David Diego Ladowski
Janis Ruth Coulter
Its 10 years since the barbaric bombing of the Hebrew University cafeteria that took the lives of 9 innocents, and injured nearly 100. Five Americans were murdered, including UC Berkeley's own Marla Bennett. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. (Yes, the same Hamas that was “democratically elected” and now governs Gaza). Yesterday, Hebrew University marked the 10th anniversary of fatal bombing.
The U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Daniel Shapiro, spoke of the five Americans who were killed “The connections between the American and Israeli people built by Marla, Ben, Janis, David, and Dina, this closeness could not and cannot be taken away. In fact, a decade has passed and the connections we feel for each other are only stronger.”
Hebrew University President Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson said, "A decade has passed since the attack, and it is not only a time to mourn, but also a time to reflect upon the mission entrusted to us. We are entrusted with the development of knowledge that knows no shade of skin or religion. And so we say to the families, we shall endure. If depraved terrorists wish to disrupt the things upon which all human beings base their lives, they will not succeed."
To this day, I'd be willing to venture that more people in Berkeley know the name of Rachel Corrie, than of Marla Bennett. Lets change that. Lets keep the legacy of Marla Bennett alive with a donation to the Marla Bennett Jewish Learning Fellowship at UC Berkeley Hillel.
As summer unfolds, our thoughts turn to Marla Bennett’s life and untimely death. This July 31st will mark 10 years since Marla died, but we know you’ll agree that her memory lives on in each of us. Marla was a special person who deeply touched the lives of everyone she came in contact with. Knowing her helped shape who each of us is today. For that, and so much more, we are forever grateful.
Marla was a gifted student as well as a natural teacher. This special combination is what made her studies in Israel all the more compelling for her. We are comforted to know that Marla’s desire to learn and to teach continues to be a light in the world through the Marla Bennett Memorial fund established in her honor at Berkeley Hillel. Last year the fund raised more than $10,000 thanks to the incredible generosity of you and others like you. These funds enabled Teddy Ulansey, last year’s Fellow to spend a life-changing summer at Pardes in Israel. If you weren’t able to join us for Teddy’s Day of Learning at Hillel this past spring, we hope you’ll take the time to read her reflections of living in Israel and learning in Marla’s memory.
This summer Ben Brint, the 2012-2013 Marla Bennett Memorial Fund Award recipient, is learning at Pardes and continuing to honor Marla’s memory through study. We are already looking forward to the insights and perspectives he will gain and bring back to us from his time at Pardes at his Day of Learning scheduled for spring ‘13.
Our goal into the future remains the same: each year we hope to send at least one new Marla Bennett Memorial fellow to Israel to study in her memory. We are once again asking for your help to make this dream a reality. If each donor can make a 10% increase we will easily match and exceed the total raised last year, and secure the ability to send a fellow to Israel in the summer of 2013.
You can make a donation in the enclosed envelope, or online by visiting the Berkeley Hillel website at www.berkeleyhillel.org/donate/ and in the comment field write Marla Bennett Fellowship. Please give as generously as you can.
Thank you for your partnership in this meaningful endeavor.
Alana (Hoffman) Rotter
Lesley (Said) Matsa
Walid Anajas, one of the terrorists involved with orchestrating the attack on Hebrew University was one of 1,027 criminals freed by Israel in exchange for the release of Gilad Shalit. He was also involved in the 2002 bombings at Jerusalem's Café Moment which killed 11, and the Sheffield Club attack in Rishon Letzion that killed 16