lawrence man dedicates jerusalem 9/11 memorial

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Lawrence Man Dedicates Jerusalem 9/11 MemorialBY SAMUEL SOKOL, JERUSALEMA memorial to the over 3,000 victims of Islamic terrorism who perished in the 9/11 attacks has been erected in the Arazim forest outside of Jerusalem. This show of solidarity between the people of Israel and the city of New York was in large part made possible by Carmi Schwartz, a resident of Lawrence. Schwartz, executor of the Bronka Stavsky Rabin Weintraub estate, funded the memorials vast plaza, which includes the names of those fallen as well as amphitheatre-style benches along the periphery. He explained in a prepared statement, This poignant memorial on behalf of the victims of 9/11 helps demonstrate the shared commitment of two great democracies that battle terrorismIsrael and the United States. This testament to the solidarity shared by the U.S. and Israel goes beyond lip service to unite these nations and their allies in the global fight against the destructive forces of humanity. The memorial was commissioned and built by the Jewish National Fund-USA and features a central sculpture in the shape of a waving American flag transformed into a memorial flame. A small piece of wreckage from the World Trade Center is in a compartment in the granite base. The sculpture itself was paid for with a donation from Edward Blank, also a resident of New York. The 30-foot high bronze sculpture was designed by award-winning Israeli artist E. Weishoff. The Jerusalem monument is one of the first major international memorials to the 9/11 attacks and the only site outside

At the dedication ceremony, Perl and Carmi Schwartz with their granddaughters.

of New York to recognize the names of every victim. It can be seen from the

main Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway and is located directly across from the Har Hamenuchot cemetery. Carmi Schwartz took a few minutes to speak with the 5TJT before the dedication ceremony began. We are here to participate in the dedication of the Bronka Stavsky Rabin Weintraub plaza and living memorial for victims of 9/11 which in our view constitute probably the most symbolic bonding of the United States of America and the State of Israel because the terrorist act against the United States of America which caused so much national pain in America and personal pain was the culmination of the powerful bonding that Israel and the United States so eagerly require, though the bonding has been strong from the advent of the State of Israel in 1948, he stated. Schwartzs wife, Perl, added, Carmi and I brought three of our granddaughters with us. The oldest is Rachel, the next Sarah, and [youngest] Tehilla for her bat mitzvah, which was just in June, we treated her and her sisters to a trip hereso she could see what the family was able to accomplish [Its] a very special experience for us, and for them in understanding the past, the present and the future. Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who was the mayor of Jerusalem at the time of the attacks, made a surprise appearance at the monuments unveiling. He used the opportunity to publicly blast the United Nations Goldstone report, which accused both Israel and Hamas of war crimes during the Jewish states defensive war in Gaza this past December and January. Acknowledging the difficulties inherent in asymmetric warfare, the former prime minister explained there is a fundamental difference between victims of terror and those hurt in the course of anti-terror operations. When [terrorists] attack, when they commit suicidal attacks, the main purpose is to kill innocent civiliansto create chaos and anarchy. When the fight is against terrorin the course of these actions, sometimes uninvolved people are affected. It is against the desire and against the purpose of these operations. Ret. IDF Brig. General Dov Shefi lost his son in the 9/11 attacks. He stated that the memorial dedication ceremony symbolizes the identification of the State of Israelwith the thousands of families of


November 20, 2009


LETTERS TO THE EDITORContinued from Page 23follows Jewish law unless proved otherwise. Rabbi Eckstein has devoted his life to serving his fellow Jews. There is nothing to indicate that he would transgress laws that prohibit benefiting from idolatry, G-d forbid. The Fellowships primary intent is to encourage Christians to donate to Jewish causes, but of course others may also donate. The IFCJ utilizes these critical funds in several arenas. I will note just two. The Isaiah 58 project, to which I have given money, is unmatched in its endeavors on behalf of destitute Jews who live in the former Soviet Union. I recently viewed a program about Isaiah 58 and came away stunned by the conditions in which these Jews live, yet heartened by the aid that the IFCJ provides them. For a relatively small amount of money, the Fellowship offers heat and food to Jews who have been long forgotten by other organizations. The food is kosher, and the project is administered on the ground by the Joint Distribution

Committee. In 2008, the Fellowship distributed almost 25 million dollars through Isaiah 58. In Israel, the Fellowship directs vital funds to food kitchens and other aid groups through its Guardians of Israel program. Among the beneficiaries are Orthodox organizations, including Migdal Ohr and Colel Chabad. If these groups are cut off from Fellowship money, which alternate source will step up, in these difficult times, to make up the deficit? Who will promise to provide life-saving assistance to the elderly, the Holocaust survivors, and others who rely upon the Fellowship? I dont know how the question about IFCJ was presented to Rav Elyashiv. Was he told that IFCJ engages in missionary activity? I have a letter in my possession from the Fellowship in which its antimissionary position is made crystal clear. As a corollary, I asked whether any Christian organizations were involved in distributing aid, a situation that could lead to missionary activity. The answer given me was: We do not use Christian aid organizations in Russia, in

Israel, or any other part of the world to distribute to needy Jews. Unfortunately, I believe that Rav Elyashiv was wrongly informed about the nature of the IFCJ and its mission. I pray that those with access to Rav Elyashiv will revisit the IFCJ issue. I am confident that if he is properly informed, Rav Elyashiv will revise his conclusion. In the meantime, I urge your readers to do their own research about IFCJ; I think they will agree that this organizations life-saving work deserves our support. Avi Goldstein, Far Rockaway Editors note: The pernicious aspects of Rabbi Yechiel Epsteins IFCJ organization, including the Isaiah 58 project, were exposed in an article by Mayaan PaseJaffein, Buying Jewish Souls, in the March 2005 issue of The Jewish Observer, as well as in a follow-up to Rabbi Ecksteins response in the Summer 2005 issue. Readers may also be interested in a July 24, 2005 New York Times Magazine article by Zev Chafets, The Rabbi Who Loved Evangelicals (and Vice Versa). O

the victims of September 11 throughout the world, with the United States and with the city of New York. Col. Rick Burgess, the American military attach in Israel, recalled his memories of the 9/11 attacks. Burgess told the 5TJT: I was serving in Turkey on September 11, 2001, and this [ceremony] brought back a lot of memories, powerful memories in my mind, and sitting here with Jerusalem in the background, its just an amazing experience... The United States is always going to stand with Israel. Therere lots of challenges around the world and were going to work through all these, and its just very meaningful to me to have this opportunity to be here today...Set against the magnificent backdrop of Jerusalem, the living memorial will be a moving place from which to mourn the victims of 9/11 as well as consider the thousands of victims of terrorism worldwide, said Russell F. Robinson, CEO of the JNF. Jerusalem is a battleground of civilization but also a place of hope. The memorial is situated in Jerusalems green belt; what better place to show that civilization won? Both former President Bill Clinton and current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent letters expressing their solidarity with the victims of terrorism. PM Netanyahu wrote, As home to three of the worlds major religions, Jerusalem is a fitting home for this memorialone that not only commemorates the victims of terror, but also reaffirms our commitment to freedom, democracy, and tolerance. O


November 20, 2009