CNN 12-08-04

The mother of a Hasidic student gunned down on the Brooklyn Bridge dedicated a museum Tuesday to the memory of her slain son, calling the Jewish Children's Museum "the answer to
terrorism." "Our response to those who would destroy civilization as we know it is this museum," Devorah Halberstam said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
The event, timed to coincide with the first night of Hannukah, was created in
memory of Ari Halberstam, a 16-year-old
who was fatally shot in 1994 when a
Muslim gunman opened fire on a van of
Hasidic students crossing the Brooklyn
One of the museum's aims is to promote
peace and understanding among children
of all backgrounds, Halberstam said. It is located in Crown Heights, a
neighborhood where rioting erupted in
August 1991 after deadly clashes
between Jews and blacks.
"This may be a building named in her son's memory, but the real work honoring him will be the day-to-day contact that this museum provides to all children everywhere,"
Clinton said.
Rabbi Yerachmiel Benjaminson, the museum's executive director, said its message
of peace and understanding would counter hatred and anti-Semitism.
"When children find out about other cultures, it brings peace and harmony to this world," Benjaminson said. "It all starts with the kids."
Jewish youngsters look at the picture
wall at the Jewish Children's Museum
before its grand opening in New York.

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