Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

No Proof Insurer Dumped Belgium Preschool Over Risk of Attacks

There is no proof that a Belgian insurance company refused to insure a Jewish kindergarten because it was deemed t0o risky, a Brussels-based watchdog on anti-Semitism said.

The statement by the Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism, or LBCA, follows reports last week that an unnamed insurance company declined to insure a Jewish kindergarten in Brussels, citing an elevated risk factor due to previous attacks on Jewish targets in Belgium and Western Europe.

Joel Rubinfeld, a co-founder of the national watchdog, told the La Capitale daily that after looking into the matter, “There was no proof confirming a discriminatory character with regards to a refusal.”

The news about the alleged refusal came from the European Jewish Association, a lobby group that operates the kindergarten in question. EJA and the Israel-based Tal Rabina public relations office alerted media to the matter without naming the insurance company in question.

EJA Director Menachem Margolin and Tal Rabina’s office did not reply to JTA queries asking them to identify the insurance company to obtain their reaction.

Margolin, a Chabad rabbi who also serves as director for the Rabbinical Center of Europe, stirred controversy in January when he called on Jewish communities to arm some members against terrorist attacks. The two organizations directed by Margolin have a tense relationship with some European Jewish lobbies and umbrella groups.

EJA’s call about weapons prompted 11 heads of European Jewish communities, including Belgium, to write in a joint statement that his initiative “can only be explained by ignorance and panic” and that he “lacks all the basic components for Jewish community responsibility.” Margolin said he regretted the authors’ “divisiveness” at a critical time for Jews in Europe.

“I spoke to Rabbi Margolin,” Rubinfeld wrote about the insurance issue. “He confirmed that the insurance company did not provide a document on the reason for the refusal, which an employee delivered orally.”

He also said the kindergarten found a competitor willing to insure it.

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.