Student Multifaith Advisory Council Members
The Student Multifaith Advisory Council is a collaborative community of student leaders who meet weekly to explore faith narratives through meaningful dialogue and experiences in order to nurture mutual respect and understanding. To learn more about SMAC, see "Multifaith Student Groups."
2019 SMAC Members
My name is Shoshana Ehrenkranz '21 and am very excited to be on the Multi-Advisory Council! Last year, I was the treasurer of Shalhevet, the NYU modern-orthodox group on campus and am the incoming treasurer for Hillel. I was apart of the diversity task force for the Bronfman Center and was featured in NYU Portraits (a diversity showcase) during the 2018 Welcome Week! I am also the senator for Tisch for this coming academic year. My Freshman year, I partook in the Bridges Interfaith-trip, a Muslim-Jewish humanitarian/dialogue trip which challenged me to speak to people who had different backgrounds than myself and learn about their perspectives. This made me realize how important interfaith relations are and sparked my love for groups on campus whose goals were just that. I am Jewish but I identify with many more things than just that- a few more include: Interfaith Relations, Comedy, Film, Books, and Running. I think Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche says something groundbreaking and very true in her Ted Talk about "The Danger of a Single Story". People often define themselves, or are defined by people with one or two attributes based on how they look or the stereotype labeled to their religion/race/culture/etc. In reality, we are all multi-faceted and complicated, beautiful beings. That said, I am a multi-faceted human trying to figure out more where I belong, how my skills can be of use, and how my story can be told from and for different perspectives.
Hello! My name is Nick Gordon and I am a Sophomore in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study focusing on the Urban Church, Music Education, and Race in America while also minoring in Multi-faith and Spiritual Leadership. My main religious affiliation on campus is through Canterbury Downtown which is an Episcopal Campus Ministry currently housed out of Grace Church (Lower Manhattan). I also work within the Young Adult Network Diocese of New York as well as at the parish of St. John’s in Village in Greenwich Village. I grew up in a Catholic family in Central New Jersey and discovered the Episcopal Church through singing in my local church’s choir. I later became more engaged as I came out as gay and realized how rare it was for an LGBTQ+ identifying person like myself to exist within a church organization that actually supported them through their coming out process. All of this background has brought me to MAC hoping to give voice to open and accepting protestant denominations that aren’t always at the table in multi-faith conversations. I also hope to learn a lot more about ways in which other religions reconcile with LGBTQ+ acceptance and rejection. Finally, I also hope to engage in story sharing as a way for us to learn more about each other’s backgrounds and create spaces that are truly accepting of all faith traditions. With all of this in mind, I can’t wait for a great year with MAC!
Mohammed Ali Hojaij is an unapologetic Arab-American Muslim raised in Dearborn, Michigan and is of Lebanese descent. He is a junior studying Philosophy, Politics, and Economics in Gallatin with a minor in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. He is the current Director of NYU Refugee Awareness Week, an annual week-long series of events surrounding the global refugee crisis, and is also, the current External Outreach Coordinator of NYU's Muslim Students Association and a collegiate delegate on NYU’s Model United Nations travel team. Mohammed is looking forward to collaborating, discussing, and scrutinizing the intersectionality of religion across traditions and categorizations of identity, race, and gender in an effort to acknowledge and ground differences and expound on the similarities. Through his involvement with MAC, he aims to contribute and provide for the wider understanding of religious tolerance and cognizance within and across traditions of spirituality and faith alongside representatives of these various communities.
Hi, my name is Suyash Adhikari, and I'm a senior at CAS studying Neuroscience with a minor in Global and Urban Education Studies. I identify as a Hindu and am currently the Vice-President of MOSAIC: Interfaith Students of Color Coalition, an interfaith student group aiming to create a community for students of color of various backgrounds and faith, where they can engage in open dialogue and learn from one another. I am also heavily involved with Alternative Breaks, a service program on campus that sends students to communities abroad and within the U.S during winter and spring break. Last year, I had the privilege to lead a trip to Washington D.C focused on Immigrant Rights and this year I will be leading a trip to Stone Mountain, Georgia to work with refugees. I will also serve as a AB Coordinator, helping my fellow site leaders plan and organize their trips. Outside of my academics and extracurriculars, I work as a Research Assistant at the Center for Neural Science. I look forward to learning from my fellow MAC members this upcoming year and engaging in conversations faith, spirituality, and what it means to each one of us.
My name is Ayna Grewal and I am a Sikh, Indian-American from Los Angeles. I am a rising senior majoring in Media, Culture and Communication. Throughout my past three years at NYU I have been an active contributing member of USA (United Sikh Association), and this year I will be one of the club’s co-presidents. I have had a passion for having conversations around identity and differences since high school, so I am very excited about being a member of MAC this upcoming year. I hope to contribute in any way I can and am looking forward to having engaging and meaningful discussions around identity and expression with my peers from various communities at NYU in order to gain insight and understanding from a multitude of perspectives and backgrounds.
Isaiah David Reynolds
My name is Isaiah David Reynolds and I am looking forward to contributing to the Multifaith Advisory Council this year. Growing up in the nondenominational church and carrying the tradition of southern, Christian values from my family, my identity has been shaped by the intersection of religion, race, and politics. Born and raised on the southside of Chicago, I’ve felt a constant battle upstream to find flow within an often-stigmatized habitat. Maneuvering through all parts of the city, Chicago has been the driving force in shaping my idea of persistence, grit, and creativity as I continue to process the many lessons it has taught me. My interactions with a wide range of communities in the city has contributed to my global understanding of various cultures and been the foundation of my advocacy. I look forward to the opportunity to expand my understanding of the intersection of faith, spirituality, and identity to ultimately promote unity and inclusion across communities through MAC. I’m a strong advocate for minding your business, fighting for the oppressed in any context, and Twitter. Feel free to reach out to me through any platform and I look forward to a transformative and developmental year!
Hey everyone! My name is Kancholay Touray, a native of New York, and a senior studying social sciences with a focus on the intersections of race, gender, and social class from an urban American, liberatory, and political lens. I come from a Muslim-Gambian background and self-identify mainly as a Black-Gambian American currently exploring African spirituality and Christianity. I am particularly interested in examining how these practices, historically and present-day, shape the lived experiences of African diasporic groups. As a socially-conscious educator and a member of the MAC community, I look forward to learning and unmasking the ways in which religion and/or faith, spiritual voices, politics, and other forms of symbolic instiutions relate to movements for social justice and power.
Hi! My name is Juliana Lynch, I’m a junior in Steinhardt studying music education. I grew up in Frederick, Maryland in an interfaith family and community, which in part led to my passion for interfaith dialogue and experience such as that which helped me to form my own religious identity. Currently, I am an active member of Shalhevet, the Orthodox Jewish community here at NYU, and am regularly involved in programming at the Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life. Another passion of mine is choral singing, and I currently sing with the NYU University Singers in addition to two choirs outside of school. I look forward to a year of forming and strengthening relationships, engaging in eye-opening conversations, and asking difficult questions.