Jewish Journal

Hillary and the JCC

by Naomi Pfefferman

November 11, 1999 | 7:00 pm

When Hillary Rodham Clinton came to the North Valley Jewish Community Center in Granada Hills last week, it was a reunion of sorts for the five victims of a white supremacist who allegedly sprayed the center with gunfire Aug. 10.

There was 6-year-old Benjamin Kadish, still in his wheelchair, traversing the same hallway where he lay near death Aug. 10. There was receptionist Isabelle Shalometh; counselor Mindy Finkelstein, 16; James Zidell, 6, and Joshua Stepakoff, 6, walking without a limp despite the wounds he sustained to his leg and pelvis. The family of Filipino-American Joseph Ileto, the postman allegedly killed by Buford O. Furrow on the same day as the NVJCC killings, was also on hand, as Clinton praised the survivors and their families for refusing "to allow the forces of hatred to win."

During her two-hour visit to the center, Clinton met privately with the families; she read a children's book, "The Rainbow Fish," to pre-schoolers and lobbied hard for tougher federal gun-control and hate-crime laws.

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