January 30, 2003
Irv Rubin's Family Files Wrongful-Death Claim
The family of Jewish Defense League (JDL) leader Irv Rubin has filed a $5 million wrongful-death claim against the U.S. government, stemming from his apparent suicide last November while in federal custody at the downtown Metropolitan Detention Center.
Prison authorities stated at the time that Rubin, 57, had slashed his throat with a safety razor and then jumped headfirst over a railing, plummeting some 18 feet. He died nine days later at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. Rubin's widow, Shelley, and the couple's two sons rejected the suicide scenario and suggested that the JDL national chairman might have been murdered.
Rubin and his associate, Earl Krugel, were arrested in December 2001, charged with conspiring to blow up a Culver City mosque and the offices of Rep. Darrell E. Issa (R-Vista), who is of Lebanese descent.
In filing the claim against the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and other federal agencies, attorney Bryan Altman did not raise the issue of foul play, but charged that Rubin had been negligently supervised and monitored during his 11-month stay at the detention center.
Altman said that since Rubin's death last Nov. 13, he had repeatedly petitioned the FBI, U.S. Marshal's Service and prison authorities for their investigation report on the death, without receiving any response. If the government rejects the $5 million claim, Altman said he would proceed with a lawsuit in U.S. District Court.
Krugel, the JDL's Western regional director, remains behind bars, pending his trial on March 4. -- Tom Tugend, Contributing Editor
Shalhevet Carnival To Benefit Victims of Terror
Twenty-five Shalhevet High School students committed to helping Israel are planning a carnival and fair to benefit Israeli victims of terror. The students raised the funds for the carnival, secured sponsorships from seven leading Jewish organizations, organized the carnival rides and vendors and marketed the carnival through all the synagogues and temples in Los Angeles. They also arranged for a seminar on Israel, with speakers from AIPAC, StandWithUs and the Israeli Consulate, to take place inside the Shalhevet building at the same time as the carnival.
"There is a very pro-Israel, Zionistic atmosphere in Shalhevet, and the whole administration is very supportive of the carnival," said Zach Cutler, a sophomore and the head of the Israel Action Committee. "It is going to be a full-blown carnival, with slides, rides, a petting zoo, games booths and a DJ, and even people who don't have kids will enjoy themselves because of the advocacy aspect. Anyone who is interested in helping Israel is wanted and welcome there."
The Carnival will take place Feb. 9 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Shalhevet parking lot, 910 S. Fairfax Ave. Admission is $2. Parking is at Midway Hospital on Olympic Boulevard. -- Gaby Wenig, Contributing Writer
World Marks First Anniversary of Pearl's Death
The first anniversary of the day the world learned of the brutal murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl will be marked by interfaith memorial services throughout the world Feb. 20-24.
"We are urging synagogues to invite neighboring churches, mosques and other religious institutions to celebrate Danny's spirit and in a show of solidarity against terror and intolerance," said Dr. Judea Pearl, Daniel's father.
The elder Pearl will join services in Los Angeles at the Museum of Tolerance on Feb. 20, in New York at Temple B'nai Jeshurun on Feb. 23 and in Toronto at Beth Tzedec Synagogue on Feb. 24.
In addition, the Jerusalem Foundation will conduct a national service in Israel's capital on Feb. 22, organizations in Geneva and Paris have signified their interest, and Hillel is developing plans for interfaith services and dialogues on American college campuses. Daniel Pearl, 38, was kidnapped by Islamic extremists on Jan. 23 of last year while on assignment in Karachi, Pakistan. His murder was officially confirmed on Feb. 21, the date which now marks his yahrtzeit.
His family chose interfaith services as the most meaningful tribute to a man who "was a dialogue maker, always striving to form new connections among people of different backgrounds," Judea Pearl said. "By bringing together people of different faiths and uniting them in a common stand for sanity and humanity, we will be telling Danny, 'You are winning this battle. Your murderers vowed to spread fear, hatred and anti-Semitism, but instead your legacy is helping us build trust and understanding to make the world safer. Your life and your untimely death will make a difference.'"
Last October, to mark what would have been Daniel Pearl's 39th birthday, 105 different concerts in 17 countries were performed as a tribute to the music-loving journalist.
For additional information on organizing neighborhood memorial services, check the Daniel Pearl Foundation Web site at www.danielpearl.org . -- TT