Obituaries: Sep. 14-20, 2012

Phillip Binen died Aug. 7 at 83. Survived by sons Jack, Perry; stepson Lawrence Bizzell. Hillside

Joseph Borden died Aug. 11 at 93. Survived by wife Florine; daughters Deborah Goldstein, Marla (Jeffrey) Michaels; sons Scott, Jack (Debbie); 5 grandchildren. Hillside

Ronni Bregman died Aug. 9 at 61. Survived by daughter Marni (Kevin) Reinhardt; son Lee; 2 grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Lynnette Briskin died Aug. 13 at 93. Survived by daughter Jerilyn (Raymond Ornstein) Ruben; sons Jeffrey (Deborah), Donald (Margaret); sister Chickie Feldman; 10 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Frieda E. Cohen died Aug. 11 at 96. Survived by son Harvey (Bonny); 2 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Mardene Conrad died Aug. 9 at 78. Survived by husband Allan; daughters Wendy, Lynn (Greg) Range; son Michael (Tina); sister Barbara Berger; 4 grandchildren. Hillside

Melvin Epstein died Aug. 9 at 82. Survived by daughter Nancy; son David Sidney. Malinow and Silverman

Irving Fein died Aug. 10 at 101. Survived by wife Marion; daughter Tisha; son Michael (Beni); stepson Dan Schechter; 3 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Charlotte Fisher died Aug. 8 at 91. Survived by son William. Malinow and Silverman

Alvin Friedkin died Aug. 9 at 82. Survived by daughter Shoshana (David) Finacom; son Peter; 4 granddaughters; brother James (Joy). Mount Sinai

Rodney Friedman died Aug. 6 at 63. Survived by wife Viviene; daughter Hayley; son Justin; sister Laraine Ross; brother Colin (Hedy). Mount Sinai

Sylvia Ginsling died Aug. 9 at 92. Survived by nephew Jeffrey (Lori) Marks; niece Lori (Stephen) Love. Mount Sinai

Dorothy Goldberg died Aug. 6 at 95. Survived by husband Louis; daughter Debbie Taylor; sons Jeff (Debby), Eugene; 4 grandsons; 3 great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Judith Fine Hailpern died Aug. 9 at 75. Survived by husband Solomon; daughters Michele, Nancy; son Jeffrey; brother David Fine. Malinow and Silverman

Ruth R. Kaptan died Aug. 9 at 85. Survived by daughter Lana (Daniel) Neal; son Martin; 4 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

George Kujawski died Aug. 7 at 90. Survived by wife Audrey; daughters Teresa Nield, Sylvia (Andrew) Corwin; son John; sister Teresa Komender; stepson Hank (Beth) Arkin; stepdaughter Linda (Al) Albala; 5 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Bernice Lewis died Aug. 12 at 88. Survived by daughter Marcia (Mark) Smith; son James; 2 grandchildren. Hillside

Bernard Lieberman died Aug. 12 at 94. Survived by daughter-in-law Barbara (Doug) Lieberman-Jones; son-in-law Barry (Beverly) Brotman; 3 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild. Mount Sinai

Bernice Lockfield died Aug. 12 at 89. Survived by daughter Joanne (Norman) Nadel; son Dennis (Andrea); 4 grandchildren; sister Rhoda Smithkin. Mount Sinai

Victoria Yomtow Mandel died Aug. 12 at 92. Survived by daughters Rosie, Susie (Ilan) Zollinger; sons Benjamin (Olga), Ignaz; 7 grandchildren. Hillside

Beatrice K. Meyers died Aug. 11 at 91. Survived by daughter Maureen (Rudy) Romero; 4 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Robert Morgan died Aug. 13 at 55. Survived by wife Fang; daughters Diana, Sophia; brother Seth (Sally). Hillside

Elin Pittler died Aug. 5 at 74. Survived by husband Burton; daughter Karen (Gary) Semler; sons Steven (Kathleen), Gregg (Julie), Kenny (Melinda); 8 grandchildren. Hillside

Ilan Postelnik died Aug. 8 at 55. Survived by daughter Alexandra Post; son Adam Post; mother Odette; brothers Naor, Adi; sister Hagar Grimberg. Mount Sinai

Elaine Rosenfeld died Aug. 10 at 84. Survived by daughter Nada (Larry) Feiwell; sons Ken (Marsha); Keith (Mara); 5 grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

Muriel “Midge” Schainblatt died Aug. 5 at 93. Survived by husband Jacob; daughters Shelly (Robert) Malinow, Alison (Peter) England; 3 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren. Mount Sinai

Joan Ann Schechter died Aug. 11 at 81. Survived by daughter Claudia (Jeffrey) Silverman; son Stuart (Niel); 2 grandsons; sister Terry Sachs. Mount Sinai

Leon J. Shapiro died Aug. 11 at 91. Survived by wife Sylvia; daughters Sandy (Roland) Terranova, Nikki (Chris) Cotton; 4 grandchildren; 1 step-granddaughter; 1 step-great-grandson. Mount Sinai

David Turken died Aug. 10 at 54. Survived by mother Deborah; brothers James (Karen), Donald (Julie); 4 nieces. Mount Sinai

Beatrice Wasserman died Aug. 5 at 86. Survived by husband Gilbert; son Jack. Malinow and Silverman 

Irving Weitzler died Aug. 6 at 100. Survived by wife Florence; son Jay (Linda); daughter Maxine (Glenn) Farber; 3 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren. Hillside

Harvey Wolf died Aug. 11 at 79. Survived by wife Sondra; sons Mitch (Laura), Randy (Gabby); 4 grandchildren; sister Elaine Levy; brothers Ron (Roberta), Larry. Mount Sinai

Rachel Yanofsky died Aug. 7 at 99.  Survived by son Julius (Matthew). Hillside

The Pearls’ bittersweet symphonies; Who shall die; An evangelical Yom Kippur

The Pearls’ bittersweet symphonies
Dear Friends and Family of Daniel Pearl, I wanted to say, how touched and inspired I am by Daniel Pearl and his family: Judea, Ruth and Maryanne (“Bittersweet Symphonies,” Sept. 29). His legacy will live on and be a shining light to the world.
Veronica Herrera
Grand Junction, Colo.

And the dove called
Your Yom Kippur issue had many great articles, but the one that moved me to tears was Anne Brener’s beautiful description of going back to her flooded hometown to be of service, alongside her poem urging all of us to keep our hearts open to form circles of witness and consolation wherever we might be (“…And the Dove Called,” Sept. 29). She is a national treasure and I hope if anyone didn’t get a chance to read her poem/prayer “Unatana Tokef,” please go back to read it and carry it with you each year. It is one of the finest expressions of Jewish strength and compassion I’ve ever seen.
Leonard Felder
West Los Angeles

Silent synagogues

I have been a member of a conservative synagogue all my life. In the mid-’60s, I lived in the Midwest and was the president of my USY chapter. In my community, my rabbi was the first clergyman to speak against the Vietnam War. In fact, the rabbinate took a lead role in protesting that horrible conflict.
Now I live in the San Fernando Valley. At our High Holiday services this year we heard words about anti-Semitism in the world and genocide in Darfur but, unfortunately, the white elephant in the room was entirely ignored. I believe the white elephant is being ignored as a conscious choice.
The moral issues of our time are not only our country’s continuous presence in Iraq but issues emanating from that conflict.
For the most part, synagogues throughout the country (and their leadership) have been silent on these monumental issues.
Why? This disappoints me greatly. If my religion does not speak up now then I question its value altogether.
Martin H. Kodish
Woodland Hills
Who shall die?
I can’t read those Sunday L.A. Times military obits without choking up (“And Who Shall Die,” Sept 22). One a few months ago about a good-natured, gentle 19-year-old kid from Huntington Beach who loved to surf Trestles and Swamis with his high school pals stuck with me. Every time I drive down Highway 1 past Swamis in Encinitas and look out at all the wet suited surfers I think “He should still be surfing, not dead in an unjustified war.”
If even one more person starts reading those obits because of your column, you’ll have done a major mitzvah.

Sharon Rosen Leib
Solana Beach

An evangelical Yom Kippur
I write to clarify a quote from last week’s article on the Rev. Kevin Dieckilman (“Pastor Stages Yom Kippur Service for Evangelicals,” Sept. 29). I find Dieckilman’s use of Jewish rituals and symbols on Yom Kippur historically significant insofar as he is not seeking to convert Jews. That would indeed be a novelty. If in fact the goal is conversion, then I fear that we are witnessing an old and unfortunate supersessionist tack.
David N. Myers
UCLA Center for Jewish Studies

RJC ads
Unlike many readers of The Jewish Journal I am pleased to see the ads from the Republican Jewish Coalition. It’s high time we Jews aligned ourselves with the party that is actively fighting Islamic extremism and correctly supports Israel’s right to defend itself.
I can’t help wondering whether those opposed to the ads have bothered to take inventory of the company they keep. More often than not, those against American foreign policy are Pro-Palestinian, left-leaning apologists for Islamo-Fascism.The charge that Republicans are fear-mongering or trading off imagined threats is beyond the pale. Would these same charges be leveled against the Israeli government? Are their fears not justified? Is the terror they face not real?
It’s more than a little disappointing that two generations removed fromthe Holocaust there remains an alarming number of Jews who do not recognize the enemy and who will not fight the enemy.
I am not one of them.
Rich Siegel
Culver City

Left-wing intolerance and personal attacks continue to characterize the anti-Republicans. They throw mud, and then complain about dirty politics.
David Winick
San Diego

The level of hysteria and irrationality expressed in the letters criticizing the recent ads sponsored by Republican Jewish Coalition is really over the top.The ads are factual. The quotes from former President Carter are exactly that — verbatim quotes.
Whether or not the war in Iraq was a good idea or well-executed is no longer the issue — at this point in time, an anti-war, isolationist-motivated pullback from the Middle East would be disastrous for the United States and the state of Israel, which is exactly the direction that Democratic Party is headed and is why they tossed Lieberman out. Maybe the future of Israel or whether Iran is allowed to develop nuclear weapons is less important to some readers than other issues, such as abortion or school choice, but you can’t always get everything you want in politics. I know where my priorities are.
Richard A. Horvitz
Mayfield Heights, Ohio

So the Jewish left is upset that the RJC points out how Democrats have broken the bipartisan consensus in support of Israel. Well, they are all just following their leaders. Democratic party chair Howard Dean pronounced moral equivalence as our Middle East policy, and Bill and Hillary Clinton frequently hosted and even embraced Yasser Arafat and his wife.

The truth hurts, Democrats!

Nazi Hunter Wiesenthal Dies at 96

Simon Wiesenthal, a Holocaust-survivor-turned-Nazi hunter who always spoke of justice, not vengeance, is dead at 96.

Wiesenthal died in his sleep at his home in Vienna, his office announced Tuesday. Working with a small staff from his cramped three-room office, Wiesenthal sifted through tens of thousands of documents and followed countless leads, compiling archives that helped bring some 1,100 Nazi criminals to justice.

“Simon Wiesenthal was the conscience of the Holocaust,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. The center, named for Wiesenthal, came to embody the thrust of his work as a Jewish human rights organization dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust by fostering tolerance and understanding.

Officials at the center pledged this week to continue Wiesenthal’s work and also to maintain his legacy. Hier said he last spoke with Wiesenthal only two weeks ago. An exhibit on the Nazi hunter’s life has been set up at the center’s sister organization, the Museum of Tolerance, where a memorial service also is planned for next week.

Wiesenthal “was a hero who carried the torch of justice at a time when there was a paralysis of conscience over responsibility for the Holocaust,” said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League and himself a Holocaust survivor. “No Nazi war criminal, big or small, was able to rest peacefully because he never knew when Wiesenthal’s voice of moral outrage would find him…. He brought a measure of justice to the 6 million victims of the Nazi genocide,” Foxman said.

Wiesenthal devoted more than half a century to tracking escaped Nazi war criminals. He and his wife lost 89 members of their families in the Holocaust.

“When the Holocaust ended in 1945 and the whole world went home to forget, he alone remained behind to remember,” Hier said. “He became the permanent representative of the victims, determined to bring the perpetrators of the history’s greatest crime to justice. There was no press conference and no president or prime minister or world leader announced his appointment. He just took the job. It was a job no one else wanted.”

“Justice Not Vengeance,” which was the title of Wiesenthal’s autobiography, became his motto and guiding principle for a commitment he considered unending.

“Survival is a privilege which entails obligations,” he wrote in the 1990 autobiography. “I am forever asking myself what I can do for those who have not survived. The answer I have found for myself (and which need not necessarily be the answer for every survivor) is: I want to be their mouthpiece, I want to keep their memory alive, to make sure the dead live on in that memory.”

Wiesenthal was best known, perhaps, for his role in tracking down Adolf Eichmann, the Gestapo technocrat who had supervised the implementation of the “Final Solution.” Wiesenthal helped trace Eichmann to Argentina, where he was abducted by Israeli agents in 1960. Eichmann was tried in Israel in 1961, convicted of war crimes and hanged for his role in the slaughter of 6 million Jews.

Though Wiesenthal had begun gathering and preparing evidence on Nazi atrocities for the War Crimes Section of the U.S. Army immediately after World War II, it was the success in bringing Eichmann to justice that prompted him to open his Jewish Documentation Center in Vienna and devote his life to hunting war criminals.

Among other high-profile fugitives he helped find were Karl Silberbauer, the Gestapo officer who arrested Anne Frank, and Franz Stangl, the commandant of the Treblinka and Sobibor concentration camps in Poland, whom Wiesenthal helped locate in Brazil.

Over the decades he also spoke out loudly against neo-Nazism and racism.

“The only value of nearly five decades of my work is a warning to the murderers of tomorrow that they will never rest,” he said in 1994. His prominent public stand sparked death threats and hate mail. In 1982, neo-Nazis left a bomb on his doorstep.

Although he maintained his office and staff in Vienna, Wiesenthal recently created something of a stir when he said that his work hunting Nazis was over. That’s not the position of the Wiesenthal Center, which Simon Wiesenthal did not direct. The center is still aiding international efforts to track down any last Nazi-era war criminals who could still be brought to justice. This month, a Spanish police unit was searching for one of the most-wanted figures still at large. A Spanish national police spokesman said new evidence points to the possibility that Aribert Heim, 91, may be living undercover somewhere near the Mediterranean coastal city of Alicante.

The Wiesenthal Center ranks Heim as the No. 2 most wanted Nazi war criminal, after Alois Brunner, an aide to Eichmann. During World War II, Heim murdered hundreds of people, largely via lethal injection, at the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria.

But there’s no question that the job of tracking down living Nazi war criminals is timing out.

“I found the mass murderers I was looking for, and I have outlived all of them,” Wiesenthal said. “If there’s a few I didn’t look for, they are now too old and fragile to stand trial. My work is done,” he told an Austrian magazine.

Leaders around Los Angeles and world this week said that Wiesenthal’s work would have lasting, universal impact well beyond its value to Jews around the world.

“He never restricted the genocide numbers to 6 million and he always insisted that people remember that Jews were not the only ones who were exterminated,” said Rabbi Harold Schulweis of Valley Beth Shalom, who himself has worked to highlight Christians who rescued Jews in the Holocaust. Wiesenthal “felt it was important that people were accountable, that you simply don’t escape into the air and conceal your crimes and your obscenities.”

Though Wiesenthal’s zeal for justice was unflagging, Schulweis said, “he was not a man of vindictiveness. He was not vindictive.”

Schulweis said he had the honor of meeting Wiesenthal twice. In person, the man projected humility. He was “certainly not the Jewish Sherlock Holmes. There was something very modest. He was not concerned with solving any crimes to show how bright he was, but so that the killers of a dream should be brought to justice.”

California’s Austrian-born Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said that he and his wife “are deeply saddened at the passing of our great friend. Simon was a lion of a man, a survivor and a conqueror, a hero in every sense of the word. Simon turned the tables on the Nazi torturers and tormentors. Though he often seemed alone in its pursuit, he did not falter and he never wavered from his goal…. I will always be grateful that I knew one of the greatest men of our time.”

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II knighted Wiesenthal last year, one in a long series of international honors testifying to the power and importance of his often uphill and once solitary battle.

“The extraordinary thing about Simon Wiesenthal is how little help he had, and how few resources, just a long memory and tremendous determination,” said John Macgregor, Britain’s ambassador to Austria, on the occasion of the knighthood.

Announcing the award, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw praised Wiesenthal’s “untiring service to the Jewish communities in the U.K. and elsewhere by helping to right at least some of the awful wrongs of the Holocaust.”

“If there is one name which symbolizes this vital coming to terms with the past it is Simon Wiesenthal’s,” Straw said.

Lord Greville Janner, chairman of Britain’s Holocaust Educational Trust, said at the time that “no one in this world deserves it more than he.”

Wiesenthal was born on New Year’s Eve, 1908, in the town of Buczacz, now in Ukraine. He became an architect, married Cyla Mueller in 1936 and worked in an architectural office in Lvov.

After suffering under anti-Jewish purges following the nonaggression pact signed between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany in 1939, both Wiesenthal and his wife were separated during the war and each barely survived the Holocaust before reuniting. They remained a devoted couple until Cyla Wiesenthal’s death in November 2003. Indeed, part of Simon Wiesenthal’s life story was a love story.

“Everyone who knew them at 17 had no doubt that the tall, dark Simon Wiesenthal and small, fair Cyla Mueller — so obviously besotted with each other — would one day marry,” Alison Leslie Gold wrote in “Fiet’s Vase and Other Stories of Survival: Europe 1939-1945,” which was published in 2003.

In 1941, invading Germans forced the Wiesenthals and other Jews into a ghetto, Gold wrote. “In fall of 1941, they were abruptly separated — without time for a real parting — and forced onto separate trucks, he with men, she with women.”

Early in 1942, the Nazi hierarchy formally decided on the “Final Solution,” the regime’s decision to exterminate all Jews. Throughout occupied Europe the genocide machine was put into operation. In August 1942, Wiesenthal’s mother was sent to the Belzec death camp. By September, most of his and his wife’s relatives were dead.

The Wiesenthals were deported to a newly built concentration camp — Janwska, then later transferred to a forced-labor camp in the same city. Wiesenthal realized that the Germans were targeting women and children, so he made plans to get his wife out. In exchange for maps and plans needed to blow up railroad yards and junctions, Gold said, Wiesenthal was able to obtain forged papers for Cyla, who was given a new identity as a Polish woman. She moved to Lublin and later to Warsaw.

She lived under the name Irena Kowalska in Warsaw for two years and later worked in Germany’s Rhineland region as a forced laborer without her true identity being discovered. Her blond hair helped her pass as a non-Jewish Pole.

The British liberated her from a labor camp in Solingen, Germany, in April 1945.

Wiesenthal escaped from the Ostbahn camp in October 1943, just before the Germans began liquidating all the inmates. In June 1944, he was recaptured and sent back to Janwska where he would almost certainly have been killed had the German eastern front not collapsed under the advancing Red Army. Knowing they would be sent into combat if they had no prisoners to justify their rear-echelon assignment, the SS guards at Janwska decided to keep the few remaining inmates alive. With 34 prisoners out of an original 149,000, the 200 guards joined the general retreat westward, picking up the entire population of the village of Chelmiec along the way to adjust the prisoner-guard ratio.

Few of the prisoners survived the westward trek through Plaszow, Gross-Rosen and Buchenwald, which ended at Mauthausen in upper Austria. Weighing less than 100 pounds and lying helplessly in a barracks where the stench was so strong that even hardboiled SS guards would not enter, Wiesenthal was barely alive when Mauthausen was liberated by an American armored unit on May 5, 1945.

By then, Simon and Cyla each had been told by friends that the other was dead.

“I had no hope my wife was alive,” Wiesenthal told Gold. “When I thought of her, I thought of her body lying under a heap of rubble and I wondered whether they had found the bodies and buried her.”

It was at that point that Wiesenthal began gathering information about Nazi war crimes. Through a series of coincidences, the couple was reunited in Linz, Austria. Both called the reunion a miracle.

The Wiesenthals settled in Vienna and had a daughter, Pauline, in 1946.

Wiesenthal’s Jewish Documentation Center in Vienna was a nondescript, sparsely furnished three-room office with a staff of four, including Wiesenthal. Contrary to popular belief and to some dramatic films based loosely on his life, Wiesenthal did not usually track down Nazi fugitives himself. His chief task was gathering and analyzing information. In that work he was aided by a vast, informal, international network of friends, colleagues and sympathizers, including German World War II veterans, appalled by the horrors they’d witnessed. He even received tips from former Nazis with grudges against other former Nazis. A special branch of his Vienna office documents the activities of right-wing groups, neo-Nazis and similar organizations.

Wiesenthal was never a man who looked only at the past. He always perceived his mission as larger than helping Jews and the victims of yesterday.

“For your benefit, learn from our tragedy,” he said. “It is not a written law that the next victims must be Jews. It can also be other people. We saw it begin in Germany with Jews, but people from more than 20 other nations were also murdered. When I started this work, I said to myself, ‘I will look for the murderers of all the victims, not only the Jewish victims. I will fight for justice.'”

He once told the Jerusalem Post: “The only value of nearly five decades of my work is a warning to the murderers of tomorrow, that they will never rest.”

Correspondent David Finnigan, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and the Wiesenthal Center contributed to this article.


Not in Vain

The sanctuary of B’nai David-Judea Congregation in the Pico-Robertson area was once a spacious movie theater. Last Wednesday, April 25, it was filled to the nosebleed rows with more than 500 junior-high and high-school students from Yeshiva University of Los Angeles Boys and Girls Schools, Maimonides Academy, West Valley Hebrew Day School, Hillel Harkham Academy and Emek Hebrew Academy. Looming large onstage were photos of two teenagers with L.A. connections who were murdered by Palestinian terrorists: 14-year-old Yael Botwin, killed in a 1997 terrorist bombing in Jerusalem, and 19-year-old Yitzhak Weinstock, grandson of Rabbi Simon Dolgin, who for three decades served as spiritual leader of Beth Jacob Congregation in Beverly Hills. Weinstock was one of the victims of a 1993 drive-by shooting on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

"We who are fortunate enough to remain alive have an obligation to thank, to wander, to search in our hearts for what meaning there is when young men and women die before their time," Rabbi David Landesman, principal of YULA’s boys’ school, said from the bima.

What distinguished this particular assembly was its organizer and its agenda. YULA 11th-grader Ayelet Fischer organized the remembrance ceremony, and she was not content to let the Yom HaZikaron observance begin and end with this assembly. The 17-year-old has coordinated a campaign to engage students in a petition-signing and letter-writing campaign directed at Attorney General John Ashcroft and to press government officials to take a more active role in apprehending Palestinian terrorists, such as those who murdered Botwin and Weinstock. While the U.S. government, through its Rewards for Justice Program, routinely offers rewards for information leading to the arrest of terrorists who kill Americans abroad, no such incentive has been offered for Palestinian killers.

What makes matters especially heart-wrenching for Weinstock’s family is that Israeli authorities have identified and located the assassins. The hit was ordered by Mohammed Dief, a senior Hamas official and a crony of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat, Israeli offiicals determined. (Arafat has ignored repeated requests to turn over Dief and other terrorists to Israel.)

Fischer did not know Weinstock or Botwin personally, but, as she told her young audience at last week’s assembly, the two victims were teenagers "just like you and me, with families who loved them."

On Sept. 4, 1997, Jess Dolgin, son of Rabbi Dolgin, skipped lunch with friends to catch up on work. That’s when he heard a "tremendous explosion" outside his office on Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem, he said.

"It was terrifying," Dolgin recalled. "The sky was dark, the eerie silence, the smell of smoke, the wounded…." Dolgin remembers thinking that "suddenly, for a family somewhere in Israel, that day was no longer just an ordinary day." He later learned that this blast had claimed Botwin.

For Dolgin, the bombing resonated deeply, reminding him of Dec. 1, 1993, when his nephew, Yitzhak Weinstock, and another young man died after being fired upon by Palestinian terrorists while fixing a broken-down car.

It disturbed Fischer that the killers are not listed on the Rewards for Justice Program. "It’s not only an injustice, it’s an insult to the families," she said.

Fischer is not the first in her family to focus on the killing of Weinstock and Botwin. Her father, Rabbi Dov Fischer, is a longtime supporter of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA). Fischer’s older sisters, Kineret, 19, and Yael, 20, also have set out to rectify the Rewards for Justice Program’s omission. Now Fischer, with ZOA’s support, is trying to reach her peers. Does the failure of previous attempts discourage her?

"It only makes me more persistent," said Fischer.

Dolgin, who now lives in Los Angeles and heads an Internet company, commended Fischer’s determination. "It’s very important to make children aware, and to make children take some sort of affirmative action," he said. On behalf of his family, Dolgin added, "Anything showing that Yitzhak’s death is not in vain serves a purpose to recognize the tragedy of what goes on in Israel."

Whether or not the terrorists in these two cases are added to the Rewards for Justice Program, Fischer would like to see her Yom HaZikaron campaign continue nationally each year.

"For many kids my age, there’s TV and AOL, and that’s about it," Fischer said. "It’s important to reach teenagers and let them know that you can’t see this and not do something about it. The purpose of the program is to show that you can make a difference."

To contact Attorney General John Ashcroft about this issue, write to John Ashcroft, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. 20530 or fax (202) 305-9687; or write to "Rewards for Justice" spokesman Andy Laine, P.O. Box 96781, Washington, D.C. 20090-6781 or e-mail