U.S. Catholic School Educators in Israel on ADL Mission Donate Blood
Jerusalem, July 17, 2006 … A group of 30 Catholic educators, including priests, who are in Israel learning about anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, donated blood yesterday in Jerusalem's Magen David Adom center in a show of solidarity for the Jewish state under attack.
Members of the group, representing schools in ten states across the U.S. and in Washington, D.C., decided to give blood after they heard the sound of Hezbollah rocket strikes while touring in the north of Israel and learned of the nation's blood shortage.
The group is touring Israel through July 19 as part of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)'s Advanced Bearing Witness program, which gives them an opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge of the Jewish state against the backdrop of Jewish history, the Holocaust, and Catholic-Jewish relations.
Changes have been made to the itinerary to ensure the safety of the educators, but they remain determined and inspired to continue with their travels in the country. While visiting Christian sites in the Galilee and eating lunch under Mount Gilboa the group heard the sounds of Katusha rockets striking the town of Tiberias. Despite the turmoil in the area, they were able to visit the Mount of Beatitudes where Father Tiso led a Mass. The group leaders did decide to forgo dinner plans at a restaurant in Ein Gev and they later learned that a rocket fell in the immediate vicinity and did considerable damage to the area.
The group will continue to visit as many of the sites on their schedule that are deemed secure, and are grateful to be in Israel in its time of need. Stops on the itinerary include the Church of the Annunciation, the Garden of Gethsemane, Via Dolorosa and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. They are touring the Golan Heights, visiting the Western Wall, Masada and the Dead Sea. The educators will be addressed by local scholars and religious leaders, including H.E. Archbishop Antonio Franco, Papal Nuncio and Excellency Archbishop Elias Shakhour, the newly-appointed Head of the Catholic community in Israel.
The educators hail from the District of Columbia and Arizona, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma 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.