COLUMBUS, Ohio – The plan for a Holocaust memorial at the Ohio Statehouse took a big step forward last week when the Artist Selection Committee chose a proposal by Daniel Libeskind, the world-renown architect who designed the Jewish Museum in Berlin and the master plan for the World Trade Center site in New York.
But the Statehouse plan may have taken two steps back, too.
Former Ohio Sen. Richard Finan, now chairman of the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board and a skeptic of the project from the beginning, once again raised objections. This time Finan expressed concerns about Libeskind’s design, particularly its use of the six-sided Star of David, the symbol of Judaism.
Finan, who served as president of the Senate from 1997 to 2003, says he’ll bring those concerns to two other committees before they take final votes at meetings scheduled for May and July.
“I think that the Star of David is a religious symbol and religious symbols, we have been told on several occasions, are not permissible on Statehouse grounds,” Finan said in a telephone interview last week.
The state, he points out, fought a years-long legal battle beginning in the late 1990s after then-Gov. George Voinovich proposed that the Ohio seal be engraved at the Statehouse. The seal includes the state motto: “With God, All Things Are Possible.”
The American Civil Liberties Union sued and the resulting legal action, Finan recalls, cost the state between $200,000 and $250,000. >>>MORE<<<
Ohio’s Jewish Population
Estimated Ohio Jewish Population: 149,000
Total Ohio Population: 11,360,000
Estimated Jewish Population (As Percent of Total): 1.30%
Akron (includes Kent)
Butler County (includes Bowling Green, Hamilton, Middletown, Oxford)
Canton (includes New Philadelphia)
Elyria (includes Oberlin)
Sandusky (includes Fremont, Norwalk)
Youngstown (includes Warren)
Other Ohio Towns
Population of Ohio 2012
Ohio in 2012 will reach 11.55 million this year.
Largest cities in Ohio
There are six cities in Ohio with a population of more than 100,000, but only one with more than half a million residents. The largest city in Ohio is Columbus, home to 787,033 people. The next largest city is Cleveland (pop: 396,815), followed by Cincinnati (pop: 296,943) and Toledo (pop: 287,208). The remaining cities with more than 100,000 residents are Akron (pop: 199,110) and Dayton (pop: 141,527).
Interestingly, the cities are wildly different when it comes to demographics. While Columbus is growing rapidly, at a rate of 10% every decade, Cleveland by comparison is losing people at an alarming rate. In 1950, more than 900,000 people lived in Cleveland, and it’s population is declining at a rate similar to decaying cities like Detroit.