ESR to offer NYC cross-cultural immersion course

Have you ever wished for an opportunity to experience the worship practices of other faith traditions? Longed for opportunities to have deep and honest conversations with individuals whose perspectives are just as sincere as yours, but significantly different? If you want to strengthen your own commitment to your faith without the need to dismiss the faith of others, ESR has an excellent opportunity for you. And, if you wish to spend a few days in the Big Apple, it may never get easier than this.

Join Jay and Judi Marshall on this twelve-day cross-cultural and interfaith immersion experience facilitated by Faith House Manhattan in New York City. Program cost is $1400 per person, plus food, lodging, and transportation to NYC. Recommended housing options include:

  • The Landmark, on Union Theological Seminary Campus ($135 single/$165 double/night)
  • The Newton Hotel @ 2528 Broadway ($139 double/night)
  • YMCA Harlem ($85 single/$110 double/night)
  • Jazz Hostels (no private rooms, but $40-50 per bed/night

For those interested in flying to NYC, Laguardia is the nearest airport, approximately 8 miles from Union. JFK and Newark are each about 20 miles away. For more information, please contact Matt Hisrich or Jay Marshall by phone at 800-432-1377 or by email at or

General Description

New York City, through its religious openness and vast immigrant communities, is home to an exceptionally diverse spread of cultural identities and religious communities. Yet, few are able to find an authentic opportunity to engage with its religious life.

Come with us on a pilgrim’s journey to experience different expressions of faith in this mecca of religious diversity. At Faith House, they believe that part of understanding one's own faith-identity in today's world is to understand it in the context of many faiths. As our communities are becoming ever-more culturally and religiously diverse, what does it mean now to live as a person of faith within such a framework? How can the questions and insights from other faiths help us to reflect upon and deepen our own? How might understanding each other better result not in reducing our own religious identities, but in fulfilling them?

During this immersion, you will have the opportunity to actively participate in a wide variety of religious services all over New York City, and engage in dialogue with diverse communities over the course of two weeks. You will also have a chance to practice and experience your own faith in a completely different context and setting. Throughout the immersion, we will meet regularly to reflect on our experiences and discuss their implications on our own faith and practice. When all is said and done, you will come away not only with greater knowledge about other faith traditions, but having challenged yourself to engage in dialogue with “the other” and to become more conscious of your own identity through the experience.

Tentative Schedule
(As of 7/30/13)

Wed, Jan 8
3PM: Opening @ UTS
7PM: “Mid-week Manna” @ Abyssinian Baptist Church

Thurs, Jan 9
4PM: Debrief @ UTS
7:30PM: Sufi Zikr @ Nur Ashki Jerrahi Order

Fri, Jan 10
12PM Jumma Prayers @ NYU followed by talk with Imam Khalid Latif
6:30PM: Shabbat Service @ Romemu (Jewish Renewal Synagogue)

Sat, Jan 11
9:30AM: Shabbat Service @ B’nai Jeshrum (Jewish Reform Synagogue)
12:30PM: Talk with Sheetal Shah (of the Hindu Faith) at Broome St. Ganesh Temple
2PM: Debrief

Sun, Jan 12
9:30AM: Service @ Sikh Gudwara in Flushing followed by talk by Jatinder Singh of the Sikh faith
2PM: Tour of Ganesh Temple in Flushing

Mon, Jan 13

Tues, Jan 14
9AM: Debrief @ Charlotte’s Place (part of Trinity WallStreet Church)
12PM: Catholic Mass @ St. Peter’s Church followed by talk with the Priest.
1PM: 9/11 Memorial at St. Paul’s Chapel
1:30PM: Tour of Park 51 Mosque and talk with Hanadi Doleh (liaison there)

Wed, Jan 15
3PM: Debrief @ Union
4PM: Talk on Shamanism by Stephanie Alston-Nero @ Union
6:30PM: Tibetan Buddhist Dharma talk and meditation @ Kagyu Dzamling Kunchab Center

Thurs, Jan 16
4PM: Debrief @ Union
7PM: Kirtan @ Bhakti Center

Fri, Jan 17
4PM: Intro to Won Buddhism Talk and meditation - at Won Buddhist Temple
6:30PM: Chanting at Chogyesa Temple (Korean Zen Buddhist)

Sat, Jan 18
11AM: City Lights Christian Gathering (progressive Christian spiritual community)
2PM: Debrief

Sun, Jan 19
11AM: Baha’i Service followed by talk
3PM: Final Debrief/Conclusion

REGISTRATION - click here for a printable PDF registration form