17th Annual Mahatma Gandhi Day Celebration
Sunday, October 2, 2022, @ 2:00-4:00 pm (HST) / 5:00-7:00pm (PST) / 8:00-10:00pm (EST)
(Monday, October 3, 2022, @ 5:30-7:30 am - India Time)
Biographies of our speakers and performers
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Tushar Arun Gandhi, Great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi
Tushar Arun Gandhi is a great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, and a son of journalist Dr. Arun Manilal Gandhi. Author, Peace Activist and Gandhi Story Teller, he is the Founder and President of Mahatma Gandhi Foundation in Jalgaon, Maharashtra, India, President of Lok Seva Trust (an NGO established in Central Bombay in the mid-1950s for the welfare of textile-mill laborers), as well as a Director of the Gandhi Research Foundation in Mumbai, India. In March 2005, he led the 75th anniversary re-enactment of the "Dandi March”. He often calls himself an ordinary Descendant of Great Ancestors.
Dr. Diane Cirincione-Jampolsky
Dr. Cirincione has committed the last forty plus years to helping make Attitudinal
Healing accessible around the world in all aspects of life to support people of all ages to learn to
make their healthiest choices in changing and challenging life circumstances. She holds a B.S in
Organizational Behavior, a Masters in Counseling Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.
She serves as President of the Jampolsky Outreach Foundation, a non-profit foundation that supports
culturally appropriate adaptations of Attitudinal Healing worldwide. In addition to being a Clinical
Psychologist in private practice, Dr. Cirincione is Founder and Executive Director of Attitudinal
Healing International, a private entrepreneur, an international lecturer, and author/co-author of
books in multiple languages. She has been invited to and worked in 61 countries on five continents
and lectured in medical schools, universities, and organizations around the world in partnership with
Dr. Gerald Jampolsky, her spouse and partnerof 40 years, and the Founder of Attitudinal Healing.
In addition to her corporate career, she has founded and owned six companies. Currently she serves
on the Board of Governance of the California Institute of Integral Studies, the Board of Trustees
of the World Business Academy, and the Boards of Unstoppable Foundation, Mo-DV, Inc., and the H2Clipper hydrogen
Dr. Maya Soetero
Maya serves as a consultant to the Obama Foundation, working closely, with their international team
to develop programming in the Asia Pacific region. Prior to her work with the Obama Foundation.
Maya taught Leadership for Social Change, History of Peace Movements, Peace Education, and
Conflict Management for Educators.
Judith Jenya, Esq.
Judith Jenya has earned numerous US and International awards and recognition highlighting her achievements as a humanitarian and peace activist. Through her commitment to the well being and safety of children she has worked in Hawaii, California, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Jordan, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Kosova,and N. Ireland.She founded and directed Global Children’s Organization which brought together children from all sides of armed conflicts. She developed and taught peacemaking and non-violent conflict resolution skills that are in use throughout the world. She is a wife, mother and grandmother, friend, and volunteers with children’s organizations in Mexico where she now lives. Harvard University, MAT Fine Arts from Univ. of California, Berkeley, BA,MSW Richardson School of Law, Univ. of Hawaii, JD Worked as an attorney and mediator in Honolulu, and taught at the East West Center and the Graduate School of Social Work, UH. International Humanist of the Year, 2002 Temple award for Creative Altruism from IONS 2001 University of California Berkeley alumna of the Year for Service 2000 Hadassah Woman of the Year, Hawaii 1980 She is an artist and write. She is also a painter and photographer with solo exhibitions in Mexico, California, Hawaii, Bosnia She is bi-lingual book of poetry, “Aromas de dos Pueblos”.
Sunder S. Arora (Vyasa), M.D.
Sunder S. Arora (Vyasa), M.D., is an adult and child psychiatrist, an interfaith minister, yoga teacher, family man, and inspiring spiritual teacher.
Vyasa is his spiritual name, bestowed on him lovingly by Swami Vishnudevananda, the disciple of Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh, India. He offers his work with love and gratitude to his human family
Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar
Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar BAMS, MD is a classically trained Ayurvedic Physician with over 30 years of clinical experience. He has traveled all around the globe popularizing Ayurveda. He is a best selling author, sought after motivational speaker,researcher and an acclaimed educator in the field of integrative medicine. He was featured in numerous radio and TV shows including NBC the Dr Oz show.
He is a consultant for the Chopra Center, Dean of Mount Madonna Institute and the Director of
Ayurvedic Healing Inc. He is a formulator and consultant to many nutritional companies that have
generated Millions of dollars in revenues. He is an adviser to many International Organizations
in the field of Yoga & Ayurveda. He has authored the following books:
Dr. Veena R. Howard
Veena R. Howard, Ph.D., is Professor of Asian Religious Traditions in the Department of Philosophy at California State University, Fresno She also holds the Endowed Chair in Jain and Hindu Dharma. She was recently appointed as the director of the M.K. Gandhi Center: Inner Peace and Sarvodaya. Her publications include the books, Gandhi’s Global Legacy; Moral Methods and Moral Challenges (ed.), (Lexington Publishing, 2022, forthcoming); The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Indian Philosophy and Gender (ed.), (Bloomsbury, 2019); Dharma, Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, and Sikh Traditions of India (ed.) (IB Tauris, 2017); and Gandhi’s Ascetic Activism: Renunciation and Social Action (SUNY Press, 2013). She has also authored numerous peer-reviewed articles including “Oxford Bibliography Article: Mohandas K. Gandhi” (Oxford University Press, 2019) and “Rethinking Gandhi's Celibacy: Ascetic Power and the Empowerment of Women” (The Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 2013). She has also translated three books from the modern Sant tradition from Hindi into English. She has served on the Board of Trustees of the Parliament of the World’s Religions.
Dr. David Frawley
Dr. David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri) is Vedic teacher (Vedacharya) and author of forty published books on Yoga, Ayurveda and Vedic studies translated into twenty languages worldwide. Vamadeva has received a Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award of the Government of India for his Vedic educational work. He has a D.Litt from S-VYASA (Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana) and received a National Eminence Award from SIES (South India Educational Society). He is director of the American Institute of Vedic Studies in the United States (www.vedanet.com), which offers publications and courses in Vedic knowledge systems. He is associated with Vedic organizations worldwide. He is regarded one of the pioneers in the global spread of Yoga and Ayurveda over the last several decades.
Miss Kumudini (aka Kumu) Gupta is a hi-tech professional and Entrepreneur with 10+yrs experience from Silicon Valley & New England. Kumu is recipient of 2017 Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award for achievements in a careerbeing a handful of females in industry and college. Marquis Who’s Who has been chronicling lives of prominent Americans worldwide since 1899. Kumu sang the American National Anthem at a Giants baseball game and is mentioned in National Baseball Hall of Fame National Anthem file. Earlierthis year Kumu was given a plaque for promoting women in baseball by All American Girls Professional BaseballLeague.
KUMU Consulting was member of President’s Challenge Program (2011-2016) , a premier program of President’s Council on Fitness Sports and Nutrition under President Obama. Kumu is recipient of President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition Community Leadership Award, only one from MA to get the award. Kumu has served on Mayor's, State, Congressional Commissions and Advisory Boards and was nominated for U.N. Prize, Mother Teresa Award, Gandhi Peace Prize and RFK Human Rights Award for over 2 decades of volunteer social justice work in women’s & children’s rights with Nobel Peace Laureate and the Environment in US and India. Kumu is recipient of Mayor's & Governor's citations & President’s Volunteer Service Award, Lifetime Achievement for 20 years of service to the community. Kumu also received Congressional Special Citation of Recognition for many years of service to Indian American community. In April 2022 Kumu received National Society of Daughters of American Revolution Community Service Award for being an exemplary patriot. Miss Kumu Gupta's Oral History is included in Smithsonian's National Museum of American History Work and Industryreference materials along with Vinod Dham, inventorof Pentium. Kumu was Special Advisor to National Desert Storm War Memorial on National Mall in Washington D.C. efforts, way of showing gratitude to men and women of US Armed Forces for liberating Kuwait from Iraq’s invasion, since Kumu grew up in Kuwait and her parents went missing for a whole month during the invasion. Kumu was nominated for Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation’s Citizen Hero Award for service to the military and their families.
Kumu is Brand Ambassador of Times of India newspaper, their 1st from US, 4th internationally and writes about Indian American diaspora. And Host and Producer of KTalk, a Live BogTalkRadio show. Kumu also had her own TV show for 2 yrs on local Access TV.
At present of her own initiative, Kumu is helping Gandhi Smriti where Mahatma Gandhi spent his final144 days, introduce their Non Violence way of Communicating course to the US for 15th Ann. Of UN"s International Day of Non Violence.
Madana Sundari Master of ceremonies
Devotee of A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada
Former president ISKCON Temple Hawaii
Board of directors Gandhi International Institute for Peace
Vice President of the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Peace Foundation
Executive Chef and owner of Creative Cuisine an International Celebrity catering business
Willow Chang is committed to the creative process, learning experience and sacred practice. A lifelong singer and dancer, her multi-disciplined approach has taken her to teach and perform in Hawai’i, as well the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Willow is also a poet, producer, choreographer, TV host, photographer, costume designer, activist and a classically trained singer. As a jazz singer for over 26 years, she’s been celebrating the American songbook repertoire.
As a dancer, she studied Hula with Kumu Alicia Smith, and has spent the past 28 years focused on Middle Eastern/Northern African dances. Concurrently, she delved into world dance, studying Classical Indian Dances, Butoh, Bollywood, Tango, Flamenco, Balinese and Modern.
She has produced numerous events, including PUJA International Music + Dance Concerts, Global Dance Café showcases, The Art + the Ink: Journey to the Heart Sutra, the Feminine Divine showcase, and the annual events Persian Excursion, Dearly Departed for Dia De Los Muertos, and Songs of the Season.
Bishop Eric Matsumoto
Dharma Name: Disciple of Buddha, Dharma-Pleasure
Hongwanji Temple Ministry: Served as an Associate Minister at Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin Buddhist Temple, Minister of Honokaa, Kamuela, Kohala, and Paauilo Hongwanji Buddhist Temples on the Big Island, Minister of Moiliili Hongwanji Buddhist Temple and since March 1, 2011 serving as the 16th Bishop of Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii (State-wide umbrella organization of over 30 temples in Hawaii). Community Involvement: Currently, a member of Japan America Society of Hawaii and Vice President of Society for the Promotion of Buddhism in Hawaii/BDK Hawaii. Completed serving as President of Hawaii Buddhist Council-an organization of the Seven Japanese Denominations of Japanese Buddhism in Hawaii for the past three years. In 2015, he attended the Parliament of World Religions in Salt Lake City, Utah. Also, active in the Interfaith community and participates in various other community events, functions and programs especially those connected with peace, harmony and the overall betterment of society by taking positions on Marriage Equality, the Executive Ban on Immigration, Responsible Gun Control and Separation of Families at the Southern US Border, Freedom on Reproductive Rights, and providing numerous Invocations, Words of Thanksgiving Before Meals and Benedictions throughout the years for various (religious and non-religious) community organizations representing the Buddhist community to share Buddhist values and perspectives. Further continue to partner with other community organizations like Pacific Health Ministries, Good Samaritan Counseling Center of Hawaii, Kokua Mau and Family Promise of Hawaii on community issues like homelessness, healthcare and spirituality. Continue to collaborate with the Sadako Legacy to promote peace including a collaboration with Ohana Arts which resulted in a Buddhist musical entitled “Peace on your Wings” to promote peace and harmony inspired by the life of Sadako Sasaki and her paper cranes (a symbol of peace).
Barrack Obama and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan when they made their Statements in December 2016. Delivered Invocation at Honolulu Mayor’s Luncheon in honor of Prince and Princess Akishino in June 2018.
Rabbi-Cantor Cheri Weiss
Rabbi Cheri is the new spiritual leader of Temple Emanu-El, having previously served as founder and spiritual leader of San Diego Outreach Synagogue, an independent “without walls” congregation. During her tenure at "SDOS" she taught B’nei Mitzvah preparation lessons, officiated at religious life events, provided support and counseling, and worked with congregants and the Jewish Family Service organization on service projects. She also served as a middle school Judaics instructor at the San Diego Jewish Academy.
Rabbi Cheri was ordained as a cantor and a rabbi by the Academy for Jewish Religion California ("AJRCA"), a transdenominational institution committed to training Jewish leaders. She received her bachelor’s degree in English and Theater Arts from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT; and a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Vocal Performance from CA State University-Northridge. She has also taken undergraduate courses at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Referencing her new role at Temple Emanu-El, she states: “As a rabbi and cantor, I am excited to be part of a community that welcomes people of all backgrounds into Jewish communal life with friendship, open hearts, and caring souls,”
Rabbi Cheri said. “My central mission is to make Judaism accessible to everyone, empowering them as they journey to find their unique Jewish voice. I strive to ‘meet people where they are’ and help them connect in their own way to Jewish traditions.” Rabbi Cheri has broad experience in the Jewish community, teaching, leading, and serving, and continually seeks to reach all populations including LGBTQ+ couples and individuals, disabled people, homebound seniors, and interfaith families. Rabbi Cheri is married with two adult children. In her free time, she enjoys walking her two small rescue dogs, playing tennis, hiking, reading British mysteries, and tackling the NY Times crossword and “Spelling Bee” puzzles. She is looking forward to exploring more of O'ahu and the neighbor islands.
Mollie Sperry, Secretary-General of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the Hawaiian Islands
Mrs. Sperry has master's degrees in Education and Educational Administration and served as a public and independent school teacher at Punahou, Waimea Elementary, and Hawaiʻi Preparatory Academy, Lower School Principal at LeJardin Academy, and Head of School at Academy of the Pacific.
She is a member of Honolulu Sunrise Rotary Club, serves on the board of Read to Me International, and actively supports Hawaiʻi Interfaith ʻOhana and other interfaith, peace, and community-building endeavours. She has been on the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the Hawaiian Islands, which administers the 27 districts of Bahá'ís across our islands, including 20 Local Spiritual Assemblies, for 36 years, serving as Secretary-General since 2014.
RAJ KUMAR, PhD Founder of the Gandhi International Institute for Peace
Dr. Raj Kumar is the Founder and President Emeritus of Gandhi International Institute for Peace (GIIP) in Hawaii. He laid the foundation of this Institute on the day the twin towers were attacked by terrorists in New York City on September11, 2001. Since then, he has been raising awareness about peace & nonviolence. He initiated Senate Bill, SB 332 through GIIP to establish October 2 as “Mahatma Gandhi Day”. The Hon. Governor, David Y. Ige signed this Bill into Act 5 in April 2015, making Hawaii the first State to declare October 2 as “Mahatma Gandhi Day”.
In 2015, Dr. Kumar was appointed as Liaison by the Government of Goa, India, to establish a Sister-State relationship between Hawaii and the State of Goa. In 2016, Dr. Kumar initiated Resolution SCR 20 through GIIP. The Hawaii Legislature adopted the resolution to establish a Sister-State relationship between Hawai’i and the State of Goa of the Republic of India to promote trade, tourism, education and cultural exchange programs. The historic agreement was signed by Hon. Governor David Y. Ige and Gurudas Pilarnekar, Goa's Director of art and Culture, at Washington Place on September 28, 2018.
In December 2018, Dr. Kumar also initiated another House Bill HB 349 through GIIP in the Hawaii Legislature to declare “June 21 each year as International Yoga Day in Hawaii.” The Senate and the House passed the Bill unanimously and Hon. Governor, David Y. Ige signed this Bill also into Act 102 in June 21,2019. Dr. Kumar is the President of Indian-American Friendship Council (Hawaii Chapter). He also serves on the Advisory Board of the Interfaith Alliance Hawaii. Dr. Kumar is also an author of numerous books. He plans to release a special book on Mahatma Gandhi in 2023. The title of his new book is - “Anger and Nonviolence.” He has contributed several articles on faith, peace, nonviolence and health to major newspapers of Hawaii between 2005-2018.