Program launched to fight prejudice between Catholics and Jews

Posted: Friday, September 15, 2000

DENVER (AP) -- In a program to counteract prejudice, Colorado Jewish and Roman Catholic students are learning about each other's beliefs this fall.

The 10-week course, budgeted at $75,000, is the first such in the country, said Anita Fricklas, executive director of the American Jewish Committee's Denver office.

Fourth-grade students in synagogues and Catholic day schools will learn about both Jewish and Catholic holidays, rituals and symbols.

Also, five high school juniors from each faith have been chosen to study each religion's beliefs and how to overcome stereotyping. They will make a two-week field trip to Vatican City and Israel.

''These kids will be pioneers'' in interfaith understanding, said Bill Beckman, ecumenical officer for Denver's Catholic archdiocese. ''It's a mine that they will be able to draw from their entire lives.''

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