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Jewish Journal

Briefs

by Community Briefs

November 21, 2002 | 7:00 pm

ADL Assists in OC White Supremacists Arrest

Orange County authorities arrested two white supremacist leaders this week, and charged them with having bomb-making materials in 1999, including enough gasoline – 50 gallons worth – to blow up the Anaheim apartment building in which they lived.

The Nov. 18 arrests were the results of an ongoing partnership between the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and law enforcement, "in monitoring these people and the extremists groups that they belong to," said Sue Stengel, ADL Western States counsel.

Authorities searching the apartment of Christine Greenwood, 28, and her live-in boyfriend, John Patrick McCabe, 23, also found razor blades, BB pellets, nails, battery-operated clocks that could be used as timers and a shopping list of bomb-making materials. Authorities said that the couple did not appear to have a specific target.

"ADL knows that these individuals have recruited, held meetings and hosted white power concerts in Orange Country for the past several years. As many as 150 people have been known to attend some of the these events, which serve to indoctrinate attendees into lives dedicated to hate," said Joyce Greenspan, director of ADL's Orange County/Long Beach region.

Greenwood was active in Women for Aryan Unity and organized a clothing drive for racist families. Both were among Southern California's most active and influential white supremacists, according to the ADL.

A third suspect, John Frederick Steele II, 29, was charged with perjury and falsifying financial statements required by his probation officer. Steele is the leader of California's Aryan Nations chapter, known as the Brandenburg Division. A search of Steele's home on Monday turned up a letter urging for white supremacists to align themselves with Palestinian extremists and target Jews.

The three were being detained in the Orange County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.

"We've been working for several months on this case," Stengel said. "Once we knew that there was going to be one or more arrests, we encouraged the Orange County D.A.'s office, which played an enormous role in capturing them, to hold a press conference announcing the arrests. The public really had a need and a right to know that there were white supremacists were active in the Orange County area."

Meanwhile, in Northern California, white supremacist Benjamin Williams was found dead Sunday in his Shasta County Jail cell while serving time for torching three synagogues and awaiting trial for allegedly killing a gay couple.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Williams, 34, was discovered dead, with cuts to his legs and arms, after he didn't respond to a call for breakfast at around 6:30 a.m., said Redding Police Sgt. Dan Kupsky. An autopsy is scheduled to determine the cause of death, police said. – Staff Report

Fund Helps Disabled Girls Attend Day School

With the help of Etta Israel's Ner Shoshana Fund, six developmentally disabled girls are now attending Bais Yaakov, an Orthodox girls' high school in Los Angeles. The yeshiva is serving as the first host school to this new program, which was named for Shoshana Greenbaum, a New York and Los Angeles day school teacher who was a victim in the Sbarro pizza restaurant bombing in Jerusalem on Aug. 9, 2001.

Due to their limitations, the teens had no choice but to attend public school, as there was no day school program that could accommodate them.

"The [girls'] parents are in tears every day," said Dr. Michael Held, the director of the Etta Israel Center. "They can't believe [the girls] are in a Jewish day school."

In addition to regular academic subjects, the students are offered classes like art therapy, music therapy, dance and physical education.

Students in the regular Bais Yaakov program have been reaching out to their new friends by visiting them in their new classroom and Etta Israel hopes to create other Ner Shoshana programs at other host schools. "It's very inspiring," Held said. "Instead of defensive isolation in a yellow school bus, these students get to interact with other kids." – Sharon Schatz Rosenthal, Education Writer

Jewish Home Holds Walk of Ages III

Let's hope the nice weather holds. On Dec. 8, the Jewish Home for the Aging (JHA) is holding "Walk of Ages III," their third-annual 5k walk/run. Proceeds from the event will be used toward new and upgraded facilities for JHA, which celebrated its 90th anniversary in April.

Last year, participants raised $170,000 to benefit JHA, and this year's goal is to pass the $200,000 mark, according to Walk chairman Shelly Markman. He said he was a little worried about the economy's affect on fundraising, but he has been pleasantly surprised by the amount of money already raised – $120,000 at press time. The event is being sponsored by a huge slate of local businesses and organizations including Wells Fargo, Encino-Tarzana Regional Medical Center and B'nai B'rith.

Actor Jon Voight is the honorary chair and 104-year-old Sylvia Harmatz, JHA's oldest resident, will reprise her role as grand marshal.

Western Bagel and Big Chill Yogurt will be there with refreshments for Walk participants, and there will be a drawing for a trip to Hawaii, with each walker eligible for one ticket per every $500 they raise, to be held at a special dinner in January for major fundraisers.

For registration, call (818) 774-3100 or visit www.walkofages.kintera.org . – Wendy Madnick, Contributing Writer

Iranians Face Hate Crimes Charges

Two Muslims of Iranian descent face assault and hate crimes charges for allegedly attacking a Jewish man in Los Angeles. According to witnesses, Dauod Mohammed Majid, 19, and Mohammed Hassan Aref, 22, were among a group of up to 15 who in September chanted "Kill the Jews" as they kicked the victim, who is also Iranian. – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

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