A Times article (May 19) described "some concern over church-state separation" with reference to the Museum of Tolerance that is being established on the campus of Yeshiva University of Los Angeles in connection with the Simon Wiesenthal Center. An analysis of the item makes it clear that while there may be doubters, it is an established constitutional doctrine that a governmental body, in this case the state of California, may provide a denominational university with funds to provide a service for a non-denominational purpose.
Other news stories have made it clear that the museum will memorialize the many victims of genocide--as this is to be a museum against intolerance, not just a Jewish Holocaust museum. We understand that Armenian leadership has been consulted, and certainly the Bahai community will be welcome. The writers of this letter were present when the organizing meeting of the United States (Gypsy) Romany Council was held at the Wiesenthal Center. The Gypsies representing the one-half-million Hitler-slain were treated as brothers and sisters in anguish as they shared expressions of sorrow at the Memorial Shrine in the center's courtyard.
One of the undersigned was chairman of the California State Committee on academic accreditation when Yeshiva University of Los Angeles applied for that status and received it without reservation. It may well be a most appropriate vehicle to educate against racism in this multi-ethnic state.
BARRY A. FISHER
WILLIAM M. KRAMER