a 60MM+ acquisition budget & acquired over 4MM subscribers per year.
Mr. Khera is a fixture on the digital marketing scene. His work has been featured in Internet Retailer and Womens Wear Daily. Khera has spoken on customer acquisition strategies at Harvard to the HLEP program and is an advisor to FFEU.
FFEU Graphic Designer
Ben Kurland is the Co-Founder of BillFixers, a bill negotiation startup in Nashville, TN, where he has helped over 6,000 clients save more than $2,000,000 on their monthly TV, internet, and phone bills. Since January 2015, he has assisted FFEU with their design and branding.
Social Media Campaign Strategist
Adriana is a Brazilian-American publicist who is working on FFEU's #MuslimsAreSpeakingOut campaign. She has a background in Journalism for Brazilian-based platforms. She has lived in Bahrain, Dubai.
Video Producer | Muslims Are Speaking Out
Laura Seltzer-Duny has been producing and directing award-winning documentaries for over 15 years. She has filmed and edited hundreds of videos for websites, broadcast TV, documentaries and events.
Seltzer-Duny founded Seltzer Film & Video for the purpose of producing social action documentaries that inspire change. Her production company has produced over 30 videos for FFEU's "Muslims Are Speaking Out" Campaign and many FFEU sponsored events including the "Soul to Soul" Concert, the "Today I am a Muslim TOO" Rally and "Stand Up for the Other" Rally.