Executive Director of NJ Commission on Holocaust Education to Bestow Honorary Award to CSE Professor, April 19
Courtney Smolen/College of Saint Elizabeth
April 06, 2009
On Sunday, April 19, the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education will bestow its Sister Rose Thering Award on Dr. Harriet Lipman Sepinwall, professor of Education and co-director of the Holocaust Education Resource Center at the College of Saint Elizabeth during the Sister Rose Thering Endowment's Evening of Roses Program, at Seton Hall University's Jubilee Hall.
The Sister Rose Thering Award was established by the Commission to honor the life work of Sister Rose in the area of education, specifically relates to anti-Semitism, the Holocaust/genocide and prejudice reduction, and in developing relationships between the Jewish and non-Jewish communities to better enhance and strengthen relationships with each other and Israel.
Commission Executive Director Dr. Paul B. Winkler notes that Dr. Sepinwall's efforts and personal humanity make her an outstanding recipient of this award.
"With the establishing of the College of Saint Elizabeth's Holocaust Education Resource Center, Harriet has led the charge in implementing the mandate to provide Holocaust and genocide education to all children," says Dr. Winkler. "Through her efforts, Harriet has brought together many ecumenical groups in working toward a common goal toward prejudice awareness and reduction. She has carried out this belief of the importance of Israel and the importance of all people caring about one other, and for that we honor her."
A native of New York, residing in Pine Brook, N.J., Dr. Sepinwall earned her baccalaureate and master degrees from The City College of New York and her Ed.D. in Educational Foundations from Rutgers University.
Dr. Sepinwall was founder and co-chair of the New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance, a coalition of teachers, librarians and museum and historic site professionals and archivists. She is a member of the NJ-Israel Commission, through which she developed a summer institute for teachers on terrorism and democracy. With Sister Kathleen Flanagan, she co-founded and is co-director of the College of Saint Elizabeth Holocaust Education Resource Center established in 1994. She presents annual workshops on Holocaust education at the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) Convention. This year, one of the workshops will highlight the first Holocaust survivor testimony to be given at the NCEA.
Dr. Sepinwall's initiatives on behalf of the College have enabled CSE undergraduates to travel to Poland to participate on the international March of Remembrance and Hope, visiting sites of the Holocaust and working to develop ways to end intolerance. She was a leader in the planning for the 2005 March of the Living organization's national Catholic Educators' Mission to Poland, a project co-sponsored by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Catholic Educational Association, the AntiDefamation League, and the College of Saint Elizabeth, and also served as the Mission's scholar for the Catholic school teachers. This historic mission, which included CSE faculty, commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Holocaust and the 40th anniversary of the Vatican II document Nostra Aetate, on Catholic teaching about Jews and Judaism.
Dr. Sepinwall has worked with the Paterson Diocesan Schools, the Newark Archdiocesan Schools, and with the United Jewish Communities of MetroWest New Jersey to provide a variety of programs for middle and high school students, for teacher training, and for the community.
A member of congregation Agudath Israel of West Essex in Caldwell, N.J., she is the mother of Stacy, Alyssa, and Alan, and grandmother of Julia Sepinwall and Jacob Goldstein. Her husband, Dr. Jerry Sepinwall, died in 1998.
In addition, the Evening of Roses will bestow its 2009 Humanitarian of the Year Awards upon Maud Dahme, a hidden child of the Holocaust, and posthumously to Irena Sendler, who as a young Polish social worker saved more than 2,500 Jewish children from death at the hands of the Nazis. New Jersey Senate President former Governor Richard Codey will be the afternoon's featured speaker.