School bus terror attack: youth to tour Holocaust museum

January 16, 2015 by J-Wire Staff
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  • A youth who was a member of a group which boarded and terrorised Jewish schoolchildren on a Sydney bus in August last year will be taken on a special tour of the Sydney Jewish Museum on Monday.
    Typical Sydney school bus...not the one involved

    Typical Sydney school bus…not the one involved

    The children on the bus were aged between 5 and 12 and were pupils from Mt Sinai College, Emanuel School and Moriah College. Five drunken youths boarded the bus and intimidated the children with threats to slit their throats and chanting “Kill Jews”, “Heil Hitler” and “Free Palestine”.

    Speaking of the youth who is to be guided around the Sydney Jewish Museum, CEO of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Vic Alhadeff told J-Wire: “The Juvenile Justice Conference opened with the offender articulating what had occurred, including his own role, followed by questions put to him by the child and her parents. NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic  Alhadeff, representing the victims with the exception of a 12-year-old girl who was present, then elaborated on the impact of the offender’s actions, both on the children who were on the bus and on the Jewish community.

    All present were then invited to voice their thoughts and to question the offender. After an hour-long discussion, Alhadeff was asked to suggest a course of action, which he did in consultation with the victim’s family.

    The suggested outcomes – which were formally accepted and therefore legally binding – comprised a guided two-hour of the Sydney Jewish Museum and participation in the Board of Deputies’ “Respect, Understanding, Acceptance” school harmony program.

    In addition, it was recommended that the offender and his family attend a family Sabbath dinner and read Primo Levi’s “If This Is A Man” and Elie Wiesel’s “Night”.

    “The Juvenile Justice Conference is a constructive way of dealing with minor offenders as they are confronted by those who have been impacted by their behaviour and they hear directly from the victims about the hurt they have caused,” Alhadeff told J Wire. “The process provided a measure of closure to the young girl who was present and gave her an opportunity to question the offender and hear him express remorse for his actions. It delivered a measure of restorative justice and will hopefully have the effect of helping him turn his life around.”

    The museum’s education officer Marie Bonardelli told The Australian: “I am going to have a conversation with him about what he trying to take away with him from this experience. From there we can speak of the Holocaust and meet a Holocaust survivor.”

    Alhadeff will accompany the youth on the tour.