In Memory of Dan Krichbaum



From Bob Bruttell

We lost a friend to the interfaith community, a powerful and relentless voice for racial harmony and a member of our board of directors this week. Rest in peace Dan Krichbaum. You will be dearly missed. We will carry on this work without you as we must; as you would expect. We will try very hard to do the work in the way that you did, with deep faith, with intelligent insight and with joy.

From Steve Spreitzer

This is my favorite photo (above) of my mentor and colleague, Dan Krichbaum, of blessed memory. Dan was speaking at a press conference in support of Affirmative Action on Sept. 12th in 2006 at the Council of Baptist Pastors meeting, held at Bethany Baptist Church, Detroit. Dan had lamented the lack of the religious community voice in the work for racial justice and worked hard to make sure they were heard during that public debate.  Bob Bruttell played a huge role in that campaign, which was preceded by his convening over several years a Working Group on Religion and Community Formation.  As you look at the photo you will see IFLC leaders Flowers, Begg and Buttry.  Dennis Archambault was also helpful at that time.

Know of my thoughts and prayers for all of you who mourn Dan’s walking-on…


From Victor Begg:

I too write with a heavy heart, with tears and many fond memories…

A pillar has fallen, The Free Press obituary touches a bit on his interfaith commitment after the 9/11, along with all the other great things he did for all Michiganians. “Krichbaum, Michigan civil rights leader and Granholm aide, dies” article at — I don’t like the Newspaper Headline… Dan will live forever in our hearts and minds, as long as we live.

If it wasn’t for Dan Krichbaum, we may not have found the support and the path needed to institutionalize interfaith work — he agreed to shelter the IFP under the MRDI umbrella. Before Dan put us on the road to the IFLC, the interfaith work belonged to a fringe group of eccumeniacs, as Felix (God bless his soul) use to call us. We met at the Boston Blvd office to talk about various faith perspectives. Dan pointed out the need to build this movement into ‘congregation to congregation’ vs. limited individual experiences — it is this philosophy that helped us expand and grow. He had the spirit of a reformer.

Thanks for sharing that photo (above) Steve… I was looking for a personal one too.. in the one you send I’m dwarfed behind him, but he always pushed others in front, especially the Board members — he went out of the way to recognize them…One such photo from the ‘Walk’ is attached — you can see he stayed in the background, smiling and applauding. As the Director of the Civil Rights Dept, he asked Shahina to appear in a civil rights infomercial because he wanted a Begg family member in it. He was so kind to us and our children.

Dan was a teacher. When I discussed with him my thoughts re interfaith work to include speaking up for human rights, in accordance with our faith values, he educated me about the political trap such activism can lead to.

I’m hoping David will put a memorial together for the Spirit and for our newsletter, with a photo album.

We just had lunch with him in Andiamos before winter set in… he was in great spirits… as we were walking out, he handed a fistful of dollars to the person who got his coat… a very generous person.. showed respect, kindness and love even for a stranger.

In times like these we reflect on our scriptures…I can relate to the message of the Qur’an regarding someone like Rev. Krichbaum, a civic as well as a Christian church leader, ‘Among Christians are men devoted to learning, and men who…. are not arrogant’ (5:82).

Will someone please convey to Susan and to his family, at the funeral, the grief our family shares. Unfortunately, we won’t be at his funeral service to say good bye.

Praying and thinking about Dan,


From Rabbi Dorit Edut

Prayer for Dan Krichbaum

” Oh how have the mighty fallen!” proclaimed the Biblical David when he heard the news of his friend Jonathan’s untimely death.  These words echo in my heart as we think of Dan Krichbaum, a modest man who was so active in promoting peace and understanding among people of different faiths, races, cultures, and ideas in Detroit and in Michigan. The words of Psalm 11, also attributed to King David, seem to ring especially when thinking of Dan:

” The Lord seeks out the righteous man, but loathes the wicked one who loves injustice…..For the Lord is righteous; He loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold His Face.”

May the name of Dan Krichbaum forever be a blessing among us.

Personal Memory about Dan Krichbaum from Rabbi Dorit Edut

It was barely a year ago that I met Dan Krichbaum who was seated across from me at an interfaith dinner at the Jewish Community Center, prior to a special author presentation at the Jewish Book Fair about rereading the Gospels through Jewish eyes. He was interested in the interfaith work I had been doing in Detroit and only gradually, as our conversation continued, did I begin to realize exactly WHO he was, very humbly and briefly mentioning here are there some of the things he had done to promote interfaith relations and justice in our region.  He said he was going to retire from government work soon and wanted to be put on the email list of my interfaith group, DION, so he could be kept in the loop. What a “mensch”!( Yiddish word for a really good and kind person.) When next we met I had read a little more about his background and then was fully able to join in the hearty applause that  greeted him when he was called up to speak at the Interfaith Leadership Council annual dinner. Afterwards, despite the many people who came up to talk to him, he remembered me and asked how my work was going.  I admire all the many things he has done, and above all his ability to be  both a good listener and a great leader!

From Michael Hovey:

Lord God,

Source and Destiny of our lives,

in your loving providence

You gave us Daniel

whose gifts and talents enriched the lives of so many

in his works of compassion, justice and peace.

Even as we grieve his loss, we believe that you have drawn him close to you in a loving embrace, for the rest of time, and that we too will one day join in that eternal embrace with you and all the angels and saints.  We give thanks for the wonderful gift that Dan has been in our lives. And we pray for the balm of consolation that comes to all who believe in the Risen Christ, whose own death conquered death and brought everlasting life for all.  Amen.

From Fr. Garabed

Truly a sad day.
May Christ The Lord , The Way , The Truth and Judge of souls, receive Dan into Our Father’s Eternal Kingdom granting him rest with the righteous ones. Memory Eternal.

From Imam Qazwini:

I’m so saddened to hear this. Dan was a great man, a pure colleague, and an honorable leader. We all will miss.

My condolence to you all, but particularly to his family. May he rest in peace. God bless his soul.

From Imam Elturk:

To God we belong and to Him is our return. We truly lost a great friend and mentor in the interfaith community. I am saddened by this news. May God almighty comfort his loved ones with patience and love during these moments of grief and may the seeds of fraternity, justice and love he planted blossom in the hearts of his friends, associates and everyone he met, amen.

Indeed, to God we belong and to Him is our return.

Greetings of Peace,

From Rev. Dr. Daniel Buttry:

Sad news indeed, but he left a wonderful legacy of faith that takes substance in love, justice, and peace.  May his light continue to shine for us.

Rev. Kenneth Flowers:

I am so sorry to hear of Dan’s passing. However, I know that he is now at peace with God. Christian Scripture teaches us, “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” Dan is now with the Lord, Jesus. My prayers and thoughts go out to his family.

From Roger Strelow:

Dan was a dear friend, who engineered my chairmanship of IFP (Interfaith Partners) and later, while working for the Governor, asked if I would consider taking a special position for him and her to seek to develop some private sector partnerships that might take on some traditionally government public works activities. It was tempting simply because I would have been reporting to him, but I knew from good federal experience (in a good statutory position at EPA) how ephemeral such an ad hoc state undertaking could be. I don’t think it ever got off the ground. Anyway, Dan was a wonderful role model for all of us.

From Trilochan Singh:

Very sad news. We pray for peace to the departed soul and strength for the survivors to bear the loss.

From Chandru Acharya

Dear IFLC brothers and sisters,

May his soul rest in peace.