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Menorah Project

Lights of Hope

Through its historic Menorah Project, the Center for Interreligious Understanding is placing Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance) Menorahs in Catholic institutions throughout the United States and around the world with the goal of highlighting the extraordinary changes taking place in the relationship between Catholics and Jews since the Second Vatican Council in 1965 and as a result of the leadership of Pope John Paul II.

The Menorah dedications bring together Christians, Jews and community members to share words of remembrance and to light the six candles of the Menorah that represent the six million Jews killed during the Holocaust.

"The Menorah Project provides an opportunity for Jews and Christians to come together to learn about our history, our shared values and why we must live and work together toward a world of justice and peace. At a time when religious conflict defines our lives, the light of the menorah is a source of hope and a constant reminder that the work of reconciliation and understanding must be our own," explained Jack Bemporad, the Executive Director of the CIU.

The four-foot tall menorah, created by Israeli sculptor Aharon Bezalel, is a replica of the Yom Hashoah Menorah presented to Pope John Paul II on April 13, 1999 that now stands permanently at the Vatican's North American College.

Pope John Paul II has been recognized by Jewish leaders for his efforts to remember the Holocaust and strengthen relations between Catholics and Jews including establishing full diplomatic relations with Israel, issuing the "We Remember" document on the Holocaust and asking forgiveness of the Jews during his historic pilgrimage to Israel in March 2000.

Menorahs have already been placed in Miami, Baltimore, Palm Beach, Seton Hall University, Dallas, Boston, Washington, D.C. and the Seminary of the Diocese of Rockville Centre in Long Island, NY. The CIU plans to place additional menorahs in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and San Francisco.

For more information about how to bring a Holocaust Menorah dedication to your community, email or call 201.866.1411.

“Remember. Forgive. Renew.”

Rabbi Jack Bemporad