MORRISTOWN–-Internationally known Holocaust educator Sister Gemma Del Duca, S.C., leads an interfaith dialogue entitled, "Teaching Catholics about the Holocaust," Wednesday, November 16, from 7:30 to 9 p.m., in Dolan Performance Hall, College of Saint Elizabeth, 2 Convent Road, Morristown, N.J. The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the CSE Holocaust Education Resource Center.
Sr. Gemma is the founder and co-director of Seton Hill University’s National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education, Greensburg, Pa., and she is also the former chair of the history department at the university.
Sr. Gemma has lived in Israel since 1975, and has led seminars at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem for more than 20 years as an educator at the international School of Holocaust Education. Her association with Yad Vashem began in 1987 when she approached the administrators with her idea to host seminars for Catholic educators in response to Pope John Paul II's call to recognize the significance of the Holocaust. The seminars are intended for groups of Catholic educators and clergy, primarily from the United States. According to Yad Vashem’s records, hundreds of educators have taken part in the seminars. Her presence as lecturer and coordinator of the program is one of its most important components, according to Ephraim Kaye, who works with international educators at Yad Vashem.
"(Sr.) Gemma is the person who opened the door here to bringing Catholic educators to Yad Vashem," said Kaye, "They have been a real dedicated and determined group of people who take back what they have learned here. We have (Sr.) Gemma to thank for that. It is really not to be taken for granted."In 2007, Yad Vashem honored Sr. Gemma with the Award for Excellence in Holocaust Education. She is the first non-Jewish and non-Israeli recipient.
Sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, Convent Station, New Jersey, the College of Saint Elizabeth enrolls more than 2,100 full- and part-time students in more than 25 undergraduate, 10 graduate and one doctoral degree programs. For information on other activities or programs, visit the College of Saint Elizabeth web site at www.cse.edu.