Reflections on Abe

Reflections on Abe

Abraham Foxman’s leadership of the Anti-Defamation League and his special friendship with me and the College of Saint Elizabeth over so many years has been wonderful for us. Our CSE students were hosted for special lunch sessions at the ADL when they visited the United Nations for the World Culture  Studies course that I taught. Our students also had opportunities to meet university students from other states and countries on our joint leadership   missions to Poland for Holocaust study, and one student was chosen for the ADL leadership mission to Israel for university students.

Our faculty and other Catholic educators who were on a Holocaust study trip to Poland for the March of the Living in 2005 were hosted by the ADL for a special Sabbath dinner in Warsaw, Poland. I was chosen for a special program in Israel for university faculty involved in teacher training to learn about the Echoes and Reflections curriculum, and the College was chosen to be host for the ADL’s regional “Bearing Witness” program for Catholic educators one summer, and then to be the host for two summer seminars for the advanced “Bearing Witness” program for Catholic educators continuing their study in Israel.

A hidden child during the Holocaust, Abe was our Kristallnacht speaker in November 2011, and it was clear that his experiences during the Holocaust  influenced the  work he did at the ADL, focusing on programs to reduce prejudice, enhance interfaith dialogue, and combat anti-Semitism. On March 5, 2014, the College will be privileged to continue its collaborations with the ADL, offering an Echoes and Reflections workshop for NJ teachers with a workshop   speaker from Yad Vashem.

Abe always was open to and interested  in working with and assisting the College of Saint Elizabeth in the  work that he saw as so important…reducing prejudice, discrimination, bullying, and anti-Semitism. The slogan of the ADL in this past year has been “Imagine a world without hate.” He knew that  interfaith work and teacher education were integral to achieving such a world, and saw the College of Saint Elizabeth as a partner in this mission.

Along with the college, our students, and other faculty, I have benefited in important ways, both professionally and personally, from my association with the ADL. Abe has been a great leader of the ADL, taking this important organization “from strength to strength.” He definitely will be missed.

Harriet Sepinwall
Professor of Holocaust Studies
Codirector, College of Saint Elizabeth Holocaust
Education Resource Center, Morristown

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