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Professor Attends Holocaust Seminar in Jerusalem

Notre Dame Associate Professor of Art Rachel Morris will travel to Israel in July to attend a three-week seminar on the Holocaust at Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem, the most comprehensive center of Holocaust commemoration in the world.

The seminar is co-sponsored by Yad Vashem, Hebrew University’s Vidal Sasson International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism, the Isaac Jacob Institute for Religious Law, and the Catholic Institute of Holocaust Studies at Seton Hill University from July 9 to 30.

Participants will spend six days per week in the classroom learning Shoah history, teaching pedagogy and hearing Holocaust survivors' testimonies. Saturdays will be reserved for touring historical sites in Jerusalem, Nazareth and Masada, among others.

“It is an intensive program and although I do not expect to return as an authority on the Shoah, I do hope it will filter into some of the courses I teach on 20th century art during the World War II era,” Morris said.

“Since I am on the board of the Abrahamic Center, I do hope what I learn during this institute will prove to be valuable in future programming at the College,” she added. “I am both humbled and elated to participate in this unique opportunity.”

A graduate of Seton Hill, Morris will study with one of her former professors, Sr. Gemma Del Duca, SC, who co-founded the Catholic Institute of Holocaust Studies in 1987. Sr. Gemma visited Notre Dame College twice to speak at events sponsored by the Tolerance Resource Center, now called the Abrahamic Center, which celebrates religious, racial and cultural diversity. Morris served as the director of the Tolerance Resource Center for 11 years.

The Catholic Institute of Holocaust Studies is specifically designed for educators working in Catholic institutions throughout the United States. Yad Vashem attracts an international audience for its summer institutes and Morris will meet people from all parts of the United States, Canada and Europe.

The program will equip participants to enter into serious discussion on the causes of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust from a Catholic perspective. It seeks to discuss the shaping of appropriate curricular responses at Catholic institutions in light of the Holocaust.

By Christian Taske ’07, editor and writer at Notre Dame College.