Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston (IM) is excited to announce plans to create the Brigitte and Bashar Kalai Plaza of Respect at its 3303 Main Street headquarters in Midtown. The Plaza will be dedicated to the interfaith work of three of our city’s most celebrated faith leaders — Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza, Rabbi Samuel Karff and Reverend William A. Lawson. It will be the capstone of the IM campus and a beautiful civic space in the heart of Midtown.
Thank you to our leading Plaza donors:
- Brigitte and Bashar Kalai – Plaza of Respect
- Patti and Richard Everett – Forum
- Shell – Banner of Respect
- The Clark & Charlene Thompson Foundation – Pillar of Light honoring Archbishop Fiorenza
- Wall of Faith – Terry and Martin Cominsky
Naming opportunities are still available on the Plaza:
- Pillar of Light honoring Reverend Lawson $250,000
- Pillar of Light honoring Rabbi Karff $250,000
- Interactive Interfaith Display and App $250,000Plaza gifts of $1,000 or more will be recognized on the donor wall on the Plaza.For more information on making a gift to the Plaza Fund, please contact Maria Magee at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 713-533-4924.
(left to right) Rev. Lawson, Archbishop Fiorenza, Rabbi Karff
A Powerful Trio
The Reverend, the Archbishop and the Rabbi are a respected trio of friends who have worked with each other, in pursuit of the common good, for over three decades. They have championed a variety of causes, from tearing down shantytowns under bridges to halting the “school to prison pipeline” that treats juvenile misbehavior as crime, from fighting anti-Semitism to condemning the bombing of a local mosque.
Archbishop Fiorenza marched from Selma to Montgomery and oversaw the construction of Houston’s new cathedral. Rev. Lawson invited Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. into his parish when many black clergy scorned him, and was let out of jail by a Houston mayor to calm down some civil rights rioters. Rabbi Karff piloted the nation’s oldest rabbinical organization and helped build Chicago’s landmark Conference on Religion and Race. Together, they do much more.” (Fraser, Jayme. “Trio quietly guides Houston’s conscience and policy.” Houston Chronicle. Sept. 30, 2013.)
In the 1980s, during Houston’s oil bust the three friends came together again to help the growing number of homeless in our city. Along with other religious leaders, they created a vision that became what is today the Coalition for the Homeless.