Announcing the Rev. Robert Lamar Annual Interfaith Dinner

The Interfaith Alliance of Upstate New York is pleased to announce the launch of the Rev. Robert Lamar Annual Interfaith Dinner. Please join us on October 6 at Albany Country Club for this exciting evening.

Bob embodied the words “faith” and “freedom” and was at the forefront of interreligious dialogue and interfaith relations. As a Presbyterian minister, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, and long-time Executive Director of the Capital Area Council of Churches, he served arm-in-arm with Bishop Howard J. Hubbard, Rabbi Martin Silverman, and Mrs. Joan Dunham.  He was instrumental in the ground-breaking “Fear to Friendship Palm Sunday” event at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, the installation of the sculpture that commemorates that event, “Portal,” and led two interfaith missions to Israel. Bob was a revered member of the Sidney and Beatrice Albert Interfaith Lecture Series Board at the College of Saint Rose and a founding member of the Interfaith Alliance of New York State.  His name will be forever remembered in the history of interfaith relations in the Capital District and beyond.

If you would like to attend this event, please contact Deb Riitano (e-mail:; phone: 518-505-7498).

To realign our awards with our mission, we will present The Interfaith Human Rights Award to County Executive Daniel P. McCoy.  The Joan Dunham Interfaith Award will be awarded to Rev. James Kane.  The Founder’s Award will be presented to Rabbi Scott Shpeen.


Our awardees have advocated for peace, nonviolence, education, and the knowledge that we should never forget that we belong to one another. 


We are grateful to our partners, the Jewish Federation of NENY, the Roman Catholic Diocese, Tendai Buddhist Institute, the Hindu Community, and the Islamic Center of the Capital District who round out our founding members.

We have been through some challenging times, and we hope you are in good spirts and good health.  In times like this, we are reminded of how interconnected we all are.  The world continues in chaos, but the good work of our interfaith community has continued through serving meals, helping with vaccines, and checking in on one another.

Stay safe and well,

Deb Riitano                    Paul Naamon                    Walter Ayres                    Rob Kovach              


Social Justice

Through the transformative power of forgiveness, compassion, empathy, understanding, and acceptance we emphasize the importance of individual and collective action in deploying the tools and techniques for personal and societal responsibility and leadership.

Hate and


Our actions are dedicated to disseminating information about hate and violence, and promoting activities that demonstrate the positive value of ethnic and social diversity.



Our actions are dedicated to placing the need for food at the center and insisting that food is more than just a commodity



No person, community, or ecosystem exists in isolation. The safety and wellbeing of people are inextricably linked to the safety and wellbeing of our natural world.

Learn More



Our actions are dedicated to seeking justice for the most vulnerable people in society



Our actions are dedicated to protecting and advancing the rights, dignity, and freedom of the LGBTQ+ community and removing barriers to equality.

Support Local Action