News

  • Tuesday, June 22, 2021 6:50 PM | Pedram Yazdani (Administrator)

    We are extremely honoured that Ervad Ramiyar Karanjia, Principal Dadar Athornan Institute and renowned Avestan scholar will start the meeting with a Ham-bandagi and give a short talk on “Timeless Zoroastrian Legacy”.

    CYRUS AND ZOROASTRIAN LEGACY TO WORLD DEMOCRACY, THE U.S. FOUNDING FATHERS, U.S INDEPENDENCE AND CONSTITUTION

    How “The Education of Cyrus,” Cyropaedia, and
    Zoroastrian (Avesta) ethics and morals influenced
    1. The Byzantine and Islamic rulers of Middle Ages
    2. The Enlightenment ERA
    3. French Democracy
    4. AMERICAN Founding Fathers
    5. American Constitution
    6. The American Declaration of independence
    7. Thomas Jefferson considered Cyrus as his Hero.
    8. In the opinion of. highly respected U. S.  attorneys: The U.S. Constitution influenced the Indian constitution
    9. How Wadia built ships helped Britain defeat Napoleon in Sea battles.
    10. How the U.S. National Anthem was inspired on Wadia built ship MINDEN


    Time: Jun 25, 2021 10:00 AM EST

    Join Zoom Meeting

    https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82504817036

    Meeting ID: 825 0481 7036

    Passcode: 917646

  • Wednesday, June 16, 2021 6:51 PM | Pedram Yazdani (Administrator)

    FEZANA reaches milestone fundraising goal of $1.1 Million (USD) in partnership with the University of Toronto, establishing first-ever FEZANA Professorship of Zoroastrian Languages and Literature at the University of Toronto

    Transformative and sustainable for future generations, the endowed professorship advances the academic study and understanding of Zoroastrianism and its contributions to the world

     
    Burr Ridge, Illinois, USA, June 16, 2021 – FEZANA, the Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America, at its 34th Annual General Meeting announced it has reached its matching fundraising goal of $1.1 million (USD) in partnership with the University of Toronto, officially establishing the FEZANA Professorship of Zoroastrian Languages and Literature at the University of Toronto. This milestone achievement will transform and advance the study of Zoroastrian languages and literature in the Western hemisphere for future generations, and marks an historic moment for FEZANA, its member associations and small groups, and the hundreds of patrons who donated to turn concept into reality.
     
    A worldwide search for a candidate to fill the position shall begin in the summer/early fall, with the goal to have  a selected candidate in place to start their position at the University of Toronto in July 2022.
     
    “The establishment of the FEZANA Professorship at the University of Toronto creates an academic milestone for the Zoroastrian community in North America,” said FEZANA President Arzan Sam Wadia. “In our more than three decades of FEZANA’s existence, this has been the single largest capital project we have initiated, and its completion is deeply gratifying to the entire community. What is truly unique is the collective participation of individuals and institutions from around the world. FEZANA will forever remain grateful to every donor who helped realize this dream.”
     
    “This generous gift from the FEZANA community propels our Zoroastrian studies program as a leader on the global stage, greatly elevating its significance and contribution to the study of Zoroastrianism,” says Tim Harrison, chair of University of Toronto’s Department of Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations (NMC), in which the professorship will be based. “This professorship will help us greatly increase the number of students able to read and understand the ancient languages of Avestan and Pahlavi, and advance research and publications on the translated texts and their context in history. Ultimately, it will help raise awareness of Zoroastrianism around the world.”
    The milestone project was initiated in 2019 by FEZANA under the leadership of Homi D. Gandhi, immediate past President of FEZANA.
     
    “It is important for faith-based organizations like FEZANA to invest in scholarship and educational opportunities for their communities and the world at large,” Gandhi said. “By fostering a greater understanding of the tenets that guide our lives, we can better understand other faiths who may believe differently, and in turn, achieve a global unity based on cooperation and understanding.”
     
    The concept of an endowed professorship was first presented in 2017 at FEZANA’s 30th Annual General Meeting, by Erv. Dr. Jehan Bagli who had met with University of Toronto representatives to broach the idea. Dr. Bagli worked closely with Gandhi, and both devoted energy and enthusiasm toward the fundraising effort. In total, more than 250 generous donors supported the cause, including Zoroastrian individuals, associations, institutions and foundations in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Australia, India, Europe and North America.
     
    FEZANA recognizes the following religious, academic and executive leaders for their behind-the-scenes leadership and guidance that helped advance the cause: Ervad Arda-e-viraf Minocherhomjee, President, North American Mobed Council; Behram Irani, FEZANA Fundraising Lead; Sean Elavia, FEZANA General Counsel; and Professor Yuhan S-D Vevaina, Bahari Associate Professor of Sasanian Studies at The University of Oxford.
     
    “The inestimable and multi-generational value of investing in religious and historical education is not simply a utilitarian concern, but a fundamental tenet of Zoroastrianism to be found in every stage of Zoroastrian literature, from the Avestan sacred texts to those written today in the global diasporas,” Oxford’s Prof. Vevaina commented. “FEZANA is to be truly congratulated for its profoundly forward-thinking commitment to the highest levels of academic scholarship on Zoroastrianism, and I genuinely hope this is the just beginning of many more endowed positions to come which will reflect the geographic and demographic diversity of Zoroastrians living and thriving across the breadth and depth of North America and beyond.”
     
    “The FEZANA Professorship in Zoroastrian Languages and Literature at the University of Toronto ensures a foundational religion, and its heritage will be studied in perpetuity,” said Prof. Jamsheed K. Choksy, Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Central Eurasian Studies at the University of Indiana - Bloomington. “This is a much-needed undertaking of enduring value.”
     
    Zoroastrians are followers of one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions founded by the prophet Zarathushtra more than 3,000 years ago in ancient Iran. Zoroastrians have long served as bridge builders in interfaith dialogue, believing in truth, righteousness, charity, beneficence, respect and care for the environment, and the ultimate triumph of good over evil.
     
    Zoroastrianism flourished as the imperial religion of three Persian empires, those of the Achaemenians, Parthians and Sassanians, and was the dominant religion from Turkey and eastward to China during those times. North America’s Zoroastrian community includes those who arrived from the Indian subcontinent, known as Parsis, and those who came directly from Iran seeking religious freedom.
     
    About FEZANA
     
    Founded in 1987, the Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America (FEZANA) represents a diverse and growing Zarathushti community in the western diaspora. Guided by the blessings of Ahura Mazda and the teachings of prophet Zarathushtra, the non-profit federation serves as the coordinating body for 27 Zoroastrian associations and 14 corresponding groups in Canada and the United States. The activities of FEZANA are conducted in a spirit of mutual respect, cooperation and unity among all member associations, and with due regard for the Zarathushti principles of goodness, truth, reason, benevolence, implicit trust and charity toward all mankind. Visit www.fezana.org and follow FEZANA on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @TheFEZANA.
     
     
    ###
     
    Media contact:
    Jim Engineer
    Chief Communications Officer
    FEZANA
    pr@fezana.org


     
    Download In PDF Format
  • Wednesday, June 16, 2021 6:50 PM | Pedram Yazdani (Administrator)

    he The California Zoroastrian Center (CZC) presents Drawing Contest 3:lifornia Zoroastrian Center (CZC) presents Drawing Contest 3:


  • Saturday, June 12, 2021 5:10 PM | Pedram Yazdani (Administrator)

    Dear friends,

    This year marks our 35th fundraiser for The B. D. Petit Parsee General Hospital. Last year, thanks to your generosity, we sent a record $ 102,000. Every cent went towards the treatment of COVID patients. Every bed in the hospital was occupied then and still is, however, the hospital has carved out a section for COVID in order to manage all patients and perform other procedures. Due to the realities of the pandemic and its aftermath, the hospital has made plans to upgrade or buy new equipment. Further details refer to PGH Equipment Donation.

    The hospital under the CEO Dr. Ganguly, who managed 200 military hospitals when he retired, told me when he joined the hospital, “You don’t think I can manage a 200 bed hospital?” He brought changes to the staff’s attitude and glowing testimonials from relatives and patients. Examples are shared in the attachment and on hospital’s website.

    Though there were a couple of complaints, the COVID-19 vaccination distribution is well organized. The staff’s gentle manner has earned praises. Even my Jain friend’s sister, living in Breach Candy, went to PGH to pay for her shot and was very happy with the arrangement, distancing, cleanliness, and even the tea/coffee at the end was hot!

    This year, we are still in the COVID state of mind. The hospital has got donors for building an oxygen plant and for the first CT Scan machine to be installed, however, they need a good A/C system first. In the words of Mr. Hector Mehta, “the A/C plants are integral towards our COVID fight. They centrally supply the whole Jokhi wing and the A-1 (COVID) ward. Jokhi wing houses the ICCU, which during this pandemic 90% of the patients are being treated for post-Covid sequelae, especially pneumonia, stroke, myocardial infarctions, etc. It also houses the X-ray dept. where CT scan will be lodged and the Path Lab, where all the radiological and other diagnostic investigations for the COVID patients are carried out. None of these departments, including the CT Scan, can function without maintaining the desired cool temperature. Your donation for the A/C plants will actually go a long way towards the overall treatment of our COVID patients.” Jamshed and I have donated $10,000 towards this project. Hopefully, this is our last year for COVID-related fundraising.

    In honor of PGH, we will hold our annual jashan on SUNDAY, JULY 25th at 11:30 am, at our beautiful Dar-e-Mehr. Lunch will follow the jashan. Those who wish to attend please RSVP at 516-378-4516 or email - ghad@optonline.net. Kindly let us know so we can prepare accordingly.

    What can you do?
    Either click on the "Donate Now" button now, or donate by sending your donations payable to ZAGNY - Critical Assistance Fund. You can also send the checks to:
    (a) us at 2686 Belcher St., Baldwin, NY 1150-3937, OR

    (b) ZAGNY Treasurer, Cyrus Pavri, at 961 Franklin Turnpike, Allendale, NJ 07401-1315

    Donate Now

    Hope you will go deep in your pockets to assist PGH in this global crisis.


    We thank our friends from USA and Canada for your tremendous support, encouragement, and generous donations for a very worthy cause - taking care of our sick and needy. Please visit PGH’s revamped website https://bdpetitparseegeneralhospital.org/ as some of the recent testimonials from patients and relatives will warm your hearts.

    Ushta te,

    Yasmin & Jamshed Ghadiali
    2686 Belcher St.
    Baldwin, NY 1150-3937
    516-378-4516
    ghad@optonline.net

  • Friday, June 11, 2021 10:00 AM | Pedram Yazdani (Administrator)

    This Saturday

    Learn more about

    PERSIS: A Persis Khambatta Story

    A Walk Down Persis Lane:


    The FEZANA Talks #22

    Join us on Saturday June 12th for this exciting exploration of the career of Parsi actress Persis Khambatta. To many, Persis Khambatta was the woman who turned heads as Lieutenant Ilia in the film Star Trek The Motion Picture (1979), but to many of those from the South Asian and Parsi community, Persis’ pioneering journey across the globe was a historical moment of being seen. 

    The panel invites the FEZANA community to join a conversation with the filmmaker Vaishali Sinha, alongwith artists Sooni Taraporevala and Farah Bala – whose paths crossed with Persis Khambatta. Together we will explore Persis’ work and ambitious journey, and learn from each other the Persis we know. We invite you to join us as we collectively walk down Persis Lane.

    PERSIS is an ongoing documentary film exploring the legacy of the unheralded model-turned-actor Persis Khambatta. 
     

    Saturday June 12th, 2021


    9 AM Pacific | 12 Noon Eastern | 5 PM UK | 9:30 PM India


    Speaker Bios

    SOONI TARAPOREVALA

    Sooni Taraporevala is an award-winning screenwriter, photographer and filmmaker. She is the author/publisher of 2 editions of the photo book PARSIS A Photographic Journey1980- 2004, a popular and critical success, now out of print.. In 2017 Harper Collins published her photo book Home in the City Bombay 1977 – Mumbai 2017. Her photographs are in museums & collections worldwide. She won a national award for her debut film LITTLE ZIZOU and was awarded a Padma Shri in 2014. Her latest film YEH BALLET that she wrote and directed is streaming worldwide on Netflix. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.


    FARAH BALA 

    Farah Bala has worked as a performing artist and producer for over two decades in Theater, Film-TV in South Asia and the US. She is also an Audie nominated voiceover artist. Some recent Film-TV credits include Quantico, Orange is the New Black, Steven Soderberg’s High Flying Bird. Farah has simultaneously used the tools of the theater in arts education, developing social-emotional learning in NYC public schools, international volunteering initiatives, and professional environments globally and across industries. 

    She is currently Founder & CEO of FARSIGHT, a leadership development consultancy that prioritizes Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. 

    Farah’s speaking engagements include Yale University, Ford Foundation, Voice America, NY Travel Festival, Travel Unity, Adirondack Diversity Initiative, Oregon Shakespeare Fest, Asian American Arts Alliance, among others. She is a sought after speaker at national conferences, most recently at SHPE and SASE. Farah is also the creator and host of FARSIGHT FRIDAY, a video podcast started in 2020 in response to the heightened racism and divisiveness of marginalized communities. She is featured in Umbrage Edition’s national award-winning book Green Card Stories as one of 50 profiles of recent immigrants from around the world.


    VAISHALI SINHA

    Vaishali Sinha directed/produced the feature documentary ASK THE SEXPERT (PBS, Netflix India) about a 92-year-old sex advice columnist in India who gains popularity despite the ban on sex education in schools in several states. The film traveled to over 40 film festivals, won Best Documentary Award at New Orleans Film Festival, a Critics Choice Award in India, and a Grierson Nomination for Best Entertaining film.

    Vaishali also co-directed/produced the award-winning documentary MADE IN INDIA about the personal stories behind the phenomenon of outsourcing surrogacy to India. The film premiered at Hot Docs Film Festival in Canada and aired on PBS in 2012. Variety called it “an engrossing feature” and The Hindu wrote “the film does not judge, it only states and allows the viewer that prerogative.”

    Vaishali is from Mumbai and currently resides in New York with her husband Fred Lassen, a Music Director and their 6-year-old son Luca.

    Join on Zoom

    Join Zoom Meeting

    Topic: A walk down Persis Lane: The FEZANA Talks
    Time: Jun 12, 2021 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

    https://zoom.us/j/96651255724?pwd=Vms5UWk0bVVlWlRhd21YdENobVRUUT09

    Meeting ID: 966 5125 5724
    Passcode: FEZANA /
    507413

    Dial by your location

    https://zoom.us/u/augThaiBg

  • Thursday, June 10, 2021 6:14 PM | Pedram Yazdani (Administrator)

    CRRF sponsors first-ever National Forum on Anti-Asian Racism in Canada

    The CRRF is a proud sponsor of the first-ever National Forum on Anti-Asian Racism hosted by the University of British Columbia.  The event will take place over two days beginning on June 10, 2021.  Join the National Forum on Anti-Asian Racism and contribute to these crucial discussions. Through open conversations with key figures in education, health care, media, the corporate world, the not-for-profit sector, and government, we’ll produce bold actions and key priorities to be implemented across the country. Participate in these discussions and help shape the fight against racism!


  • Saturday, June 05, 2021 1:39 AM | Pedram Yazdani (Administrator)

    Coffee Chat with International Zoroastrian Youth - Danny Master

     

    Never underestimate the power of one. If you have a calling to add value to your community, start right away. Permit yourself to begin, create, and collaborate with like-minded people to build on that idea if needed.” – Danny

     

    Can you please tell us about yourself? (brief background)

    I'm 33, and by the time I was 16, I had already lived in four countries. I spent most of my adult life in New Zealand with my family. Picked up a Commerce degree and a Post Grad Diploma in Management along the way, while working in the IT Sales sector. 4 years ago, I decided to move to London, UK, seeking adventure and growth. Turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life as I got married, sunk my teeth further into the IT industry, started a karate and fitness side-hustle, and collaboratively started a Zoroastrian angled podcast with a few close friends.

     

    You've lived in over 5 countries; Can you highlight some differences and similarities overall that you’ve experienced through your eventful journey?

    The Parsi cultural identity, which I'm far more familiar with than the Iranian Zoroastrian identity, is very distinct no matter which part of the world you're in. One of the wisest choices my parents made was to immerse our family of four in with the local Zoroastrian communities, be that in Bombay, Bahrain, Dubai or Auckland. Looking back on it, I think it was their way of giving my sister and myself a consistent community experience, no matter which part of the world we were in. That and Zoros know how to have fun.

    However, while we all smile and have fun the same way, how we communicate, resolve conflict, or get things done varies depending on which part of the world you're in. That's where you start seeing shades of the local area you're in. And because it's such a subconscious difference, almost no one can prepare you for it.

     

    Have you always wanted to get involved with the Zoroastrian community wherever you’ve lived?

    This is something I grew into. Community work can often be as intimidating as learning a new language - you want to say the right things the right way. It just started making sense for me to start somewhere over the last couple years, be comfortable making mistakes and learning from them, and trusting that what I had to say or so would be received in good faith and understanding.

     

    Why do you like to get involved, what drives you, and when did you start?

    Emulating one of my idols and Sensei, Mr. Adil Sarkari, who for the last 20+ years, has run a community focused dojo in Auckland NZ, I started offering Karate Classes to the Zoroastrian community in Central London early 2020, with the full support of the ZTFE. When the classes were unceremoniously discontinued at the time due to the initial Covid-19 lockdown in the UK, I realised that I enjoyed bringing people together and adding value to their physical and mental wellbeing. This has led me to continue sessions over Zoom, while also teaching and training newer students face-to-face as lockdown restrictions eased over the past few months.

    Concurrently, my new London friends and I also wanted to start having an open discussion about current and Zoroastrian-centric events/topics, which led to the collaborative creation of Zoroverse podcasts (Season 1 available on Youtube and Spotify).

     

    What are some of the challenges you’ve faced and how have you overcome them?

    Broadly, the organisational structure has been a challenge. If sub-committees are tasked with responsibilities, they should also be enabled with autonomy and authority.

     

    What are your plans/hopes for the future for the Zoroastrian community in the UK and globally?

    I hope to be part of a change in our community towards open-minded dialogue and mindsets, where the organisational structures are meritocratic.

     

    How would you encourage the youth to get involved and what programs would you suggest they could start with? Local volunteering, World Zoroastrian Youth Congress participation, etc.?

    Know yourself first. You are the most important person so focus on what you can contribute that also makes YOU grow. Is it a helping hand, skill, ability, or experience etc. Once you know what makes you happy and helps you grow, you can then start socialising with the community to identify like-minded people who you can respect, be friends with, and work with. Start small, be respectful, and keep asking questions.

     

    What advice would you give our youth in order to inspire them to serve the community in their respective countries?

    Never underestimate the power of one. If you have a calling to add value to your community, start right away. Permit yourself to begin, create, and collaborate with like-minded people to build on that idea if needed.

     

    Thank you, Danny, for your continued community service and for inspiring future leaders.

    We wish you all the best!

  • Saturday, June 05, 2021 1:35 AM | Pedram Yazdani (Administrator)


    Watch Live:

    youtube.com/islamicherald/live


    Q&A:

    The capacity for Zoom is 300 and participants also have the opportunity to listen to the program via Youtube Live. Both sessions will be recorded and the recordings will be up on Youtube shortly after the session has completed.

    Join Zoom Meeting

    https://zoom.us/j/5929544287

    Meeting ID: 592 954 4287

    Dial by your location

            +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)

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            +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

            +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)

    Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/acr91HVL4a

  • Friday, June 04, 2021 1:45 AM | Pedram Yazdani (Administrator)

    Dear Perveen Diwanji,

    The OZCF Seniors Sub Committee invites you and your family to attend.

    AN INTERACTIVE FALL PREVENTION 

    FUN EVENING WITH

    STEPHANIE SANTOS-SPRAGGETT

    GET YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

    Stephanie has many years of experience in teaching/helping seniors to maintain their balance, autonomy and control in order to live happy independent lives.

    JOIN OUR ZOOM MEETING 

    DATE: JUNE 4, 2021        TIME 6:30 – 7:30pm

         

    Join Zoom Meeting

    https://zoom.us/j/93621430787?pwd=alZPVzhDZ0Y2UTJtZFE5enU5VWtJdz09

    Meeting ID: 936 2143 0787

    Passcode: 825962

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