“18/40 Celebrating Beginnings” will be held April 7 at Seton Hill University

Seton Hill University’s National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education (NCCHE) is celebrating its 18th (or “Chai”) anniversary with two special events on April 7, 2005 at Seton Hill. With the presentation of its Fifth Nostra Aetate Award to Rev. John T. Pawlikowski, OSM, PhD, the NCCHE will reaffirm the Vatican document Nostra Aetate, which serves as the basis for the Center’s work. In addition, the NCCHE will present 18 Chai Awards to dedicated supporters of the Center.

Established by Seton Hill in 1991, the Nostra Aetate Award acknowledges distinguished and scholarly work done by an individual in the field of Catholic-Jewish relations. Rev. John T. Pawlikowski, OSM, PhD, is a professor of social ethics at Catholic Theological Union and directs the Catholic-Jewish Studies program in Catholic Theological Union’s Cardinal Joseph Bernardin Center. The author of more than fifteen books, including “The Challenge of the Holocaust for Christian Theology,” “Good and Evil After Auschwitz,” and “Ethics in the Shadow of the Holocaust,” He serves as the current president of the International Council of Christians and Jews and a former long-term member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council (where he is still active on several committees.) A recent cover story in the Chicago Jewish News referred to Pawlikowski as “the most well-connected Catholic to the Jewish community in the world.” The Nostra Aetate Award will be presented to Rev. Pawlikowski on Thursday, April 7, 2005 at 5 p.m. in St. Joseph Chapel as part of the NCCHE’s “18/40 Celebrating Beginnings” event. The program is free and open to the public.

The Chai Awards offer special tribute to those who helped the NCCHE begin its work. The Chai Award recipients are: Shalmi Barmore, Shulamit Bastacky, Jacqueline Berke, Robert and Phyllis Davis, Eugene Fisher, Stanley and Marcia Gumberg, Linda Hurwitz, Robert Mendler, Donald and Janet Moritz, Edie Naveh, Peggy Obrecht, Michael Phayer, Marga Randall, Michael Sand, Sybil Schwartz, Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill, Sissy and Gary Stein, and Thomas Voss. In their honor, 180 trees will be planted in the hills of Jerusalem. Each awardee will receive a certificate from Jerusalem noting the gift of 10 trees planted in their name. The Chai Awards will be presented during the Chai Awards Dinner on Thursday, April 7, from 7 – 9 p.m. in Cecilian Hall as part of the NCCHE’s “18/40 Celebrating Beginnings” event. The Chai Awards are open to the public, at a cost of $36 per person. To register for the event, please call the Center at 724-830-1033.

The National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education was established on the campus of Seton Hill University in 1987 in response to the urging of Pope John Paul II to recognize the significance of the SHOAH, the Holocaust, and to "promote the necessary historical and religious studies on this event which concerns the whole of humanity today." (Letter to Archbishop William May, 1987) The Center is administered by Lois Sculco, S.C., in the United States and Gemma Del Duca, S.C., in Israel. For more information on the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education or the “18/40 Celebrating Beginnings” event, please call 724-830-1033, e-mail ncche@setonhill.edu or visit www.setonhill.edu and click on “Centers” and “NCCHE.”

Seton Hill University, chartered in 1918, is a coeducational Catholic liberal arts university in Greensburg, Pa. with more than 30 undergraduate programs and 8 graduate programs, including an MBA. Seton Hill brings the world to its students through its distinguished lecturers and nationally and internationally renowned centers. Twice recognized by Entrepreneur magazine as one of the nation’s Top 100 Entrepreneurial Universities, Seton Hill has also been named one of the Best Mid-Atlantic Colleges by The Princeton Review and one of Pennsylvania’s Top 100 Businesses by Pennsylvania Business Central. For more information on Seton Hill please visit www.setonhill.edu or call 1-800-826-6234.