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August 01, 2003 - Image 17

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-08-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Tragic Anniversary

Uncertain Future

A year after deadly bombing, Hebrew U. is determined to move on.

Bais Menachem school closes, while
Beis Chaya Mushkas fate is unclear.

fear of danger, and fear that they will be held
DIANA LIEBERMAN
responsible," said Shimon Lipsky, Rothberg's vice
Staff Writer
provost. "Some schools have even put stumbling
Jerusalem
blocks in front of students who still wanted to
s the beginning of the school year draws
come.
nside the cafeteria next to Hebrew
near, one Lubavitch-run school will not
University's Frank Sinatra Building, Arab and
With the recent abatement in the Palestinian
open its doors, while another's fate is
intifada (uprising), there has been a 10 percent rise
Jewish students gather for lunch. Though
undecided.
in enrollment for Rothberg's upcoming summer
they sit at separate tables, they chat and laugh
Bais Menachem Academy, an elementary school for
together, seemingly carefree.
Hebrew language classes. The school expects the rise boys, will not offer classes this year. The school began
to be reflected in enrollment for the fall semester as
The blown-out windows have been repaired, the
as an offshoot of the Lubavitch Ganeinu ("Our
well.
blackened walls repainted. Almost no trace can be
Garden") preschool. While Ganeinu will continue,
seen of the bomb that killed nine — including five
Lipsky said there will be a big push to attract
when its male students are ready for elementary
Americans — and injured more than 80 at the uni-
North American students for the spring 2004 semes- school, they will have to go elsewhere than Bais
ter.
versity last July 31.
Menachem.
Yet directly in front of the cafeteria
"We've always had small classes," said Rabbi Chaim
grows an unusual-looking tree: Its
Bergstein of Bais Chabad of Farmington Hills, who
leaves are hearty and vibrant but its
founded Bais Menachem in September 1995.
trunk is tilted and its roots jet out of
"But, as the years went by, it became too expensive
the ground at various angles.
to run the school. Classes were becom-
"We have planted a living tree" as a
ing too small and unwieldy," he said.
memorial for the bombing victims,
"We will have to see if, in this eco-
"which is symbolic," said Hebrew
nomic climate, it would be best to
University President Menachem
reorganize. At this point, we would
Magidor. "Our roots were shaken but,
V61,,
,u;24t1 p ,p.
have to make commitments to teachers
just like the tree, we keep growing and
and parents, and we were not able to
going forward."
do this for the coming year."
Bergstein
On July 31 at 1:30 p.m., exactly a
Bais Menachem, which most recent-
year after the bombing, Magidor,
ly held classes at Congregation Beth
Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupoliansky,
Shalom in Oak Park, had an enrollment of about 45
other university officials and family
students, Rabbi Bergstein said. Although the school
and friends of the victims paused for a
graduated 15 eighth-graders in June, there was no
moment at a memorial ceremony. The
seventh-grade class.
Inna Zusman, 22, wheelchair-bound since being badly injured in
ceremony included songs, poetry and
"It would be a real loss if Bais Menachem didn't
last year's Hebrew University bomb attack, sits in her apartment.
speeches in memory of the tragedy —
survive," said Paul Levine, director of marketing and
and continued hopes for real peace.
student development at the Michigan Jewish
Other ceremonies were held across the
Institute. MJI, an accredited four-year college special-
United States, including in New York,
izing in business skills, also is sponsored by the
Boston, Washington and Los Angeles.
"There really is a feeling that we have turned the
Lubavitch movement.
corner and that things are getting better," he said.
Bais Menachem filled a unique niche in the corn-
"We're hoping that students will again say that Israel munity, Levine said. "It was a Lubavitch school, but
Toward The Future
and Jerusalem is a place that they would like to
it had a stronger emphasis on the secular side than
come to."
Despite the challenges it has faced over the past year
some others."
— mourning, replacing lost faculty, increasing secu-
Chabad, a part of the Orthodox movement, was
rity and drawing new students — Hebrew
founded in the Belarussian town of Lubavitch.
A Changed Community
University is pushing forward.
The Lubavitch girls school Beis Chaya Mushka,
As much as the university pushes forward, however, which held its first 12th-grade graduation in 1998, is
"It's a crazy attempt in this difficult time,"
its roots have been shaken permanently.
Magidor said. "We're dealing with research and
facing a schism on its board of directors, Rabbi
major university issues while there is the feeling we
Inna Zusman, 22, one of 80 people injured in the Bergstein said. It is unclear whether or not the Oak
bombing, woke up from a coma a month later,
are in a war zone. But we can overcome such terrible
Park-based school will open this fall.
unable to breathe or walk on her own.
shock and still go on producing world-class educa-
"There are differences in opinion about the future of
tion and research."
"The first month and a half, I was just working on the school," Rabbi Bergstein said. "There are people who
breathing without a machine," she said.
Magidor reported an increase in overall student
want it to be a local school, and there are others who
applications this past year.
Six months after that, she realized she would have want it to continue to admit out-of-town students."
to spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair.
However, the university's Rothberg International
With a student body of about 48, Mushka's 2002
Zusman said she harbors anger toward Arabs, and graduating class comprised 22 young women. Before
School is still suffering. Before the bombing, it aver-
that tighter security at the university could have pre- it was founded in 1992, most local Lubavitch girls
aged 500 to 600 undergraduate overseas students
vented the attack.
each year. Last year, it attracted fewer than 100.
sought education out of state.
"Many schools in North America have issued a
Chaya Mushka Principal Rabbi David Kagan was
ban for their students to come here because of the
HEBREW on page 18
not available for comment. 111

JONATHAN UDREN
Jewish Telegraphic Agency

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71

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8/ 1
2003

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