Mother Dedicates Children's Museum in Memory of Slain Son
CBS 2 New York 12-07-04
NEW YORK (AP) More than 10 years after her son was gunned down on the
Brooklyn Bridge, Devorah Halberstam celebrated the grand opening of the Jewish Children's Museum today with a dedication to the memory of her slain child.
Halberstam called the museum ``the answer to terrorism.'' The ribbon-cutting, timed to coincide with the first night of Hannukah, was created to memorialize Ari Halberstam, a 16 year-old who was shot and killed in 1994 when a Muslim gunman opened fire on
a van of Hasidic students crossing the Brooklyn Bridge.
One of the musuem's aims is to promote peace and understanding among children of all backgrounds. It is located in Crown Heights, the neighborhood where rioting erupted in 1991 after 7-year-old Gavin Cato, who was black, was struck and killed by an ultra-Orthodox Jewish driver. Three hours later, a group of angry blacks shouting
``Get the Jew!'' stabbed Jewish scholar Yankel Rosenbaum, who later died.
The museum's opening was attended by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Mayor
Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor Rudolph Guliani and other elected officials and
About 100 children played in the museum, which includes a 12-foot spinning top, called a dreidel, ``matzoh balls'' the size of volleyballs, and an indoor minature golf
course with lessons on ``major Jewish life events.''
Ten-year-old Tafari King of Brooklyn said ``it seems more fun than a regular
The museum aims to speak to children on their own terms. Instead of a standard
exhibit explaining kosher food, the museum has a model kosher grocery store, where children can pretend to shop for food. A game show room features a trivia game called
The building, the result of 10 years of planning and construction, cost more than $30(M) million dollars and features computer labs, a library, a movie theater, more than 80 different activities, and a community center.