SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) – One of the five drunken youths arrested for terrorizing Jewish children on a school bus will visit the Sydney Jewish Museum as part of his punishment.
The offender, who cannot be named because he is a minor, also will participate in a tolerance program run by the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies, attend a Shabbat dinner, and read Primo Levi’s “If This Is A Man” and Elie Wiesel’s “Night.”
The punishment, which was agreed upon by both sides, was levied at a youth justice conference on Dec. 9 in Sydney at which the offender expressed remorse for his actions.
The conference was held solely for the one youth, whose offenses were too serious for a caution. All five offenders were minors: Two others received warnings; the other two were let off.
On Aug. 6, the five youths terrorized a bus in Sydney carrying Jewish students, some as young as 6, with threats of slitting their throats and chants of “Kill the Jews” and “Heil Hitler.”
Police, however, said they did not believe the children were targeted because they were Jews.
At the justice conference, alongside one victim and her parents were NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive officer Vic Alhadeff, who was representing the other victims, a police officer, a social worker and the offender’s parents.
Alhadeff said the conference offered closure to the 12-year-old victim who was present.
“It gave her an opportunity to question the offender, to hear from him and to hear him express remorse for his actions,” he said.
Some Jewish leaders had linked the incident to Israel’s war in Gaza.