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Brooklyn Rabbi, 7 Others Requested to Compensate ‘yossele’ Family

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Compensation to the family of Yossele Schumacher was demanded today from eight persons in three countries for harboring the boy after his kidnapping in Israel more than two years ago.

Shlomo Cohen-Sidon, the family’s attorney, said he had sent letters to the eight persons, including Brooklyn Rabbi Zanvil Gertner, and the latter’s son, Menahem Gertner, asking for such compensation, with a warning he would file suit unless the group indicated willingness to settle out of court by naming an Israeli attorney to negotiate on their behalf. Mr. Cohen-Sidon said he had set a deadline of September 7 for the naming of the attorney.

The boy was hidden for more than a year in Switzerland and for several months in France, before he was brought to Rabbi Gertner’s home where the Israeli secret service found Yossele and arranged for a reunion with his mother and his return to Israel last July. He had been spirited away by Orthodox elements who feared his Israeli parents would not give him a sufficiently Orthodox Jewish education. The letters were sent also to five persons in France and a rabbi in Switzerland.

Grounds for compensation were listed as mental suffering of the parents, the disruption of the boy’s education, depriving the parents of the right to raise their child, and dislocation of the family’s life during the search.

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