Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cardinal O’Malley to Accept 'Noahide' Award on Behalf of JPII

News from the occupied territory of Boston:

Interfaith event: Cardinal to visit Norwood Jewish school

Tue Oct 20, 2009

Stanley Hurwitz - Norwood Transcript and Bulletin

For the first time, the Archbishop of Boston will be the guest speaker at an event held at a Jewish day school on the South Shore.

The Nov. 12 program, open to the entire community, will be held at the South Area Solomon Schechter Day School in Norwood.

Keynote speaker Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, will accept the first Righteous Among Nations Award, which is being presented posthumously to Pope John Paul II to honor his work toward improving Catholic-Jewish relations, often at great personal risk.

Noting the interfaith program that has evolved in the last few years between SASSDS and area Catholic schools, SASSDS Head of School Jane Taubenfeld Cohen said, “Our students have formed a social and spiritual bond through learning, performance and play and have crossed the bridge of understanding. They are bringing the greater community along on this pioneering educational journey.”

O’Malley said, “I am honored to have the opportunity to visit the South Area Solomon Schechter Day School and to accept this award for the important work and commitment of Pope John Paul II to improving Catholic-Jewish relations. The late Holy Father taught us that through mutual respect, understanding and dialogue we can open doors for future generations to embrace each other as people of God. I am particularly pleased to be a part of this program, which is being made possible by the Israel Arbeiter Institute and Gallery of Understanding. Mr. Arbeiter provides us a powerful example of courage and a belief in the dignity of the human person. We pray for his continued leadership working for a just and compassionate society.”

The event is sponsored by the Israel Arbeiter Institute and Gallery of Understanding housed at SASSDS that features an exhibit, “The Life Lessons of Israel Arbeiter,” tracing the 84 year-old Holocaust survivor and human rights activist’s life from pre-World War II Poland through war-torn Europe, to emigration to America and the rebuilding of his life.

SASSDS President Andrew Butler said, “This year’s Gallery theme is ‘Children Make A Difference.’ By teaching our children to embrace differences, they can bring about real differences locally and worldwide now and throughout their lives. We expect to use this program as a springboard for future collaborative efforts.”

The gallery’s mission is to provide a venue in which children and adults can learn about the Holocaust, explore causes of hatred and prejudice, and participate in programs and events whose purpose is to promote understanding between people of different beliefs and backgrounds.

During the Nov. 12 event, third and sixth graders from St. Catherine of Siena School in Norwood and SASSDS will celebrate their interfaith learning through a new Unity Through Diversity workshop. They have both been studying an exhibit on the life of Pope John Paul II, “A Blessing to One Another,” which traces the early influences that affected his commitment to humanitarianism.

Second and fifth grade SASSDS and St. Catherine students who have collaborated in the last few years in the Sheer Arts Musical Theater program, will present a musical cantata honoring Pope John Paul II.

On display in the gallery for Cardinal O’Malley and all guests will also be artwork on “What Interfaith Understanding Means to Me” by children from SASSDS and St. John’s School of Canton.

The inter-school programming will continue in January, when Israel Arbeiter will give a tour of the exhibit and describe his life’s journey and what others can learn from it. In the spring, SASSDS students will visit the St. Catherine of Siena School.

Other supporters of the event include: the American Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors; the Anti-Defamation League, New England Region; the Jewish Community Relations Council; the American Jewish Committee; the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum; and the Falmouth Jewish Congregation.

Reservations for Nov. 12 are $18 for seniors and students; $36 for individuals; $72 for families; and $180 for a Gold family sponsorship. Event and Gallery sponsorships start at $1,800. For information and reservations contact Diane Joiner: 781-769-9400 or email djoiner@sassds.org. Also visit www.sassds.org.