Plenary Presenters

Pastor Don Mackenzie, Rabbi Ted Falcon, and Imam Jamal Rahman—now known as the Interfaith Amigos—started working together after 9/11. Since then, they have brought their unique blend of spiritual wisdom and humor to audiences in the USA, Canada, Israel-Palestine, and Japan. Their first book, Getting to the Heart of Interfaith, brought them international attention with coverage from the New York Times, CBS News, the BBC, and various NPR programs. Karen Armstrong calls their “exuberant and courageous” second book, Religion Gone Astray: What We Found at the Heart of Interfaith, “an inspiration and example for all of us in these sadly polarized times.” Their third book, Finding Peace through Spiritual Practice looks at the specific issues we face in a pluralistic society and the spiritual practices that can help us transcend roadblocks to effective collaboration on the critical issues of our time.


Pastor Don Mackenzie, PhD, is devoting himself to interfaith work after retiring as Minister and Head of Staff of University Congregational United Church of Christ in Seattle, Washington, USA. Previously, he served congregations in Hanover, New Hampshire, USA, and Princeton, New Jersey, USA. A graduate of Macalester College, Princeton Theological Seminary, and New York University, his interest in interfaith work began while a student at Macalester and continued while teaching in Lebanon in the year prior to the Six-Day War in 1967. His country music band, Life's Other Side, has sung at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, USA.


Rabbi Ted Falcon, PhD, is a Reform rabbi with a doctorate in clinical psychology, who explores the frontiers of a universal spirituality in his work as spiritual therapist, teacher, and writer. He has taught Jewish traditions of Kabbalah, meditation, and spirituality since the 1970s. Ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, he founded meditative synagogues in Los Angeles, California, USA, in 1978 and in Seattle in 1973. He is the author of A Journey of Awakening: Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tree of Life and co-author, with David Blatner, of Judaism for Dummies.
 

Imam Jamal Rahman is co-founder and Muslim Sufi Minister at Interfaith Community Sanctuary and adjunct faculty at Seattle University. Originally from Bangladesh, he is a graduate of the University of Oregon and the University of California, Berkeley. He has a passion for interfaith work and travels often, teaching classes, workshops and retreats locally, nationally and internationally. His books include Sacred Laughter of the Sufis: Awakening the Soul with the Mulla’s Comic Teaching Stories & other Islamic Wisdom; Spiritual Gems of Islam: Insights & Practices from the Qur’an, Hadith, Rumi & Muslim Teaching Stories to Enlighten the Heart & Mind; The Fragrance of Faith: The Enlightened Heart of Islam; and Out of Darkness into Light: Spiritual Guidance in the Qur’an with Reflections from Jewish and Christian Sources.