Thursday, March 07, 2002

Pearl and his profession praised at service

By Randy Tucker
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Rabbi Abie Ingber places a candle under a picture of Daniel Pearl at a memorial service at Hillel Center.
(Tony Jones photo)
| ZOOM |
        Daniel Pearl may have died because he was a reporter, because he was an American or because he was a Jew.

        But the Wall Street Journal reporter's kidnapping and murder in Pakistan last month only deepened the resolve of Jews across the country and in Cincinnati to fight bigotry and hatred.

        “We will not stand idly by,” Rabbi Abie Ingber told about 30 people gathered Wednesday at the University of Cincinnati's Hillel Jewish Student Center for a memorial service for Mr. Pearl.

        The 38-year-old journalist was kidnapped in Karachi on Jan. 23 while trying to arrange an interview with a Muslim extremist.

        The U.S. State Department confirmed late last month that Mr. Pearl had been slain, and condemned his killing as an outrage.

        The rabbi compared the killing to the terror tactics used by Nazis against Jews during World War II.

        “Our people have known this kind of murder before,” he said.

        Even though Mr. Pearl, a western Massachusetts native, had no connection to Cincinnati, Rabbi Ingber said he believed it was important to provide a place for local Jews to mourn.

        “We thought that if nobody else is stepping up to the plate to give the community a chance to mourn, we would do so,” he said.

        Dexter Rothchild, an 18-year-old UC freshman, was grateful for the opportunity.

        “I wanted to show my support for my community, my respect for Daniel and my sorrow for his death,” Mr. Rothchild said. “This (memorial service) gave me a chance to do that.”

        The service also featured guest speakers from UC, and poetry readings.

        The poems will be forwarded to Mr. Pearl's pregnant widow, Mariane, who is in France. The couple's first child is due next month.

        Greg Hand, assistant vice president of public relations at UC, said Mr. Pearl's death also had implications for any school that has a journalism curriculum.

        Mr. Hand said the killing underscores the importance of asking questions to get at the truth, and he encouraged journalists and journalism students not to be discouraged by the death of a peer.

        Jeanette McClellan, editor of the UC student newspaper, The News Record, delivered her own epitaph for Mr. Pearl: “He carried the light of truth and made the supreme sacrifice. He was a soldier of truth.”



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