Dr. Michael Berenbaum and Dr. John Pawlikowski recently discussed
Nostra Aetate and its effects on Jewish-Catholic relations at the Sister
Rose Thering Fund’s annual Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf Lecture.
The event was part of Seton Hall's year-long celebration of Building
Bridges: 60 Years of Jewish-Christian Dialogue. Dr. Berenbaum is the
former Director of the United States Holocaust Research Institute and
Dr. Pawlikowski serves as Director of Jewish-Catholic Studies at the
Catholic Theologian Union in Chicago.
Dr. David Bossman, Executive Director of the Sister Rose Thering Fund, expressed his gratitude to the lecturers.
"We are especially delighted to bring two great minds, two great
achievers together today to speak from very distinctive points of view
in Judaism and Christianity," Dr. Bossman said.
Dr. Berenbaum touched on Catholic-Jewish relations and building a
beneficial relationship between Jews and Muslims. He spoke of a
transitional time for the church and the necessity of expanding
Jewish-Christian dialogue for future generations in an effort to keep
the youth informed on matters such as the Holocaust.
"We are the last generation to live in the presence of survivors,"
Dr. Berenbaum said. "If you can come 60 years after the Holocaust, then
there are astounding things the human spirit can achieve."
Dr. Berenbaum said he prides Seton Hall on its dedication to
Jewish-Christian studies, citing the university's efforts as being some
of the most important and some of the holiest work that can be done.
Dr. Pawlikowski also commented on Jewish-Christian relations
regarding Muslims, and spoke of the discourse between Jews and Muslims.
"The University has decided to use Nostra Aetate as a framework for
the core curriculum, and I don't know of any other university that has
made that kind of commitment," Dr. Pawlikowski said. "I certainly regard
Seton Hall as sacred ground in terms of the history of Catholic-Jewish
Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf, for whom the lecture is named as a result of
her personal endowment, gathered insight from the lecturers.
"The event was more than I expected," Dr. Robbins-Wilf said. "I love
what Dr. Berenbaum was talking about, the past relationship between the
Muslims and the Jews and how productive it was. I think that there will
be a new thrust and possibly something will come out of the Muslims,
Jews and Christians."
The Sister Rose Thering Fund will continue with a series of events
this year as part of the Building Bridges initiative. On Sunday, April
14, the Sister Rose Thering Fund will host the 36th annual South
Orange/Maplewood Interfaith Holocaust Memorial Service, featuring
keynote speaker, Larry Pantirer, son of Holocaust survivor Murray
Pantirer. He will recount his father's story in Jubilee Hall, on the
Seton Hall campus. The service, free and open to the public, begins at
To accompany and precede the event, the annual March of Remembrance,
paying homage to victims of the Holocaust will begin at 3:15 from Grove
Park, ending at the Seton Hall campus.
The Sister Rose Thering Fund's Annual Evening of Roses will take
place Sunday April 21, at 2 p.m. in Jubilee Hall on the Seton Hall
campus. The evening confers honorary doctorates to distinguished
members of the Jewish-Catholic community and also serves as the SRTF's
main fundraising vehicle. Public tickets are priced at $75.
For more information on the Sister Rose Thering Fund events and for
reservations for the Evening of Roses please contact Marilyn Zirl at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (973)-761-9006.
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