Tuesday, November 2, 2010
The second annual Philip J. Albert Memorial Kristallnacht Commemoration will feature a screening of the Academy Award-nominated documentary Sister Rose’s Passion: Teaching the Power of One, detailing the life of Sister Rose Thering, who dedicated her life to improving Jewish-Christian relations, on Sunday, November 7, at 3 p.m. in the Gill Chapel on Rider’s Lawrenceville campus. The event is free and open to the public.
Sister Rose’s Passion, which won the award for Best Documentary Short at the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival, was directed by Oren Jacoby, who was raised by a Jewish father and a Christian mother. The 39-minute film chronicles the life’s work of Thering, a Dominican nun, activist, scholar and teacher whose research and activism influenced Nostra Aetate, the landmark doctrine from the Second Vatican Council in 1965 that forbade the blaming of Jews for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Growing up Catholic in Plain, Wisc., in the 1920, Thering’s early knowledge of the Jewish faith was rooted mostly in the deicide accusations and anti-Semitic rants she heard from sources such as Father Charles Coughlin’s national radio show. Even as a young girl, Thering had trouble reconciling these messages with the figures she knew from the Old Testament.
“I couldn’t imagine Abraham, Isaac and all the rest of the early mothers and fathers of Judaism, that they wouldn’t be saved,” she told the Cleveland Jewish News. Thering died in 2006 at the age of 85.
The Kristallnacht Commemoration is presented by the Julius and Dorothy Koppelman Holocaust/Genocide Resource Center of Rider University. The event will include commentary by Dr. Paul Winkler, executive director of the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education. The event will also include a greeting from Dr. Elizabeth Scheiber, associate director of the Koppelman Center and associate professor of Foreign Languages; and an introduction by Dr. Harvey Kornberg, director of the Koppelman Center and associate professor of Political Science.