Skip to Content
Seton Hall University

Statements Against Prejudice

Statement from August 17, 2017

The Sister Rose Thering Fund for Education in Jewish-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University envisions a world without religious prejudice. We support efforts to foster understanding and cooperation among Jews, Christians and people of other religious traditions.

Click here to read Seton Hall University's statement on the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Statement from June 17, 2017
Beyond Lethal Politics

The June 14, 2017 editorial of the New York Times, entitled “American Lethal Politics,” recounts once again the dangers of easy access to lethal weapons in American society. Legislation limiting access to such weapons is surely part of the remedy to advance the effort to restrict lone assassins from picking off Republican members of Congress on a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, or another member of Congress on a super market parking lot in Arizona in 2011, killing six people. Beyond the question of gun control we are suffering from a particularly virulent climate of what the Times aptly calls “lethal politics,” which also begs for remedies in today’s society.

How do we go about finding a remedy for the politics of resentment, grievance, and violence that has become the climate we endure in society today? The graduate program in Jewish-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University, working together with the Sister Rose Thering Fund for Education in Jewish-Christian Studies, aims to build a society that is unified by justice and inspired by values of pluralism. By engaging these challenges in the classrooms of American schools, the program advances the cause of building mutual understanding, respect, and cooperation through education from earliest years.

Lessons from the Holocaust teach us that inter-group warfare inevitably leads to group prejudice, institutional discrimination, ethnic cleansing, totalitarian government, and ultimately genocide. Working in collaboration for effective social service and integral ecology leads people of all ages to seek common ground in addressing the needs of people rather than focusing on the differences that label others as inferior. Today’s encounter between Christians and Jews can serve as a model for effective social interaction.

The board of the Sister Rose Thering Fund for Education in Jewish-Christian Studies earnestly invites educators to participate in the mission of the graduate program of Jewish-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University and to join in the educational task of the Sister Rose Thering Fund for building an effective society in which justice and cooperative harmony replace lethal politics. The lives of many and the welfare of our society depend on how well we can achieve these goals.

David Bossman
Executive Director
The Sister Rose Thering Fund for Education in Jewish-Christian Studies
Seton Hall University

Note: The views expressed in this letter are those of the Sister Rose Thering Fund and do not necessarily reflect those of Seton Hall University and its administration. 

Statement from February 28, 2017
A Call for Solidarity among Jews, Christians, and Muslims

One of the earliest and most pervasive signs of civility among humans is care in burial practices. Ritual burial, particularly with grave goods, may be one of the earliest detectable forms of religious practice. Desecration of grave sites is thus one of the cruelest forms of disrespect toward a people who reverence their deceased family members and ancestors.

During the darkest days of antisemitism in Europe, a widespread practice of raiding Jewish grave sites, even stealing headstones and using them for pavement, became common forms of abuse. The dire consequences of such hate were serial pogroms and ultimately genocide.

With this awareness and in a spirit of respect, the board of the Sister Rose Thering Fund for Education in Jewish-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University extends condolences to and seeks solidarity with the Jews whose cemeteries have been maliciously desecrated at Chesed Shel Emmet cemetery in St. Louis a week ago and at Mt. Carmel cemetery in Philadelphia this week.

We denounce the callous disrespect and malicious intent of these desecrations and proliferating bomb scares that have terrorized synagogue communities across the country in recent weeks. We celebrate the helping hand that Muslim communities extend for the cleanup and moral support.

For those who respect religious sensibilities and practices, these acts of vandalism constitute desecration born of ignorance and contempt for religion and religious people.

The Sister Rose Thering Fund for Education in Jewish-Christian Studies provides tuition assistance for educators taking courses in the graduate program of Jewish-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University in furtherance of the New Jersey Mandate for Genocide and Holocaust Studies (1993), which reads:
a.    Every board of education shall include instruction on the Holocaust and genocides in an appropriate place in the curriculum of all elementary and secondary school pupils.
b.    The instruction shall enable pupils to identify and analyze applicable theories concerning human nature and behavior: to understand that genocide is a consequence of prejudice and discrimination: and to understand that issues of moral dilemma and conscience have a profound impact on life. The instruction shall further emphasize the personal responsibility that each citizen bears to fight racism and hatred whenever and wherever it happens.

For additional information, please email srtf@shu.edu or call 973-761-9006.

The Sister Rose Thering Fund for Education in Jewish-Christian Studies
Seton Hall University FH 242
South Orange NJ 07079

Statement from February 3, 2017

The Sister Rose Thering Fund for Education in Jewish-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University envisions a world without religious prejudice. We support efforts to foster understanding and cooperation among Jews, Christians and people of other religious traditions.

Click here to read Seton Hall University's statement on the recent executive order blocking immigration.

Statement from January 10, 2017

There has been a disturbing increase in hate crimes, hate speech and similar bias incidents in the United States since early November. As an organization that fosters understanding and cooperation among Jews, Christians and people of other religious traditions through advocacy and education, the Sister Rose Thering Fund for Education in Jewish-Christian Studies deplores and condemns these actions and the people and institutions that perpetrate them.

Since 1993, the Sister Rose Thering Fund has funded the education of public, private and religious school teachers enrolled in Seton Hall University's graduate level Jewish-Christian Studies program. Here, our teacher-scholars acquire the tools necessary to explain and demonstrate to their students how much an enlightened society depends on acceptance, understanding and compassion for people whose traditions and experiences are different from their own.

Our Fund was created 25 years ago to honor Sister Rose Thering, a Dominican nun whose lifework included fearlessly confronting bigotry and intolerance, sometimes at personal risk to herself. As custodians of her legacy, we must speak out against discrimination and prejudice of any kind.

We urge all Americans to do the same.

Back to top