Jewish-Catholic relations, from Pope John XXIII to Pope Francis I, will be the topic on Wednesday, April 2, when Congregation B’nai Israel (CBI) in Rumson hosts guest speaker Dr. Carol Rittner, a Catholic nun and a Distinguished Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
The 7 pm lecture, which is co-sponsored by CBI, the Church of the Nativity of Fair Haven (Nativity) and the Center for Holocaust Human Rights & Genocide Education (CHHANGE) in Lincroft, will include comments from Reverend Robert J.W. Schecker, Pastor of Nativity, and Rabbi Jeff Sultar, spiritual leader of CBI.
Jack Needle, former Director of Holocaust Studies at Brookdale Community College and a member of the CBI Adult Education Committee, initiated the program. He explained, “this is an unrivaled era in relationships between the Church and Judaism, and an appropriate time to embrace a dialogue.”
Dr. Rittner has authored or edited more than 16 books and essays about the Holocaust and other genocides of the 20th and 2st centuries, including The Courage to Care: Rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust; Elie Wiesel: Between Memory and Hope; The Holocaust & The Christian World; and Will Genocide Ever End?
Her latest editorial endeavor, Holocaust Education: Challenges for the Future, was just released by Seton Hall University Press (2014), and The Courage to Care was adapted into an Academy Award nominated documentary about non-Jews who rescued Jews during the Holocaust. The film is widely screened in schools, and used as a learning tool by non-profit organizations and Holocaust researchers. Dr. Rittner is also the editor of Mercywords, an e-journal whose aim is to explore ideas, raise questions about God and address the challenges facing human beings today.
The lecture, which is supported by a grant from the Jewish Federation of Monmouth County, is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.