Hardly a day goes by where Renee Firestone isn't asked by some school, museum, reporter or filmmaker to talk about the Holocaust. "Somebody has to tell the story," she said. "I am fortunate enough, at my age, to still be able to walk and talk. So I have to do it." Firestone is 88, with pale blue eyes and a warm, Cheshire cat smile. She manages a 24-unit apartment building in Beverly Hills, where she lives with her daughter, Klaire.
New York state legislators are trying to prevent insurance companies from blacklisting travelers to Israel so that they cannot obtain life insurance coverage.
Sheldon Silver, speaker of the New York Assembly, and Assemblyman Peter Grannis unveiled a bill Jan. 15 that would bar state insurance firms from denying life insurance to anyone who has traveled to Israel.
Holocaust survivors and Jewish organizations have reacted with anger and disappointment to Monday's U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down a California law that required European insurance companies to disclose information about all their Holocaust-era policies.
The largest Holocaust-era German insurance company has not paid a single claim to survivors. Meanwhile, the international commission created to resolve Holocaust claims disputes has spent $30 million on administrative costs, compared to $3 million distributed to elderly survivors. From my own experience, these were predictable scandals. It is not too late to reverse them. In any event, the story should be told.