Chicago High School Student Wins First Prize in AJC's Catholic-Jewish Poster Contest

March 16, 2000

Chicago High School Student Wins First Prize in AJC's Catholic-Jewish Poster Contest

March 16, 2000 -  CHICAGO -- A Chicago high school student has won the first prize in the American Jewish Committee poster contest marking the visit of Pope John Paul II to Israel.

Sophomore Joevanny Duran of St. Rita of Cascia High School, won an all-expenses paid trip to Israel coinciding with the Pope's visit next week.

"Going to Israel is great. And getting to see the Pope, now that's amazing. I'm really looking forward to it," said Duran, whose classmates have given him a new nickname "Israel."

The nationwide contest for high school students participating in AJC's Catholic/Jewish Educational Enrichment Program (C/JEEP), required that posters carry the theme of the Pope's pilgrimage to Israel as a symbol of peace and understanding between the two communities.

Duran's poster depicts Jewish, Christian and St. Rita High School symbols interwoven in a message of peace and good will. The poster will be presented to Cardinal William Keeler, Archbishop of Baltimore, Maryland, in Israel and will travel to the Vatican for display.

"The large number of contest entries from C/JEEP students in all parts of the country reflects the great success of this unique educational program," said Rabbi A. James Rudin, AJC's Director of Interreligious Affairs.

"Joevanny Duran's visit to Israel is an exciting moment in the extraordinary effort to build mutual respect and understanding between Jews and Catholics. The American Jewish Committee is proud to be a co-sponsor of this path breaking event," Rabbi Rudin continued.

The poster contest was co-sponsored with the Israeli Consulate in New York and EL AL Israel Airlines. The contest was open to the more than , students at C/JEEP participating schools in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

C/JEEP, a six-year old exchange program sends rabbis into Catholic high schools and priests and sisters into Jewish high schools in an educational effort to deepen mutual understanding about Judaism and Catholicism. Operating in five cities across the nation, the program is funded by a grant from Steven Spielberg's Righteous Persons Foundation, and administered by Dr. Amy Rosenbaum, AJC's Assistant Director of Interreligious Affairs.

Contact: Kenneth Bandler (212) 891-6771
        Lisa Fingeret Roth (212) 891-1385
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