Bearing Witness


This article was contributed by Andrea Kopp, NCEA Manager of Educational Resources.

41 Catholic educators representing 24 states came together for an intensive week-long professional development opportunity about Holocaust Studies and teaching students about the dangers of bias, prejudice and its continuing effects on the world today.  The Eileen Ludwig Greenland National Bearing Witness Summer Institute is hosted in the Archdiocese of Washington by the Anti-Defamation League in partnership with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Catholic Educational Association, The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Georgetown University Center for Jewish Civilization.  Applicants from Catholic schools across the country were selected for the program to expand their own understanding on these topics as well as incorporate them into their teaching.

This week will push you to look at what’s under the surface in your own thinking – Rev. Dennis McManus D. Litt (Theo) Consultant for Jewish Affairs, USCCB

The schedule for the week includes presentations from Catholic and Jewish scholars and educators on topics of historical anti-Semitism, interfaith relations, the Holocaust and combating prejudice.  The educators will travel to the US Holocaust Museum, Georgetown University and the Israeli and Romanian Embassies.

Fr. Dennis McManus opened the program with his presentation, “Introduction to the Catholic Church, Jews and Judaism.”  He discussed the challenges involved in teaching Holocaust studies among those who are facing our own biases.  “Learning to read the scriptures in a Jewish context will astonish you!”  Fr. McManus will participate throughout the week along with Rabbi David Fox Sandmel, Director of Interfaith Affairs, ADL, to facilitate interfaith dialogue and greater understanding of both faiths for participants.  To follow the program this week, follow @NCEAtalk and ADL_National on Twitter as well as #BW16.