Sister Rose Thering Receives AJC?s Moral Courage Award

September 13, 2004
September 13, 2004 -  New York – The American Jewish Committee has awarded Sister Rose Thering its Jan Karski Moral Courage Award for her lifelong commitment to Christian-Jewish relations, her unwavering, inexhaustible support for Israel and her relentless opposition to anti-Semitism.

“Shalom haverim! Peace, my friends. Indeed I stand with you today and always,” Sister Rose said in April 2002 during a rally for Israel in Washington, D.C.

This is the spirit of Sister Rose, an acknowledged international Christian leader in the fight against all forms of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.

“Sister Rose has remained a vigorous champion of these causes through the years, and has been a remarkable inspiration, an authentic role model for thousands of Christians and Jews,” said Rabbi James Rudin, AJC’s senior interreligious advisor. “She defined her generation of Catholics and she changed history.”

In the 1960s, Sister Rose, in cooperation with AJC, conducted a groundbreaking study of text books used in Roman Catholic parochial schools. As a direct result of her study, significant positive changes were made in the books regarding Jews, Judaism and the Holocaust.

“I thank the American Jewish Committee for everything you have done in helping us to come to our senses,” said Sister Rose.

Sister Rose taught at the Institute for Judeo-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University for more than 30 years. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she founded the National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel, a broad based membership group that builds Christian public support for the security and survival of Israel.

She led scores of study missions to Israel, whose participants always included Christian leaders from the U.S. and Canada, including Catholics, Protestants and Eastern Orthodox. She was a national leader in the Soviet Jewry campaign and participated in a hunger strike to emphasize her commitment to freeing Soviet Jews.

This is the second time AJC has awarded the Jan Karski honor, named after the man who devoted and risked his life so that the cries of Polish Jews during World War II would not go unheard. Per Ahlmark, the Swedish politician, author, humanitarian and lifelong friend of Israel and the Jewish people, received the inaugural award in May at AJC’s Annual Meeting.

Contact: Kenneth Bandler (212) 891-6771

        Lisa Fingeret Roth (212) 891-1385
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