"The program changed my life, as a teacher, and as an individual"- Bearing Witness participant
Bearing Witness is program is a unique professional development opportunity designed to provide Catholic school educators with the training and resources necessary to teach their students about the historical relationship between Jewish and Catholic communities and the impact of that relationship on Catholic teaching, catechesis and liturgy.
Through Bearing Witness, participants explore the history of anti-Semitism, including the role of the Church during the Holocaust, recent changes in Catholic teachings on Jews and Judaism, issues of prejudice in contemporary society and practical strategies for teaching students about the Holocaust and anti-Semitism.
Bearing Witness is a partnership between the ADL, the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA), the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and local dioceses.
The Eileen Ludwig Greenland National Bearing Witness Summer Institute brings together 40 Catholic School educators from around the country to engage in five-days of intensive study designed to give them the skills and resources necessary to bring the lessons of anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, and modern-day prejudice to their students and school communities.
The program takes place at various sites around the Washington, D.C. area including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Embassy of Israel, Georgetown University, and a local synagogue. Sessions are led by specialists in the fields of Jewish studies, Holocaust studies, and Catholic-Jewish relations.
The Bearing Witness Advanced Program assembles a select group of past Bearing Witness Program participants to travel to Israel for a week. The program offers them the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the relationship of the Holy Land to Jews, Christians and Muslims. Participants deepen their knowledge of the complex history of modern Israel, learn more about contemporary manifestations of anti-Semtism, and deepen their understanding of the Holocaust and its relevance today.
While in Israel, educators visit sites sacred to Jews and Christians. They visit Yad Vashem (Israel's official memorial to the Holocaust) which allows them to expand their knowledge gained in Bearing Witness. Throughout the trip, participants hear from a variety of resident scholars offering them the opportunity to explore the complex political, economic, geographic, religious and sociological factors that currently impact Israel, its citizens and its neighbors.