What would you do if you won a gold medal the very first time you entered a contest?
You would probably be “stunned” as Rabbi Shaul Osadchey was when he discovered that the Calgary Interfaith Council had won the gold medal in the UN Interfaith Harmony Week Prize.
This gold medal prize comes with $25,000 in award money plus three people from the Calgary council will be flown to Amman, Jordan to receive the prize from H.M. King Abdullah II of Jordan himself.
Rabbi Osadchey was “elated, surprised and humbled to receive this auspicious recognition from an international organization.”
Of course this gold medal is the result of a lot of hard work by many people on the Calgary Interfaith Council and from diverse faith communities in Calgary. A plethora of events were held across the city during the first week of February. There were open houses at fifteen different places of worship. Numerous breakfasts, lunches and dinners were served.
These brave people even held Interfaith build days to help out Habitat for Humanity during a cold spell in the first week of February!!
With this gold medal win, Rabbi Osadchey hopes more awareness will be brought to the work of the Calgary Interfaith Council, whose mandate is to “increase religious literacy and educate about customs and beliefs so that misunderstandings will evaporate. This will enable religious communities to better respect each other and to use improved relationships as a way to fortify the community as a whole through its diversity.”
So how can they improve on a gold medal win?
Well the Council has many ideas for next year’s events including expanding the tours and programs and “hoping for an even bigger bang next year.” The council will be able to use the prize money to support the UN World Interfaith Harmony in 2018.
One hope for next year, which the council can not control even with a gold medal is better weather. In spite of cold weather and slippery conditions during the Sunday when most of the Open Houses were held, the Rabbi was impressed by the number of people who persevered in making it their goal to get to as many open houses as possible!
Congratulations again to the Calgary Interfaith Council on their gold medal win!
For more information go to: http://www.calgaryinterfaithcouncil.org/