SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. — David Bossman, OFM, a professor at Seton Hall University here, served as master of ceremonies last month at the 17th Annual Evening of Roses to benefit the Sister Rose Thering Endowment for Jewish-Christian Studies.
David, executive director of the endowment, said the program provides tuition assistance for educators taking courses in the Graduate Department of Jewish Christian Studies, where he has taught for 25 years.
Founded in 1990, with David as the executive director, the endowment honors the late Sr. Rose Thering, a Dominican Sister of Racine, Wisc., who distinguished herself in promoting education for Jewish-Christian relations. She died in 2006.
David, who last year celebrated 50 years as a Franciscan, greeted the more than 300 participants to the April 18 event, held at the South Orange Performing Arts Center. He said, “The mission of Sr. Rose lives on in the minds and hearts of those who knew her charm and wisdom, as well as her fierce pursuit of justice. She set her face against anti-Semitism and insisted that educators be prepared to teach lessons from the Holocaust at all grade levels.”
The event honored celebrated violinist Joshua Bell, who performed an inspirational concert using his famous Huberman Stradivarius violin, said David. A television associate producer from NY1, Robin Sanders, produced a nine-minute video honoring Sr. Rose, relating the work of the endowment to her life-long mission.
Seton Hall President Retiring
The event was the last one attended by Seton Hall’s retiring president Msgr. Robert Sheeran, a devoted supporter of Jewish-Christian studies at Seton Hall, according to David. His closing remarks on the video, he said, summed up the sentiment of supporters of the endowment.
“Rose was an extraordinary woman. A force of nature, indeed a force of God for good,” said Msgr. Sheeran. “In life, Rose depended on her friends and colleagues and she depends upon us today and tomorrow to move her great passion ever forward.”
Msgr. Sheeran gave the Seton Hall University 2010 Humanitarian of the Year Award to Bell, one of the most celebrated American-born violinists of the modern era. The musician was acknowledged for his special relationship with Israel and the Jewish world. Last October, he traveled to Poland, where he performed in two extraordinary concerts significant to the world’s Jewish community. He was the featured artist at the seventh annual Bronislaw Hubermann Violin Festival in Czestochowa.