The Center's mission is to promote Catholic-Jewish dialogue, as set forth in a document promulgated by the Second Vatican Council in 1965, Nostra Aetate (In Our Time) and seconded in many subsequent papal actions and declarations. As befits a Catholic institution of higher education, the Center's principal sphere is education. The lessons of the Holocaust are essential to educating future generations in order to fight prejudice, genocidal ideologies, apathy, and Holocaust denial. To this end, the Center's mission is to educate people about the Holocaust and its significance for the present. The primary audiences are the College community, the neighborhood, and teachers and future teachers in the surrounding area.
In furtherance of its mission, the Center sponsored workshops for teachers in the metropolitan area (1997-2002), and works closely with Manhattan College's School of Education to incorporate segments on the Holocaust in the curriculum and in specific courses. The Teacher Training Workshops have guided educators as to methods, contents, and materials for teaching the Holocaust and have enabled them to implement the laws in both New York and New Jersey mandating that the Holocaust be taught in all state schools. The Center sponsors a Survivor Speakers Bureau, directed by Martin Spett; it matches Holocaust survivors as speakers to student audiences in the schools of our area. Each fall the Center sponsors a bus trip for students to visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. In the spring, a Model Seder is held. Led first by Rabbi Stephen Franklin and now by Rabbi Judy Lewis, both of Riverdale Temple, so that undergraduates will gain a genuine understanding of one of the great holy days of Jewish observance and to stimulate their interest in Jewish life and history. In association with Congregation Tehillah, since 2004, the Center has organized commemorations on campus of Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. Other occasional events have been sponsored including a symposium exploring the accuracy of Mel Gibson's film, The Passion of the Christ, in the Spring of 2004, a screening of the award-winning documentary film, "Sister Rose's Passion," in the Fall of 2004, and Sondra Perl's presentation "Breaking the Cycle of Hate: New Dialogues in the Post-Holocaust Era" held in December 2005.
Visit their website at: http://home.manhattan.edu/~holcent/