Women supporting women of diverse faiths...
140 Fall Street, PO Box 131 • Seneca Falls, New York 13148 • (585) 319-
A Shared Mission
The Women’s Interfaith Institute was founded in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts in 1992, under the leadership of Dr. Allison Stokes. For information, see www.womensinterfaithberkshires.org.
After Allison moved to New York, she organized the Institute’s Finger Lakes affiliate
in 2002. Although the two non-
Bricks and Mortar
In February 2003, the WII in the Finger Lakes purchased the historic church building located next door to the Women’s Rights National Historical Park, dedicated at that site to preserve and protect the original Wesleyan Chapel where Elizabeth Cady Stanton led the first Women’s Rights Convention in 1848.
In September 2012, the Institute held a celebration of its first decade of service, and launched a fundraising drive asking contributors for “$10 for 10 Years.”
The Institute offers something that is unique: space dedicated to bringing persons
together across the religious, cultural, racial, and socio-
From Devastation to Dedication
On March 5, 2009, our historic building suffered a devastating fire -
In the meanwhile, with the help of many, many dedicated volunteers, we have recovered the full use of the north section of the building, providing two meeting rooms, kitchen, office, and bathrooms. This allows us to continue to offer programs.
About the Women’s Interfaith Institute: a Brief History
Once owned by the same Wesleyan congregation that permitted Elizabeth Cady Stanton to conduct her “controversial” meeting in their Chapel, the building that now is home to the Interfaith Institute is revealing its own history that is intertwined with the site of the original convention – located just next door.
This pulpit is believed to have moved with the Wesleyan congregation from its original
location, making it likely that Stanton rested her hands -
The fire wreaked wholesale devastation -
Our Mission and Vision
Our space and mission is dedicated to interfaith understanding, cooperation and action.
We are “women supporting women of diverse faiths in generating spiritual leadership, scholarship and service.”
The tapestry pictured left, and being hung above, depicts Elizabeth Cady Stanton (on left) in Seneca Falls in July 1848 and Tahirih in Badasht, Persia, in June 1848. Three weeks and half a world apart, both leaders called for equal rights for women. Tahirih’s personal risk cost her her life.
This exquisite work of art, on display at the Institute, is described in Professor Farzaneh Milani’s book, Words Not Swords: Iranian Women Writers and the Freedom Movement (2011).