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Jewesses with Attitude

Sister Rose, You’ll Be Sorely Missed!

I know, hardly words you expect to see on an archive for young Jewish women. Why should we make special mention of the fact that a Roman Catholic nun who grew up in a farm in Wisconsin died last Saturday? Because this sweet-’n’-powerful sister made it her life's mission to better relations between Catholics and Jews in some pretty awesome ways. Here are 5 of those ways, according to her NY Times obit on Monday.

• She traveled around the world while lecturing and writing in her quest to improve the “often-strained relationships between Christians and Jews.”

• She helped write a 1994 law that required the teaching of the Holocaust and genocide in all elementary and high schools in New Jersey.

• She established workshops on Judaism for church leaders and teachers at Seton Hall, a private, Catholic university in New Jersey where she was a faculty member.

• Her 1962 study of anti-Semitism in Catholic texts was, in part, what led Pope John XXIII to draft portions of a 1965 Vatican document that reversed church policy—declaring Christ’s death can not be blamed on us Jews (not the exact wording, but you get the idea).

• She wore around her neck a Star of David fused to the cross (a little busy in terms of jewelry design, but an idea that surely got her point across).

Want to know more about this incredible activist? Check out “Sister Rose’s Passion,” an Academy Award-nominated documentary about her life. It’s likely to be playing at a Jewish film festival near you. And if you can’t find it locally, you can buy the film. (no, we don’t get any proceeds on the deal).

Sister Rose, thanks for your amazing efforts, and rest in peace . . .


I was really hoping the film would have won the Oscar - I would have liked her to see that kind of recognition in her lifetime, though that's not really the point. She was an amazing lady.

what an uplifting article--thanks for writing about this woman!

How to cite this page

Cove, Michelle. "Sister Rose, You’ll Be Sorely Missed!." 9 May 2006. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on April 25, 2017) <>.


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3 hr
Photos of female activists that history forgot? Yes, please!
5 hr
At least it's going down in Europe? This is still distressing, though.
6 hr
This article pulls no punches about how the Handmaid's Tale cast needs to step it up. Thoughts?