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Community Briefs

August 15, 2002 | 8:00 pm

Daniel Pearl Laid to Rest

Family and close friends buried slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl Sunday morning and vowed that his example would continue to inspire "millions of friends and strangers touched by his life and death."

Pearl, 38, was kidnapped and killed last January in Pakistan while working on a story on Islamic extremists. His body, in an oak casket covered with red flowers, was returned to the United States from Karachi on Thursday. The private funeral service and burial were held Aug. 11 at Mount Sinai Memorial Park.

Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis of Valley Beth Shalom in Encino conducted the service, during which he praised "the heroism of a man, who, when confronted by the killers of the dream, responded by saying, 'I am a Jew, my father is a Jew and my ancestors were Jewish.'"

Professor Judea Pearl, Daniel's father, chanted "Kaddish" and a friend, violinist Mitchell Newman, played Bach's "Partita."

Pearl's family released the following statement: "We finally laid to rest our beloved son, husband, brother and father in his hometown, overlooking the concert hall where he loved to perform with his youth orchestra. Danny will continue to inspire his family and the millions of friends and strangers who were touched by his life and death.

"He will always be remembered for his pursuit of truth and dialogue, his respect for people of all backgrounds and his love of music, humor and friendship. This legacy will be preserved through the Daniel Pearl Foundation, and will forever fuel our resolve to see humanity triumphant."

The family requested that in tribute to Daniel and his love of music, well-wishers initiate and support musical events in their communities on Oct. 10, Daniel's birthday. Such events will be coordinated on the Web site of the Daniel Pearl Foundation (www.danielpearl.org). A collection of Pearl's stories, "At Home in the World," was published last month by Simon and Schuster.

Pearl's family is considering a more public memorial service at the end of sheloshim (the traditional 30-day mourning period) and the unveiling of a headstone. -- Tom Tugend, Contributing Editor

Kosher Businesses Burglarized in West Valley

A series of burglaries affecting several West Valley kosher restaurants and markets has concerned patrons wondering if they were hate crimes.

Los Angeles police said the burglaries are part of a general crime wave and so far there has been no evidence that Jewish-owned establishments are being targeted.

Rami's Pizza in Canoga Park, Encino Grill & Wok and Super Sal Kosher Market, also in Encino, were all hit within a five-day period between July 30 and Aug. 3. The crimes were of the "smash and grab" type, with thieves breaking in through store windows sometime between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. to steal cash and other valuables. The market experienced a loss of $300 in cash, according to police records, but proprietor Yossi Rabinov of the Encino Grill said his losses were minimal.

"They took a pushke. I guess it looked like a money thing, so they took it," Rabinov said.

This was the second break-in for Rami's Pizza this year, according to owner Uziel Gluska. After the first incident, back in April, Gluska said he stopped leaving bills in the cash register overnight "so this time, they only got the coins, about $5 at most."

Neither of the restaurant owners felt the crimes were aimed at kosher places in particular.

"My neighbor across the street is Persian and the man who owns the cleaners [nearby] is either Persian or Armenian and they also got broken into, so if anything it's anti-foreigner," Gluska said.

The first weekend in August saw an unusually high number of burglaries, according to Detective Steve Galeria of the Los Angeles Police Department's West Valley Division.

"They [the thieves] are targeting businesses along Ventura Boulevard and on Sherman Way right around Reseda Boulevard," Galeria said in an Aug. 12 interview.

Detectives caution business owners in the Encino, Van Nuys and Canoga Park areas to take precautions. -- Wendy J. Madnick, Contributing Writer

Davis Against Divestment

Gov. Gray Davis has spoken out sharply against petitions launched at UC Berkeley and UCLA calling for the divestment of state-held stocks in corporations doing business with Israel.

"As long as I am governor of this state, we will continue to stand side by side with our friends in Israel, both in business and friendship," Davis pledged in a written statement. "The people of Israel are going through tremendous difficulties right now. They live with daily unrest, violence and death. California will not abandon its friends in their time of need."

Faculty and student advocates of divestment cite Israel's alleged human rights violations against Palestinians as the basis of their demands. Davis, who is running for reelection, noted that California exported $818.2 million worth of products and services to Israel in 2001, making Israel the state's 22nd largest trade partner. Leading exports included industrial machinery, computers and electronic and electrical equipment.

In addition, Israeli investments in California, mainly in Silicon Valley high-tech companies, grew from $4 million in 1990 to more than $162 million in 1998, the latest figures available.

The value of Israeli exports to California is harder to pin down, because figures are available only for the United States as a whole and are not broken down by individual states.

But Doron Abrahami, Israel's consul for economic affairs in Los Angeles, estimates that the two-way trade between California and Israel averages out at $2 billion a year, thus giving Israel a slight edge in exports over imports.

Some 200 offices representing Israeli companies operate in California, mostly in the Silicon Valley, said Abrahami. He noted that the biggest Israeli exporter is Intel, whose plants in Kiryat Gat and Jerusalem annually export $2 billion in computer chips to the world.

The single largest American investor in Israel is Burbank-based Shamrock Holdings, which has invested between $700 million and $800 million in Israel over the past 15 years. -- TT

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