June 1, 2000
Insurer Faces California Lawsuit
Relatives of Holocaust victims filed a class-action lawsuit against Italy's largest insurer for allegedly failing to pay claims dating back to the Holocaust era. The lawsuit, filed against Assicurazioni Generali in a San Francisco court, seeks remedy for as many as 20,000 Californians whose relatives were killed during the Holocaust and held insurance policies that were never honored by the firm.
Ethiopian Emigre Gets Doctorate
An Ethiopian Jew who immigrated to Israel 10 years ago is the first emigre from that country to have received a doctoral degree in the Jewish state. Anbessa Teferra was one of 238 doctoral recipients at a ceremony Sunday at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Peres, Katsav to Run for President
Former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres will be the Labor Party's candidate for president. A former tourism minister, Moshe Katsav, will be the Likud Party's candidate. The current president, Ezer Weizman, announced this week that he will resign in July, three years before his second five-year term ends. Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg said the Knesset will vote by secret ballot on July 31.
Lawyer: 'Iran 13' Should Be Freed
Iran has no "just" choice but to free the 13 Jews facing trial on accusations of spying for Israel, the defendants' lead lawyer said Monday.His comments to reporters came after the 10 main defendants appeared in court for what may be their last closed-door hearing. Three other defendants remain free on bail and did not have to appear in court.
Settler Leader Warns Barak
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak risks being assassinated if he uproots Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, a leader of a settler group said.If Barak carries "out this dangerous plan, his days could be numbered," Shlomo Riklin said in a radio interview. Riklin is a leader of Second Generation, a group of young settlers who have set up outposts on West Bank hilltops to prevent land transfers to the Palestinians.
Charedim Blamed for Fire
The Conservative movement is blaming fervently Orthodox Jews for attempting to burn down the front door of a Conservative synagogue in Jerusalem. "It is inconceivable to think of such desecration being perpetrated by Jews in the Jewish homeland," the Conservative movement said. Last year the Ya'ar Ramot Synagogue, in an area with a large fervently Orthodox population, was sprayed with graffiti promising to "turn your Purim into Tisha B'Av.''
Lesbian Couple Wins Court Case
An Israeli lesbian couple won the right Monday to be registered as the mothers of a son born to one of them through a sperm donor. In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court on Monday ordered the Interior Ministry to register Nicole Brener Kadish as an adoptive mother to Matan, the 4-year-old son of her lesbian partner, Ruthy Brener Kadish.
Cuban Jews Inaugurate Temple
The Cuban Jewish community marked the inauguration of a newly renovated temple, Bet Shalom, in Havana. Attending last weekend's ceremony were Jewish delegations from several countries, according to Radio Havana.
Arson Guts Philadelphia Shul
A fire set by arsonists destroyed a Philadelphia synagogue. Police said the fire had been set at Beit-Harambam Congregation early Saturday morning by one person who broke in through a back window.The fire destroyed Torahs and prayer books, gutted the synagogue's interior and left some 300 congregants without a house of worship.
Groups Help Lebanese Refugees
The American Jewish Committee donated $10,000 to provide humanitarian assistance to the Lebanese refugees who found asylum in the Jewish state after last week's Israeli troop withdrawal from Lebanon.Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, is mobilizing a relief effort for the refugees. The group says it was contacted by the Israeli government to collect toiletries, clothing and shoes. Grant to Help Shoah RescuersA Swiss fund for needy Holocaust survivors plans to make a $2 million grant to support Christians and Muslims who rescued Jews during the Holocaust.The grant is being made to the New York-based Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, which currently provides financial support to more than 1,700 rescuers in 30 countries.