ADL Mission Brings Catholic Educators to Israel on a Trip of a Lifetime

New York, NY, June 26, 2013 … A group of Catholic school educators from 10 states across the country will be traveling to Israel on an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) mission that aims to provide an advance course of study on anti-Semitism, the Holocaust and Catholic-Jewish relations.

The 21 participants in the nationally acclaimed ADL Bearing Witness Advanced™ program will be traveling in Israel from June 25-July 4, where they will visit Christian and Jewish holy sites and meet with Holocaust survivors, members of the Israeli government, Arab Israelis, Israeli journalists, Catholic dignitaries, Jewish community leaders, interfaith experts and scholars.

“This is a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience for Catholic educators to experience first-hand the scope of Jewish life in today’s Israel,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.  “We hope that these educators will take these meaningful experiences of touching and feeling the history, coupled with a small immersion into contemporary Israeli society, back into their classrooms.”

The group will travel across Israel, with stops in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, Nazareth, the Golan Heights and Haifa. They will tour the old city of Jerusalem, and numerous Christian churches and holy sites, including the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Church of the Annunciation, St. Joseph’s Church and Mount of Beatitudes.

The group will also visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s national memorial to the Holocaust and hear from representatives of the Israeli government, Israeli Defense Forces, the Arab-Jewish Community Center, the Apostolic Delegation, the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism, and the Interfaith Encounter Association.

The educators represent middle and high schools in Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Georgia, Missouri and California.

Since its inception in 1996, ADL 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 Advanced was initiated in 2005 to allow Bearing Witness graduates to extend their learning and travel to Israel. The program is endorsed by the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Editors’ Note: Participants in the mission are available for interviews after returning from the mission.

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.

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