Religion & Beliefs
Iran, My Friend Marla, and $13 Million
I re-met Marla Bennett at Pardes in 2001. We knew each other through friends as teenagers, but developed a relationship and shared a tight social circle during my Junior Year abroad in Jerusalem. After she and fellow Pardes-nik (and DJ) … Read More
I re-met Marla Bennett at Pardes in 2001. We knew each other through friends as teenagers, but developed a relationship and shared a tight social circle during my Junior Year abroad in Jerusalem. After she and fellow Pardes-nik (and DJ) Ben Blutstein were killed in the Hebrew U bombing in July 2002, we were just getting JDub off the ground. We shifted gears and our first event was a memorial concert for them called Zachor, which raised $25K for scholarship funds in their memory at Pardes.
Seven and a half years on, we maintain close relationships with Marla’s family and that social circle from Jerusalem. We’ve grown up, gotten married, some of us have had kids. Tonight, reading this challenging article about her parents’ lawsuit against the government of Iran (which awarded them $13 million), I was particularly struck not just by her picture, but her age: 24. As the youngest of our crew, to see that, on the cusp of my 30th birthday, brought back fully the devastation of her loss. Visiting with the Bennetts this summer, they said nothing of the lawsuit, of their efforts to put a lien on the Iranian embassy, or of their hopes for the good use the $13 million could be put to. If and when conversation turned to Marla, it was not about the bombing, blame, or foreign governments. It was about Marla, the sweet, young, caring friend and daughter. The final line of the article perfectly sums up how the Bennetts, and Marla’s friends, remember her: "‘I always tell people she was the best person I’ve ever known,’ said her father."
Read the full article at LATimes.com