PREAMBLE

 

The year 1995 was the fiftieth anniversary of the liberation of Europe and the public revelation of the horrors of the death and concentration camps.  The same year marked the thirtieth anniversary of Vatican II’s Nostra Aetate.  That document was the first doctrinally binding pronouncement in the Roman Catholic Church’s two millennia  to accept Judaism and the persistence of the Jewish people to the present. It “recalls the spiritual bond linking the people of the New Covenant with Abraham’s stock . . . [and] deplores the hatred, persecutions, and displays of Antisemitism directed against the Jews at any time and from any source.” Accordingly, “this sacred Synod wishes to foster and recommend that mutual understanding which is the fruit above all of biblical and theological studies, and of brotherly dialogues.”  Since 1965, many good things have occurred including the Guidelines of 1974 and 1985 for implementing Nostra Aetate, which extend it both in letter and in spirit, the meeting of Pope John Paul II and Chief Rabbi Elio Toaff in the central synagogue of Rome in 1986, the pope’s visit to Auschwitz; the inauguration of Vatican-Israel diplomatic relations, the Holy See's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, "Notes on the Correct Way to Present the Jews and Judaism in Preaching and Catechesis in the Roman Catholic Church," issued in July 1985, and 1998’s “We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah.”  Pope John Paul II’s elocution before the congregation and Rabbi Toaff expressed the bond between the Church and Judaism: “The Jewish religion is not ‘extrinsic’ to us, but in a certain way is ‘intrinsic’ to our own religion.  With Judaism, therefore, we have a relationship which we do not have with any other religion. You are our dearly beloved brothers, and in a certain way, it could be said that you are our elder brothers.” Since then the Vatican has vigorously condemned anti-Semitism as a sin against God and humanity, and has called upon the Church to repent of the anti-Semitism found in past Catholic thought and conduct. 

 

 Center's Mission

 

    

     The Center’s mission is to promote Jewish-Catholic-Muslim “discussion and collaboration” as urged in 1965 by the Vatican’s Nostra Aetate (In Our Time) and seconded in subsequent Papal actions and declarations. “Since Christians and Jews have such a common spiritual heritage, this sacred Council wishes to encourage and further mutual understanding and appreciation.” Nostra Aetate also states that the Church “regards with esteem also the Muslim,” and it urges all “to work sincerely for mutual understanding.”

 

    As befits Manhattan College, an institution of higher education, the Center’s principal sphere is education. Founded in 1996 as the Holocaust Resource Center, the Center expanded its Mission in 2011 and was renamed the Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center. This reflects the spirit of the Center’s Mission and the vision that all the foci are interconnected and are part of the educational outreach of the Center. The Center is committed to understanding and respecting differences and similarities between people of all religions, races, ethnicities and nationalities.

 

     The Center educates people about the Holocaust, which is essential to current and future generations, in order to combat prejudice, genocidal ideologies, apathy and Holocaust denial. To this end, the Center remains committed to the lessons of the Holocaust, which are essential to educating current and future generations in order to combat prejudice, genocidal ideologies, apathy, and Holocaust denial. To this end, the Center is committed to educating people about the Holocaust and genocide while exphasizing the contemporary significance of these events. The primary audiences are the College community, the local region and teachers but the Center also seeks to affect a broader arena. Through education about human suffering in the absence of tolerance, the Center aims to foster acceptance and understanding among religions, cultures, and communities.

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Calendar of Events

"Witnessing the Destruction of Culture by ISIS"

Zoom

In collaboration with the UNO School of the Arts Gallery and the Sam and Frances Fried Holocaust and Genocide Academy exhibit titled Nobody’s Listening, Piers Secunda's lecture will describe how his abstract painting practice changed direction 20 years ago and became an examination of the destruction of culture. His work has been exhibited internationally since the mid 90s, was used as a tool of diplomacy between warring factions in Iraq in 2018 and is in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, The Iraq National Museum, Baghdad, and on permanent display at the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford University — the oldest Museum in the world.

This program is organized and hosted by UNO's School of Arts and the Sam and Frances Fried Holocaust and Genocide Academy and co-sponsored by the Holocaust, Genocide, and Interfaith Education Center at Manhattan College; Center for Genocide and Human Rights Research in Africa and the Diaspora at Northeastern Illinois University; The Ray Wolpow Institute for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity at Western Washington University.

Feb8

"Deconstructing Atrocity Imagery: A Conversation with Dr. Wendy Lower"

Zoom

In her latest book, The Ravine: A Family: A Photograph, a Holocaust Massacre Revealed, Dr. Wendy Lower, Professor of History at Claremont McKenna College, observes that in the aftermath of World War II, “Eisenhower ordered that visual evidence be collected to guard against forgetting and disbelief." In this lecture, Dr. Lower shares her investigation of a single photograph—a rare “action shot” documenting the horrific final moment of a family’s murder in Ukraine. Through years of forensic and archival research, Lower sought to uncover the identities of the photographed and in the process recovered new details about the Nazis’ open-air massacres in eastern Europe, the role of the family unit in Nazi ideology, and a rare case of rescue and postwar justice.

This event is part of the 2022-23 Harriet & Kenneth Kupferberg Holocaust Center (KHC) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Colloquium, “Trauma, Remembrance, and Compassion.” The event is organized by the KHC at Queensborough Community College and is co-sponsored by the Ray Wolpow Institute at Western Washington University; the Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center at Manhattan College; and the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights at Rutgers University.

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