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Press Release

Catholic School Educators Explore the History of Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust

New York, NY, July 29, 2013 … A group of 40 Catholic school educators traveled to Washington D.C. from July 21-26 to learn about the history of anti-Semitism, the Holocaust and recent changes in Catholic teachings on Jews and Judaism as part of the Eileen Ludwig Greenland National Bearing Witness™ Summer Institute.

Sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League, in partnership with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Catholic Educational Association, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and Georgetown University’s Program for Jewish Civilization, the Institute included participants from 24 states across the country.

“Bearing Witness is a unique program in its partnership between the Catholic and Jewish communities and our joint commitment to changing the dynamic between our communities so that the past does not serve as a model for our future engagement,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.  “In working together to understand and teach the difficult history of anti-Semitism and the impact of this history on Catholic-Jewish relations historically and today, Bearing Witness is a powerful example of how we can work together to shape a better future.”

As part of the five days of intensive study designed to provide participants with the knowledge and skills to teach their students about the Holocaust, anti-Semitism and issues of prejudice in contemporary society, the educators learned from experts in the fields of Judaism, the Holocaust, historical and contemporary anti-Semitism, Catholic-Jewish relations and anti-bias education. 

They also visited sites across Washington DC including the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Israeli Embassy and Washington Hebrew Congregation.

Since its inception in 1996, ADL’s Bearing Witness: Anti-Semitism, the Holocaust and Contemporary Issues has trained more than 1,700 Catholic school educators across the U.S. about the historical relationship between the Jewish and Catholic communities and the impact of that relationship on Catholic teaching, catechesis and liturgy.

Bearing Witness has been cited by the Holy See as among the most important initiatives designed to improve Catholic-Jewish relations. It has also been recognized by the National Catholic Educational Association as a SPICE program (Selected Program for Improving Catholic Education), a designation conferred upon a handful of exemplary programs each year, and was given the NCEA President’s Award in 2008.

The Eileen Ludwig Greenland National Bearing Witness Summer Institute is part of the Anti-Defamation League’s Braun Holocaust Institute-Glick Center for Holocaust Studies and also funded in part by the Stanley S. Bender Institute.

Bearing Witness in the news:

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.

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Rabbi Susan Shankman of Washington Hebrew Congregation explains Jewish prayer rituals and shows a Torah scroll to a group of Catholic educators during a session of the Anti-Defamation League’s Bearing Witness program.
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