Rainer Waldman Adkins
Rainer Waldman Adkins is a Hebrew calligrapher, draughtsman, painter, muralist, and printmaker, with a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Washington. Artworks by Rainer are highly visible at Congregation Beth Shalom and the Kline Galland Home. He is the Program/Art Specialist with Launch at Kimball Elementary School, Seattle, teaches B’nei Mitzvah at Kadima Reconstructionist Community, and is a freelance multigenerational educator in art, art history, and Jewish culture, aesthetics, visual midrash, ethics, and history. An activist for Israel-Palestinian peace for three decades, Rainer is a member of J Street, and traveled in May 2017 to Israel and the Palestinian territories with the Center for Jewish Nonviolence.
Rais is a peace activist and an IT professional. After graduating from Sylhet Cadet College, a military School in Bangladesh, he joined the Bangladesh Air Force and was commissioned as a pilot officer following two and a half years of vigorous training. He received a BS in Aeronautics from the National University in Dhaka and completed numerous information technology courses in New York and Dallas where he continued his education, taking courses in computer system engineering, programming, and database administration. In 2001, he was shot in the face by Mark Stroman, a white supremacist seeking vengeance for the 9/11 tragedy. Bhuiyan responded to this by forgiving his attacker and attempting unsuccessfully to prevent his execution. Bhuiyan currently holds a position with Sabre Holdings, a global technology company, in Southlake, Texas. His time is divided between managing a team of system engineers and data centers in Europe and touring the globe giving talks about the regenerative power of forgiveness.
Elise DeGooyer is the Co-Director of the Faith Action Network in Washington State. She brings three decades of experience in mission-driven work in human services and advocacy. She is a lifelong resident of Washington State, born and raised in Yakima, completing undergraduate education in Spokane at Gonzaga University, and making Seattle home since the 1980s. Her graduate studies at Maryknoll School of Theology and Seattle University focused on liberation theologies and pastoral leadership. At Northwest Harvest she helped shape advocacy initiatives on hunger and poverty issues in collaboration with constituencies statewide. She is the lead for Administration and Finance, while sharing oversight of the organization’s mission with Paul Benz.
Nina M. Fernando serves as Program Director at The Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign, a multifaith coalition of religious denominations and faith-based organizations committed to countering anti-Muslim discrimination and violence in the United States and building a society where all are treated with dignity and respect. She joined the Shoulder to Shoulder team in August of 2017.
Imam Adam Jamal
Imam Adam Jamal is an imam at the largest masjid in Washington State, USA. He was born and raised in Houston, Texas. He started his Arabic studies at Jamiatul-Ilm in Blackburn, UK. He completed a BA in Islam from IESH in France. He spent a year studying privately in Egypt and then pursued Imamship and a Master’s in Education at MIHE in the UK. Imam Adam has worked as a schoolteacher, Imam, and Arabic teacher for many years with many different organizations. For four years he was a department head and lead instructor at Bayyinah Institute’s Dream Program.
Rabbi Yohanna Kinberg
Rabbi Yohanna Kinberg has served as Kol Ami’s rabbi since 2014. Before coming to Kol Ami, she was an assistant rabbi and director of education at Temple B’nai Torah in Bellevue, Washington for 11 years. Rabbi Kinberg is a graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and a member of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association. She is involved with JStreet, Jewish Federation, Jewish Family Services, Faith Action Network, the Institute for Jewish Spirituality and a variety of other organizations working towards peace, justice, sustainability, and interfaith connections.
The Rev. Terry Kyllo is a Lutheran pastor serving as the director Paths to Understanding: Bridging Bias and Building Unity. He is the founder of Neighbors in Faith, answering islamophobia building the beloved community. NIF is a program of Paths to Understanding. Terry has learned that we have forgotten how to recognize other humans, the value of humans and so have lost a part of our own humanity. Terry believes we do not have to live this way. A graduate of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, he began his pastoral career in 1991 and has served in partnership between Episcopalians and Lutherans since 2004. Terry was the recipient of the Faith Action Network Interfaith Leadership Award in 2016, the Interfaith Leadership Award from the Muslim Association of Puget Sound in 2017, and the Sultan and Saint Peace award in 2017, and the Called to Lead award in 2018 by the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.
Kathryn Mary Lohre
Kathryn is the Assistant to the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Executive for Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations & Theological Discernment. From 2012-2013, Lohre served as president of the National Council of Churches USA, the first Lutheran and youngest woman, and edited the book For Such a Time as This: Young Adults on the Future of the Church (2013).
Prior to that, she served as assistant director of the Pluralism Project at Harvard University, Dr. Diana Eck’s research project on religious diversity in the United States. She was a Consulting Editor for Engaging Others, Knowing Ourselves: A Lutheran Calling in a Multi-Religious World (2016). She is currently co-chair of the executive committee of the Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign: Standing with American Muslims, Upholding American Values, a US-based, an inter-religious coalition to end anti-Muslim bigotry.
Dr. Moses Penumaka is the Director of Theological Education for Emerging Ministries at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminar, a part of California Lutheran. He believes that education empowers people. Theological education not only empowers but also transforms us. Theological education inspires, enlightens, and liberates one to know the meaning and purpose of life in serving the Church and the Society. Theological education equips us to analyze our cultural context critically and enables us to seek understanding and relevance of faith so we can participate creatively in our pilgrimage of life in supporting, substantiating and preserving God’s whole creation.
Originally from Sri Lanka, the Rev. Dr. Shanta Premawardhana was most recently the director for Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation at the World Council of Churches based in Geneva, Switzerland. Previously, Shanta served as the Associate General Secretary for Interfaith Relations at the National Council of Churches of Christ, based in New York. Following seminary education in Sri Lanka and India, Shanta arrived in the United States in 1981 for graduate study at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where he earned his MA and PhD in Religion. Continuing to live in the Chicago area, he founded the Chicago Ashram of Jesus Christ, a Christian community with an outreach to South Asian immigrants and served for fourteen years as senior pastor of Ellis Avenue Church located in the south side of Chicago.
Amina Quraishi is a student of traditional Islamic Art. She was born in Qatar and immigrated to Canada where she spent her childhood and completed her education. She received an Honors Bachelors in Science majoring in Psychology and Art & Art History at the University of Toronto. Intrigued by the beautiful patterns found in the Islamic lands from Eastern China to Spain, she began to study Islamic Art. The study of Islamic art took her to London where she took courses at the Art of Islamic Pattern. Amina currently lives in Seattle, Washington where she teaches Islamic Art. She teaches geometric and Arabesque patterns at the local libraries, Seattle Public School System and at her local community centers and mosques in Puget Sound area.
Bethany Hull Somers
Pastor Bethany Hull Somers is pastor of Burlington Lutheran Church in Burlington, WA. She is passionate in her ministry of God’s hope, grace and love. Bethany has served in various forms of pastoral ministry for 15 years. She graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2000 and from Duke Divinity School in Durham, NC with a Master of Divinity degree in 2004. Bethany loves living in the Skagit Valley and enjoying God’s amazing creation with her husband, two kids, and their dog.
Alana Suskin an educator, activist and writer. She is the editor of the progressive blog, Jewschool.com. She served as assistant Rabbi at Adas Israel in Washington, DC. She reaches across faith traditions to fight Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. She is an Orthodox Rabbi. Together with Hamza Khan, she is the co-founder of the Pomegranate Initiative to counter Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism.