Efforts are under way to resolve a 3-year-old stalemate that has kept the Austrian government from paying a $210 million Holocaust-era property claims settlement and to provide the Austrian Jewish community with the money it needs to continue operating.
Israel Singer, president of the Conference on Jewish and Material Claims Against Germany, said he has proposed funding the Jewish community using unallocated money from a $400 million fund created to pay surviving slave laborers. The deadline for filing slave labor claims expires Dec. 31 and about $150 million remains.
Survivors are now able to give "every penny" of the restitution money they have received over the years to their children and grandchildren: tax free. A Manhattan law firm has developed a way of sheltering restitution payments from Medicaid and nursing homes while they are alive, and from Medicaid estate recovery after their deaths.
"They aren't going to be victimized again," vowed lawyer Michael Lissner.
Jewish groups are taking a wait-and-see attitude about Monday's announcement that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce plans to set up a fund for American companies wishing to provide humanitarian assistance to Holocaust-era slave and forced laborers, including tens of thousands living in the U.S.
At the age of 26, Amy Strong of Forest Hills, seeking to get a better sense of her career goals, sat down at a computer, called up a site on the Internet and answered about 300 questions designed to evaluate her skills, personality and career interests.
Billed as more comprehensive and user friendly than any other career-related program on the Net, the program, called Careervectors.com, was developed three years ago by Barry Lustig, a career counselor at FEGS, the Federation of Employment and Guidance Service.
The pluralism wars that have proved so polarizing in Israel are being played out in another arena locally: a Brooklyn federal courtroom. Attorneys for the state of New York and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver are seeking to defend the constitutionality of the state's 117-year-old kosher laws, which are being challenged by a Long Island butcher.
While he was a second-year student at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 1992, Gary (Gidone) Busch was diagnosed with a potentially fatal disease that changed his life.
"He learned that he had a kidney disease that causes partial renal failure, and a nephrologist told him it could be life threatening," recalled his brother, Glenn, 39, a Manhattan lawyer.
When he first proudly donned a badge as a Suffolk County cop three decades ago, Howard Mandell walked a beat in Huntington, L.I. He made headlines a few years later when he and his partner foiled a bank robbery in Northport, shooting and killing the gunman.
Suddenly in Jewish Westchester, land of spacious homes and ample backyards, nothing seems to fit.
Westchesterís Jews, once limited by upper-crust restrictions, are experiencing a 40-percent population surge in the past 10 years, only to find that their infrastructure of schools and shuls now seems too small, tight around the seams.
When Natan Sharansky, the ex-Soviet refusenik turned hard-line Israeli cabinet minister, visited several local universities here last month, he brought a pointed message: Yasir Arafat, he told students at Columbia University and New York University, is an unrepentant ìdictatorî who is an ominous presence dooming peace and must be removed.