Rebecca Tobias, Vice President, Board of Directors
Rebecca Tobias is a Global Council Trustee of the United Religions Initiative and the Program Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Ethics, which designs and facilitates interfaith and intercultural programming which serves to foster a culture of peace; and through her work has coordinated capacity-building projects with civic, faith, and social justice advocacy organizations locally, nationally and internationally. As a Fellow with the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights for the Working Groups for Indigenous Populations, Rebecca assisted in the drafting of resolutions presented for the Human Rights Sub-Commission meeting held in August 2005 and since that time has served as a delegate to the United Nations for several CSO’s including the inaugural meeting of the Tripartite Forum on Interfaith Cooperation for Peace.
Her introduction to the depth of the inter-religious divides in the Middle East began on her first trip to Israel in 1980 on a bus ride from Haifa to Tel Aviv while travelling on commandeered transport full of Israeli army conscripts who showed no interest in giving a seat to an elderly Arab woman whom the driver had stopped to collect along the way; from that experience and since that time Rebecca has been on a personal journey to understand and to teach ways in which we can live our lives in purposeful reverence for one another. Rebecca serves on several boards and advisory councils which grant her the opportunity to remain up to date with developments in the MENA region and her professional work with them has been a concerted effort to build coalitions and to empower citizen advocacy. She has been invited to speak as a presenter and guest lecturer on issues of ethics and inter-cultural cooperation both here and abroad. Rebecca attended the University of London in 1984 and received her B.A. from Florida International University in 1989 with a concentration in political science and cross-cultural psychology. In 1996, she went on to study ethics, culture and mysticism of early Christianity and Islam throughout Turkey with Catholic Sisters of Notre Dame College. In 2003, she attended the Elijah Interfaith Institute program in Jerusalem, ‘Authority, Leadership and the Quest for Peace’ with Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein who is a founding member of the World Congress of Imams and Rabbis.
”Politics is about relationships. Come to any relationship with a clear conscience an open heart and rolled up sleeves and the best that resides within us manifests itself. The Euphrates Institute exemplifies this vision by focusing on the positive and the possible.”