Category Archives: Federations/Associations

This Sunday: 5th Annual K. D. Irani Memorial Lecture

5th Annual K. D. Irani Memorial Lecture

Sunday December 4, 2022 at 2:00 PM EST

This lecture shall be an in-person event at our Dar-E-Mehr with live simulcast on ZOOM for our out of town attendees.
Please RSVP for in-person attendance by clicking on the link so that we can have an accurate count for lunch:

A Journey in Faith: Education and the Good Mind

Keynote Speaker

Professor K. D. Irani’s teaching, writing, and scholarship challenged each of us to think, learn and grow at the highest levels of philosophy and belief, in order to access and apply these broad understandings in our day to day lives.

Our keynote speaker, Dr. Anne Khademian, an academic, educational leader, and member of the ZAMWI community, will share her journey to Zoroastrianism and the inspiration and guidance of Vohuman, the Good Mind, in working for greater educational equity through access, affordability, and value for all learners.

Panel Discussion

The keynote address will be followed by a panel discussion with youth members, some who grew up knowing Kaikhosrov and Piroja from a very young age.

Aysha Ghadiali is an international policy advisor for the U.S. Forest Service. She represents the United States government negotiating sustainable forest management policies at multilateral organizations and agencies of the United Nations. She is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer and a pedestrian and traffic safety advocate in Washington, DC.
 Kayhan Irani is an Emmy-award winning writer, a performer, and a cultural activist. She creates storytelling spaces to build community and re-connect participants to their innate creative power. She is the granddaughter of Irani migrants to India, on her father’s side, and Parsis from Jamshedpur and Bombay on her mother’s side. She was born in Bombay and raised in New York City where she still lives with her husband and son.
 Freyaz Shroff is the founder of one of India’s first Not for Profit, Youth for Youth Peer Mentorship Education Models focused at the College Level. She brings together youth from financially affluent homes and youth living below the poverty level to create first generation college graduates and exceptional levels of sustainable growth in income, redefining living conditions. She has addressed the United Nations, Commission on the Status of Women (UN CSW) in 2012, and so have her students 2021 and 2022. She is also the recipient of the Jamshed Pavri Humanitarian Award.

ZOOM Details

Meeting ID: 820 0644 4870
Passcode: 044066


FEZANA Call for Participants for the 67th Annual CSW Conference – 6th to 16th March 2023

The FEZANA UN-NGO Committee is looking for participants to attend the 67th Commission on the Status of Women Conference at the UN Headquarters in New York from March 6-17, 2023.

This year’s main focus will be on innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.

For more information on the CSW67 check the Website:

Individuals interested in attending the conference, are requested to send their resume and letter of intent for attending the CSW conference by November 30, 2022.

Please send the e-mail to both individuals below:
Behram Pastakia (
Afreed Mistry (

FEZANA, as an NGO in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the Department of Global Communications (DGC), will facilitate registration to the CSW Conference. The conference will be in a hybrid format (partially in-person and partially online).

The selected participants are expected to make their own financial arrangements regarding visas, tickets, accommodation, food, and transportation in the city.

Details about the vision, mission and activities of the United Nations can be accessed at

Co-Chairs, FEZANA UN-NGO Committee


A Report on ZAC Atash Kadeh’s 6th Salgreh

ZAC Celebrated the 6th Salgreh of their Atashkadeh with Blessings and Messages from 3 Vada Dasturs

The 6th Salgreh of the Zoroastrian Association of California‘s Atash Kadeh was celebrated with great religious fervor and Parsi gusto on the 12th of November. The celebration started a week ago by deep cleaning the premises. On the day of Salgreh, Chowk was done by Vira & Barjor Santoke, a Hama Anjuman maachi was offered to Atashpadshah in all five gehs. Also, two Hama Anjuman Jashans were performed, one in the morning and one in the evening to facilitate the whole community by Ervads Zerkxis and Zarir Bhandara which was attended by about 75 Zoroastrians. After the Jashans, ZAC president Mrs. Rooky Fitter (in the morning) and Daisy Pithawalla, the Youth Coordinator of ZAC (in the evening) read the following message from the high priest of Iranshah Vada Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor:

“Dear Humdinds, Greetings from the land of Iranshah!

I would like to express my heartiest congratulations and best wishes to my dear friend and a sincere Mobed, Er. Zarir Bhandara on this auspicious occasion, the 6th Salgareh of the Darbe Meher in California.

In many of my talks, I have expressed the need and importance of a religiously pious and scripturally knowledgeable Mobed who is willing to share his learning and insight with the community. This is the one way, our religious traditions will be protected and our religion; preserved.

This is what Zarir has believed in and has made every effort in the direction

of Preservation. He continues to take the trouble to play a contributory role in organising and being a part of as many religious gatherings as he possibly can, in his part of the world.

What strikes me as very impressive is that he has not only encouraged and motivated his son Zerkxis but has mentored him to follow his passion.

I am grateful to you Zarir, though so far away from your roots, you have in the past 50 years helped lay a strong foundation of religious wealth for the Zoroastrians in the U.S. Your sincere efforts towards maintaining the glory and sanctity of the sacred Atash Dadgah have not gone unnoticed nor have they gone in vain.

The community has derived its strength to survive and persevere with the blessings of the burning Holy Fire.

I pray that Dadar Ahuramazda and Iranshah Let your efforts bear fruit within our Community and May you receive their blessings in abundance.

May the Light of the Sacred Fire strengthen the Faith, bring Harmony, and Guide our community towards preserving our traditions and ethnicity eventually leading us towards enlightenment.”


ZAC Secretary Mrs. Vira Santoke (in the morning) and ZAC Treasurer Mr. Phiroze Gundevia (in the evening) read the following message from high priest Dasturji Dr. Firoze M. Kotwal:

“Dear Ervad Saheb Khushro Unwalla,

Many thanks for your message about felicitating Ervad Saheb Zarrir Bhandara on the auspicious day of the 6th Salgreh of your Atash Padshah Saheb. I am pleased that the Association of California has deemed it fit to felicitate a worthy priest who is involved in the service of the whole Parsi community. Kindly find attached my message for Zarrir to be read on the auspicious occasion.

With all the good wishes and blessings of Ahura Mazda,

Yours in His service,

Dasturji Firoze M. Kotwal

Felicitations on the 6th Anniversary (Salgreh) of the Atash Padshah installed by the Zoroastrian Association of California (ZAC)

On this auspicious day of the Salgreh of the Atash Padshah, Rūz Māhraspand, Māh Khordād 1392 AY, it is our sincere prayer that our Holy Fire may continue to shower his choicest blessings on the faithful devotees of California. It is our wish that the Holy Fire which is spiritually linked with the Divine Fire of Ahura Mazda, may continue to bestow its spiritual blessings on the Parsi Community until the time of the Resurrection. And may the Holy Fire also bestow his divine blessings on the Parsi Community and lead them always on the path of Truth and Righteousness.

It is very gratifying that the Zoroastrian Association of California (ZAC) is fortunate to have a good and sincere priest such as Ervad Saheb Zarrir Bhandara who has been helping the members of the community in all spheres of life to lead them onto the path of virtue.

It is my sincere hope that Ervad Saheb Zarrir Bhandara and his son Zerkxis will continue to serve the faithful and devout members of the Good Religion in matters of the religion and in their everyday life and serve as the true shepherds of their flock. May this father and son team live a long and healthy life and may the divine blessings of Ahura Mazda be bestowed upon them and the devout members of the Parsi Irani Zarthushti community of California.”

After which ZAC’s immediate past president Mobedyar Houtoxi Contractor read the following message from High priest Vada Dasturji Cyrus Noshirwan Dastur:

Dear Ervad Dr. Unwalla,

Here is my message to be read out on the auspicious occasion of ZAC Atash Padshah’s 6th salgreh:

I wish and pray to Dadar Ahura Mazda that the divine fire that was enthroned in California six years ago, may eternally keep burning and keep blessing the Zarthosty devotees with an abundance of happiness, success, progress, and prosperity. I also congratulate Ervad Zarrir F. Bhandara, my guru, on his 50 years of dedicated, selfless, and honorary service to our Zarthosti community in the US, North America, and globally. Zarrir you have been guiding our community with your expansive knowledge about our religion and I commend you for the same, may Ahura Mazda’s blessings be showered upon you forever.”

After which a note of thanks was delivered by Ervad Bhandara, thanking the ZAC executive committee and Ervad Zerksis for working behind the scenes to make sure everything runs smoothly and to Commissariat and family for preparing delicious Dhundar, Chawal, veg Patio, and Lagan nu custard and Yashmin Mehernosh Pithawalla for mouth-watering chutney sandwiches which were relished by everyone.


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Upcoming SSZ Conference

Zoroastrian Association of Metropolitan Chicago proudly hosts the

2022 Society of Scholars of Zoroastrianism (SSZ) Conference

supported by Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America (FEZANA) & World Zoroastrian Organization

at the
Rustam Guiv Dar-e-Mehr
8615 Meadowbrook Drive, Burr Ridge, IL 60527
Friday November 18 – Saturday November 19, 2022

Online attendance is available only for the Scholar Lecture / Meeting Sessions.


All community members, students, scholars and members of interfaith communities are invited and encouraged to participate.  Suggested donation is $10.  This will include dinner on Friday and breakfast, lunch and refreshments on Saturday.  Please RSVP (for Friday and Saturday separately) by November 10, 2022 to SSZ co-Director & Secretary Pervin Taleyarkhan (

To participate online please register here:

Online Attendance Registration

2022 SSZ Conference Program

FRIDAY – November 18, 2022
6:00    Meet and Greet
Welcome — Jamshed Rivetna (ZAC President)
7:00    Keynote Address – Prof. Dan Sheffield
8:00    Dinner.

SATURDAY – November 19, 2022

Conference Chair:  Prof. Dan Sheffield

8:30    Registration and Breakfast
9:00    Benediction – Mobedyar Boman Damkevala
Monajat – Mani Rao
Welcome — Jamshed Rivetna (ZAC President)
Welcome, Intro to SSZ, and Annual Report – Zal Taleyarkhan (SSZ President)
Morning Session – Scholarly Symposium conducted by Prof. Dan Sheffield and Zal Taleyarkhan
Session Chairs: Afshan Barshan & Sheroy Gonda
9:30    Opening Address: – Prof. Dan Sheffield introduced by Zal Taleyarkhan
10:00 Dr. Kerman Daruwalla – The History of Zoroastrian Priests in India
10:45  Dr. Benedikt Peschl – Zoroastrian Middle Persian Literature and its Relation to the Avesta: current research perspectives.
11:30  Prof. Dan Sheffield – The Pahlavi Book of Religious Decrees: a Forgotten Source for the History of Medieval Zoroastrianism.

12:15 Lunch & Reflection on Morning Session

Afternoon Session – Community-Led Scholarly Works
Session Chair:  Kamal Saher
1:00    Ervad Tehemton Mirza – Nature’s Spirituality (Online IZS class)
2:15    Meheryar Rivetna – Everything You Wanted to Know About the Younger Avesta (But Were Afraid To Ask)
3:00    Coffee break
3:15    Afternoon Panel: Moderator Dr. Persis Driver, Panelists: Delna Balsara, Sarosh Irani, Teshtar Irani, Vispi Karkaria: — Contemporary Identity and the Role of Intergenerational Memory in the Zoroastrian Diaspora
4:30    Networking with hors-d’oeuvres and drinks

SUNDAY – November 20, 2022

9:00    Roundtable to discuss SSZ Future Plans
10:00  Jashan Demonstration with Audience Participation — Er. Tehemton Mirza (Dean, NAMC Institute of Zoroastrian Studies) with support from other Mobeds.

About the SSZ.  The Society of Scholars of Zoroastrianism (SSZ) is an initiative to promote study and scholarship of the Religion of Zarathushtra.  The mission of the Society is to revive the tradition of scholarship within our community among athornans and behdins alike, and to promote interaction among academicians, theologians (priests), educationists, lay scholars and practitioners of Zoroastrianism, through roundtable discussions, conferences and publications.

History of SSZ Conferences.
  SSZ Conferences have been held since 2006, when noted scholars and students present their research papers.  To encourage Zoroastrian studies within the community, these SSZ conferences also include sessions delivered by community members, especially the next-generation. Persons/Associations interested in the mission and vision of the Society of Scholars of Zoroastrianism, are invited to host future Conferences in their areas.  The organizers enjoy complete autonomy in regard to programming and organizing the Conference.

All community members, students, scholars and members of interfaith communities are invited and encouraged to participate.  Your presence gives support to the speakers, and your feedback is invaluable so that future research efforts may be directed in a constructive manner for the benefit of both the academicians as well as the community.

ZTFE – Progressing Together Sustainably

The ZTFE Online Symposium – Progressing Together Sustainably (Peace for Progress) was held on Armistice Day, Friday 11th November 2022 at 4pm GMT to express our gratitude to the Armed Forces for their role in maintaining Peace.

We are grateful to Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE, DL, and Air Chief Marshal Fali Major PVSM, AVSM, SC, VM (Retd) for their talks.
To conclude the meeting Sir Laurie Bristow KCMG, the President of Hughes Hall Cambridge and former British ambassador to Moscow and Foreign Commonwealth Office Director National Security shared his perspective.
The international Zoroastrian  representatives included people from India, UK, Australia, New York, Washington DC, Las Vegas, California.
Many of them including Mr. Rusi Dalal, Mrs. Katayun Kapadia, Mr. Kersi B. Shroff, Dr. Behram Pastakia and Mr. Percy Master shared their thoughts of respect to the Armed Forces and their families.
The ZTFE was much  appreciated by one and all for holding this event and bringing such eloquent and distinguished speakers to the forum, and bringing people together internationally to mark this important day.
We are grateful to Mr. Yazdi Tantra for sharing this recording on


View the Video Here:


The next ZTFE Online Symposium – Progressing Together Sustainably is on Armistice Day, Friday 11th November 2022 at 4pm GMT.

Please join us to give gratitude to the Armed Forces for their role in maintaining Peace to facilitate Progress and the Greater Good of All sustainably.

Speakers: ZTFE Patron Lord Karan F. Bilimoria CBE, DL and Air Chief Marshal Fali H. Major PVSM AVSM SC VM (Retd).

This concept is in line with FrashoKereti (Progress with Righteousness and Good Action) which encompasses and goes beyond the UN 17 SDGs.

With best wishes,

Malcolm M Deboo, ZTFE President

& Dr Karishma Koka, Co-opted member ZTFE Managing Committee


Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 864 8337 5794
Passcode: PEACE

Zerbanoo Gifford elected President of the World Zoroastrian Organisation

Being elected President of The World Zoroastrian organisation (WZO ) is one of the greatest honours of my life.   It will also finally close the circle as I follow in my father’s footsteps. When my father Bailey Irani attended the first World Congress of Zoroastrians in Tehran, I was a schoolgirl at Roedean School near  Brighton the beautiful seaside resort in Britian. I still have the photo of Daddy shaking hands with the Shah in a line with other distinguished Zoroastrians who were all men.   The former deputy Prime Minister of Iran our own Farhang Mehr was in attendance too. Daddy was chosen to be the WZO first President. It was hoped that the newly formed WZO would be the unified body for Zoroastrians. It was to be our voice on world bodies to protect and strengthen our religion worldwide.
The world has certainly changed over sixty years. Women have now major players in every sphere of endeavour.  Our prophet Zoroaster was the first feminist who asked both men and women to live according to their own good understanding of life. Zoroaster did not prescribe does and don’ts because he trusted that we would do what was good and right. I believe we as a global community have lived up to his trust.
 This July,  the ZASHA website was launched at the 12th World Congress in New York. It was the first time the brilliance of our women who excel in every field was on view for the entire world .  What is so wonderful is not just that our Zoroastrian women shine in every field of endeavour but their sense of giving back to others.
A key mission of my Presidency will be to engage closely with our sisters, actively engage with our young to ensure they have the resources and encouragement to excel as is their destiny and to work with organisations and dedicated Zoroastrians that tirelessly work for the good of our global community.
 Today the young are openly questioning those in power. Deference to hierarchy is ignored. They demand change.To listen to them is an education in itself. They know what they want and if we do not adapt to their needs and ideals , they will just pass us oldies by. I am confident that all of us and especially those with great wealth and a great heart will invest in the education and inspiration of our young.   The young must be our first priority.  Some years back before the dreaded covid bought the world to rest , the ASHA centre in Britain hosted the first Young Zoroastrian Leader’s Forum, and the results of that wonderful 10 days speaks for itself.  Today each one of those  that attended the course are admired leaders in their own right. The remarkable Arzan Wadia, the chair of Fezana is an example of the excellence. As importantly those special individuals have now a lifetimes connection with other Zoroastrian leaders across the world. A natural unity which we lack among us oldies!
At the ASHA centre we also hope to soon host and work closely with the Global Young Entrepreneur’s campaign. Led by journalist Dilnavaz Shroff and Yazdi Tantra of Zoroastrian net. They both have a vision and charm to see their passion realised for our young to be great innovators .Our forefathers were great entrepreneurs which enabled them to be great philanthropists.  Our community is known for its innate generosity of spirit not just to our own but the wider communities in which we live peacefully and are loved.  It is so inspiring to know that our Sir Jamshedji Tata is now claimed as the greatest philanthropist that ever lived giving away $ 102.4 billion equivalent in his lifetime. What an inspiration for our young. I am in no doubt we have many aspiring young TATAs among us, but they need to be enabled to show their greatness.
I will make it my business to implement the WZO vision of representing us to opinion formers across countries and faiths.  We need to be known in the European Union as well as in the UN. To those that are active in the International Women’s movement as well as major NGOs.  In every institution of power that maps out the world’s future. We may be a very small minority of minorities, but we have so much to offer to the modern world. When we speak about our ancient faith and how our prophet’s wisdom is so relevant for modern living there is an absolute fascination to know more. We should have a team of Zoroastrians that are willing and able to speak at every organisation that asks us to be present.  WZO will invest in those willing to be speakers with voice training and knowledge of our faith.  We will add to the list of qualified speakers active in the Interfaith Movemen and assist those already active with our support.
WZO will support campaigns to ensure the acceptance of our women who wish to train as female Mobedeyars. With the blessing of the WZO  chair Rumi Sethna and the whole committee our resident Dastoor Fali Madon is training Navaz Vatcha to become a Mobedyar.   This is controversial, but WZO have led on many issues that were regarded unacceptable and today are accepted.. The welcoming of children of mixed heritage, the welcoming of non-Zoroastrians who wish to give respect to deceased Zoroastrian they knew and were related to. The welcoming of all those that wish to respectfully learn about our faith. It takes courage and kindness to be open hearted and open minded.
It is said , ” a great deal of talent is lost to the world for a want of a little courage.” WZO will work with Armita Dalal of California and team to engage our community as to the benefits of allowing women to be train as Mobedyars. As someone who has been at the heart of the Women’s Movement, I have experienced the agony with my friends in the Church of England to have women become ordained. Today they are Bishops . The same divisions in the Jewish community before their women were allowed to become rabbis. It is only time and good sense before women take their place in religious life of our community.
WZO will invest and lead  in the greening of our planet. It is a moral duty for all Zoroastrians to protect and beautify our earth.   We will start with the greening of our own surroundings. WZO headquarters in London in Freddie Mercury Close will to be planted with roses, a Persian plant which originated in our ancient paradise gardens. The WZO Ecology and Environment committee chaired by the horticulturalist Zinnia Khajotia  with such with distinguished WZO members as Homi Khushrokhan  will work closely with Behram Pastakia of Washington DC and Ecologist Rashneh Pardiwala on planting trees and helping to restore our shared planet with new life.
 As the newly elected President of WZO I will work closely  with the Zoroastrian Global Educators chaired by the dynamic Persis Driver in Chicago and the team from  every part of our diaspora who teach our young about their faith in fun ways. There is a plan to bring out a guidebook written on how to teach and enthuse the young. In this way we  can ensure that the young have access to our faith knowing that the experts have shown us all how this can be achieved successfully.   The young need to mix with each other and feel pride in our community. How wonderful for them and all of us to be a part of a world religion that in our prophet’s words ” Seeks happiness in the happiness of all.”
Zerbanoo Gifford

Full Report & Video link English Heritage Blue Plaque Dadabhai Naoroji Wed 10th Aug 2022

Dear ZTFE Members & Well-wishers

Attached is the full report written by Rohinton together with the video link of the proceedings also pasted below, link for photographs, transcript of the speech by our patron Lord Karan F Bilimoria CBE DL and why English Heritage opted to install a Blue Plaque at Dadabhai Naoroji’s former residence at 72, Anerly Park, Penge, London SE20 8NQ.

Dadabhai Naoroji Blue Plaque English Heritage Long Video Film by Videographer Paresh Solanki.

Dadabhai Naoroji Blue Plaque English Heritage Short Video Film by Videographer Paresh Solanki.

Dadabhai Naoroji Blue Plaque English Heritage photos by Documentary Photographer Lucy Millson-Watkins

Kindly share the contents of this email with those who are not connected to the internet, or / and do not receive ZTFE Group emails.

Yours sincerely
Malcolm M Deboo
ZTFE President

Dadabhai Naoroji Blue Plaque English Heritage iReport Wed 10th Aug 2022

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