Tibetan Community in Philadelphia and need of a Community cultural center
Tibetans began arriving in the U.S. in the early sixties, but the community entered a new phase of development in 1992 when the U.S. Congress granted one thousand visas for Tibetan exiles in India as part of the Immigration Act of 1990. These thousand Tibetans were in turn able to bring their family members along with them. Philadelphia was one of several destinations for these Tibetan immigrants.
The Tibetan Association of Philadelphia is diverse in terms of age, gender, and people’s occupations. Many are self-employed and own small businesses and their own homes. Several are working in the service and construction industries. Children and youths, particularly those born in Philadelphia, make up a large part of the community. Many of the younger members are beginning to branch out into professional fields like nursing. The community comes together around cultural and religious occasions, and activities geared towards highlighting the ongoing human rights and cultural repression in Tibet.
The Philadelphia Tibetan Community is 150 strong and growing. Community organizers are often not able to find affordable venues for events that can accommodate the growing community. Important events, such as Losar (Tibetan New Year) and July 6 (H.H. the Dalai Lama’s birthday) are sometimes held on different dates because of unavailability of space. Retired elders feel restricted to their homes. The community lacks a physical space where members can meet others, learn, teach, cook, worship, volunteer, and interact as a community. This was fine when the community consisted of only a handful of families, and everything was done informally at people’s homes. However, now that the community has grown significantly, a community center with programs and services is imperative for the long-term wellness of Philadelphia Tibetans.
TAP is trying to raise money to establish a Tibetan Temple and Cultural Center in Philadelphia.
Goal: To purchase a Temple and Cultural Center located in Northeast Philadelphia. This Temple is currently owned by the Kalmyk Buddhist community and was visited by the Dalai Lama twice, in 1990 and 2008.
Objectives of the Project:
• To establish a community Cultural Center to be considered as our home, a place where we can preserve and promote our unique Tibetan cultural heritage.
• To have classrooms for our Sunday Tibetan language school where we teach our youth to read and write Tibetan.
• To have a base from which to produce public programs and offer services to strengthen and sustain our community. We will aim to promote compassion, kindness, peace and religious harmony by sharing the values inherent in the practice of Tibetan arts and culture.
Temple and Cultural Center building purchase: $400,000
Please Consider Supporting Our Efforts:
TAP is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization. All donations are tax deductible. A donation of any amount is greatly appreciated. Please contact us:
Cultural center committee members
Tsering Norbu(Vice president) (610) 306 8985
Tsering Jurme (215) 715 6754
Tsering Wangdu (917) 757 4200
Kelsang Dickey (215) 687 7599