Evening of Roses to feature ‘mother’s voice for victims’

Evening of Roses to feature ‘mother’s voice for victims’

Devorah Halberstam will share her story of loss and activism.
Devorah Halberstam will share her story of loss and activism.

DEVORAH HALBERSTAM — who became an advocate for gun control and support for victims of terror after her 16-year-old son, Ari, was killed — will share her story of loss and activism at the 23rd annual Evening of Roses of the Sister Rose Thering Fund for Education in Jewish-Christian Studies. The reception will take place on Sunday, May 1, at 1:30 p.m. on the Seton Hall University campus in South Orange. 

Ari was a victim of the 1994 Brooklyn Bridge shooting in which an immigrant Lebanese gunman attacked a van filled with hasidic students. In the wake of the tragedy, Devorah Halberstam campaigned vigorously to have her son’s death investigated as politically motivated terrorism rather than as murder, and to increase control of weapons.

The event will honor the memories of Sister Rose Thering, who passed away in 2006, and fund trustees Ellin Cohen of Maplewood and Mary Vazquez of West Caldwell, who both died in 2015. These “women of valor,” said SRTF executive director Prof. David Bossman, “made stellar contributions to education in Jewish-Christian studies, the mission of the SRTF to rid the world of religious prejudice, and build a more just and inclusive society.” 

SRTF board chair Deborah Lerner Duane said, “We honor the memory of Sister Rose on the 10th anniversary of her passing and these special women as we continue to fulfill the legacy of her valor.” 

Retiring SRTF administrator Marilyn L. Zirl of Livingston, who worked closely with Sister Rose, will also be honored. 

The event will also celebrate the generosity of Luna Kaufman, founding trustee and chair emerita, and the inauguration of the Luna Kaufman Endowed Scholarship. A performance of Psalm 133 by Israeli composer Moshe Knoll will feature soprano Allison Charney, violinist Ani Bukujian, pianist Craig Ketter, and narrator Jordan Charney.

The SRTF was created and named in honor of Sister Rose in recognition of her lifelong dedication to improving Jewish-Christian relations and Holocaust education. 

Tickets to the kosher reception in Jubilee Hall Auditorium cost $75, $25 for students with a valid ID from any school. Contact 973-761-9006 or marilyn.zirl@shu.edu.

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