TEL AVIV (Mar. 27)
Yohoshua (Gerry) Zeller, a 19-year-old soldier in the Israeli Army, was remanded in custody for 15 days by a Tel Aviv magistrate today on a request from U.S. authorities for his extradition. According to the request, Zeller faces charges of murder and arson in connection with the fire-bombing of impressario Sol Hurok’s office in New York Jan. 26, 1972 in which one person was killed.
U.S. authorities asked that Zeller be held pending the arrival of documents relating to the charges against him. Zeller arrived in Israel alone ten months ago and was in the field with an Israeli Army training unit when he was picked up by police today and brought directly to court. His parents live in New Jersey. He has requested a lawyer.
The fire-bombing was attributed to Hurok’s prominence in arranging American tours for Soviet artists. Just before the bombing, an anonymous telephone caller informed a wire news service office that “there will be no cultural ties over the bodies of Russian Jews. Never again.” The slogan is one used by the Jewish Defense League but the JDL claims it had no connection with the crime. Police here could not say whether Zeller belonged to the JDL or whether he was in New York at the time of the fire-bombing.
Due to an error in transmission, the name of one of the newly elected members of the JTA Board of Directors was omitted from the list of new directors published in the JTA Daily News Bulletin March 23. He is Max Schrayer of Chicago, past president of the Chicago Jewish United Fund, a leader of the Workshop for Chicago Volunteers and a prominent insurance executive.