Bus hate youth tours the Sydney Jewish Museum

January 21, 2015 by J-Wire News Service
Read on for article

A youth who was a member of a group who boarded a bus transporting Jewish schoolchildren and verbally abused them has toured the Holocaust section of the Sydney Jewish Museum.

Vic Alhadeff

Vic Alhadeff

The student was guided through the Sydney Jewish Museum by museum education officer Marie Bonardelli and accompanied by his parents, social worker Faith Agugu and NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff.

Alhadeff commented: “It was a positive educational experience for the student. He was attentive throughout and willing to learn and engage and to better understand that when people make racist and antisemitic comments, how wrong and hurtful that is. He was also very moved to meet Holocaust survivor Kuba Enoch and to hear his remarkable story of survival. One hopes that this experience, and his upcoming participation in the Board of Deputies’ schools harmony program Respect, Understanding, Acceptance, will have the appropriate positive impact.”

Alhadeff added that “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 get to hear directly from victims about the hurt they have caused. It delivered a measure of restorative justice and will hopefully have the effect of helping the student turn his life around.”

The incident happened in August last year on a bus carrying schoolchildren aged 5-12 from Moriah College, Mt Sinai College and Emanuel School. The youths threatened to slit the children’s throats and yelled at them antisemitic rants including  “Heil Hitler”, “Kill Jews” and “Free Palestine.”


7 Responses to “Bus hate youth tours the Sydney Jewish Museum”
  1. Di Gluckstern says:

    I do not excuse the behavior of the youth and he well may have appeared contrite as he was escorted through the Jewish Museum by five adults. However there is an element of humiliation in this exercise and young people hate to be humiliated in front of adults. I may be wrong but I think this type of activity could result in this youth being antisemitic for the rest of his life, I hope not.

  2. Lisa Rea says:

    We were encouraged to read this story. Restorative justice that is victims-centered is increasingly being used around the globe for all types of crimes and offenses. It certainly should be used in cases of hate crime–whether with juveniles or adult. As much as possible the offender should be held directly accountable for his offense so that he understands how he injured another human being (a victim) but also so that crime victims, and communities, can experience a measure of healing. In this incident, steps were taken to apply restorative justice.

    Lisa Rea, President
    Restorative Justice International (RJI)

  3. Liat Nagar says:

    You’re right,Leon. I was too quick off the mark with that one. I stand corrected. Of course, the word ‘minor’ could be read to mean less significant even with ‘offenders’ following it, English being as it is, but in this case it’s meant as you define it.

  4. Liat Nagar says:

    I don’t agree with Vic Alhadeff that this was a ‘minor offence’. I certainly agree that young offenders should be given every chance to realise their mistakes and turn their lives around, however, in this case the enormity of the offence should be brought to bear. The young person involved was not just expressing an opinion, he was terrorising and threatening others with that opinion, in a confined space from which the victims could not escape. It’s not enough to have one tour of the Jewish Museum, and be molly-coddled through that. As I posted on an earlier article, he needs ongoing education of Jewish history, ethics and traditions that would encompass a few months, say six (and his family as well).
    It is incomprehensible to me that the others involved in this walked away from it, with no ramifications whatsoever. They should also be involved in an education programme. Is it possible to find out why they were let-off so completely?

    • Leon Poddebsky says:

      Liat, Vic said it was an act perpetrated by a minor offender, that is, an offender who is too young to be subject to the same judicial treatment as an adult offender.

  5. auryt jacobson says:

    What a great initiative. But why only 1 of them, what about the others?

  6. Rachel Sabarit says:

    It’ll be interesting to know the long term impact – in my view, impossible to know. He’s still going to undergo a lot of other influences in life, incl radical left if he ends up at university. Personally I don’t hold out a lot of hope of transformation.

Speak Your Mind

Comments received without a full name will not be considered
Email addresses are NEVER published! All comments are moderated. J-Wire will publish considered comments by people who provide a real name and email address. Comments that are abusive, rude, defamatory or which contain offensive language will not be published

Got something to say about this?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.