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.
Shortly after September 11, when the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles (JFGLA) renewed its insurance policy, it found that rates nearly doubled.
This year, it will be even worse, according to Jack Klein, the Federation's executive vice president and chief operating officer.
After last-minute negotiating, Austria, the United States and Jewish groups signed an agreement two weeks ago under which Austria agreed to pay $210 million, plus about $20 million in interest, to cover victims' property claims and unpaid insurance polices. The government also will pay an estimated $100 million in social welfare benefits to Austrian Jews.