For more information contact: Michelle Key, Public Relations Specialist
Work: 816-501-2434  
Email: Michelle Key  

WESTERN WALL - Many from exhibit’s recent stop in Kansas City
  Cincinnati, OH    
July 30, 2009

More than 31,000 prayers from thousands of people across the United States were delivered to the Western Wall this week by Xavier University (Cincinnati, OH) Rabbi Abie Ingber, Xavier University Brueggeman Center Director James Buchanan and former Xavier Theology Department Chair and now St. Joseph’s Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Bill Madges.

wallThe prayers are from A Blessing to One Another: Pope John II and the Jewish People, a first-of-its-kind exhibit which chronicles the late pontiff’s life-long relationship with the Jewish people. Since premiering in May 2005 at Xavier, the exhibit has touched more than 100,000 lives during a tour of museums and universities across the country.
Earlier this year, the exhibit stopped at Avila University, where it was displayed from February 3 to March 27.

Part of the 2,200 square foot exhibit includes a replica of the Western Wall where visitors are encouraged to place their prayers.

The 31,099 prayers were from visitors who placed prayers in this replica wall at the exhibit in Kansas City as well as Pittsburgh, New York, Rapid City, S.D., Chicago, Philadelphia, St. Petersburg, Fla. and Los Angeles.

3,953 prayers were actually placed into the Western Wall by hand. The rest of the prayers were placed in the Western Wall tunnels at a spot close to the Temple of Jerusalem by arrangement with the Rabbi of the wall.

This is the second time Blessing prayers have been placed at the wall. In February 2006, Blessing co-directors Ingber, Buchanan and Madges, and Dr. Yaffa Eliach, professor of Judaic Studies and founder of the Shtetl Foundation, took more than 8,600 prayers from the Blessing exhibit to the Western Wall.

The Blessing exhibit is on display at Alvernia University in Reading, PA until the end of July. It will be featured in the near future at the Holocaust Museum of Houston, Canisius College in Buffalo and the Maltz Museum in Beechwood, Ohio. It has already been on display at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C., Loyola University in Chicago, Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City, the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles and St. Joseph’s University, just to name a few.

For more information, please log on to


Avila University is a private, co-educational, values-based liberal arts institution founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, offering undergraduate, graduate, and adult degree programs. Avila University is located at 119th and Wornall Rd in southwest suburban Kansas City, Mo.