Catholic School Educators to Travel to Israel for Advanced Study on Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust
New York, NY, July 29, 2005 … Thirty educators from Catholic schools across the country will travel to Israel in August as part of an advance course of study on anti-Semitism and the Holocaust as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) takes its nationally acclaimed Bearing Witness program to the next level.
The study program, Bearing Witness Advanced: Anti-Semitism, The Holocaust & Contemporary Issues will give the educators an opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge of Israel against the backdrop of Jewish history, the Holocaust, and Catholic-Jewish relations. It is the first time the program will be taking Catholic school educators abroad.
"It is one thing to read about history in textbooks, it is another to visit religious and historic sites and to see history still unfolding in modern-day Israel," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor. "For these educators, this is an opportunity not just to learn about anti-Semitism and the Holocaust from historians, survivors and experts in Christian-Jewish relations, but to combine that acquired knowledge with real-life experience."
In its eighth year, ADL's Bearing Witness program has trained hundreds of teachers across North America. Run in partnership with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Archdiocese of Washington, the program has been cited by the Vatican as one of the most important programs in improving relations between Catholics and Jews and is endorsed by the National Catholic Educational Association and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The advanced program is sponsored by ADL's Braun Holocaust Institute, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, and the Nathan Family Foundation.
Among the program's goals:
- To examine some of the more sensitive, complex and painful issues in Jewish experience, Catholic-Jewish relations and modern history
- To provide Catholic school educators with strategies and resources to implement and teach their students about the Holocaust and anti-Semitism.
- To present frank and unflinching discussions of topics such as anti-Semitism, Church history during the Holocaust, and contemporary manifestations of hate.
The 30 educators participating in this year's program will gather at St. Mary's Seminary & University in Baltimore on August 1 for an intensive series of seminars to prepare them for their journey. They will attend lectures on a range of subjects including Jewish-Catholic relations, the meaning of Israel to the Jewish people, and the history of holy sites in Israel revered by Christians, Muslims and Jews. The group departs for Israel on August 3.
The educators hail from 19 states, including Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.