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October 17, 2003     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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October 17, 2003
 

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PAGE 36 HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH OCTOBER 17 Support during By Rachel Pomerance on to complete a Jewish circle begun by her family. JERUSALEM (JTA) -- LifeFifty years earlier, under boiled down to one egg for Nazi occupation, herparents Sarah Pechanac. and grandfather hid Jews in Shortly after war erupted their Sarajevo home, which in Sarajevoin theearly 1990s, was situated across from Ge- her family's home was stapo headquarters inYugo- wrecked in a bombing that slavia. forced them into communal Through their connec- quarters underground, tions, the well-to-do family Hope came in the form of a fabricated Christian identifi- singleegg--apieceofchar- cation documents for Jews ity dispensed from Jewish to flee to Italyand Palestine. communities to the general Pechanac's grandfather public in Bosnia. was jailed for aiding Jews. He Pechanac, who was born a eventually was shipped to a Muslim, describes the jubi- concentration camp, and lation she felt asking her never heard from again. daughter, then 9, how she In the summer of 1985, wouldlike the egg prepared. Israel's Yad Vashem Holo- At the end of the 20th cen- caust Memorial invited tury, in the middle of Eu- Pechanac's mother, Zejneba rope, their biggest decision Harbaja, to plant a tree hon- was "how to eat one egg," she oring her family as "Righ- muses, teous Gentiles." Nearly a de- The egg symbolizes the life cade later, in the thick of the story of Pechanac, who went Bosnian conflict, Israel took .n helps woman come to Israel, Pechanac and [ler family on Like most Bosnians, keep S'habbat and kashrut," the last convoy of Jews res- Pechanac's family was secu- and send my daughter to a cued from the city through a lar, and they had many Jew- Jewish school, can I become joint project of the North ish friends. Jewish? American Jewish federation Soon after she arrived in "Welcome, you are a system's overseas beneficia- Israel, she decided to con- daughter of Israel," the rab- ries, the Jewish Agency for vert. bis answered, she says. Israel and the American Jew- "It's a love story," she says. Pechanac changed her ish Joint Distribution Corn- "I want all my life to be a name from Aida to Sarah-- mittee. Jew" and "I feel all my life she likes to go by "Sarah of Pechanac remembers that that I am a Jew." Fittingly, Jerusalem" -- and her the convoy-- 300 people on Pechanac now works at Yad daughter's name to Esther. sixbuses--passed24check- Vashem as an archives man- At 46, her husband, points from Sarajevo to ager at the museum. Vladimir, was circumcised Makarska, a small Croatian Pechanac imbibed Israel's and changed his name to town on the Adriatic Sea. At Jewish culture as families Moshe. each stop, she says Jewish welcomed her to their The couple remarried in a Agency and JDC leaders paid Shabbat dinner tables, traditional Jewish ceremony, cash to facilitate their pas- She jumped into the and her daughter, nowa20- sage. crowds shopping at year-old officer in the Israel "Here you can see where Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda Defense Forces, had a Bat money goes," she says, prais- market, picking over spices Mitzvah. ing the work of the federa- and sweets, figs and flowers The death of Pechanac's tion system -- "to buy hu- for Shabbat. mother--andherdaughter's manbeingsandtheirfuture." And she labored with rab- reaction to it -- further fu- After continuing on to bis. Approval came one year eled her Jewish mission. Budapest, the group flew to after her immigration when, Pechanac'sdaughter, then Tel Aviv. exasperated, she asked, "If I 11, urged the family to leave Israel in search of Jews could aid. Pechanac's daughter plains that she wants tinue her grandmothe legacy of helping Jews. Th, around the world who help, so we should and give them hel JTA. In response, whose sister is Muslim brother is Christian, toured North American ish federations durin nine years, raising funds the relief of Jews in "With my story, I motivate people to to help our brothers and ters all around the she says. JTA staff Pomerance recently Kiev and lsrael on a trip J was partially the Jewish Jewish group slams exhibit that glorifies female suicide By Jean Cohen suicide bombings is allowed market aisle. Next to her are to proceed in Athens. knitted women's vests with ATHENS (JTA)--AJewish An embroidery montage in multiple outside pockets, group is threatening to call anexhibit called"BodyMilk," similar to those worn by Pal- foraboycottofthe2004Olym- scheduled to open Oct. 20, estinian suicide bombers. pics if an art exhibition that shows a pregnant woman The image of tranquility allegedly glorifies Palestinian pushing a cart down a super- and peace ends in the second For more than 25 years, thousands of Central Florida families have depended on HERITAGE for Jewish-oriented news, national and international reporting; and commentary on events that affect us all - reporting that is not available in the general press. BE ONE OF THE INFORMED SUBSCRIBE TODAY! I I I I I I I I MAIL YES! I want to be informed. Start my subscription at once. Please: enter 121 extend my subscription for: year at $34.95 52 issues years at $64.95 104 issues year out-of-state at $41.95 or I 12 years out-of-state at $74.95 SUBSCRIPTION TO: Name I I I I I I I I | Address I I | City/State/Zip | Phone | expiration date I i I I i i I I I I I I I i. Fill out coupon and mail, with check or credit card information to: HERITAGE Florida Jewish News P.O. Box 300742 Fern Park, FL 32730 (407) 834-8787 I lililii n illlllllll If different from above, fill in your: I I Name I Address I City/State/Z~ i Phone | l Illlll III Illll I"m part of the montage: A blown- tween the woman and the su- up supermarket is shown, permarket, eitherduringtur- with shelves, products and bulent times or good times," human body parts jumbled he said. "What is it that ulti- together, mately makes her feel plea- "Body Milk" was created by sure in the specific place?" Alexandros Psychoulis, an ar- Psychoulis credits his wife chitecture professor at the with the idea of presenting University of Thessaly who is the exhibit in pink. "Black well-knowninGreekmodern- would be tragic," he said. art circles. "With pink one can say the Psychoulis says the exhibit most tragic thingin the light- isnotintendedtobepolitical, est way." But the Simon "I personally feel that the Wiesenthal Center in Paris experimentofIsraelhasfailed, expressed horror at the ex- and I understand the despera- hibit. tion of a girl who carries out "Over 450 innocents, in- a suicide bombing having cludingwomen, chiidren, eld- nothing to lose," he explained erly, have been murdered and to Ta Nea, Greece's largest thousands maimed by suicide daily newspaper, terrorists in the last three "But politics does not es- years in Israel -- the most sentially concern me in this recent only four days ago in a specific work." "What inter- jointly Jewish- and Arab- ests me is the relation be- owned restaurant in Haifa," Governator Continued from page 1 Museum of Tolerance, both as a donor and as a speaker on president of the Jewish Fed- behalf of tolerance. eration of Greater Los Ange- "Arnold has been our No. 1 les, John Fishel, said a supporter in the entertain- S c h w a r z e n e g g e r ment industry, and he is cer- administration's real impact tainly anti-Nazi," said Rabbi on California Jewish commu- Abraham Cooper, the center's nities might be in economic associate dean. terms, especially if deep bud- On election night, Cooper get cuts lower state support agreed to join the transition for Jewish and other social team managing the welfare agencies, changeover from Davis to Jewish voters apparently Schwarzenegger. were little influenced by Kotkin,whosaidJewishin- charges thatthe Austrian- fluenceinSacramentowouid bornSchwarzenegger, whose wane as a result of the estranged father joined the Schwarzeneggervictory, put Nazi Party during World War most of the blame for the II, harbored admiration for change of fortune on Jewish Hitler when he was younger, leaders--who, he said, "had Schwarzenegger was ignored their own tradition largely estranged from his fa- by making comfortable deals ther, and repeatedly has dis- with Davis, an amoral politi- avowed any support for his cian who debased the politi- father's political views, cal culture of California." Last weekend, Kotkinsaid thatifthe Demo- Schwarzenegger's campaign cratic establishment had not released a transcript of an in- pressuredtop-rankingDemo- terview 25 years ago in which crats to stay out of the recall the bodybuilder-cum-actor race to keep support for Davis said,"In manyways I admired strong, stronger candidates people--It depends for what. like Sen. Dianne Feinstein, IadmiredHitler, for instance, who is Jewish, "would have because he came frombeinga creamed Schwarzenegger." little man with almost no for- No demographic exit polls mal education, up to power, were available in the hours And I admire him for being after polls closed, but Kotkin such a good public speaker estimated that 30 percent of and for his way of getting to Jewish voters cast their bal- the people and so on. But I lots for Schwarzenegger, an didn't admire him for what unusually high figure for a he did with it." The actor also Republican in California. has long supported the Simon As euphoria spread among Wiesenthai Center and its California Republicans after the Center's director ternational liaison, Samuels, wrote to Prime Minister Simitis. Samuels said that pic games in Greece show is allowed to open. anti-Semitic campaign rently underway in media," wrote Samuels, manding that Simitis immediate measures this obscenity." ter warned, "the prospect t rrorism will have been hanced in the context of approaching OlympicS, deed, the very ideals sented by the Olympic will have been the land of the election, Jewish crats sought whatever lining they could find in news about the new nor. Howard Welinsky, man of Democrats for said that Schwarzenegger's agenda unknown, the Jewish munity had hac lations with the ous Republican gover Pete Wilson, who Schwarzenegger's sor. Daniel Sokatch, director of the JewishAlliance up libera legislature, Senate delegations Democratic majorities. Jews also could find l modest consolation ir overwhelming Proposition 54, whi opposed by almost organizations. The would have stopped t from collecting most racial and ethn: sage of the have ham! racial profiling and age affirmative action. But, as John PitneY, fessor of observed, even this "was a small wisp a large wound."