Friday, March 10, 2006

Scotty "Chezi" Goldberg and Bus 19's Peaceful Future At Jewish Camp in Maryland

From: The Awareness Center, Inc.'s Daily Newsletter

Yechezkel Chezi "Scotty" Goldberg
was murdered on January 29, 2004 during a terrorist attack on the #19 bus in Jerusalem, Israel.

Chezi dedicated his life to helping teens at risk (survivors of childhood emotional, physical and sexual abuse). He was a valued resource of The Awareness Center, and will truly be missed.

FYI: The Chezi Goldberg Memorial Fund, has been set up for the Goldberg family.

Bus 19's Peaceful Future At Jewish Camp
Adam Stone
Baltimore Jewish Times - MARCH 10, 2006

For a while it was a monument, a stunning silent tribute to the pain of war and the price of peace. Then they hauled it to the junkyard iterally.

Destroyed in a terror attack, the remains of Egged Bus No. 19 visited Baltimore two years ago as part of a nationwide tour meant to wake up Americans to the reality of violence in the Middle East. With the tour over and no more stops scheduled, the bus ended up in a Frederick junkyard, slated for oblivion.

Now it's to be given a new lease on life, as a monumental work of art at Camp Shoresh in Frederick County.

"I'm not the prime minister of Israel, I don't know the peace solutions and what will work or won't work," said camp director Rabbi David Finkelstein. "What I know is that Jewish children need positive Jewish experiences and that this is a perfect teaching object to talk about the need for peace and the pursuit of peace."

Egged Bus No. 19, a Jerusalem bus, was destroyed by a suicide bomber in January 2004. Eleven Israelis were killed and more than 50 people were injured.

Not long after, an evangelical group called Christians For Israel organized nationwide visits for the bus, which was hauled around on a flatbed truck. Media accounts at the time described the bus as having a cathartic effect, drawing out people's energies and emotions in the face of so tangible an artifact of terror.

"It is one of the starkest testimonies one can imagine to the havoc and suffering caused by terrorism," said Jay Bernstein, a local lawyer and "Shalom USA" radio host who helped bring the bus to Baltimore. "We read about these events all the time and see them on television, but to actually see the bus has a tremendous impact."

Having opened hearts around the country, the bus eventually found its way to Reliable Junk, where owner Brian Sclar recognized it as something more than just another hunk of scrap steel. He brought it to the attention of Rabbi Morris Kosman, spiritual leader of Beth Sholom Congregation in Frederick.
Rabbi Kosman in turn tracked down Rabbi Finkelstein, whose sprawling camp facility seemed a likely end-of-the-line for this unusual artifact.

The camp director was reticent at first. "My first thought was that this was so negative," he said. "We are all about positive Judaism here. We don't tell the kids: Hitler killed you and Eichmann burned you, now come and be more Jewish."

As he thought it over, though, Rabbi Finkelstein came to see things in a different light. Now the bus is slated to be broken down, its twisted frame cut apart to serve as material for local artists. Rabbi Finkelstein said he will seek out sculptors willing to forge a monument to peace from this former icon of violence.

The plan calls for the creation of a memorial garden to be designed around these sculptures.

"There may be a lot of hate in the world, but over here at Shoresh we are sending out peace," Rabbi Finkelstein said. "That is what Judaism is: We are a nation of peace lovers."


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