by Lawrence Cohler-Esses
When Tehran police handcuffed Sepehr Ebn Yamin last Sunday and hauled him off to jail in connection with a business dispute, the 45-year-old Iranian Jew’s health was already less than hearty: Just two weeks earlier he had suffered a minor heart attack.
By last Monday, Ebn Yamin was dead. And his family in Los Angeles is charging Tehran police with willful negligence of his cries for medical help.
The start of final-status talks between Israel and the Palestinians — now scheduled for Sunday in Ramallah — could ignite fierce battles in the American Jewish community as negotiators wrestle with issues deemed too explosive to take up in earlier rounds.
Several American Jewish leaders say their groups are working to lay the communal groundwork for talks that could fundamentally alter the geography of the Jewish state and pierce many pro-Israel articles of faith.
Faced with lawsuits stemming from unpaid Holocaust-era claims and threatened sanctions from state insurance commissioners, Italy’s largest insurer has discontinued writing policies in the United States. The move came as Assicurazioni Generali has taken the lead in paying Holocaust-era claims, offering $500,000 in the last two weeks to 43 claimants.
Warsaw — At the podium was the prime minister of Poland, who began his speech with a quote from the Talmud.
In the crowd were several hundred Polish Jews — parents and grandparents of children enrolled in Warsaw’s only Jewish day school.
In the front rows sat some of the most prominent leaders of American Jewish organizations and a few hand-picked American philanthropists.
Vienna — For Isaac Rabinowitz, the surge in support for far-right candidate Joerg Haider in last week’s national elections is not an international issue.
It’s the policeman who guards his synagogue.
A rotating group of police officers have stood outside Rabinowitz’s shul in the center of the capital since a terrorist incident here in 1983. Most are polite. When one is rude, Rabinowitz says he offers a warning: the Jewish community has political connections.
In the belief that nothing gets Jews more involved in their community than a trip to Israel or seeing a Jewish community in distress, UJA-Federation is revamping its missions programs to give participants a deeper understanding of the communities they visit and the work of the philanthropy there.