My husband, Avi, and I with Alon Goshen Gottstein, Founder of the Elijah Interfaith Institute and Rabbi Pesach David Stadlin following an interfaith prayer for peace in Ukraine.
Today, I'm writing to you from the incredibly beautiful city of Jerusalem where I'm visiting friends and family for my birthday -- March 21, the Spring Equinox.
Around this time ten years ago, my husband and I met here in the Holy City, and later that year, together with our friends in the photo above, produced an event called Harmony in the Holy Land, a live-streamed concert that brought together Christians, Muslims, and Jews in a universal, musical prayer for peace from the heart of the city.
It was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences I've ever had, and being back here reminds me the work is far from done.
This afternoon, The Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development and The Elijah Interfaith Institute held a prayer ceremony near the Russian Compound in Jerusalem calling on the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, to use his close relationship with Vladimir Putin to convince him to de-escalate the war and make a peaceful resolution.
My birthday wish is for everyone reading this message to join me in magnifying the prayers made this afternoon in Jerusalem from wherever you are today. Please take a prayerful moment of silence for those suffering in Ukraine and Russia, to recognize the unnecessary and deeply tragic loss of life, ask for the safe passage of refugees and an immediate end to this horrible war.
If you're able to, please consider donating to Direct Relief for Ukraine, which has supplied over 48 tons of medical supplies since this conflict began, or to any other vetted charities you believe will make a difference.
I'm not one to preach, but the power of prayer has had an incredible impact on my own life, and I know how even a few small moments of focused, pure intention can make an impact on the world around us. Giving charity puts our prayers into action and, collectively, we are more powerful than we even know.
Thank you for helping make my birthday wish come true. ♥️