Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Jewish Father and Son Freed in Venezuela After $400G Ransom Paid

A Jewish father and son abducted in Venezuela were freed days after the Jewish community paid a $400,000 ransom.

Heavily armed men kidnapped the Orthodox Jews as they made their way to synagogue for morning prayers on Saturday. The crime was only reported in the late afternoon, when the two did not return home. At the same time, one kidnapper called the family to present the terms of ransom.

“We have in our community people who are specialized in rescuing captives, and they know how to negotiate with kidnappers,” the son-in-law of a Chabad envoy in Caracas told the Behadrey Haredim news portal. “Such cases happen frequently here. Our community has a special fund designed to redeem captives.”

The kidnappers had demanded a $1 million ransom, according to the CCN Es Noticias news portal.

Cases of kidnappings for ransom have become most frequent in Venezuela. Foreigners – mainly Israelis – who come to the country are familiar with the situation and are cautious.

Venezuela is home to some 9,000 Jews, down from some 25,000 in 1999. Many Jews left, mainly for Florida and Israel, due to a deteriorating financial and social climate, along with a growing anti-Semitic environment established under the Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro regimes.


  • Events

    Vegas, It Isn’t: How Israeli Elections Sent Shockwaves through the Israel-Diaspora Relationship

    OFJCC Campus in Palo Alto, CA

    Dec 11, 2022

    5 pm ET · 

    Do the recent Israeli elections have an impact on the relationship between Israel and Diaspora Jewry? Bear witness as rock stars of Israeli policy come together for a frank conversation about the Israeli elections as seen from the vantage points of statecraft, diplomacy, academia and politics.

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.