Bonnie Shafrin, a veteran Jewish educator and the former director of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation’s Holocaust Education Resource Center, has been named director of the Lux Center for Catholic Jewish Studies at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology.
“Sacred Heart is the only Roman Catholic seminary with a center dedicated to promoting Catholic-Jewish understanding, and with Bonnie’s leadership and energy, the Lux Center is poised to become a national academic voice in interreligious conversations,” said Patrick Russell, the seminary’s vice president for academic affairs.
Shafrin has been a member of the Lux Center’s Advisory Committee since 2014, and has worked with the Lux Center on a variety of issues, including bringing the Holocaust Study Institute to the Lux Center in 2013. The institute included a class, student travel to Israel, and a major public lecture by Fr. Kevin Spicer.
She is the past president of the Milwaukee Association for Jewish Education, and chaired the board of the Coalition for Jewish Learning. Prior to becoming director of the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center, she was a teacher in public and Jewish schools.
The Lux Center was established in 2010 as a tribute to Professor Richard Lux (emeritus), on the occasion of his retirement after 37 years on the Sacred Heart faculty. Its purpose is to continue his tireless and extensive life’s work in strengthening Catholic-Jewish relations.
Lux himself had previously held the position of director. He will now assume the role of founding director, continuing to actively provide support to Lux Center activities and Shafrin’s work.
Lux commented, “Having worked extensively with Bonnie on a variety of projects, I am very excited about what her background, leadership skills and energy will bring to the center as it enters a new phase.”
Shafrin has a master of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is working toward a master of arts in Jewish education from Siegal College of Judaic Studies.
In addition to providing public lectures intended to promote Catholic-Jewish understanding and dialog in the greater community, the Lux Center works to equip its seminarians with tools to engage in interfaith work after they graduate. More information is available at luxcenter.shsst.edu.
There are currently more than 500 Catholic priests serving across the United States and Canada who graduated from Sacred Heart. More information is at www.shsst.edu.