JERUSALEM (Dec. 30)
An Interior Ministry spokesman said today that Rabbi Bernard Bergman of New York has not applied for immigrant status. He issued the statement in response to a request from Rep. Edward I. Koch (D.NY) to Interior, Minister Yosef Burg that Israeli citizenship be withheld from Gere man pending the outcome of investigations into alleged scandals in the operation of nursing and old-age homes owned by Bergman and his wife in New York State. The spokesman said the Interior Ministry has not dealt with the Bergman matter in any way.
Bergman, a leader of the World Mizrachi movement, has been subpoenaed to appear at a joint Senate-State hearing in New York on Jan. 7 to testify about alleged fraud involving Medicaid funds. The hearing stems from months of investigations into homes owned by Bergman and others in which Medicaid funds intended for patient care and related activities were allegedly misappropriated for personal use. Bergman, who owns a luxury apartment in Jerusalem, arrived in Israel with his wife last month. They left a few weeks later and are reported to be in Vienna.